The Linnean Society of NSW


Instructions for Authors

The Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales publishes primarily original research papers dealing with any topic of natural science, particularly biological and earth sciences.

Review articles and book reviews are published by invitation. By submission of a manuscript to the Society, the author concedes that the work reported is original, has not been published previously (except perhaps in abstract form) and is not being considered for publication elsewhere. The submitting author also concedes that all co-authors have agreed to publication in the form submitted and that all listed authors have made a substantive contribution to the manuscript.

Click here to download these instructions in pdf.


From Volume 133 the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales are published electronically via the University of Sydney escholarship page. When a paper has been accepted for publication, it will be placed on the website immediately with consecutive page numbers from any paper published previously that year. At 31 December each year all papers published in that year will be “bound” into an annual volume. 'On demand' hardcopies of complete volumes can be obtained from escholarship.


Manuscripts should be submitted to the editor:

Dr M.L. Augee,
89 Caves Road,
Wellington NSW 2820

In the first instance, when the manuscript is to be sent to referees, three hard copies including all tables and figures are required (two for submission to referees). However, very short manuscripts or manuscripts with few illustrations may be able to be submitted as email attachments. Please check with the editor first. Figures (photographs or drawings) are preferred as .tif files although .jpegs are acceptable in most cases. Tables may be either in WORD or XL format. Tables and figures must not be embedded in the text but must be separate pages without legends. Put legends together on a separate page or pages.


In general, the style of the Proceedings follows the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers, published by John Wiley and Sons, ISBN: 978 0 7016 3648 7. The details of reference listing in Proc. Linn. Soc. NSW differ slightly, and those details are set out below. Spelling and hyphenation is expected to conform to the Macquarie Dictionary.


Two scientists with expertise in the field of the manuscript will be appointed by the editorial
committee. Their reports will guide the committee in its decision whether to publish the paper or not, and as to changes that might be required. It is the policy of the society that referees remain anonymous unless they elect otherwise.


  • Manuscripts must be A4 size.
  • Space requirements for notations by referees and editorial markings make it essential that all text is DOUBLE SPACED.
  • Even where the final presentation in the journal uses smaller sized type (such as the abstract and reference list) the manuscript must be in 12 point type.
  • Margins should be about 2.5 cm at top and bottom, 3 cm at left and 2.5 cm at right.
  • Do not use a title page.
  • Tell us in an accompanying letter if correspondence and proofs are to be sent anywhere other than the address given in the paper for the first author. Email communication speeds up correspondence.
  • Number pages consecutively, but page numbers are not necessary on separate table, figure and legend sheets.


  • Titles should be brief and not exceed 12 words if possible.
  • Centre the title and use upper case (capital) letters to start each word except species names, conjunctions, prepositions and articles unless they are the first word in the title.
  • Do not end the title with a full stop. The Title of the Paper Should Look Like This
  • Unless the organism named in the title is extremely well known, please include in the title higher level taxa that can place it for the reader. Such notation is put inside parens as follows (Onychophora: Peripatopsidae) or (Crustacea).
  • In the accompanying letter propose a running title not to exceed 40 characters.


  • Authors can spell out first names or use initials as they prefer. If the last unit in a name is not the surname, the equivalent should be underlined (e.g. Tang Ping Ching).
  • Titles (Dr, Prof, etc.) are not used.
  • Centre the names.
  • The address of each author is centred one space below the names as a continuous entry.
  • If there is only one author or all authors have the same address, no notation is required. However if one or more authors have different addresses, this is indicated by numerical superscripts, with the first author's address appearing first.
  • The address of each author is centred one space below the names as a continuous entry. If there is only one author or all authors have the same address, no notation is required. However if one or more authors have different addresses, this is indicated by numerical superscripts, with the first author's address appearing first. Different addresses are separated by a semicolon.
    For example:

R.S. Smith1, T.J. Dawson2, Ralph Wimple3 and B.J. Verts2.
1School of Botany, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2036; 2School of Biological Science, University of NSW, Sydney 2052; and 3Rangelands Research Unit, GPO Box 27, Canberra ACT 2601

  • All authors must have a postal address, but if the first author wishes to have an e-mail address as well we will include it. As per the above example:

  • 1School of Botany, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2036 (; 2School of Biological Science - etc.


An abstract not to exceed 200 words is required. This must set out the main results and conclusions. It cannot contain reference citations. This is an important part of the paper because it will be reproduced and disseminated worldwide in abstracting journals.


