Instructions for authors




These guidelines are aimed at potential authors interested in submitting manuscripts to Botanical Sciences, published by the Botanical Society of Mexico (SBM). Botanical Sciences is a scientific journal that publishes original contributions in different fields of plant sciences, including evolutionary biology, biogeography, conservation, ecology, ethnobotany, molecular systematics, paleobotany, structural botany, and taxonomy among others. 

Botanical Sciences welcomes original research papers, and review papers (by special invitation only). Special Issues are also published through special arrangements with the Editor-in-Chief. Language for publication is English. An abstract in English and Spanish is recommended.

 Manuscripts will be examined by two referees before any decision is taken regarding acceptance and changes required.


 Page Charges

The cost of each paper is $ 100.00 USD for members of the Botanical Society of Mexico. The cost of each paper for no-members is $150 USD. The Journal does not have submission charges.

Banking details:
Please deposit US Dollars only
Bank: BBVA Bancomer
Account Number: 0134612892
CLABE 012 180 001346128922
ABA (Routing Number) 121000358

If you wish to get more information related to the membership please contact Dr. Mariana Hernández-Apolinar (Treasurer):

Botanical Sciences may grant waivers  to some authors who are unable to afford manuscript handling fee. Authors who wish to apply for waivers must demonstrate their inability to afford the manuscript handling fee.


Before submitting a manuscript to Botanical Sciences, it is mandatory that the authors check that it has been prepared in accordance with the editorial guidelines.

Papers should include clearly identified questions and hypotheses. Manuscripts should not exceed  6,000 words, excluding title page, abstract(s), literature cited, tables, figures, or appendices. Invited Reviews shoud not exceed 8000 words.

Short communication notes are reserved for outstanding findings, and will be published in a much smaller time than regular articles.

Cover Letter

Together with their manuscript, authors are requested to provide a cover letter addressed to the Editor-in-Chief indicating the corresponding author, institution, postal and email addresses, and phone number. In this letter, include a paragraph indicating that all co-authors agree with the submission.

In the cover letter also include the number of words in the manuscript, and detailed answers to the following questions:

What questions or hypotheses does your work address?

Is your work clearly important and novel?

How does your work advance our current understanding of science?

Will your study be relevant to readers in othes areas of plant science or it is highly specialized?

In the cover letter, authors can suggest potential referees (please discard coauthors or collaborators within the past three years), and also request the non-inclusion of particular reviewers. Editors will maintain confidenciality regarding your requests.


Instructions to authors

  • a. Send the original manuscript and the Cover Letter to the Editor-in-Chief through the OJS system of the Botanical Sciences page (www.

    b. The text and tables of the manuscript must have “DOC” or “RTF” format. Figures should be in separate files, in “PDF” or “EPS” if they are in vector format or with 300 dpi in “TIFF” or “JPG” if they are in bits format.

    c. The entire manuscript, including text, references, legends to figures and tables must be made in double-spaced with the “Times New Roman” 12 points typeface.

    d. Margins on four sides must be at least 2.5 cm wide.

    e. Paragraphs must have a three-space indentation, except those directly under a heading.

    f. All lines must finish with complete words (no hyphens); paragraphs must be left-justified.

    g. All pages must be numbered consecutively.

    i. Tables and figure legends must be placed immediately after Literature Cited, in that order.

Manuscript organization

Research manuscripts should not have more than 6,000 words. The word count does not include the title page, abstracts, cited literature, tables, figures, and appendices. Manuscripts that exceed the word limit will be returned.

Review articles are only published through a special invitation from the Reviews Editor. Reviews should not exceed 8,000 words, and  Book reviews shoud not have more than 1,500 words.

 Botanical Sciences is open to publish special issues or sections through a previous agreement with the Editor-in-Chief.


