Principles and ethical rules for the Museum's scientific journals

Since 1802, the Muséum has been a scientific publisher in the fields of natural and human sciences. Scientific Publications publish original scientific results in the fields of expertise of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. Scientific Publications include periodicals, collections of books and monographs, books outside the collections, as well as titles co-published with other major establishments.

The Scientific Publications Department is responsible for the evaluation and technical monitoring of projects, and for the distribution, storage and sale of books. Each title or series is placed under the scientific responsibility of an editor, who draws on the expertise of specialist reviewers, and under the technical responsibility of an editor.


The Muséum now publishes ten peer-reviewed journals in continuous flow on its website (https://sciencepress.mnhn.fr/en/journals):

Information about journals

On each of the journal presentation pages, you can access :

  • the name of the journal ;
  • a descriptive text setting out the journal's objectives and target audience; ;
  • ISSN number(s) (paper and/or electronic);
  • guidelines (instructions for the authors) ;
  • bibliographic rules ;
  • the rights assignment form (for journals under Muséum copyright);
  • mention of the CC-BY licence (for journals under Creative Commons licence);
  • the list of articles and thematic volumes published;
  • the names and addresses of the editorial team;
  • the names and affiliations of the members of the scientific committee;
  • the deadlines for acceptance and publication of the journal.

Diamond open access

The Museum's journals are published in diamond open access, with no publication costs for either the author or the reader. Articles are published in continuous flow and are available free of charge, in PDF format, as soon as they are published on the sciencepress website (https://sciencepress.mnhn.fr/fr/periodiques in French and https://sciencepress.mnhn.fr/en/journals in English). A print-on-demand service is available for readers wishing to purchase a paper version of the article.

Some journals are also distributed on the Bioone® platform (https://bioone.org) in enriched version (HTML version of the article available for full text search).

Indexation, DORA

MNHN journals are indexed on Web of Knowledge (Clarivate analytics, https://webofscience.com) and Scopus (Elsevier, https://www.scopus.com/). Impact factors have been assigned to some of them. The scientific publications of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle are signatories to the San Francisco Declaration on the Evaluation of Research (DORA; https://sfdora.org/read/).

MNHN journals are archived via LOCKSS (https://www.lockss.org/), Portico (https://www.portico.org/) and/or Zenodo (https://zenodo.org/). Details of archiving are given on the page for each journal.

Publication costs

No publication fees (APC) are charged to authors who publish in the Museum's scientific journals.

Articles are also available free of charge to readers from the day of publication (open access diamond, without embargo), on the website of each journal.


The scientific journals of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle are financed by the institution from public funds. The Muséum also benefits from additional and/or complementary income, as listed below:

  • articles published on the Bioone platform (https://bioone.org) generate royalties which are paid to the Muséum each year;
  • individual agreements have been signed (the payments from which finance the posts of technical editors of the corresponding journals):
    • with the Académie des Sciences for the journal Comptes Rendus Palevol (1 FTE*);
    • with Inist, for the journal Anthropozoologica (provision of 1/2 FTE*);
    • with the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) for the journal Naturae (provision of 1/2 FTE*).
  • a print-on-demand (POD) service is available to authors wishing to acquire a paper version of their publication, via the https://sciencepress.mnhn.fr website; the thematic leaflets are also available as POD;
  • no advertising is included in the Museum's scientific journals or publications in general.

Functioning and peer review process

The scientific editors of the Scientific Publications journals are scientists from the Museum or from partner institutions in France or abroad. The editor-in-chief is responsible for ensuring that the editorial line of the journal or collection is respected and that the principles and operating rules described below are adhered to, as well as for the scientific quality of the journal or collection for which he or she is responsible. It regularly renews its committee of reviewers to ensure scientific independence. The list of committee members can be consulted on the main page of each journal.

Manuscripts that do not conform to the editorial line of the journal or series may be rejected by the editorial board without an assessment report.

Manuscripts that conform to the editorial line are evaluated by at least two anonymous reviewers, unless the latter do not want to remain anonymous.

In the event of conflicting assessments, additional opinions may be requested.

Based on the assessors' reports, the editor-in-chief takes one of four decisions:

  1. acceptance of the text as submitted;
  2. acceptance subject to minor or major modifications;
  3. rejection with the possibility of resubmission;
  4. refusal without the possibility of resubmission.

On the basis of a revised version sent by the author, the editor-in-chief will take a final decision, either positive or negative, depending on whether the author has taken into account the suggestions and comments made by the reviewers. The new version may be sent to the reviewers if one of them has requested it or if the editor-in-chief considers it necessary. The new version may also be sent to a new reviewer.

Ethical principles

Scientific editors and reviewers

Scientific editors and/or reviewers must recuse themselves in the case of a conflict of interest with one of the authors or with the content of the manuscript to be reviewed.

Similarly, any reviewer who knows that he or she is not qualified to review a manuscript, or who knows that he or she will not be able to do so within a reasonable period of time, must inform the editors and recuse him or herself.

In its decisions, the editorial team takes account of legal requirements relating to defamation, copyright infringement or plagiarism. Articles are assessed solely on their intellectual or scientific content, without distinction as to the origin, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, nationality, academic affiliation or political philosophy of their authors.

A scientific editor or reviewer may not use in his or her research the data presented in articles submitted before their possible publication without the explicit written consent of the author.


Authors undertake to respect the rules of scientific debate in the manuscripts they submit and not to make defamatory statements that could be construed as an attack on the reputation of a third party.

They must declare any potential professional or financial conflicts of interest. All sources of non-public funding for the research presented in the submitted text must be explicitly mentioned.

Impartiality and confidentiality

Manuscripts received are treated as confidential documents. No information about a manuscript submitted to the editorial office is disclosed to anyone other than the author(s), potential reviewers and the editorial office.

Originality of text and plagiarism

Authors must guarantee the originality of their article and must not publish any text which, in any form whatsoever, would be tantamount to counterfeiting as defined by the French Intellectual Property Code.

Authors also undertake not to submit a manuscript that has already been published or that is based exclusively on work already published elsewhere. Similarly, authors undertake not to submit their manuscript to several journals simultaneously.

An evaluation of the similarity rate with existing publications is also carried out for each new submission of articles to a scientific journal of the Muséum.

Respect for the editorial line

Scientific Journals publish original scientific results in the fields of expertise of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. Articles must comply with the editorial policy of each journal or collection of works, which is part of the general editorial policy of the Muséum's scientific publications.

Acknowledgement and role of authors

The author corresponding with the editor must ensure that only appropriate co-authors are included in the list of authors. He/she must also ensure that all co-authors agree to submit and publish the article after they have seen and approved the final version of their text.

The corresponding author thus undertakes to have received the agreement of all the co-authors of the manuscript as to its content and their participation as authors. The list of authors must illustrate precisely who contributed to the study and how. All authors who made a significant contribution to the design, execution or interpretation of the study presented in the manuscript should be listed according to their degree of involvement. An author must generally meet all of the following conditions:

  1. has made a significant contribution to the design and implementation of the study, or to the acquisition of data, or to their analysis and interpretation;
  2. has provided a significant participation in the drafting of the manuscript or in the critical revision of its intellectual content;
  3. has given his/her final approval of the version to be published. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the study to be able to assume public responsibility for the content and its compliance with the rules of scientific integrity.

Contributions from anyone who does not meet these criteria should be listed, with the contributor's permission, in the Acknowledgements section (for example, to acknowledge contributions from individuals who provided technical assistance, data collection, writing assistance, acquisition of funding, or other general support). Before submitting the article, all authors must agree on the order in which their names will appear in the manuscript. Any change in the list or order of authors between submission and the revised or final version of a manuscript will require a form signed by all authors confirming their agreement.

Authors' contributions

Submissions must be accompanied at the end of the manuscript by a short paragraph mentioning the contributions of each of the authors listed. For example: L.B. and T.R. conceived the ideas; T.R. and B.G.C. collected the data; L.B. and A.G. analysed the data; T.R. and A.G. directed the writing. If this paragraph is not indicated, the authors are deemed to have participated equally in the article and the research results it contains.


The calls for tender and types of funding must be acknowledged at the end of the article, as well as the analytical platforms, dedicated services (marine stations, databases), including collections and associated resources, and anyone who has helped to facilitate the research.

Sampling and field studies

The corresponding author undertakes to ensure that all necessary permits for sampling, field studies and export of material have been obtained from the competent authorities and are mentioned in the acknowledgements, in accordance with the CBD and Nagoya protocols.

Format of institutional addresses in France

The Museum recommends that the signature of the researcher contributing to the article should be in "single-line" mode for each research unit to which the researcher belongs. This must include:

  1. the name of the unit in full (followed in brackets by the acronym without the unit number, which is difficult to read internationally) ;
  2. the name of the unit's main supervisory body (for units under the Muséum's main supervisory body, indicate in full : Muséum national d'histoire naturelle), followed by the names of the other supervising institutions and organisations (in abbreviated form if necessary: e.g., CNRS ;
  3. the unit's postal address, giving the town, postcode and country.


Any author who discovers, after publication, a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her own work is required to inform the editorial team without delay and to cooperate with the latter in publishing an erratum or even withdrawing the article.

In the event of a complaint being made by a reader of a published article, the journal undertakes to offer a right of reply, which will also be peer-reviewed. The authors of the original article will also have a right of reply.

Raw data access

At the editor's request, authors may be asked to provide raw data relating to their research. Authors undertake, as far as possible, to provide public access to these data and therefore to keep them for a reasonable period after publication or to deposit them in freely accessible databases.

Copyright and licences (intellectual property)

The journals Comptes Rendus Palevol, European Journal of Taxonomy and Naturae publish their articles under a CC-BY licence. Authors who submit to these journals are informed of this when they submit their article.

For the seven other journals, authors sign a non-exclusive publication licence for all the content submitted (text, images and other data accompanying the article), and retain copyright and exploitation rights for their original work. Articles are not published under an open licence, but are available in open access, free of charge and without registration, on the journal's website, from the day of publication (no embargo). The articles are also enriched and distributed in PDF and HTML formats by subscription through the Bioone organisation (https://bioone.org).

Journals homepage