Author Guidelines

Cover Letters

When submitting your manuscript, please include a Cover Letter with the corresponding author's contact details, paper title, authorship details, and a brief abstract aligning with the journal's scope. Please include the following declaration: “We declare that this manuscript is original, has not been published, and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, and there are no conflicts of interest to disclose”. Feel free to suggest potential reviewers for consideration by the Editors, and if necessary, indicate any reviewers to be ruled out due to conflicts of interest or other pertinent factors. The Cover Letter is an initial communication tool, introducing authors and their work while aiding a streamlined and informed review process. 

General Instructions and Formatting

Authors must confirm that their submission complies with the following guidelines as part of the manuscript submission process. Submissions that do not adhere to these guidelines may be returned to authors.

General Instructions

  • Type the manuscript in Word (or a Word-compatible word processor) on an 8.5” by 11” document with at least a 1” (2.5 cm) margin on all sides.
  • Use Times New Roman 12-point typed, double-spaced throughout, including tables, figure legends, and literature cited. Do not justify the right margin. Authors are responsible for diacritical marks.
  • Assemble the document in the following order:

Title, Author(s), and Affiliation(s) on one page.

  1. Abstract [+ optional abstract in the second language], keywords, and running title on separate page(s).
  2. Text.
  3. Acknowledgments.
  4. Literature cited.
  5. Tables.
  6. Appendices.
  7. Figure legends.
  8. Figures.
  • Check the English carefully for correct language use before submission. Use either British or American English spelling consistently.
  • Ensure the manuscript follows the latest International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants.
  • If the paper includes newly described taxa, they must be illustrated, preferably by ink line drawings or color composite plates. Grey-scale drawings are difficult to reproduce accurately and may be challenging to understand; therefore, they are generally not accepted for publication.
  • Ideally, the author(s) should comply with national and international legislation concerning collecting and exportation permits for wild specimens, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Title, Running title, Addresses, Abstract [+ optional Abstract in second language] & Keywords

  • Title: Flush left, in upper and lower case letters.
  • Author(s) Name(s): Below the title, on one-line, flush left, in upper and lower case letters. The order is First Name (complete spelling), Second Name (initial), Surname. Indicate by superscript number after the author’s name or any current address. Addresses include Institution, Street, City, State, Postal Code, and Country. Indicate ORCID iD with a superscript number after addresses. Use an asterisk (*) to indicate the corresponding author's name and include their email address after the addresses.
  • Abstract: Begins on a new page, flush left, in upper and lower case letters. It must be one paragraph without indentation, citations, or abbreviations. The abstract should concisely understand the article's content and include brief but complete references to the paper's results. Diagnostic characters for newly described taxa should be briefly stated. An optional abstract in a second language should follow in a separate paragraph in the same format.
  • Keywords: Give up to 6 keywords arranged alphabetically, preceding the text as follows: "Key Words: ..." They should reflect the manuscript's main content, avoiding repetition of words already in the title.
  • Spanish Abstract: Spanish-speaking authors must include a second abstract in Spanish. The editorial staff does not provide translation services.
  • Running Title: On one line below the keywords, flush left, in upper- and lower-case letters. It includes the author(s), surname(s), and a short title. The total character count should not exceed 50.


  • Begin each section on a new page.
  • Main headings should be flush-left in upper and lower case letters and boldface on a separate line.
  • Secondary headings should be flush-left in upper and lower case letters and in italics, followed by a period, dash, and paragraph text.
  • Tertiary headings should be flush-left in upper and lower case letters and underlined, followed by a period, dash, and paragraph text.
  • Ensure that all figures and tables are cited in the text and appear consecutively in numerical order.
  • Each reference cited in the text must be included in the Literature Cited section, and vice versa.
  • Follow the APA 6th edition guidelines for citations.
  • List citations in the order they appear in the reference list, alphabetically and then chronologically. Use a, b, c, etc., for two or more papers by the same author(s) in one year.
  • Cite authors of all names at the rank of genus and below when first used in the text, without repeating citations after the first name's use. Refer to the International Plant Names Index (IPNI) for correct abbreviations (
  • Italicize all scientific names at the generic level or below.
  • Spell out the genus and species the first time used in a paragraph and abbreviate the generic name by the first initial thereafter in that paragraph. Do not abbreviate the genus name at the beginning of a sentence.
  • Use Index Herbariorum abbreviations to designate herbaria. The citation of the publication is unnecessary.
  • Avoid footnotes, except in historical manuscripts that are useful for clarifying or providing readers context.
  • Numbers: Write numbers from one through nine, except in measurements or descriptions. Use a comma for numbers with more than four digits (e.g., 10,000) and use 0.5 instead of .5. Always use the "%" symbol instead of "percent." Write ranges with decimal points (e.g., 8.0–8.5) instead of dashes alone (e.g., 8–8.5).
  • Units of Measurement: Abbreviate units of measurement without periods, such as km, mm, ft, mi, etc. Use the degree symbol for temperatures (e.g., 20°C).
  • Abbreviations: Write out abbreviations the first time they are used in the text and abbreviate thereafter. For example, "Trichome morphology was examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM)."
  • Keys: If keys are included, ensure they are dichotomous and indented. Couples should be numbered with periods. Authors of taxa are omitted, and species are not numbered in the key.
  • Specimen Citation: Include locality, latitude, and longitude when available, along with elevation, collection date, collector (using "et al." when more than two), collector’s number, and herbarium of deposit (using abbreviations from Index Herbariorum). Countries should be cited from north to south, with political subdivisions in alphabetical order within countries and collectors listed alphabetically within subdivisions.
  • Acknowledgments: Keep acknowledgments brief and focused, crediting those who contributed to the study and explaining the reasons for acknowledgment. List all grant numbers or funding sources.