Original research papers and reviews

1. Title and author(s).

  • a. Title. Must be short, concise, and must clearly reflect the contents of the paper. Capital letters must be used only at the beginning of the sentence and when necessary; if the title includes scientific names of species these must be written in italics.

    b. Authors’ names and institutional affiliation. Names of all authors must be written in full, using upper-case and lower-case letters, centered in the page. Authors from Spanish-speaking countries wanting to use their two family names must necessarily join them with a hyphen. Names must be followed (in a new line) by the name of their institution and/or the place where the research was conducted.
  • c. Author Contributions must be included.

  • d. Additional information. Include phone/fax numbers and e-mail address to facilitate communication between the editor and the author(s).

    e. Running title. If the title is too long, authors may suggest one or several running heads, as short as possible (maximum eight words) that synthesizes it.

2. Abstract.


a. Contents and length. In a maximum of 250 words the most important aspects of the paper must be synthesized, including its relevance and rationale, experimental or observational procedures, as well as the main conclusions reached.

b.  The abstract must be written in English and in Spanish (Resumen).

 The abstract must have the following format:

Background (Antecedentes)

Questions and / or hypotheses (Preguntas / Hipótesis)

Species study / data description / Mathematical model (Especie de estudio / Descripción de datos / Modelo matemático)

Study site and dates (Sitio y años de estudio)

Methods (Métodos)

Results (Resultados)

Conclusions (Conclusiones)

Each point should be written in separate paragraphs. Start each paragraph with one of the above titles.

3. Key words. A maximum of five key words will serve to identify the main topics of the paper. These must be written just below the last line of the abstract and of the Resumen, in lower-case letters, separated by commas.

4. Introduction (no heading). The theoretical and conceptual context of the investigation must be described briefly, together with the importance of the problem, its pertinence or the necessity and rationale of the investigation. The relevant literature will be revised here and the hypotheses and objectives will be stated.

5. Materials and methods. Materials used, procedures followed, variable measurements, statistical treatment of data, and other relevant information such as data bases used in the research must be described with all necessary detail. This section must contain necessary and sufficient information to allow corroboration of the experimental designs and the overall methods by other colleagues.

6. Results. Only the observed facts, derived from the application of the methods must be presented in a logical and objective manner, with the support of tables and figures, but strictly avoiding repetition in these aids.

7.  Discussion. This section contains the authors’ interpretation about their results, a discussion of their meaning and an examination of the hypotheses in the light of the scientific knowledge accumulated up to the time of publication. This section must include assertions about the tested hypotheses and the general conclusions emerging from their findings.

8.  Acknowledgments. These must be as short as possible, indicating granting agency and project number (if applicable).

9. Literature cited. A complete list of printed or on-line sources of information that were mentioned in any part of the text, including tables and figures, in strict alphabetical order (up to a maximum of 10 authors per citation) and according to the following guidelines:

Articles in scientific periodicals. First author, family name(s), initial(s); if more than one author, the remaining in the following order: last name, initial(s). Publication year. Paper title. Journal name, in full and in italics, volume or issue: page range. DOI (where you have it).


Rzedowski J. 1981. Un siglo de la botánica en México. Boletín de la Sociedad Botánica de México 65: 79-89.


Whitman M,  Ackerman JD. 2015. Terrestrial orchids in a tropical forest: best sites for abundance differ from those for reproduction. Ecology 96: 693-704. DOI:


 Bronstein JL, Armbruster WS,  Thompson JN. 2014. Understanding evolution and the complexity of species interactions using orchids as a model system. New Phytologist 202: 373-375. DOI: 10.1111/nph.12707



Rzedowski J. 1978. Vegetación de México. Mexico City: Limusa.

Cox CB,  Moore PD. 1996. Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach. Oxford: Blackwell Science.


Book chapters:

Gentry AH. 1991. The distribution and evolution of climbing plants. In: Putz FE,  Mooney HA, eds. The Biology of Vines. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1-49.


Wendt T. 1993. Composition, floristic affinities, and origins of the canopy tree flora of the Mexican Atlantic slope rain forest. In: Ramamoorthy TP, Bye R, Lot A,  Fa J, eds. Biological Diversity of Mexico: Origins and Distribution. New York: Oxford University Press, 595-680.


