This journal is not accepting submissions at this time.

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.

Author Guidelines

Journal Scope

The Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation (JTBC) is a free, open-access, international, peer-reviewed journal published by the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). This journal is devoted to the publication of research papers, short notes or communications, and reviews in all fields that are of general relevance to tropical biology and conservation in Southeast Asia, particularly in Borneo. The scope of topics we publish include:

  • Taxonomy and biodiversity
  • Ecology
  • Natural product chemistry
  • Nature tourism

All authors are expected to follow the highest standards of publication ethics. All manuscripts must comply with the   of the JTBC. The JTBC reserves the right to decline submissions of suspected plagiarism or a high degree of AI-generated writing at any point during the assessment process. Any articles found to violate the guidelines after publication will be retracted.


Author Guidelines

  1. Preparation of manuscripts

Manuscripts submitted must be in British English. Manuscripts are assessed based on academic rigour and sound reasoning. Nonetheless, it is not the reviewers’ nor the editors’ responsibility to provide language assistance. If necessary, the author(s) should ensure that external help has been consulted for language editing services, prior to manuscript submission.


Manuscript format:

  • Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx)
  • Text to be in Times New Roman (12 point, except if stated otherwise for particular sections below), and double line-spaced throughout
  • Insert continuous line numbers
  • All paragraphs should be justified
  • Do not indent paragraphs
  • Page numbers should be in the centre of the footer, in Times New Roman (10 point)
  • All headings should be centred, in upper case and bold
  • Sub-headings should be left aligned, in sentence case and in bold


The title page should only contain the following:

  • Title in 12 point, title case, i.e., capitalise major words, use lowercase for minor words (short conjunctions, articles, prepositions) and bold
  • Running Heading (no longer than 50 characters)
  • Names of Author(s) as first name(s) in sentence case, followed by surname/preferred name in uppercase
  • Institutional Affiliations of Author(s)
  • Corresponding Author email address


Manuscript structure:

  • Abstract (no longer than 250 words)
  • Keywords (4–6 words)
  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion (Results and Discussion may be combined)
  • Conclusions (if appropriate)
  • Acknowledgments (if any)
  • References


Other points to note:

  • The JTBC is read by an international readership. When possible, the name of the state/province/territory and country should be included when describing study sites.
  • All species and genus names should be italicised. All other words should not be italicised, including et al., sensu stricto, etc.).
  • All numbers less than 10 should be spelled in full, except in the Material and Methods and unless in a measurement, designator or in a range, e.g., 1 min, day 4, 3–4 months.
  • SI units and metric measurements should be used throughout the manuscript.
  • Abbreviations or acronyms should be spelled out fully in the text or legend the first time it appears. Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms in the title.
  • Equations should be created using the Insert Equation tool in Word.
  • Dates should have months spelled out in full and years presented in four digits, i.e., 1 January 2024.
  • The format of presenting geographic coordinates should remain the same throughout the manuscript.


  1. Title and running heading

The title should be concise. The higher classification of taxa should be included in the title in parentheses, in descending order, separated by colons: e.g., “The vipers (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) of Borneo”. If the title includes the name of the study site, the name of the state/province/territory and country should also be included. A running heading (no longer than 50 characters) to be used in the page header should be provided.


  1. Authors and affiliations

In accordance with the policies of the JTBC, authorship should only be claimed for those who have contributed substantially to the study. Adding of authors after submission should be avoided. For authors who do not have institutional affiliations, the city, state/province/territory and country should be provided.


  1. Abstract

All manuscripts should contain and Abstract, which should be no longer than 250 words. The abstract should include a brief rationale and objectives of the study, summary of the methods, key results and implications of the study.


  1. In-text citations

Citations of references in the text are by the surname of the author and year of publication, e.g.:

  • one author: Smith (1998) or (Smith, 1998)
  • two authors: Smith & Gomez (1999) or (Smith & Gomez, 1999)
  • three or more authors: Smith et al. (1999) or (Smith et al., 1999)


Multiple references should be arranged chronologically, followed by alphabetically. Multiple references by the same author(s) should be listed chronologically, with the publication year(s) separated by a comma. Multiple references by the same first author, in the same year, with three or more co-authors should use lower case letters (a, b, c) with the year, separated by a comma. The order of citation should be arranged alphabetically following the names of the co-authors. E.g., “(Mohamad, 1990, 1998; Choy et al. 2019a, b; Pius, 2019; IUCN, 2023)”.


It is recommended that the authorship of scientific names by cited at the first mention of the species according to the respective naming conventions of each taxa:

  • Algae, fungi and plant names should follow the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants
  • Zoological names should follow the format designated by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature


  1. References

All references that are cited in the text must be listed in the References at the end of the manuscript. It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that all citations in the text are listed in the References, and vice versa.

The references should be listed in alphabetical, followed by chronological order, with a hanging indent of 12.7 mm. Journal names should be given in full. The digital object identifier (DOI) should be included if available. The style and punctuation of the examples below should be followed accurately:


Beaman JH, Edward PS (2007) Ferns of Kinabalu, an Introduction. Sabah: Natural History Publication (Borneo). 198 pp.

