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Guideline to Authors

Title - The title should be in a sentence case (scientific name of the plant should be italic, and should include an accurate clear and concise description of the reported work. Title of research papers should be explicit and informative, conveying the key findings of the research in an active voice, avoid abbreviations. In most cases, Latin binomials in a title should be followed by the name of the family i.e. ERAGROSTIS JAINI (POACEAE: ERAGROSTIDEAE) A NEW SPECIES FROM KERALA, INDIA

Authors and affiliations: This should also be in capital, Provide the complete names of all authors and their addresses for correspondence, including e.g. institutional affiliation (University or Research Institute) location (Street, Road, Post office, City, State and Pin code). Corresponding author should be specified with super script star marks * against the name. Author’s affiliation is ended with the corresponding author email address.  If authors have different affiliations and addresses, add a superscript number after each author’s name to indicate the footnoted address.

Abstract: It should be a concise paragraph of the paper, usually not exceeding 250 words. In Times New Roman font size 12. The abstract should summarize principal objectives, methods, results, and main conclusions of the research.

Keywords: Between 4 to 10 should be arranged in an alphabetical order, separated by commas, and placed directly below the abstract.

Body Text: All papers should be in grammatically correct English and should be in same font text pattern. Authors of papers who are non-native English speakers are required to have their manuscripts checked by a native English speaker prior to submission. Authors are requested to check correct spelling and authors of Botanical names before submission, and abbreviate authors of plant scientific names in conformity with Brummitt & Powell, Authors of Plant Names (Kew, 1992; also incorporated in International Plant Names Index (IPNI), and Index Fungorum, Avoid the use of parenthetical comments and italics or bold for emphasis. Nelumbo discourages the use of quotation marks except for direct quotations, words defined by the author, and words used in unusual contexts. Short quotations should be embedded in the text and enclosed in double quotation marks (''). Long quotations should be on a separate line, italicized, but without quotation marks. Single quotation marks are to be used only for a quotation that occurs within another quotation.

Spacing, Fonts, and Page Numbering: Single-space all material (text, quotations, figure legends, tables, references, etc.). Separate paragraphs with a blank line. Use a 12-point font (preferably Times New Roman or Arial).

Capitals: First capital letters should be used only in the beginning of a sentence, in proper names and in headings and sub-headings, as well as to indicate tables, graphs and figure/s within the text. Software programmes should be written with capital letters (e.g., ANOVA, MANOVA, PAUP).

Italicization/Underlining: Scientific names of taxa of species and genera, long direct quotations and symbols for variables and constants (except for Greek letters), such as p, F, U, T, N, R, but not for SD (standard deviation), SE (standard error), DF (degrees of freedom) and NS (non-significant) should be italicized. These symbols in illustrations and equations should be in italics to match the text. Italics should not be used for emphasis, and not in abbreviations such as e.g., i.e., et al., etc., cf. Underlining of any text is not acceptable.

Abbreviations: Abbreviations should be followed by ‘.' (Full stop or period; for instance: i.e., e.g., cf., etc.). In general a full stop should not be added at the end of abbreviated words if the last letter of the abbreviation is the same as the last letter of the full word. For example, you should abbreviate "Eds", "Dr", "Mr" without full stop at the end. The abbreviation of circa can be either ca. or c. - this is an exception to the rule. All measures, for instance mm, cm, m, s, L, should be written without full stop.

On the use of dashes: (1) Hyphens are used to link words such as personal names, some prefixes and compound adjectives (the last of which vary depending on the style manual in use) (2) En-dash or en-rule (the length of an 'n') is used to link spans. In the context of PhytoKeys numerals, sizes, dates and page numbers (e.g., 1977–1981; figs 5–7; pp. 237–258), in addition to geographic or name associations (Murray–Darling River; a Federal–State agreement), should be separated with an en-dash. (3) Em-dash or em-rule (the length of an 'm') should be used rarely, its most common use use is for introducing a subordinate clause in the text, much as parentheses are used. In contrast to parentheses an em-dash can be used singly. En-dashes and em-dashes should not be spaced.

Footnotes: Avoid footnotes in the body text of the manuscript. It is always possible to incorporate the footnote into the main text by rewording the sentences, which greatly facilitates reading. Additionally, footnotes are not always handled well by the journal software, and their usage may cause your submission to fail. Footnotes are acceptable only below tables; instead of numbers, please use (in order): †, ‡, §, |, ¶, #, ††, ‡‡, §§, ||, ¶¶, ##.