Thesis, dissertations:

 Blair HJ. 1989. Structural modifications of the fern genus Lecanopteris (Polypodiaceae). PhD Thesis, Cambridge University.


Jaynes JL. 2012. A Feasibility assessment of native ferns for phytoremedation of arsenic. MSc. Thesis, Western Carolina University.


 Nachmansohn J. 2014. Do plants require nutrients in similar proportions? BSc. Thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.


 Electronic documents available on line. Authors name, if available, with the above format. The year in which the domain was generated, if available. Title of document should followed by the complete uniform resources location (URL). Give date or period of consultant at least in months, Example: 


Colwell RK. 2009. EstimateS v. 8.2.0: statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples. <> (accessed October 7, 2009).


Technical bulletins or other non-periodic serials:

 Arnauld MC. 1994. La Cuenca de Zacapu en una secuencia de 8000 años. Evolución de los diferentes paisajes y primeros desmontes. Mexico City: Cuadernos de Estudios Michoacanos, CEMAC.


10. Appendices. Lengthy materials, whose inclusion in text may not be adequate, may be published as appendices and will be attached in an ordered fashion at the end of the text.

11. Footnotes. These will be used only when strictly necessary (in most cases the information may be incorporated into the text). These should be concisely written and numbered progressively. The Editorial Committee keeps the right to remove those footnotes considered to be inadequate.

12. Headings. These may be of various ranks (orders), which are indicated by their position in the text.

  • a. First order headings. The only heading of this type is the title of the paper.

    b. Second order headings. These correspond to the main sections of the text: Abstract, Resumen, Materials and methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments and Literature cited. They must be written in upper- and lower-case letters, in bold typeface.

    c. Third order headings. They are written in upper-and lower-case characters, left-justified, and in italics, two spaces below last line of previous paragraph. Text follows in the same line, separated by a period.

    d. Fourth order headings. They are written in higher- and lower-case letters, left-justified. Text follows in the same line, separated by a period and a hyphen.

    e. Lower rank headings. When these are really necessary, letters or numbers may be used.

13. References cited in text. All references cited in the text must be listed in the Literature Cited section.

Citations in the text should take the following format:

Single author (eg. Wright 2010); two-author (eg. Clark & Clark 1996); and three or more authors write the full name of the first author followed by et al. italicized and year of publication (e.g. Nepstad et al. 1999).

Where different references would appear identical when cited in this manner, use letters after the date in the citations and reference list (Gilbert et al. 2012a,b).

Where two authors have the same last name, add their initials (J. J. Burdon et al. 2005).

Order lists of references in date order (oldest first), and alphabetically when of the same date: (Chilvers et al. 2003, Ash et al. 2011, Burdon et al. 2011, Smith et al. 2011).

In case of two authors, surnames of each, separated by “&” and, followed by the year (Clark & Clark 1996).

g. If two or more works by the same author or group of authors who have been published in the same year, are cited references will be complemented by the year letters (a, b, c, d) to distinguish them.

h. Personal communications are cited in the text as being a publication, including the initial of the author. Example (P Davila pers. comm.).

i. Quotes. They will be in quotes; if you extend a line, they will be written with indentations on both sides citing the author (s) (s), year and page.

j. Indirect quotations (i.e. works cited by other work) only justified when dealing with very old works hard to reach.

For three or more authors, abbreviate with ‘first author’ et al. (e.g. Smith et al. 2005).

Multiple references to the same item should be separated with a comma (,) and ordered chronologically.

References by the same author, in the same year, should be differentiated by letters (Smith 2001a, Smith 2001b).

Cite articles that have been accepted for publication as 'in press', include in the reference list, and provide a copy in the Supplemental Information.

Cite unpublished work, work in preparation, or work under review as 'unpublished data' using the author's initials and surname in the text only; do not include in the reference section

References to personal communications should be avoided but, if absolutely necessary, should be referred to as "pers. comm.", include the relevant individual's name, and the relevant year.


