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Instructions for authors


The Lichenologist is an international journal and welcomes papers from contributors anywhere in the world on any aspect of lichenology.

Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts must be original, clearly and precisely presented in English and electronic versions submitted to The Lichenologist ScholarOne website <> following the on-screen instructions. Please note that submission must be done from The Lichenologist ScholarOne account belonging to the Corresponding Author.

Author recommendations for referees. When uploading a manuscript to ScholarOne, authors will be invited to name “Author Recommended Referees” and “Author Opposed Referees”. While recommending one or more referees can be very helpful to editors, they are under no obligation to use them. Equally, editors are under no obligation to avoid using opposed referees but if they do use one they are required to bear in mind the author’s request when assessing the report from an opposed individual.


Papers are accepted in all areas of lichen biology including taxonomy and systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography, community and population ecology, lichen physiology and anatomy. Published papers can be in the form of a Monograph, Review or Perspective piece, a Standard Paper for research, or a Short Communication. Book reviews can be solicited (see below). As well as its standard issues, The Lichenologist publishes special issues in complex, impactful and/or emerging areas of research, and anyone wishing to be guest editor(s) of a special issue is invited to contact the Senior Editors to discuss their ideas.

Falling outside the scope of The Lichenologist are: (i) descriptions of new species unaccompanied by additional information placing these in wider context (e.g. detailed comparisons with similar species, phylogenetic analysis, key to the genus or group, biogeographic analysis etc.), (ii) species lists or new records (unless of exceptional interest), and (iii) descriptions of new chemical entities or reports of biological activity of lichen extracts or specific metabolites that lack a lichen biology context.

Submissions to The Lichenologist benefit from the constructive expertise of a world class Editorial Board, a high-quality peer review process and short review time, and we offer to authors traditional (printed) and full colour on-line publishing (html and pdf) as standard. The Lichenologist permits authors to retain copyright of their work, and also allows authors to publish their work as open access (including via Read and Publish agreements that your institution may have with Cambridge University Press, which allows you to publish your work as OA at no cost). You can check whether your institution is covered by a Read and Publish agreement here. We also provide wider outreach of published papers via social media and through our ‘Inside Lichenology’ blog posts.

Book Reviews. Books dealing with any aspect of lichenology will be reviewed. Publishers wishing to have works reviewed in The Lichenologist should send them to Dr D.J. Hill, Apple Tree House, High Street, Hillesley, Gloucestershire GL12 7RS (, in the first instance.

Manuscript format

Abstract. This should contain a short summary of the work reported in the paper sufficient to inform a reader who does not have sight of the full paper. If the paper describes one or more new taxa then the Abstract should report their principal distinguishing characteristics (e.g. “Bryonora granulata Fryday, with a finely granular thallus containing perlatolic acid”). If the paper reports experimental or survey data then, if appropriate, include headline values.

Key words. Supply 3–6 key words or phrases in addition to those in the title.

Competing interests. All authors must include a competing interest declaration in their manuscript. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. 

Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”. 

Text. This must be word processed on A4 (210 x 297 mm) or letter (8.5 × 11 inch) in double spacing with 2.5 cm margins all round. Please use Times Roman font for body text and sans-serif for headings, tables and figures. Authors’ ORCID iD should be listed in the text before the References. For style and order of headings please see examples here. On all other points of style concerning text, tables and references consult recent copies (from 2020 onwards) of the journal. 

Complete scientific names (genus, species and authority) must be cited at first mention. Thereafter the generic name may be abbreviated to the initial except at the beginning of a sentence or where the abbreviation might result in confusion with other genera. Recent issues should be consulted for layout of new species, new combinations, synonymy and lists of specimens examined. Examples of style are given below. All nomenclatural novelties must be deposited in a designated data repository (e.g. MycoBank <>, Index Fungorum <>, Fungal Names <>) and the accession number included after the taxon name; this is intended to minimize future confusion and make taxonomic data more widely available. For new taxa a short diagnosis, in either Latin or English, should follow the repository number. This should be a statement of that which in the opinion of the author distinguishes the new taxon from other taxa. A full and accurate description of the species should follow the diagnosis. The spelling of locality names in the British Isles and abroad should preferably follow the most recent editions of maps published by the Ordnance Survey and The Times Atlas of the World, respectively.

Please see examples below regarding description and citation of species/specimens:

(a) description of new species:

Ramalina fleigiae Gumboski, Eliasaro & R. M. Silveira sp.nov.

MycoBank No.: MB 824641

Differing from Ramalina exiguella Stirt. by the thallus with branches originating from a single holdfast, most densely branched in the upper half of the thallus, and further distinguished by numerous irregular ellipsoid to short linear pseudocyphellae on the surface and margin of its branches.

Type: Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul State, municipality of São José dos Ausentes, locality of ‘Cachoeirão dos Rodrigues’, on a rock in the middle of Silveira River, c. 1150 m alt., 28°35'59.85''S, 49°59'19.89''W, 20 January 2015, E. Gumboski 5050 (ICN—holotype; UPCB, SP, H, F—isotypes). GenBank Accession no.: KY171855.

