Submissions to the Scientific Publications of the American Museum of Natural History are restricted to Museum staff, curators emeriti, recipients of Museum fellowships (graduate students and postdocs), and Research Associates. Manuscripts by unaffiliated authors will not be considered for publication except by invitation from the Chair of the Publications Committee. Unaffiliated authors whose research was supported by the Museum, or whose research is substantially based on Museum collections or otherwise closely concerns the museum, may contact members of the publication committee for more information.
Please consult the following policies, guidelines, and style manual before submitting your work. You may contact the associate editors with questions about the submission process.
American Museum of Natural History
Scientific Publications Policies (October 2010)
1.1. The Serials. The museum publishes three scientific serials—Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (for zoological monographs), American Museum Novitates (for shorter zoological works), and Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History (for works in anthropology).
1.2. Purpose of the Serials. The Museum's scientific serials are primarily intended to publish the research results of Museum staff, fellowship recipients (postdoctoral scholars and graduate students), and affiliated scholars (Research Associates).
1.3. Scope of the Serials. Submitted manuscripts should report significant new discoveries of fact or interpretation that contribute to the advancement of a scientific discipline traditionally covered by our series (see 1.1). In general, the museum does not publish editorials, review articles, institutional histories, or new editions of previously published work.
1.4. Edited Volumes. Edited volumes of collected papers (festschrifts, memorial volumes, and symposia proceedings) may not be submitted except by invitation. Prospective editors should contact the Publications Committee of the Senate of the Scientific Staff with a proposal describing the planned volume in substantive detail. Proposals for edited volumes normally must include a commitment to pay all production costs (see 3.3 below).
2. Peer Review
2.1. Peer Review. All submitted manuscripts are evaluated by anonymous peer review, a process that is managed by the Publications Committee of the Senate of the Scientific Staff.
2.2. Use of Museum Collections and Material. Given that the publication series are primarily focused on Museum research, manuscripts by unaffiliated authors should significantly discuss Museum collections or research; furthermore, unaffiliated authors are required to fund publication costs (see 3.3).
2.3. Appeals. There is no formal appeals process by which rejected manuscripts are reconsidered, although authors are free to communicate any concerns about the review process with the associate editor of their respective field.
3. Publication Charges
3.1. Publication Charges. Publications costs are primarily determined by author affiliation to the museum as described below. All queries about page charges are to be directed to the Associate Dean of Science for Collections.
3.2. Museum Authors. The museum defrays publication charges, except as noted in 3.4, for (1) museum staff, (2) emeritus staff, (3) postdoctoral fellows and graduate students supported by museum fellowships, and (4) Research Associates. Museum authors with access to substantial restricted funds relating to the published work in question are required to provide partial or full support for publication.
3.3. Outside Authors. Unaffiliated authors are required to fund 100% of publication costs (currently $85.00 per printed page).
3.4. Charges for Edited Works. Edited volumes of collected papers (e.g., festschrifts) normally must include a commitment to pay partial or all production costs (currently $85.00 per printed page).
3.5. Museum Author Chargebacks. Unless authorization is obtained to bill departments, divisions, or other sources, Museum authors are responsible for the following costs:
- all color-reproduction charges
- reprints in addition to author copies
- excessive author-generated text corrections (averaging more than two per printed page)
- author-generated illustration corrections
- unusual printing (for items such as foldouts, gatefolds, and inserts).
4.1. Ownership of copyright. Copyright to the work shall remain with the author(s).
4.2. License to Museum. All authors shall grant Museum a nonexclusive, irrevocable, license, gratis, to (1) publish the work in the Bulletin, Novitates, and Anthropological Papers, in all forms of media, worldwide and in perpetuity; and (2) provide permissions for reprints, translations, quotes, use of illustrations, tables, etc., through the Museum Library, without further notice or compensation. The submitting author shall arrange for all coauthors, artists, and illustrators to grant rights to Museum, and shall provide the license(s) of such grant to the Publications office, prior to the publication going to press.
5. Printed Errors
- 5.1. Errata. The museum does not supply errata sheets to alert readers of printed errors nor does it provide corrections to one publication in any succeeding publication.
5.2. Reprinting. In the event that an egregious error is printed, a reprint may be ordered after responsibility for the error is established. The cost of reprinting is the responsibility of the printer (for unacceptable printer's errors), the museum (for editorial errors), or the author (for authors' errors). Reprinting at the museum's or printer's expense is not justified for errors not noticed by the author in proofs of text and/or illustrations.
Prospective authors should be familiar with Museum scientific publication policies.
The following materials must be provided by authors submitting work for publication in any of the museum’s scientific serials:
- The complete text and tables, in Word (in a single file if the manuscript is small, in separate files if large);
- the figures, compiled into a single emailable PDF document (these will necessarily be lower-resolution images than those used for production of an accepted manuscript);
- a signed, filled-out copy of the Manuscript Submission Form
- a covering letter (preferably on institutional letterhead) that includes the names and e-mail addresses of three suggested reviewers; and
- any supplementary information intended for eventual archiving on Museum servers.
All of these items should be sent as email attachments to one of the associate editors below, who may be contacted for additional information about any aspect of the submission process.
Submitted manuscripts must conform to Museum formatting requirements (as detailed in the Style Manual), and be written in grammatically correct and correctly spelled English. (Any manuscript that is incorrectly formatted or requires extensive editing for English usage and/or spelling will not be sent out for review.) Additionally, please note that all nontrivial phylogenetic datasets (any larger than two printed pages) must be archived electronically either as supplementary information (see item 5, above) or using other online resources (such as MorphoBank, TreeBase, etc); manuscripts that include analyses based on such data will not be put into production until appropriate URLs or DOIs are provided for their retrieval.
Authors preparing works for publication in any series of the Scientific Publications of the American Museum of Natural History are expected to adhere to the guidelines of the Fourth Edition of the Style Manual, updated May, 2014.
Download the Style Manual: