California Botanical Society

Author Instructions

Updated January 2012


The manuscript file includes in the following order: Title Page, Abstract Page, Text, Literature Cited, Tables, Appendices, and Figure and Illustration Legends.

For manuscript files, MS Word (.doc) format is preferred, but Rich Text Format (.rtf) files are acceptable for review as well.

The Editorial Manager online submission system automatically inserts line numbers to facilitate review comments, so line numbers are not required in the manuscript file.

Double-space and left justify the margin of the entire manuscript, including Literature Cited, Appendices, Figure and Illustration Legends, and Tables, using continuous pagination.

Leave at least a 2.5-cm margin on all sides. Place a header with last name(s) of author(s) and page number in upper right corner.

Number figures and tables in the order discussed in the text.



On title page, provide:
1. The full title (all caps, centered).
2. Authors' names (all caps, centered) and addresses (caps and lower case, centered). Follow the format that is used in recent issues of Madroño (e.g., only use footnotes for new addresses). Include the email address for the corresponding author--indicate this with a footnote only if the corresponding author is NOT the first author.
3. Short-title -- no more than 65 characters (including spaces). This should include author's last names and an abbreviated title, e.g.: Eckert and Sawyer: Foxtail pine importance and conifer diversity.


On a separate page, provide the abstract and up to eight keywords (in alphabetic order). Words from the title may be included in the keywords. Each keyword should be useful as a term for a literature search.


• No heading is needed for the "Introduction", but this should start on a new page, following the abstract and keywords.
• Major headings should be centered and in all upper case. This includes: methods (or materials and methods), results, discussion, acknowledgments (if included) and literature cited. Results and discussion sections can be combined. Example:


• Second-level headings should be centered and in upper and lower case. Example:

Pollination Studies

•Third-level headings should start the paragraph and be italicized, ending with a period. Example:

Reproductive isolation. An additional criterion for establishing the taxonomic rank of sympatric taxa ...


Provide P values for statistical tests [e.g., (P = 0.003) or (P < 0.001)]. If P value is less than 0.001, just indicate this—you do not need to provide all significant figures. If appropriate, also provide other statistical data (e.g., F values, etc.)


• Use Fig. and Figs. in text and captions (not Figure or Figures).
• Use Table in text and captions.
• Spell out numbers less than 10 (e.g., one, two, three … nine).


• All citations must be generally available for readers to access. No unpublished reports or lists of data are acceptable unless they are available as an on-line source. In these instances, the web site where the report is available must be included in the reference. Any unpublished information should be cited in the text as ‘unpublished data’.
• Check format and capitalization of references before submitting your manuscript. See below for examples.
• Capitalize only the first word of titles and proper names.
• Provide the publisher, city and state (or country of non-U.S. cities) of publication for books and book sections.
• Before submitting the manuscript, check each citation in the text against the Literature Cited to see that they match exactly. Delete citations if they are not cited in the article.
• Citations should be in order alphabetically by first author, then grouped by number of authors (1, 2, 3 or more), then alphabetically within each group.


Within the text, you should refer to citations as follows (pay attention to the use of commas and semi-colons, and note that references should be in chronological order):

(Johnson 2002; Franklin 2003; Jones 2003)
(Smith 1990; Franklin and Johnson 1995; Jones et al. 2000, 2001)
(Smith in press)
(A. Diebold, Univ. of Missouri-Columbia, personal communication)
(Jones 1996a, b, c, 1997)
Smith (1990) found that ...

Samples for citation format:

Journal articles:

Critchfield, W. B. 1977. Hybridization of foxtail and bristlecone pines. Madroño 24:193-211.

Jones, R.M. In Press. Studies in the botany of California and parts adjacent. Madroño.

Rajakaruna, N. and B. A. Bohm. 1999. The edaphic factor and patterns of variation in Lasthenia californica (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany 86:1576-1596.

Hrusa, F., B. Ertter, A. Sanders, G. Leppig, and E. Dean. 2002. Catalogue of non-native vascular plants occurring spontaneously in California beyond those addressed in The Jepson Manual part I. Madroño 49: 61-98.


Lüttge, U. 1997. Physiological ecology of tropical plants. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany.

Wickens, G.E. 2001. Economic botany: principles and practices. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Zar, J. H. 1999. Biostatistical analysis. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Edited Books:

Baker, H. G. and G. L. Stebbins (eds.). 1965. The genetics of colonizing species. Academic Press, New York, NY.

Hickman, J. C. (ed.). 1993. The Jepson manual: higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Section of a Book:

Barrett, S. C. H. 2000. Microevolutionary influences of global changes on plant invasions. Pp. 115-140 in H. A. Mooney and R. J. Hobbs (eds.), Invasive species in a changing world. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Sawyer, J. O. and D. Thornburgh. 1988. Montane and subalpine vegetation of the Klamath Mountains. Pp. 699-732 in M. G. Barbour and J. Major (eds.), Terrestrial vegetation of California. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA.

Theses and Dissertations:

Hohn, J. E. 1975. Biosystematic studies of the genus Lewisia, section Cotyledon (Portulacaceae). Ph.D. dissertation. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Mastrogiuseppe, R. J. 1972. Geographic variation in foxtail pine, Pinus balfouriana Grev. & Balf. M.S. thesis. Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA.

Digital Literature and Databases:

Johnson, D. R. 1993. Soil survey of Jackson County area, Oregon. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. Website [accessed 15 May 2009].

USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA. Website [accessed 04 July 2010].

Knapp, S. 2011. Rarity, species richness, and the threat of extinction – are plants the same as animals? PLoS Biology 9: e1001067. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001067.


• Include in manuscript file and place immediately after Literature Cited.
• If manuscripts are submitted in Microsoft Word format, use the MS Word’s table function. Do not use tab and/or hard returns. Each table entry should be in its own table cell. Do not use extra returns in table cells.
• Tables submitted in other formats will be converted to MS Word.
• The first sentence of the table legend should be short and descriptive of the whole table. Additional and/or detailed information follows in subsequent sentences.
Example: Table 1. Short Descriptive Title…..
• Put the table legend immediately above each table.
• Footnotes are not set at the end of tables but are run at the end of the table legend. Lower case roman letters or numbers are used for designating footnotes.


• Include in manuscript file and place immediately after the Appendices (or after the tables if there are no appendices)
• Each figure legend must be complete and informative so that reference to the text is not necessary to understand the content of the figure.
• The first sentence of the figure legend should be short and descriptive of the whole figure or illustration. Additional and/or detailed information follows in subsequent sentences.
Example: Fig. 1. Short Descriptive Title...
• For figures with multiple lettered panels, a general title for the figure should be followed by a description of each panel (e.g., “Fig. 5. Fruit structure… A. All fruits. B. Fruits <0.5 mm.”).


• Figures and illustrations are submitted as a separate file for each.
• Figures should be prepared close to the expected final size in the journal. Maximum page size is 6 inches wide and 8 inches tall.
• Halftone and color images should be prepared at a minimum of 300 pixels per inch (ppi). Line art illustrations should be prepared at 1200 ppi.
• Acceptable common image formats are GIF, JPEG, TIFF, and PDF. Please check with the editors for other formats.


• Identify organisms by botanical name first (followed by common name in parentheses, if desired). Identify the family of your species of interest in the title or at the first use, e.g., Juniperus communis L. (Cupressaceae).
• Generic names are spelled out the first time they are used and should be abbreviated thereafter (unless starting a sentence or where abbreviations may be confusing). If an article contains multiple botanical names, spell out the generic name the first time it appears in each major section.
• Authorities for botanical names must be provided when first used in the Abstract and body of the manuscript (but not in the title). Because usage of botanical names varies between investigators and can be ambiguous when out of context, conformance to a comprehensive nomenclatural standard is necessary. Use either Brummitt and Powell, Authors of Plant Names (1992), or The International Plant Names Index, for proper abbreviations of the authors of scientific names.
• Use Index Herbariorum, 8th ed. (Regnum Veg. Vol. 120. 1990) for designations of herbaria.
• Abbreviate subspecies as subsp. [never as ssp.]
• Check spelling, including botanical names and names of people.
• Avoid or minimize using the name of a new taxon until after it appears at the beginning of the formal description. It is especially important to avoid using the names of new taxa in the title and short title of the manuscript.