(b) citation of described species or new combinations:

Pyrenopsis furfurea (Nyl.) Th. Fr.

Bot. Notiser 1866, 58 (1866).—Collema furfureum Nyl., J. Bot., Lond. 3, 286 (1865); type: Scotland, Ben Lawers, 1864, T. Jones (H-NYL 42916 = H9511527—lectotype; BM—isolectotype).

Pyrenopsis haematopsis (Sommerf.) β. terrigena Th. Fr. in Hellbom, Ӧfvers. K. Vetens. Akad. Förh. 22(6), 478 (1865).—Pyrenopsidium terrigenum (Th. Fr.) Forss., Nova Acta R. Soc. Scient. Upsal. ser. 3, 13(6), 81 (1885); type: Sweden, Lule Lappmark, Skarfi, 1864, P. J. Hellbom (UPS—holotype).

(c) citation of specimens examined:

Long lists of citations are discouraged. Data should be reproduced as either maps or lists containing only data essential for locating specimens and collecting sites. Complete lists, with the below format, can be deposited with appropriate Institutions, and their location noted in the text, or could be provided in Supplementary Material.

Selected specimens examined. British Isles: Scotland: V.C.96, Easterness: Abernethy Forest, near Forest Lodge, 38/01.16, on Pinus lignum, 1975, Coppins [2199] & Rose (BM, E).—Germany: Bayern: Allgäuer Alpen, 1957, Schoppel & Poelt [Poelt, Lichenes Alpium no. 56] (H).—Australia: Tasmania: Weindorfers Forest, 41° 38`S, 145°56`E, 920 m, 1988, Kantvilas 41°38`S, 145°56`E; Cox Bight, behind west beach, sea-level,1985, J. A. Elix 20945 (ANUC). Victoria: Bellel Creek, c. 1800 m, 5 vi 1983, M. E. Hale (HO).

Tables. These must be self-explanatory and each presented on separate pages outside the main text. A short title should be provided with any additional information contained in footnotes. Text for Tables should be Sans serif.

Figures. Refer to all drawings, diagrams, graphs and photographs as figures. These should be of the highest quality and suitable for direct reproduction after reduction where appropriate. Each figure should be presented as a separate file. Plan figures to appear within a single column (84 mm) or for reproduction across two columns (170 mm). Text for Figures, including labels etc., should be Sans serif.

Drawings, diagrams and graphs. Graphs should ideally be prepared using specialist graphics packages. Graphs can either have x and y axes only or can have both top and bottom and left and right hand axes (i.e. boxed), but should be consistent throughout. Axes and tick marks should be clear at the scale of reproduction. Preferred symbols for graphs are ○; ●; □; ■; Δ;▲; keys to symbols, etc, should be given in figure captions. Where multiple graphs are grouped into a single figure, any axes with common labelling (including tick labels where relevant) need only be labelled once (e.g. the lowermost x axis if those of all graphs in a column have the same units and descriptions) and the figure should be consolidated by positioning the individual graphs closer together; consult a recent copy of The Lichenologist for examples. Colour should not be used in graphics unless the figure is intended to be printed in colour.

Photographs (colour or black and white) should be submitted at the size they will appear. Please note that there is a charge for colour printing in the print format of the journal (see Colour Printing below). Images are published online in colour free of charge. 

Subdivisions of figures should be labelled with black capital letters in sans serif font , e.g. A, B, C, etc, in the upper left corner on a white circular background, and should make optimum use of space. Scale bars should be in the lower right hand corner and must be contrasting. Scale bar length values should be given in figure legends. All legends for figures should be provided on a separate page to be included with the text of the paper after the references.

Format for supplying electronic artwork.

To ensure that your figures are reproduced to the highest possible standards and your article is published as quickly and efficiently as possible, we recommend the following formats and resolutions for supplying electronic figures.

Line artwork (e.g. graphs, drawings histograms, diagrams)

Format: tif or eps

Colour mode: black and white (also known as 1-bit). Where images cannot be provided in vectorial format, these should be provided at a resolution of 600dpi

Size: please size to final publication size

Combination artwork (line/tone)

Format: tif or eps

Colour mode: greyscale (also known as 8-bit). Where images cannot be provided in vectorial format, these should be provided at a resolution of 800dpi

Size: please size to final publication size

Black and white halftone artwork (e.g. photographs) Format: tif

Colour mode: greyscale (also known as 8-bit). Resolution: 300 dpi

Size: please size to final publication size

Colour halftone artwork (e.g. photographs) 

Format: tif

Colour mode: CMYK colour. Resolution: 300 dpi

Size: please size to final publication size

References. Citations in the text should take the form: Green & White (2014) or (Brown 1999a, b, 2009; Smith & Jones 2015). Multiple citations should be ordered chronologically. When papers are by three or more authors, give only the name of the first author followed by et al. (e.g. Halonen et al. 1998) throughout the text. At the end of the text, list the references alphabetically using the following standard forms:

Gauslaa Y, Coxson D and Solhaug KA (2012) The paradox of higher light tolerance during desiccation in rare old forest cyanolichens than in more widespread co-occurring chloro- and cephalolichens. New Phytologist 195, 812–822.

