ISSN 1911-2173


Instructions to Authors

(revised August 2, 2016)

The CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ARTHROPOD IDENTIFICATION is a web-based journal devoted to the publication of works that contribute significantly to the recognition and documentation of Canada’s arthropod fauna. We encourage the submission of digital keys and associated products that facilitate the identification of arthropod groups that include Canadian species. The CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ARTHROPOD IDENTIFICATION is fully reviewed to ensure uniformly high standards. Manuscripts will be evaluated by a minimum of two reviewers who will assess the significance and quality of the work, its suitability for publication, and who will recommend revisions to the manuscript. Reviewers will be selected by the appropriate member of the editorial board. The journal is a publication of the Entomological Society of Canada, and the Biological Survey of Canada. Each published page will carry a distinctive standard identifier for the e-journal, including title. The running head will include the journal name, publication number, original publication date, and dates of revisions. Significant revisions will require editorial approval and re-posting with a modified running head (see comments below under “Updates and Errata”).


Contributions must review the taxonomy and identification of one or more groups of arthropods, and will normally provide new information on the occurrence and distribution of focal taxa for the region covered. Each contribution is expected to include novel and fully illustrated identification guides to at least one taxon for a significant habitat, ecozone or geopolitical region. Contributions must at least touch upon the Canadian fauna, but need not be restricted to Canada, and we welcome more inclusive submissions covering areas including all or part of Canada (such as the Great Lakes region, eastern North America, the entire continent, or the World) or habitats of significance to Canada (such as North American spruce forests or the Great Lakes). Contributions may be at any taxonomic level.

Criteria for publication

Contributions to the journal must include useful tools for arthropod identification, must be original, and must not have been offered for prior or simultaneous publication elsewhere. Updates, regionalizations and newly illustrated guides based on older printed works are welcome, especially if they include significant new distributional or taxonomic data. Most papers will include dichotomous keys, but alternative key formats are encouraged to supplement or replace traditional dichotomous keys. We strongly encourage authors to include links to regional databases, maps, and related products, and we insist that all submissions include high-quality illustrations and/or photographs (see “other instructions to authors” below for some technical recommendations regarding format, image size, etc.). Authors are urged to deposit voucher specimens in recognized institutions, and to specify the location of such vouchers. All genus- and species-level taxa should include scientific authorities when first used in the abstract and in the body of the paper (but not in the title). When using common names for insects, the official Entomological Society of Canada list ( should be followed if a common name for the species is listed there. All submissions must include a checklist of taxa included in the manuscript.

New taxa

We encourage the inclusion of new distributional data, new taxonomic characters, new insights into morphology, new biological information and other data relevant to understanding regional arthropod diversity. New combinations, synonyms, and homonyms are welcome if properly substantiated. Descriptions of new taxa are welcome; CJAI is fully compliant with the ICZN Code requirements for digital publication of new names. Manuscripts, new names, and new combinations are registered by the editorial staff prior to publication with ZooBank and provided with ZooBank Life Science Identifiers (LSID), and PDFs of all volumes are archived in Biotaxa to ensure works are accessible.


Copyright for all illustrations and photographs will normally remain with the author. If someone other than the author holds copyright to the illustrations or photographs it is the author’s responsibility to ensure that they are used with appropriate permission and appropriately credited.

File formats and technical guidelines

We wish to avoid extensive technical editing and substantial modifications to files, so contributions must be web-ready as submitted for publication unless special arrangements are made with the technical editor. Editorial policies other than those outlined here, including recommendations for citing references, follow those posted for The Canadian Entomologist (

Photographs should be high quality JPEGs of between one and three MB per image; line drawings should be converted to JPEG or GIF formats. All captions and labels must be embedded in the figures or plates. A cover image should be included with each submission, for use as an icon for the main page and an illustration for the abstract page.

Submitting Manuscripts

Contributions must be submitted electronically, via email, ftp, website posting, or cloud storage services such as Dropbox. Submissions should be sent to the editor-in-chief, and include a short letter explaining how the manuscript contributes to the field.

Allowable formats for submission to the CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ARTHROPOD IDENTIFICATION:

CJAI papers are normally published in at least two versions (web-based and printable), but reviews are on the basis of a single submitted version. Authors are strongly advised to submit review versions in Adobe pdf format (as a single document including all sections of the manuscript, including keys created using Microsoft PowerPoint), and to submit post-review versions as Microsoft PowerPoint files. Although we will continue to accept papers including dichotomous or matrix keys developed using appropriate software, we now strongly advise authors to package keys included in final submissions as Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint keys are relatively simple to make, edit, review and use. Furthermore, they are straightforward to convert to html and pdf versions for final publication. This allows publication in CJAI without mandatory page charges. Authors wishing to publish in alternative formats are encouraged to discuss procedures with the technical editor prior to submission.

Please see recent issues for examples of html keys submitted as PowerPoint files. A template for development of PowerPoint keys is provided here; simply copy and past as many template slides as you need, paste in your text and images, and hyperlink couplets, images and taxon pages appropriately. Hyperlinking is very easy in PowerPoint: simply right click and follow instructions.
Keys submitted in PowerPoint format will have title and abstract pages linked to the key and running heads will be added later. There is no need for this information to be included within keys, as it will be added during the conversion process.

