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Ask EveryONE: Publishing New Species Papers at PLoS ONE

For about a year now, I have been monitoring new species submissions for PLoS ONE and this question frequently comes up:

Does PLoS ONE formally publish new species papers that are recognized by the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) and the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN)?

Absolutely! Every month, PLoS ONE publishes several new species papers that describe a variety of new animal, plant, and fungi taxons.  As many authors in the zoological and botanical communities know, the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) and International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) require new species articles to be published in a durable (i.e. paper) medium in addition to any electronic medium.

PLoS ONE has worked closely with the ICZN and ICBN to establish a protocol where new species papers published in our electronic only journal can be formally recognized by these two institutions.  You can read more about this process at or by visiting our author guidelines at

If you are an author and are thinking about submitting a new species paper to PLoS ONE, please read our new species guidelines online before you submit.  However, please note that our process for managing new animal and plant species does not apply to bacteria, viruses, algae, or re-classifying species within existing taxonomy.  Authors will need to adhere to their institutions’ specific guidelines for these new species articles.

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