Geographical coordinates: We strongly recommend that authors present geographical coordinates as taken from GPS or online gazetteer, or geo-reference ( Geographical coordinates must be listed in one of the following formats and should be consistent in format through the text:

Definition: The locality consists of a point represented by coordinate information in the form of latitude and longitude. Information may be in the form of

  • Degrees, Minutes and Seconds (DMS),
  • Degrees and Decimal Minutes (DDM), or
  • Decimal Degrees (DD).

Records should also contain a hemisphere (E or W and N or S) or, with Decimal Degrees, minus (–) signs to indicate western and/or southern hemispheres


  • Example 1: 36° 31' 21" N; 114° 09' 50" W (DMS)
  • Example 2: 36° 31.46’N; 114° 09.84’W (DDM)
  • Example 3: 36.5243° S; 114.1641° W (DD)
  • Example 4: −36.5243; −114.1641 (DD using minus signs to indicate southern and western hemispheres)

We strongly recommend the use of Example 1 (the DMS format). The other three are also possible but will be recalculated to DDM during the process of online mapping from the HTML version of the paper.
The only restriction on format is in creating a KML (Keyhole Mark-up Language) file. KML latitudes and longitudes must be in the DD format shown above in Example

Units: Use the MKS system of units for measurements for exact measures of the physical quantities. Abbreviations of common technical terms may be used but the full term should be given at the first mentions in the main body text.

Web (HTML) links: Authors are encouraged to include links to other Internet resources in their article. This is especially encouraged in the reference section. When inserting a reference to a web-page, please include the http:// portion of the web address with complete domains.

Manuscript Preparation with Headings and subheadings: The Manuscript body text should be subdivided into different sections with appropriate headings. Where possible, the following standard headings should be used: Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Acknowledgements, References, Tables, Figure legends and figures. These headings need to be in bold font on a separate line and start with a first capital letter. Please do not number headings or subheadings.

  • Introduction − The motivation or purpose of research should appear in the Introduction, where author state the questions you sought to answer, and then provide some of the historical basis for those questions.
  • Methods − Provide sufficient information to allow someone to repeat your work. A clear description of your experimental design, sampling procedures, and statistical procedures is especially important in papers describing field studies, simulations, or experiments. If you list a product (e.g., animal food, analytical device), supply the name and location of the manufacturer. Give the model number for equipment used. Supply complete citations, including author (or editor), title, year, publisher, and version number, for computer software mentioned in your article.
  • Results − Results should be stated concisely and without interpretation.
  • Discussion − Focus on the rigorously supported aspects of your study. Carefully differentiate the results of your study from data obtained from other sources. Interpret your results, relate them to the results of previous research, and discuss the implications of your results or interpretations. Point out results that do not support speculations or the findings of previous research, or that are counter-intuitive. You may choose to include a Speculation subsection in which you pursue new ideas suggested by your research, compare and contrast your research with findings from other systems or other disciplines, pose new questions that are suggested by the results of your study, and suggest ways of answering these new questions.
  • Conclusion −This should state clearly the main conclusions of the research and give a clear explanation of their importance and relevance. Summary illustrations may be included.
  • References − The list of References should be included after the final section of the main article body. A blank line should be inserted between single-spaced entries in the list. Authors are requested to include links to online sources of articles, whenever possible!

Where possible, the standard headings should be used in the order given above. Additional headings and modifications are permissible.

Subordinate headings: Subordinate headings (e.g. Field study and Simulation model or Counts, Measurements and Molecular analysis), should be left-justified, italicized, and in a regular sentence case. All subordinate headings should be on a separate line.

Citations and References 

Citations within the text: Before submitting the manuscript to be Publish in Nelumbo, please check each citation in the text against the References and vice-versa to ensure that they match exactly. Citations in the text should be formatted as follows: Ansari (1984) or (Ansari 1984), Punekar & al., (2006) or (Punekar & al., 2006) and (Swarupanandan & Mangaly, 1992; Sreekumar & al., 1997; Daniel & Umamaheshwari, 2001; Yadav & al., 204, 2008; Malpure & al., 2006).