Øvstedal DO and Smith RIL (2001) Lichens of Antarctica and South Georgia. A Guide to their Identification and Ecology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wetmore CM (2007) Caloplaca. In: Nash TH, III, Gries C and Bungartz F (eds), Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region Vol. III. Tempe, Arizona: Lichens Unlimited, Arizona state University, pp. 179–220.

Sohrabi M and Leavitt S (2012) Current status of the phylogeny of the family Megasporaceae, Abstracts of the 7th International Association for Lichenology Symposium, 9-13 January 2012, Bangkok, Thailand, p. 151.

Nimis PL and Martellos S (2017) ITALIC: the information system on Italian lichens. Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste. Available at (accessed 1 September 2018).

Hogan EJ (2009) Nitrogen-phosphorus relationships in lichens. Ph.D. thesis, University of Nottingham.

References should be listed in alphabetic sequence with: single authors, by date; two authors, alphabetically, then by date; three or more authors by date only. When papers are by more than ten authors, give the names of only the first ten followed by ‘‘et al.’’.

For authors that use Endnote, you can find the style guide for LIC here.

Abbreviations, etc. For guidance on units, symbols, chemical nomenclature and abbreviations consult author guidelines for The New Phytologist  < (Appendix 2) >.

Data Archiving

Nomenclatural novelties must be deposited in a designated repository (see above) and new gene sequences must be deposited in a recognized data base such as GenBank or the European Nucleotide Archive. Molecular data sets should be archived in repositories such as Dryad or TreeBase. We encourage authors of physiological and ecological papers to archive their raw data in an appropriate repository; alternatively they can provide these as Supplementary Material. For help in choosing the correct repository for your purposes, please see our General Advice.

Graphical Abstracts

We invite authors to submit a Graphical Abstract that can help communicate their work to a wider readership.

A graphical abstract is a single image that summarises the main findings of a paper, allowing readers to gain quickly an overview and understanding of your work. Well-designed and prepared graphical abstracts are an important way to publicise your research, attracting readers, and helping to disseminate your work to a wider audience. Ideally, the graphical abstract should be created independently of the figures already in the paper but it could include a (simplified version of) an existing figure. Graphical abstracts are displayed at article level, and on the article landing page online.

The graphical abstract should be submitted separately from the main paper using the ‘Graphical Abstract’ file designation on ScholarOne at revised submission stage. Graphical abstracts should be clear and easy for the viewer to read, and should illustrate one main point only. Permission to reuse images should be sought by the authors before submitting a graphical abstract.

We recommend that only TIFF or EPS formats are used for the electronic artwork in graphical abstracts. Other non-preferred but usable formats are JPG, PPT and GIF files and images created in Microsoft Word. For further information about how to prepare your figures, including sizing and resolution requirements, please see our artwork guide. The image will be scaled to fit the appropriate space on Cambridge Core, so please ensure that any font used is clear to read, and that any text is included as part of the image file (although text should ideally be kept to a minimum). There is also no need to include the title ‘Graphical Abstract’ in your image.

Author Publication Agreement

The policy of The Lichenologist is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant the British Lichen Society a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish the article without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here.

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

Colour Figures

Colour figures will be published online free of charge, and there is a fee of £200 per figure for colour figures in the printed format of the journal. However, the Senior Editors are often able to offer a subsidy from British Lichen Society funds to its members who find that they have insufficient money to meet the full cost of colour printing. Authors should consult the Senior Editors in this case.

Publishing your article as Gold Open Access 

The Lichenologist offers authors the option to publish their work under a Gold Open Access model, enabling the final published version to be made freely available under a Creative Commons license. You might be required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) for Gold Open Access. You may be eligible for a waiver or discount, for example if your institution is part of a Read and Publish sales agreement with Cambridge University Press. For more information about the benefits of choosing to publish Open Access, click here. For details of our policy and pricing, please click here.

Preprint policy

A ‘preprint’ is an early version of an article prior to the version accepted for publication in a journal. We encourage authors to include details of preprint posting, including DOI or other persistent identifier, when submitting to LIC. For full details, please see our preprint policy here.

Cambridge Journals Language Editing Service

Cambridge recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author’s own expense.

Information for peer reviewers

For resources about peer review, including guides on how to peer review journal articles and book proposals, in addition to information on ethics in peer review, OPRS blinding, and Publons, please visit our ‘Information for Peer Reviewers’ page.

Notice: While the Senior Editor and Editors endeavour to check the accuracy of statements in contributions in as far as they are able, it should be emphasized that views expressed in papers in The Lichenologist are those of their authors and do not necessarily represent those of the British Lichen Society, Cambridge University Press, the Senior Editor, or the members of the Editorial Board.


The Lichenologist now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

  • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.
  • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.
  • Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

If you don’t already have an iD, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to The Lichenologist. You can register for one directly from your user account on Scholar One or via If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting, either by linking it to your Scholar One account or supplying it during submission by using the “Associate your existing ORCID ID” button.

Last updated 9th December 2019