Literature Cited

Lankesteriana uses APA Reference Style 6th edition. See the style manual for guidance on using this Reference Style. Consider using citation management tools like Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote for efficient referencing.

  • Use hanging indentation.
  • Continue page number sequence.
  • “In press” citations must have been accepted for publication; give the journal's name (and volume number if known) or the publisher.
  • Insert a space after each initial of an author’s name.
  • Insert the year of the publication in parentheses.
  • Do not abbreviate journal names.
  • Titles of books are written in lowercase except for the first word and proper nouns and as required in the original language of titles.
  • Italicize the title of the journal and book titles.
  • Italicize scientific names in the title of articles.
  • Cite literature as follows:
  1. One author: Nobody, A. B. (1991).
  2. Two authors: Nobody, A. B. & Somebody, C. D. (1991).
  3. More than two authors: Nobody, A. B., Somebody, C. D. & Someother, E. F. (1991).
  4. Book chapter: Nobody, A. B. (1991). The effect of light on growth. In: C. D. Somebody (Ed.), Light and growth(pp. 209–291). London: Light Press. – or – Nobody, A. B. (1991). The effect of light on growth. In: C. D. Somebody & E. F. Someother (Eds.), Light and growth (pp. 209–291). London: Light Press.
  5. Journal article: Nobody, A. B. (1991). The effect of light on growth. Title of Journal, 3(1), 15–20. doi: insert DOI when it is available.
  6. Manuscripts accepted for publication but not yet published: Nobody, A. B. (In press). Name of the journal or publisher. The journal's name where the paper was accepted must be indicated, the volume number should be included if known.
  • Please refer to recently published manuscripts for more examples of cited literature.


  • Continue page number sequence.
  • Each table must start on a separate page and must be double-spaced. Tables can be printed landscape or portrait. Do not reduce the type size of tables. If necessary, continue the table on additional pages.
  • Portrait tables can be prepared to be printed 1- or 2-column width; plan accordingly.
  • The table's title should be flushed left, preceded on the same line by the word “Table” and an Arabic numeral.
  • Items on each row must be separated by a single tab.
  • Superscripts referring to footnotes should be lowercase letters, not numbers.
  • Footnotes should be placed as separate paragraphs at the end of the table.
  • References cited in tables must be included in the Literature Cited.

Figure Legends

  • Begin each new page for figures and tables, continuing the page number sequence.
  • All figures (including maps, photos, and line illustrations) should be in a single sequence, consecutively numbered. Tables should be in a separate, consecutively numbered sequence.
  • Double-space the legends and group them according to figure arrangements. Avoid using a separate page for each group of legends.
  • Number figures consecutively with Arabic numerals.
  • Format legends in paragraph style and label plant illustrations according to the order of their taxonomic description. For example: Figure 1. Pleurothallis ineditaA. Habitat. B. Flower. C. Flower dissection. D. Outer floral bract. E. Inner floral bract. F. Petal. G. Column, profile view (left) and 3/4 dorsal view (right). H. Pollinarium. (Drawn from the holotype). Illustration by Who Nobody. Figure 2. Luisia ineditaA. Habit. B. Fruit (Somebody 567, CR). Illustration by Who Nobody. Note that labels on the figure (“A”) should be in upper case and match that on the legend. Italicize the collector’s name and number.
  • The specimen(s) on which the illustrations are based must be noted.
  • The author(s) of the iconographic material must be credited in the figure legend, e.g.: Figure 1. Pleurothallis ineditaA. Habitat. B. Flower. C. Flower dissection. D. Outer floral bract. E. Inner floral bract. F. Petal. G. Column, profile view (left) and 3/4 dorsal view (right). H. Pollinarium. (Drawn from the holotype). Illustrations by Who Nobody (A, C), Other Nobody (B), and Other Who (D–H).
  • Do not include non-alphanumeric symbols (lines, dots, stars, etc.) in legends; label them on the figure itself or refer to them by name in the legend.