References: It is important to format the references properly, because all references will be linked electronically as completely as possible to the papers cited. It is desirable to add a DOI (digital object identifier) number for either the full-text or title and abstract of the article as an addition to traditional volume and page numbers. If a DOI is lacking, it is recommended to add a link to any online source of an article. Please use the following style for the reference list

Published Papers:
SINGH,D.K. AND M.DEY 2012. A new species of Drepanolejeunea (Marchantiophyta : Lejeuneaceae) from India. Nelumbo 54:20-23.

Accepted Papers:
Same as above, but ''in press'' appears instead the year in parentheses.

MANASI MANDAL, SONIA MITRA, G.G. MAITY AND D. MAITY (in Press). A new variety of Rivina humilis and the status of R. bengalensis (Phytolaccaceae). Rheedea

Electronic Journal Articles:
AGOSTI D, EGLOFF W. 2009 Taxonomic information exchange and copyright: the Plazi approach. BMC Research Notes 2: 53. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-2-53

Paper within conference proceedings:
SINGH, D. AND D.K. SINGH 2013. An appraisal of the genus Marchantia in India with a Note on Marchantia emarginata subspecies emarginata in Indian Himalayan region. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.,India, B 83:15-26

KRESS W.J, AND C.D. SPECHT 2005. Between Cancer and Capricorn: phylogeny, evolution, and ecology of the tropical Zingiberales. In: Friis I, Balslev H, (Eds) Proceedings of a symposium on plant diversity and complexity patterns – local, regional and global dimensions. Biologiske Skrifter, The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Copenhagen, 459-478.

Book chapters:
MAYR, E 2000 The biological species concept. In: Wheeler QD, Meier R (Eds) Species Concepts and Phylogenetic Theory: A Debate. Columbia University Press, New York, 17−29.

MITRA, J.N. 1958. Flowering plants of Eastern India, Vol. I Monocotyledons, Calcutta.

GUPTA, R.K. 2005.Algal Flora of Dehradun district Uttarakhand. Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata.

Ph. D thesis:
PANDA, P.C. 1992. Flora of Puri district. Ph.D. Thesis, Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar.

The Hindu News:  Discovery of new plant genus turns spotlight on Indian grasslands. [accessed 25.06.2014]

Citations of Public Resource Databases: 
It is highly recommended all appropriate datasets, images, and information to be deposited in public resources. Please provide the relevant accession numbers (and version numbers, if appropriate). Accession numbers should be provided in parentheses after the entity on first use. Examples of such databases include, but are not limited to:

  • IPNI (
  • Index Fungorum (
  • LIAS (
  • Morphbank (
  • Genbank (
  • BOLD (
  • The Plant List (

Providing accession numbers to data records stored in global data aggregators allows us to link your article to established databases, thus integrating it with a broader collection of scientific information. Please hyperlink all accession numbers through the text or list them directly after the References in the online submission manuscript.

 All journal titles should be in abbreviated and italicized.

Provide the publisher's name and location when you cite symposia or conference proceedings; distinguish between the conference date and the publication date if both are given. Do not list abstracts or unpublished material in the References. They should be quoted in the text as personal observations, personal communications, or unpublished data, specifying the exact source, with date if possible. When possible, include URLs for articles available online through library subscription or individual journal subscription. URLs sould not be given for articles that are posted on personal non-institutional websites.

Authors are encouraged to cite in the References list the publications of the original descriptions of the taxa treated in their manuscript.

Illustrations, Figures and Tables

Figures and illustrations are accepted in the following image file formats:

  • EPS (preferred format for diagrams)
  • TIFF (at least 300dpi resolution, with LZW compression)
  • PNG (preferred format for photos or images)
  • JPEG (preferred format for photos or images)
  • GIF
  • BMP

Should you have any problems in providing the figures in one of the above formats, or in reducing the file below 20 MB, please contact the Editorial Office at Publication Section Botanical Survey of India, 3rd MSO Building CGO Complex, DF Block 5th & 6th Floor F Block, Sector-1 Salt Lake City, Kolkata-700064.

Figure legends: All figures should be referenced consecutively in the manuscript; legends should be listed consecutively immediately after the References. For each figure, the following information should be provided: Figure number (in sequence, using Arabic numerals − i.e. Figs. 1, 2, 3 etc.); short title of figure (maximum 15 words); detailed legend, up to 300 words.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere.

Tables: Each table should be numbered in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e. Table 1, 2, 3 etc.). Tables should also have a title that summarizes the whole table, maximum 15 words. Detailed legends may then follow, but should be concise.

Small tables can be embedded within the text, in portrait format (note that tables on a landscape page must be reformatted onto a portrait page or submitted as additional files). These will be typeset and displayed in the final published form of the article. Such tables should be formatted using the 'Table object' in a word processing program to ensure that columns of data are kept aligned when the file is sent electronically for review. Do not use tabs to format tables or separate text. All columns and rows should be visible, please make sure that borders of each cell display as black lines. Colour and shading should not be used, commas should not be used in numerical values.

Larger datasets can be uploaded separately as Supplementary Files. Tabular data provided as supplementary files can be uploaded as an Excel spreadsheet (.xls), as an Open Office spreadsheets (.ods) or comma separated values file (.csv). As with all uploaded files, please use the standard file extensions.

Supplementary Files

Online publishing allows an author to provide data sets, tables, video files, or other information as supplementary information, greatly increasing the impact of the submission. Uploading of such files is possible in Step 4 of the submission process.

The maximum file size for each Supplementary File is 20 MB.

The Supplementary Files will not be displayed in the printed version of the article, but will exist as linkable supplementary downloadable files in the online version.

While submitting a supplementary file the following information should be completed:

  • File name
  • File format (including name and a URL of an appropriate viewer if format is unusual)
  • Title of data
  • Description of data

All supplementary files should be referenced explicitly by file name within the body of the article, e.g. 'See supplementary file 1: Movie 1" for the original data used to perform this analysis.

Ideally, the supplementary files should not be platform-specific, and should be viewable using free or widely available tools. Suitable file formats are:

For supplementary documentation:

  • PDF (Adobe Acrobat)

For movies (Clips): MOV (QuickTime) MPG (MPEG)

For datasets:

  • XLS (Excel spreadsheet)

As for images, file names should be given in the standard file extensions.

Taxonomic Treatments

Nelumbo will publish papers that strictly adhere the rules of the letest edition of International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants (ICN). To assure this, authors are advised to follow the recommendations below.

Descriptions of new taxa (species and below) should include the following: 1) a short Latin or English diagnosis followed by a full description in English, 2) an illustration (line drawing or photograph) clearly showing the diagnostic characters, 2) a comparison of the new taxon with related taxa with a diagnostic key to identification, if appropriate, 3) a discussion of the distinctive morphological characteristics, ecology, geography, and/or reproductive biology, and 4) a statement on preliminary [at least] conservation status of the taxon being described.

New combinations take the form: New combination (Basionym author(s), Author(s). Basionym: citation. Other earlier combinations based on the same basionym. Type of the basionym. 

Designations of nomenclatural novelties (e.g., sp.nov., var.nov., syn.nov., comb. nov., etc.) should be in bold and explicitly mentioned in the abstract and with the description. 

Lectotype designations are included together with an indication of where they were designated, the year, and the author as in the Ceropegia sahyadrica example below. This reference should be listed in the References. If the author of the paper submitted is making the lectotypification, the phrase “designated here” is used (in compliance with the ICN).
For monographic work in which synonymy appears, each synonym should appear on a new line with its type on a separate line. Synonyms are presented in date order (oldest first) and homotypic synonyms are treated as separate entries. Please follow the format below:

Ceropegia sahyadrica Ansari & B.G. Kulk., Indian Forester 97:688, figs.1-4.1971; Ansari, Fasc.Fl.India 16:29,opp.p27,t.4,fig.24.1984,p.p.;A.P. Jagtap & N.P.Singh in Fasc.Fl.India 24:238.1999,p.p.;D.K.Mishra & N.P.Singh, Indian J.Forest. Addit.ser.9:26.2000 et Endem. & Threat. Fl. Pl. Maharashtra 149.2001.Ceropegia lawii Hook.f.,Fl.Brit.India 4:67.1883,p.p;sensu T.Cooke,Fl.Pres.bombay 2:240.1904 [2:175.1967 (Repr.)],p.p.;Santapau & Irani, Bull. Bot. Soc. Bengal 12:8.1958,p.p., non Hook.f., 1883.C.panchgamiensis sensu Venkata Redi, Willdenowia 5:32.1968; Hemadri, Bull.Bot.Surv.India 10:125.1969 (1968);M.R.Almeida, Fl.Maharashtra 3A:233.2001,p.p; D.K. Mishra & N.P. Singh,l.c. 136, p.p., non Blatt & Mc.Cann,1933.

Type: India, Maharastra, ratanagiri, Ambolighat (presently in Sindhudurg District) 30 August 1967, B.G. Kulkarni 108643 A (Holo : CAL; Iso 108643B-C in BSI, 108643 in CAL, 108643 E in K; para 106321 A-B in BSI, 102141 A-B in BSI). Figs 1,4E-G, 5F-H,6E-G,7E-G).

Distribution and habitat : India : Maharashtra – Nasik District (Anjaneri hills), Pune District (Ambavane-Sakharpathar, Khandala, Lonavala,Pabe-ghat, Purandhar fort, Raireshwar, RajgadhRajmachi killa, Sinhagadh, Torna fort), Ratnagiri District (Gothne plateau) Satara District ( Rede-ghat Vasota fort) Sindhudurg District (Amboli ghat, Mahadevgad). It grows from 700-1450m among grasses on gentle hill slopes and also in the rock and boulders crevices on bouldered lateritic plateaus.

Use Authors of Plant Names (Brummitt and Powell 1992, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) for authors of botanical names. Authors should be given the first time a name is mentioned, or alternately in a table where all relevant names are listed (e.g., table of voucher specimens). 

References cited only as part of nomenclatural matter and not elsewhere are not included in literature cited; use TL-2 for abbreviations. 

Use Index Herbariorum acronyms for designations of herbaria. 

If specimens are cited, use the following formats:

TYPE: India: Arunachal Pradesh, Lower Subansiri, 2 km NE inside Tale valley, 2320m, under forest in wet places, fairly common, a delicate semi-erect herb 30cm, light green, whole plant slender, stem purplish green, flowers yellow, 17.04.1980, G.D.Pal 77682 (holo: ARUN!; Iso: CAL!).

Specimens Examined. India: Manipur, Ching Sow, 2560m, May 1882, Watt 6537 (CAL! E! K!, sterile specimen, previously recorded as C.dorjii D.G.Long).

Countries in the Specimens Examined section can be listed alphabetically or in geographical order; the method used should be explained in the Materials and Methods section.

If the paper presents original data, associated herbarium vouchers are cited. [Vouchers for seed and/or other collections should be included where pertinent. Dependent on the paper, reference to the original wild source may be required.] Vouchers are also cited from common names and uses taken from specimen labels, except if the information is taken from the literature in which case, a literature citation is given.

Herbarium vouchers state the collector and number, herbarium in which the voucher is located, and a clear annotation that the material represents the voucher for the study in question. 

If the specimens seen for the study are numerous, selected specimens should be cited and the section entitled Selected Specimens Examined. In this case, all specimens seen for the study should be included in an Index to Numbered Collections (or Exsiccatae) section that is an Appendix to the main paper. Un-numbered specimens can be listed here, but they are of limited use to curators wanting to identify duplicates (a principal use of exsiccatae lists).

Nucleic acid or protein sequences corresponding to equal or greater than 50 nucleotides are entered into an appropriate data bank, e.g., GenBank/EMBL. The accession numbers are provided before publication. Long sequences (exceeding two pages) will not be routinely published in text form, however they could be published as supplementary file.

Recording of new names with IPNI 

Submission and recording of all new names of vascular plants with the International Plant Names Index (IPNI) and listing the IPNI identifiers (Life Science Identifiers, or LSIDs) in the respective papers where the new names are published is a mandatory policy of Nelumbo. The submission to IPNI is provided by the Editorial Office of Nelumbos simultaneously with the publication process. The IPNI LSIDs can be linked directly from the Nelumbo pages or resolved and the associated information viewed through any standard web browser by appending the LSID contained in this publication to the prefix

Listing of IPNI LSIDs in the publication ensures two-sided reference link between the original publication of the new name and IPNI database, as well as to all additional indexers using IPNI data, e.g., GBIF.

In addition, the high-resolution, full-color printed version of Nelumbo, which is identical to the published PDF, is deposited in the Library of the central National Herbarium Botanical Survey of India, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, Indian National library, major world herbariums and Indian sub-continent.

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