Select up to 10 keywords that will allow people doing computer searches to find your paper. If the title has been properly composed, several of these keywords should be therein. Genus and species names are important keywords, but higher taxonomic levels should not normally be included. Put them in alphabetical order.


  • Primary headings are separated from foregoing material by two spaces and from the following material by a single space.
  • Secondary headings are printed at the left margin, one space below the preceding material, in bold with normal usage of upper and lower case.
  • After the heading, text commences on the next line and is indented as a normal paragraph.
  • Tertiary headings should be avoided, but when absolutely necessary they are printed at the left margin, one space below the preceding material, with normal usage of upper and lower case and underlined. After the heading, text commences on the next line and is indented as a normal paragraph.
  • An alternative is to number them 1)., 2)., 3), etc.
  • Italics are used only for genus and species names; never as headings.


Paragraphs are set off by INDENTATION, using the Tab key, and are not to be divided by a blank line. Indicating new paragraphs by using the "ENTER" or "RETURN" key without indentation of the first line is unacceptable. Do not auto-format indentation of the first line of a paragraph .


  • Provide the scientific name (genus and species) of all organisms at first mention of the vernacular (common) name in both abstract and text even if the scientific name appears in the title.
  • Genus and species names are always in italics, even if abbreviated.
  • If you are using a vernacular name as synonymous with a taxon larger than a genus, include that taxon when first mentioned - e.g. opossums (Didelphidae).
  • The use of vernacular names is not required, but should normally be used for domesticated animals and cultivated plants.
  • Inclusion in titles of taxa such as order and family (separated by a colon; e.g. Rodentia: Muridae) is only necessary for species likely to be unfamiliar to many readers.
  • In subsequent use of scientific names, abbreviate generic names if no confusion will result (but never abbreviate scientific names in titles or subheadings).
  • Use subspecific names only if they are essential to the paper; do not distinguish vernacularly at the subspecific level.
  • Except where essential to identification of a taxon (such as in a synonmy), do not include author and year with scientific names.
  • The scientific name of a species when used as the subject of a sentence takes a singular verb.
  • In taxonomic works, the authority for a binomial must appear at least once.
  • Formal descriptions or revisions of taxa require citations of authorities and dates.


  • Tables and figures should only be used when many data must be summarised or trends in data shown to support inferences. Pertinent data in most small tables (two row or two column tables) usually can be presented in the text in less space and without loss of intelligibility. Data must not be duplicated in tables and figures.
  • Tables and figures are numbered sequentially (arabic numbers) as referred to in text. Reference in the text should be in the style: (Table 1) and (Fig. 1). Reference to several tables or figures in the text should be in the style: (Tables 1 and 2) and (Figs 1 and 2). Parts of composite figures should be labelled with lowercase letters which should be used to refer to parts of figures both in legends and in text (Figs 1a and 1b). Indicate the desired location for each figure and table in pencil in the left margin of the manuscript. When using a word processor, DO NOT insert tables and figures into the text.
  • Tables and figures should be understandable by themselves without reference to the text. Do not describe the content of tables and figures in the text; the need for such indicates that the tables and figures need to be revised to make them understandable.
  • Each table must be on a separate page at the end of the manuscript. The title should be complete and intelligible. Additional material can be added as separate sentences and not as footnotes. All should be centred:

    Table 1. Changes in body weight of Tachyglossus aculeatus during torpor. All animals were maintained at a constant temperature of 5oC with normal daylight cycles. Values are given as means ± SD.

  • Table legends may be above the table or listed separately but it is important that they are NOT actually part of the table, especially in a table that is set in a spread sheet or word processor. The table may need to be reduced, but the legend type needs to remain the same size as the rest of the text.
  • Do not use vertical lines in tables unless absolutely necessary and keep horizontal lines to a minimum.
  • Figure legends must be set out on a separate sheet from the figures themselves in order to allow for reduction. Explanation of symbols used in the figure should be placed in the legend NOT on the figure itself:

    Figure 1. Cortisol levels in free living platypus over an annual cycle.  = animals living in the Upper Shoalhaven River;  = animals in Manly Dam. Numbers in brackets = n. NS = not significant (p>0.05).

  • Figures can be line drawings, photographs or computer-generated graphics.
  • Colour can only be used with prior consent of the editor and the extra costs involved will have to be met by the author.
  • No figures will be accepted larger than 15.5 x 23 cm.
  • If several small graphics are submitted for a composite figure, do not mount them but supply them separately with a clear indication of how they are to appear in the composite.
  • The width of lines and size of letters in figures must be sufficient to remain legible when reduced down to half page width.
  • Graphics produced by dot-matrix printers are unacceptable.
  • Mark all figures on the back in pencil with the figure number and the author'(s) name'(s).
  • Provide two copies (photocopies are satisfactory) of each figure to be sent to referees.
  • Remember the journal page dimensions will be A4 with margins as follows:

    Left:  3 cm
    Right:  2.5 cm
    Top: 2.5 cm
    Bottom: 2 cm

    These margins define the text block; headers and footers lie outside these boundaries.

  • MAXIMUM WIDTH FOR ANY PICTURE OR CHART IS 15.5 cm. Length cannot excede 23 cm, but because it is a firm policy that legends must be on the same page as the figure, lengthy legends might require reduction of length of the illustration.
  • IF SCALE IS IMPORTANT, FIGURES MUST HAVE SCALE BARS WITHIN. It is the editor's perogative to reduce or enlarge figures as necessary in laying out the paper. Statements such as 'natural size' of '4x' in the legend are unacceptable.

  • Quotation marks (') are used to set off verbatim quotes or indicate the title of a book. Their use for emphasis or to indicate special use of a word should be minimal.
  • Single quotation marks should be used in all cases except where a quote is required within a quote, in which case double marks (") are used for the inner quote.
  • The use of the double quotation mark as an abbreviation for inch or inches is acceptable (e.g. a 3.5" disc).
  • In the body of the manuscript italics are used only for scientific (genus and species) names.
  • In the reference list italics are also used for journal names. If you are using a typewriter or printer that does not have italics, underline scientific names and the editor will convert them to italics.
  • Italics will not be used in this journal for emphasis or any use other than given above.
  • Terms well established in English usage (such as i.e., et al. and e.g.) will no longer be in italics just because they happened to be derived from Latin.
  • In the text, use numerals only for numbers greater than nine (including titles) except when starting a sentence. Use words for numbers one through nine (five dugongs, seven observations, six flowers) except when used with units of measure or time - e.g. 6 mm, 3 days, 3 summers. Use numerals for all items in a series that includes at least one number greater than nine - e.g. 1 tomato, 7 cabbages and 18 melons. Treat ordinal numbers in the same manner as cardinal numbers  - e.g. first panda, 14th bush rat, 6th min, fourth trial.
  • Use commas in numbers of four digits or more - e.g. 1,000 or 10,000.
  • Time should always be in the 24 hour clock without internal punctuation and with 'h' to indicate hours - e.g. 10:30 pm is 2230 h not 22:30.
  • Dates must be in the order Day/Month/Year. It is always better to use an abbreviation for the month for clarity - e.g. 9 Mar 1939 is better than 9/3/39 because of the confusion with the American system of Month/Day/Year.
  • Units of measurement must always be metric unless quoting from a non-metric document.
  • The international system of units (SIU = Système International d'Unités) should be used, except that Australian usage allows:
    • °C instead of °K
    • time in minutes (min) or hours (h) instead of seconds
    • relative sound intensity in decibels (dB) instead of watts/meter square
    • volume in litres (l) instead of cubic decimetres (dm3)
    • area in hectares (ha) instead of 104 m2.
    • Click here to visit the SI website and obtain abbreviations not found in these guidelines.

    • Abbreviations in common use that do not require full stops:

    • ACT = Australian Capital Territory
      BP = before present
      °C = degrees centigrade
      cm = centimetre(s)
      day(s) - do not abbreviate
      dB = decibel(s)
      E = east
      eds = editors (ed., singular, requires a full stop)
      Figs = figures (Fig., singular, requires a full stop)
      g = gram
      h = hour(s)
      ha = hectare(s)
      hr = hour(s)
      in situ = in place (do not use italics)
      in vitro = outside the living organism (do not use italics)
      in vivo = in the living organism (do not use italics)
      j = joule, unit of energy preferred over calories
      kg = kilogram
      l = litre(s)
      m = metre(s)
      min = minute(s)
      mm = millimetre
      mol = mole (gram molecular weight)
      month - do not abbreviate
      mya = million years ago
      N = north
      n = number in sample
      n = haploid number
      2n = diploid number
      NSW = New South Wales (Australian state)
      NT = Northern Territory (Australian territory)
      p = probability
      PhD = doctor of philosophy
      PO = post office when used with a box number (e.g. PO Box 23)
      pp = pages
      Qld = Queensland (Australian state)
      S = south
      SA = South Australia (Australian state)
      SD = standard deviation
      SE = standard error
      s = second(s)
      sensu = as defined by (do not use italics)
      spp = more than one species
      Tas = Tasmania (Australian state)
      µm = micron
      Vic = Victoria (Australian state)
      vs = versus
      W = west
      WA = Western Australia (Australian state)
      week - do not abbreviate
      year - do not abbreviate

    • Abbreviations in common use that require full stops:
    • ad lib. = ad libitum, freely available (do not use italics)
      c. = circa, about (do not use italics)
      cf. = conferre, compare (do not use italics)
      ed. = editor
      e.g. = exempli gratia, for example (do not use italics)
      et al. = et alia, and others (do not use italics)
      etc. = et cetera, and so forth
      Fig. = Figure
      i.e. = id est, that is
      in litt. = communicated in writing (an unpublished source acknowledgment)
      pers. comm. = communicated orally (an unpublished source acknowledgment)
      sp. = one species

    The function of literature citation is to assist readers in locating material referenced by the author, facilitating orderly growth of knowledge through continued assessment. Documents written primarily to fill administrative requirements are not catalogued in most libraries and do not enter the body of knowledge that supports research. Neither do abstracts or longer articles that are produced in conjunction with a meeting or single event and distributed only to participants. Such documents are not to be included as literature cited.
  • Unpublished material can be referenced in the text as follows:
    • (pers. comm.) denotes information obtained orally;
    • (in litt.) denotes information obtained in writing such as by letter or in an unpublished manuscript. Names of persons providing unpublished information should include initials when referenced in the text - e.g. M. Archer (pers comm.).
    • Unpublished manuscripts (except dissertations and theses) or papers in preparation must not be cited or included in the reference list. The only exception is a paper that has been accepted by an editor for publication in a journal. Such a paper may be cited as 'in press' - e.g. M. Gott (in press). Citation of papers as 'in press' when they have not in fact been accepted is not permissible.
  • Citations in article text are to include the surname of the author and the year of publication without an intervening comma - e.g. (Augee 1995) or Augee (1995).
  • For two authors give both surnames - e.g. (Augee and Wilson 1995) or Augee and Wilson (1995).
  • If there are more than two authors, give the first author's surname and et al. For example, (Brown et al. 1995) or Brown et al. (1995). Note that commas are not used and et al. is not in italics.
  • For multiple publications by the same author(s), separate the years by commas, for example (Morris 1992, 1995) or Hand and Hart (1978, 1987).
  • When referring to a string of sources, list them in chronological order and separate them by semicolons, for example (Augee 1980, 1994; Carter et al. 1995; Murdoch and Brown 1996).
  • In any case where the citation refers to a specific figure or table, or a direct quote is given, it is desirable to indicate the pages on which the source occurred by using a colon and the page number - e.g. (Cameron 1988:213) or Jones and Smith (1985:23, Fig. 3).
  • The details of citations are listed at the end of the manuscript under the primary heading REFERENCES. The format follows that of the Australian Journals of Scientific Research published by the CSIRO and the Australian Academy of Science.
  • The reference list is given in alphabetical order by first author's surname. The order is determined by the absolute first element of the surname, so that van Diemen will be found under 'V' and de Gabriele under 'D'.
  • Initials always follow the surname, after a comma and a space, but initials are separated by a full stop and not a space, for example Thompson, H.D.
  • Names other than the surname are always indicated by initials and not written in full.
  • If there are several citations for the same author, they are listed in order of year of publication.
  • If the same author is also first author of one or more multi-authored papers, all of the single author papers are listed before the multi-authored ones. The multi-authored papers are then listed in alphabetical order based on the surname of the second author. For example:
    • Jones, A.B. (1987). Diet of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus. Australian Journal of Zoology 45, 12-24.
    • Jones, A.B. (1990). Phenolic compounds in leaves. Journal of Biochemistry234, 376-388.
    • Jones, A.B. and Barlow, T.J. (1979). A taxonomic revision of the fossil wombats. Journal of Taxonomy 6, 3-12.
    • Jones, A.B. and Barlow, T.J. (1991). Effect of mistletoe on koalas. The Australian Zoologist 45, 239-246.
    • Jones, A.B., Barlow, T.J. and Hart, L.T. (1987). Variation in the length of the koala caecum. Anatomical Journal 56, 1290-1293.
    • Jones, A.B. and Murdoch, R. 1993. Digestive physiology of the hairy-nosed wombat. Australian Journal of Zoology 50, 98-105.
  • Note that the name is repeated for each entry and not indicated by dashes. When the same author or authors have two or more publications in the same year, they should be designated a, b, c, etc.:
    • Jones, A.B. and Smith, A.J. (1979a). Wombat pharyngeal morphology. Journal of Anatomy 6, 3-12.
    • Jones, A.B. and Smith, A.J. (1979b). Internal nares of extinct koalas. The Australian Zoologist 45, 239-246.
  • Within the article text, the citation is Jones and Smith (1979a) or (Jones and Smith 1979b).
  • For journal articles, as shown above, the title of the paper is given with normal upper and lower case usage regardless of the format of the title in the original article.
  • The name of the journal is spelled out and written in italics. The volume number is in bold.
  • In publications that have only an issue number and no volum numbere, the issue number is treated as a volume number.
  • When there are both a volume and an issue number, omit the issue number.
  • Follow the volume number with a comma and a space.
  • Give all page numbers in their entirety, for example, 1245-1258, not 1245-8, and end with a full stop.
  • In citing books, the title should be enclosed in single quotation marks, with capitals only as required in normal grammatical usage. The publisher and the place of publication, separated by a colon and a space, are enclosed in parentheses. The number of pages in the book is not necessary. For example:
  • Costin, A.B., Gray, M., Totterdell, C.J. and Wimbush, D.J. (1979). 'Kosciusko alpine
    flora'. (CSIRO and Collins: Australia).