Authors will be provided with both web-based and PDF galley proofs of their papers prior to final publication. Authors will be given a deadline (typically 2 weeks, but which may be longer depending on manuscript length) to check for and make minor corrections to the versions. If major changes or corrections are made to either the web-based or PDF version of the manuscript at this stage, the editorial staff reserves the right to invoice authors for additional technical editing (see Page Charges/Subscription Costs).

Developing Dichotomous Keys in PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint allows for simple creation of dichotomous or multi-access identification keys using many of the same tools for creating presentations. The following are guidelines for creating dichotomous keys and taxon pages for publication in CJAI using PowerPoint:

1. Use the Microsoft PowerPoint .potx Template that can be downloaded HERE. To use the Template:

a) Open PowerPoint.

b) Open the Template File. When you open the CJAI_Template.potx file, you will find yourself looking at the Slide Master, not the normal PowerPoint slide deck. Be sure to CLOSE MASTER (there should be a banner highlighting this button, but you can also go through the Menu: View -> Normal) before editing or adding content.

c) In Normal View, add slides in the usual way, and then apply the template to them as necessary using the “Layout” toolbar button (top left of the Home toolbar in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac and PowerPoint 2013 for Windows), and select either the Key Layout, or one of the Species Page Layouts. Key couplets will be automatically numbered as you add or move couplets.

d) Add text in the boxes provided, and import and place photos as necessary. Figure numbers and captions are not required, although if your key couplet has many similar images, they may be helpful for the user.

e) DO NOT add or include “Back” buttons or arrows in the keys or taxon pages.

f) DO have all key couplets and taxon pages built in the same PowerPoint file.

g) DO hyperlink couplets and species pages within PowerPoint. (In the menu, Insert -> Hyperlink, or use CTRL+K on Windows or command+K on Mac. Choose “Document” and hit Locate to link to the correct slide in the document.)

2. When submitting your manuscript, please submit one PowerPoint file (that includes all keys and taxon pages, fully hyperlinked) and one Word file (that includes sections other than keys and taxon pages: title, author affiliations, abstract, introduction, materials & methods, discussion, checklist, acknowledgments, references, etc). Do not embed figures, photos or illustrations in the Word document, instead sending each as separate, independent files clearly labeled with figure numbers or names that indicate where in the manuscript they should appear. Include all tables, table captions, and figure captions in the Word document.

3. We strongly encourage the format outlined above, as it makes it simple to lay out a key while preserving a uniform look and feel for the journal. We will, however, accept reviews and keys using other models. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript using a different format or different software, please contact the Editor (Stephen Marshall – or Technical Editor (Morgan Jackson – to discuss the options.

Editorial committee and review process

The Editorial committee includes an editor-in-chief and an editorial board made up of regional editors (with differing taxonomic expertise). The editor or associate editor (member of the editorial board) will seek reviewers.

Updates and errata

One of the advantages of web publication is the capacity for future updates, additions and corrections, but it is important to maintain the integrity of a dated “as published” version of each paper. Updates additions and corrections will therefore be dealt with in the following ways:


1) Minor updates, notes and corrections can be submitted to the editor for linkage to the original paper using an “updates” link (see, for example CJAI05, the Identification Atlas of the Vespidae).

2) Significant small additions can be added to the original text in highlighted blocks to distinguish it from original text. This approach might be justified for changed species names or similarly small but important changes. All changes must be identifiable using the “updates” link.

3) Significant additions can be submitted, either by the original authors or other contributors, and published as associated “notes” or as separate refereed papers.

4) Significant revisions will require re-publication of a revised version as a new paper under a slightly altered title (i.e., Revised key to the …). To comply with ICZN rules, any updates and errata submitted will only appear within the web version; the PDF version will remain as originally published.

Page charges/subscription costs

The CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ARTHROPOD IDENTIFICATION is open access, with no subscription charges and no mandatory page charges for web-ready submissions. Support for the journal is being provided in part by the Biological Survey of Canada. Therefore, contributors and supporters are encouraged (but certainly not required) to make donations to the BSC (tax receipts will be issued to individuals; invoices or tax receipts can be sent out on request. For further details about the BSC please see ( We reserve the right to bill for significant technical editing costs incurred due to failure to follow the guidelines in the Instructions to Authors, or for significant post-proof editing.

Editor in chief: S.A. Marshall School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1

Technical editor: Morgan Jackson, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1

Editorial board, CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ARTHROPOD IDENTIFICATION: S.A. Marshall, Guelph (editor);

R.S. Anderson, Gatineau (Coleoptera); V.M. Behan-Pelletier, Ottawa (Soil arthropods); C.M. Buddle, Montreal (Other terrestrial arthropods); J.M. Cumming, Ottawa (Diptera – Lower Brachycera); D.C. Currie, Toronto (Diptera – Nematocera); C. Favret, Montreal (Hemiptera); T.D. Galloway, Winnipeg (Parasitic Insects); D.J. Giberson, Charlottetown (Aquatic Arthropods); J.H. Huber, Ottawa (Hymenoptera); J.F. Landry, Ottawa (Lepidoptera); O. Lonsdale, Ottawa (Diptera – Higher Diptera); G.G.E. Scudder, Vancouver (Hemipteroids); F.A.H. Sperling, Edmonton (Lepidoptera)