Preparation and submission of illustrations

When preparing and submitting illustrations for publication, please follow these guidelines:

  1. Image files and format: Ensure all illustrations meet the required image dimensions, resolution, and format specifications. Common formats include JPEG, PNG, TIFF, for raster images and EPS, SVG, or PDF for vector images. Kindly refrain from submitting original artwork; file formats specific to certain applications (e.g., PageMaker, Quark, Excel, Word, WordPerfect, etc.) will not be accepted.
  2. Resolution and Standard Length: The standard published length of an illustration or plate is 8” (205 mm). Two published widths are provided: 1 column (2.8” or 71 mm) and a full page (5.75” or 146 mm). For optimal quality, photographs should be scanned at a resolution of 600 dpi, while line art should be scanned at 600 to 1200 dpi. Alternatively, ensure a final resolution of at least 300 dpi for all images with the specified dimensions.
  3. Print Size: For all illustrations, including halftones and black-and-white photographs, it's crucial to ensure that the electronic files' print size closely matches the final published size. Although print size reduction is possible without compromising quality, small files cannot be enlarged to fit larger dimensions without losing quality.
  4. Comprehensiveness: Ensure all digital illustrations are comprehensive, including labels, scale bars, and necessary annotations. Use press-on letters, symbols, or mechanical lettering processes for labeling; avoid typewriter, dot matrix, or inkjet-produced labels.
  5. Labeling: Label parts of a plate as A, B, C, etc., without dots and with uniform size. Letters should appear in black on a white or light background and white on a dark background. Avoid placing letters on a contrasting rectangular or circular background. Utilize Helvetica, Arial, or other sans-serif fonts for letters, aligning them vertically and horizontally.
  6. Credits and signature: Sign all original artwork from which digital illustrations are derived. Unsigned digital illustrations will not be accepted. Provide proper credit to the authors or creators of the illustrations in the figure legends. Include any necessary permissions or acknowledgments for previously published or copyrighted material.
  7. Combination of Illustrations: Do not combine photographs and line art within a single illustration.
  8. Composite Illustrations: When preparing composite illustrations, eliminate empty spaces between components. Place numbers or letters directly on the illustration rather than in the margins. Ensure consistent labeling placement on the left side of the represented element at equal distances.
  9. Scale bars and Magnifications: Indicate magnifications using only horizontal scale bars directly on the illustrations; vertical scale bars or a combination of horizontal and vertical bars are not acceptable. Ensure the scale bars maintain a uniform width and feature consistent spacing between the line and measurement. Above the scale bar, include a measurement value such as 1, 2, 3, 5, or 10, avoiding using decimals, fractions, or arbitrary numbers (e.g., 7, 9, 11, 13). Do not use italics for measurements, and ensure that scale bars are centrally positioned beneath the element with equal distance on each side.
  10. Maps: Maps should include a border, latitude and longitude indicators, a scale, and a compass rose. Avoid excessive unused areas. Use different symbols to display distributions of multiple species with non-overlapping ranges and a corresponding legend.
  11. Illustrations of New Species: Illustrations of new species should highlight diagnostic features distinguishing them from other species.

Conditions for publication

  • Authors are not required to cover any page charges.
  • In consideration of the publication of the article, the authors grant Lankester Botanical Garden Research Center, University of Costa Rica, all rights in the article.
  • Authors warrant that their contribution is an original work not published elsewhere in whole or in part, except in abstract form, and that the article contains no matter which invades the right of privacy or infringes any proprietary right.
  • Authors will receive no royalty or other monetary compensation for the assignment outlined in this agreement.
  • Lankester Botanical Garden, University of Costa Rica, in turn, grants authors the royalty-free right of republication in any book of which they are the authors or editors, subject to the express condition that lawful notice of the claim of copyright is given.
  • The content is the sole responsibility of the author(s)

What to submit

  • To submit a manuscript to Lankesteriana, please use the online submission platform and follow the provided instructions. Submissions are exclusively accepted through this platform. If you are a new author, please create an account before submitting your manuscript.

If you have any questions about the submission process or encounter any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact the editorial office at Assistance and guidance are readily available to help you successfully submit your manuscript

When to submit

Manuscript submissions are welcomed and accepted online through the dedicated submission platform at any time. At LANKESTERIANA, we are committed to expediting the publication process for scientific, peer-reviewed papers, and we achieve this through the "Early View" section. Articles accepted in this section undergo the full editorial process and are swiftly published online, representing the initial view of the final version that will ultimately appear in the printed journal issue. The official publication date of each paper corresponds to its first online appearance, clearly indicated on both the online and print versions' front pages. The editorial team at Lankesteriana is dedicated to minimizing publication timelines, considering reviewers' evaluations and the necessary correspondence with authors. This commitment ensures the timely dissemination of research.

  • The hard-printed issues of Lankesteriana are published three times a year in April, August, and December. These issues include papers accepted before January 1, May 1, and September 1 respectively. Printed copies are exclusively sent to scientific institutions worldwide.

For any inquiries or questions about LANKESTERIANA, please contact the editorial office at