  • Theses are a special class of document which are neither scientific paper nor book. Their place of publication is the institution under whose aegis they were created, which should be named along with its location, for example:
  • Albert, F.G. (1994). The diet and ecology of Tachyglossus aculeatus. PhD thesis,
    Monash University, Melbourne.
  • Papers cited in the text as (in press) must appear in the reference list. The year is replaced by the phrase (in press) and it is placed as if it were the year following the current one. Because this citation must only be used for papers that have been accepted by an editor, the title and journal will always be known and sometimes the volume. For example:
  • Kerr, M. (in press). Radio-tracking studies of flying-foxes in Sydney. Bat Research News 24.
  • For a paper in an edited volume, or a chapter in an edited book, the editors must be cited as the author(s). For example:
  • Smith, A.P. and Lee, A.K. (1984). The evolution of strategies for survival and reproduction in possums and gliders. In 'Possums and Gliders' (Eds A.P. Smith and I.D. Hume) pp. 17-33. (Surrey Beatty and Sons: Sydney).
  • Note that the initials of the editors are in the normal sequence, preceding the surnames. There is no use of bold, and italics would only appear if a scientific name was used.

    Papers must ultimately be submitted via digital media (e-mail, CD-ROM, flash-drive etc) as a Microsoft Word file. PC format preferred, but not compulsory.

    MS Word's Auto-Format is not used at any point in the manuscript.
    Click here to read what it is and how to disable it.

    Use of the following default settings would be appreciated:

    Font = Times New Roman or similar serif font.
    Size = 12 pt.

    Paragraph settings

    • Alignment = left
    • Indentation from left = 0
    • Indentation from right = 0
    • Special = none (except where hanging indent is used - e.g. in reference list)
    • Spacing before = 0
    • Spacing after = 0
    • Line spacing = auto
    Page setup

    • Top margin = 3 cm
    • Bottom margin = 2.5 cm
    • Left margin = 2.5 cm
    • Right margin = 2 cm
    • Gutter = 0
    • Paper size = A4
    • Orientation = portrait

    Page numbering

    Use Arabic numerals ( 0, 1, 2, 3 etc.) placed to the top right-hand corner of the page.


    • Using double spaces before the start of a sentence, or anywhere else.
    • Using an ampersand ('&') instead of the word 'and'.
    • Using op cit or loc cit.
    • Setting out matter in tabular form using the space bar. This is a procedure inherited from typewriting. It is FATAL for computer-based typesetting.
    • (In this journal) using italics for et al., vs, etc.
    • Bullets - totally unacceptable (except in this guide!)
    • Using the 'return' key at the end of a paragraph without indenting the new paragraph.

    These are no longer supplied.

    Click here to download these instructions in pdf.
     Instructions last updated 2012.

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