ISSN 2816-6531


Data policies
Publishing and copyright
Author responsibilities
Peer review
Conflict of interest
Costs and financial support
New taxa
Editorial board


Data policies

Given the novelty of the publication platform and the popularity of micropublications, Specimen aims to adhere to the best editorial practices. We therefore adhere to the core practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics as well as to those of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors with respect to copyright and author privilege.

Requirements for manuscript submission:

  • Authors are encouraged to reference a personal ORCID.
  • The entire manuscript will occupy no more than two published pages. Lists of specimens, for example in the case of checklists, will be accessible via Canadensys and are not included in the 2-page maximum.
  • Physical specimens referenced in the publication will be deposited in one or more specified natural history collections.
  • Specimen metadata, in Darwin Core format, will be submitted with the manuscript to be published separately at Canadensys. Data for each specimen will include:

° Unique specimen identifier (usually in the format of the specimen depository) as found on a unique label with the specimen

° Collection event data

– Locality (including geoposition coordinates with margin of error)

– Date

– Name of collector, ideally with an ORCID or WikiData Q identifier

– Other pertinent data (e.g. habitat, associated organisms)

° Determination data including

– Taxon name with authority string

– Taxon concept and/or identification tool(s) used, including DOI or other unique identifier

– Determiner (ideally with ORCID or WikiData Q identifier) and date of determination

° Any Darwin Core data fields are acceptable. A description of the recommended fields and examples of their content can be accessed at the following Google Sheet. In fact, authors are encouraged to use this sheet as a template for submitting their data.

To qualify as an author

To qualify for the right of authorship, each author must meet the following four eligibility criteria established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  • Final approval of the version to be published
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved

Any contributor to the work that does not meet these four criteria can, with their consent, be named in the acknowledgements section.

Author responsibilities

The author or the administrator handling the manuscript submission to Specimen is responsible for:

  • Keeping informed all the co-authors regarding the manuscript and its eventual publication
  • Assuring that the manuscript adheres to journal policy and publication ethics and that all co-authors are aware of and accept these policies
  • Handle all communication between the journal editors and the co-authors, and assure that all co-authors remain informed of these communications
  • Assure that all co-authors have seen and approved the final draft of the manuscript before its submission to the journal

Peer review and editorial decisions

At the time of submission, authors are requested to recommend a minimum of two peer reviewers who should not be under any perceived conflict of interest. Upon submission, the editor will make a preliminary assessment of the manuscript. If it is inappropriate for the journal, whether in presentation or content, the editor will return the manuscript and withdraw it from consideration, explaining the decision to the manuscript submitter. If the manuscript is deemed appropriate, the editor will select at least one external peer reviewer at his or her discretion (whether or not from the list provided by the submitter), who will evaluate the scientific validity and merit of the manuscript. All published articles will have been subject to a minimum of one peer and one editorial review. Following review, the submitting author will then have the opportunity to edit the manuscript or rebut specific elements of the review with which he or she disagrees. The decisions to pursue peer review and to ultimately publish an article rest solely with the editor.

In the case of a significant conflict of interest with the editor, a guest editor will be recruited to handle the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

All authors of a manuscript submitted to Specimen should transparently declare any possible conflict of interest related to the submission. A declaration of a potential conflict of interest will not automatically result in the rejection of a submission, but rather such honesty will allow all parties to be aware of the situation. For more information, please see the core practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics. External reviewers are also responsible to declare any potential conflict of interest that might influence their objectivity.

Costs and financial support

For the moment, there are no charges involved in publishing in Specimen. This policy is subject to revision as the journal grows.

In order to be as transparent as possible regarding any funding regarding the work contributing to publication, the journal asks that authors declare any source of financial support.

At present, the journal has been financially supported by a grant from the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale. The journal does not publish any advertising.

New taxa

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature must be followed in any publication describing a new animal species, genus, or family. All the pertinent information must be registered in ZooBank and the ZooBank taxon LSID must be included in the publication. The journal editors will handle ZooBank registration in order to avoid any delays.

New names of plants, algae, or fungi must follow the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. New plant taxa must have an International Plant Name Index code. MycoBank issues codes for fungi.

Permits and research misconduct

Permitting information must be included in the manuscript, namely in the materials and methods section, for any specimens examined in the published study that required a collection permit, be it issued by an institution, a governmental organization at any level, or any other entity.

Without these details, the authors implicitly declare that the specimens used in their study were collected legally. Any allegations of research misconduct will be investigated by examining the specimens cited in the published or submitted work. Missing specimens will result in the retraction of the article. Unrealistic specimen metadata will be reviewed by an ad hoc panel of experts from three different institutions who will take the decision whether or not to retract the article. See also the statment by the Committee on Publication Ethics for logistical procedures.

Editorial board


Editor-in-chief: Colin Favret, Institut de recherche en biologie végétale and Université de Montréal, 4101 East Sherbrooke St, Montreal, Canada H1X 2B2. colinfavret(a)

Associate editors will be recruited as the journal grows.