14. Tables and figures. These are used in order to replace text or because their use helps to save space. They must be clear, simple and concise. The third dimension must be strictly avoided in graphs, unless absolutely necessary.  They may not be larger than letter-size paper. Tables may have footnotes where elements of the table are referred to by numbers and explained. Tables and figures must be numbered consecutively, according to the order of appearance in the text. Headings of tables and legends to figures must be concise but self-explanatory. Titles of columns in tables must be written in upper- and lower-case characters. In the case of photographs or microphotographs the legend must indicate the corresponding scale. All tables and figures must be cited in the text. It is recommended to consult the following page before preparing the electronic figure files>

15. Formulae. These must be written with the same typeface, leaving a blank line between them; sub-indexes and super-indexes must be properly located and readable; the numbers 0 and 1 must be clearly differentiated from capital letters O and I, respectively.

  • a. Equations. These must be numbered consecutively in parenthesis on the right side of the page.

    b. Greek letters and symbols. These should be explained after being used for the first time, except those of universal use. The expression “chi-squared” must be written with the Greek letter χ2.

    c. Fractions. The lineal form will be used, with negative exponents for denominators.

    d. Abbreviations or acronyms. They must be explained the first time they are used in text.

16. Nomenclature. This must follow international rules of nomenclature pointed out in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Species names must be written correctly following the rules of nomenclature of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. When necessary they must be subjected to the principles of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and to the International Code of Bacterial Nomenclature. The “International Plant Name Index” page <> especially the Gray Card Index (GCI) must be a guide. All living organisms (plants, insects, birds, mammals, etc.) that are the central topic of the paper must be identified with their scientific (Latin) names the first time they are mentioned. Italics will be use for them as well as for words in foreign languages.

New taxa description and taxonomic treatments

Must be derived from detailed taxonomic revisions of groups or genera, or phylogenetic analysis, among others. An example of the type of new species articles that are published by Botanical Sciences can be found in:  Martínez-González et al. 2015. Opuntia leiascheinvariana, una nueva especie de Cactaceae del estado de Hidalgo, México. Botanical Sciences 93:517-529. DOI: 10.17129/botsci.247

  • a. The new name should be in bold (not italicized) in the left-hand margin followed by the author(s) name, for example Sicyosmotozintlensis Lott etFryxell sp. nov.(Figure l).

    b. The protologue must include a short diagnosis in Latin (essential characters); it should be in a separate paragraph below the taxon name.

    c. The type citation must be written in a separate paragraph below the Latin diagnosis.  

    d. The type data order must be: TYPE: country, state, specific locality, elevation, habit, plant features, date, initials and last name of the collector and collection number (bold), herbarium acronym (parenthesis), for example: TYPE: México, estado de México, Cerro Sincoque, alt 2,300 m, eroded soils, female plant, 10/05/1981. J. Rzedowski 37253. (Holotype: ENCB, Isotypes: MEXU, NY, ZEA).

    e. The full description should have all the plant structures and start a new paragraph.

    f. In the case that two or more taxa are described, the descriptions follow the same order.

    g. After the description starting a new paragraph “Distribution and ecology” which should include geographic and altitudinal distribution, vegetation types, etc.     

    h. If common names and/or uses are given, they must in a new paragraph.

    i. In case of particular data, such as to whom the species is dedicated, these data must be given in a new paragraph.

    j. The list of examined specimens should be in a new paragraph name “Additional specimens examined” where all specimens examined by the author(s) must be cited. The data must be the same given for the holotype and alphabetically ordered by country, state, and locality, collector and collection number (italics).

    k. Exclamation points are not used for specimens examined.


Book reviews

It is an analytical appraisal of scientific books or publications of broad interest for the readership. It must be properly sustained and should be no longer than five pages. Its aim is to objectively orient the scientific community. It may have a free structure, and will not be subject to peer-review.



ISSN: 2007-4476
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.