Chung AYC, Bosuang S, Majapun R, Nilus R (2016) Diversity and geographical ranges of insects in Crocker Range Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation 13: 135–155.

Choy SC (1996) Distributional ecology of freshwater fishes in tropical rainforest streams of Borneo. In: Edwards DS, Booth WE, Choy SC. (eds.). Tropical Rainforest Research — Current Issues. Monographiae Biologicae, vol 74. Dordrecht: Springer. pp 377–386.

Choy SC (2015) Twenty two years of inland aquatic science (1993 to 2015) and its application in Queensland: Achievements, learnings and way forward. The Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 120: 23–29.

Choy SC, Chin PK (1994) Freshwater fishes from the headwaters of the Belalong-Temburong River system, Brunei Darussalam, Borneo. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 42(4): 757–774.

Choy SC, Page TJ, De Mazancourt V, Mos B (2019a) Caridina malanda, a new species of freshwater shrimp (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae) from the Wet Tropics World Heritage area, north-eastern Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa 4652(1): 113–125.

Choy SC, Page TJ, Mos B (2019b) Taxonomic revision of the Australian species of Australatya Chace 1983 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Atyidae), and the description of a new species. Zootaxa 4711(2): 366–378.

Esau K (1964) Structure and development of the bark in dicotyledons. In: Zimmermann MH. (ed.). The Formation of Wood in Forest Trees. New York: Academic Press. Pp. 37–50.

IUCN (2023) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2023-1. (Accessed 13 March 2024).

Jeffrey S (2024) Three crucial wildlife papers for the Cabinet. Daily Express, 10 March 2024. (Accessed 13 March 2024).

Ngadan SD (2015) Local communities’ attitudes toward crocodiles and human-crocodile conflicts in Sarawak. Proceedings of the 17th Malaysian Forestry Conference, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Pp 515–523.


  1. Figures and tables

In the initial submission, figures and tables should be placed at appropriate points in the text (preferably after the paragraph that contains its first mention in the text). Each figure and table should be numbered according to the order of appearance in the text, i.e., Fig. 1, Fig. 2, and Table 1, Table 2. All figures and tables should fit within the A4 size page format.

Composite figures should be labelled alphabetically, according to the sequence of its arrangement. Text within figures (e.g., graphs) should be of reasonable size for ease of readability. Figure captions, table text and legends should be presented in 10 point. The table legends and figure captions should be standalone, i.e., should be understandable to someone who has not read the text.

Figures should be embedded in the manuscript for the initial submission. When submitting a revised article, figures should be submitted individually in JPG (.jpg) or TIFF (.tif) format, with the minimum resolution of 300 dpi. The editors reserve the right to request for unmodified or original images, and failure to provide these images could result in the rejection of a manuscript.

The JTBC discourages authors from submitting tables and figures as supplementary data. As much as possible, key data should be presented within the main text. If it is necessary to provide large volumes of data as supplementary information, authors should deposit the data in a suitable public repository (e.g., Figshare) and cite the DOI accordingly.


  1. Submission of manuscripts

For the initial submission of manuscript, upload a Word file containing the complete paper. The title page should only contain the title, name of authors, affiliation, addresses, contact details, running heading, keywords and corresponding author.

Later, when submitting a revised article, upload a Word file containing the revised text, references, tables and figure captions. This file should not include graphics. Figures need to be submitted in a separate file in JPG (.jpg) or TIFF (.tif) format. Filenames should clearly correspond to the number (and part) of figure(s) enclosed in each file. Funding information and if applicable, each research and/or ethical permit approval number must be listed in the acknowledgements.

Manuscripts and the completed Manuscript Submission Form should be submitted via or via email to the All manuscripts are subjected to peer review by two independent reviewers.


  1. Revision of manuscripts and publication process

Manuscripts will be sent to the Managing Editor who will handle the peer-review process. The Managing Editor will make a provisional decision based on comments by the reviewers. The corresponding author will receive the provisional decision along with the reviewer comments.

The author(s) should respond to each of the comments and revise the manuscript accordingly. The revised manuscript (clean and tracked changes versions), along with a letter detailing the authors’ responses to each comment (including justification for any disagreements) should be returned to the Managing Editor by the stated deadline.

The manuscript will only be accepted once all the reviewers’ comments or recommendations have been addressed, and the format of the manuscript (including tables and figures) comply with the JTBC format. The Editor-in-Chief will convey the final decision to the corresponding author.

Upon acceptance, the proofs in PDF format will be sent to the corresponding author for checks and correction, together with the Transfer of Copyright Form.

Upon receipt of the corrected proofs and Transfer of Copyright form, the final PDF of the paper will be prepared and published on the JTBC website. The final PDF will also be sent to the corresponding author immediately upon publication.


  1. Article processing charges

There are no article processing charges for publishing in the JTBC. This journal provides immediate free access to all published articles.

Privacy Statement

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