The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

Biology and Environment: Instructions to Authors

Biology and Environment is a broad spectrum, peer-reviewed journal publishing biological and environmental research on topics of Irish interest for an international readership.

Submission Instructions and Guidelines for Authors

The journal aims to offer a broad coverage of the subject area, including the following:

  • biology and ecology of the Irish flora and fauna
  • microbial ecology
  • animal, plant and environmental physiology
  • global change
  • palaeoecology and palaeoclimatology
  • population biology; conservation of genetic resources
  • pollution and environmental quality; ecotoxicology
  • environmental management
  • hydrology
  • land use, agriculture, soils and environment

Submissions on other relevant topics are also welcome, and papers of a cross-disciplinary nature are particularly encouraged.

It is recommended that authors consult the style guidelines, which are available here.

Papers should be submitted via Manuscript Manager - submit your manuscript here.

Editorial policy is flexible as regards the nature of the papers considered for publication, which fall into the following categories:

  • Full papers (not normally exceeding 10,000 words);
  • Short communications (not normally exceeding 3,000 words);
  • Data papers (2,000–3,000 words). A data paper is a searchable metadata document, describing a particular dataset or a group of datasets, published in the form of a short article. Unlike a conventional research article, the primary purpose of a data paper is to describe data and the circumstances of their collection, rather than to report hypotheses and conclusions;
  • Forum papers (2,000–3,000 words) presenting new ideas, opinions or responses to published material;
  • Review papers (not normally exceeding 10,000 words) on topical subjects of general interest;
  • Special issues (not normally exceeding 70 printed pages) of papers on a particular theme.

Proposals for review papers, forum papers or special issues are to be put to the editors for approval before submission of typescripts. Papers are accepted on the understanding that their contents have not been published, or submitted for publication, elsewhere.

Papers may be submitted by members or non-members of the Academy. 

Please note: Lines must be numbered consecutively. All line numbers should be provided on the left margin of the page, and each and every line should be numbered. Please number all pages continuously and do not restart the line numbering on each page. You may add line numbers in Microsoft Word by clicking on 'File', select 'Page setup', select the 'Layout' tab, click on the 'Line Numbering' button, check the 'Add Line Numbering' box, and select 'Continuous'.

Full research papers should normally be structured as follows:

  1. Title page to include title; name(s) of author(s) and affiliation(s); up to six key words; name, postal address, e-mail address if available, telephone and fax numbers of corresponding author. Hyperlinks to personal or institutional websites can be included.
  2. Abstract (not exceeding 200 words) to provide a concise statement of the scope and principal findings of the work.
  3. Introduction to contain a clear outline of the rationale for the work and to describe the essential background information.
  4. Materials and methods to provide concise and sufficient information to allow the work to be repeated. Taxonomic affiliation and authority should be given at the first mention of a species in the text.
  5. Results to be concise, to avoid repetition of data presented in tables and figures but not to include material appropriate to the discussion.
  6. Discussion to highlight the significance of the results (rather than repeating them) and place them in the context of other work.
  7. Acknowledgements (optional)

On separate sheets

8. References listed in alphabetical order, based on the following examples (but indicating page and date spans with an en-dash, not a hyphen).

  • Bagenal, T.B.  1974  The ageing of fish. Surrey. Unwin Brothers.
  • Foss, P.J., Doyle, G.J. and Nelson, E.C.  1987  The distribution of Erica erigena R. Ross in Ireland. Watsonia 16, 311-27.
  • Moss, R. and Watson, A.  1985  The adaptive value of spacing behaviour in population cycles of red grouse and other animals. In R.M. Sibly and R.H. Smith (eds), Behavioural ecology, 275-94. Oxford. Blackwell Scientific Publications.
  • Sousa, W.P.  1984  The role of disturbance in natural communities. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 15, 353-91.

Multiple publications by an author in the same year should be distinguished alphabetically, e.g. (Bagenal 1974a).

Hyperlinks to papers in the reference list can be included.

9. Tables headed by descriptive legends that make their general meaning understandable without reference to the text.

Figure and plate legends.

10. Illustrations.

Figures and plates should be numbered in separate sequences.

Each illustration should be in a separate file and should be named Fig. 1, Pl. I etc., as appropriate.

Captions should be listed separately in a word document.

Please provide electronic versions of illustrations as .jpg/tiff/eps/ai files

Illustrations should be at the final printing size (i.e. 150mm wide for two-column illustrations and 72mm wide for one-column illustrations).

Please supply images at a minimum resolution as follows:

600dpi for lineart images.

300dpi for grayscale or colour images.

The format of other contributions will vary. Short communications will not normally exceed 3000 words; forum papers should be 2000-3000 words, and review papers should not normally exceed 10,000 words. Authors are recommended to approach the editors before submitting review papers and opinion articles.

Each paper will normally be reviewed by two referees, who will be requested to assess the scientific merit of the work and, if appropriate, suggest ways in which it may be improved. Ethical considerations may be taken into account and the editors' decision on acceptance of papers is final. The review procedure will not normally take more than ten weeks. Authors may suggest names of possible referees when submitting a paper. Please provide full contact details for any referees suggested.

Acceptance of papers in Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy is on the understanding that they have not been published, submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere, and that they will, if accepted, become the copyright of the journal. If, due to funding reasons, a paper or report has appeared in some form previously, a disclosure of this fact should be made with submission.

Proofs will be sent to authors for checking and must be returned to the Academy within seven days of receipt.

Subventions to defray publication costs should be sought by authors in a position to obtain them. The Academy gratefully acknowledges subventions from the following institutions towards the publication costs of papers by members of their staff: Teagasc; Environmental Protection Agency; National University of Ireland, Cork; National University of Ireland, Dublin; National University of Ireland, Galway; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Trinity College, Dublin.

Now incorporating Tearmann: The Irish Journal of Agri-environmental  Research.

Publication ethics

Authors submitting papers to an Academy journal should ensure that

  • they adhere to all research ethics guidelines of their discipline, particularly where human or animal subjects are involved
  • they contact the Editor to identify and correct any material errors upon discovery, whether prior or subsequent to publication of their work
  • authorship of the paper is accurately represented, including ensuring that all individuals credited as authors participated in the actual authorship of the work, and that all who participated are credited and have given consent for publication

  Submissions to the journal are assessed using plagiarism-check software.



ORCID Number

When submitting your paper, please include your ORCID number. If you do not have an ORCID number, or want to find out more about it, click here.

Open access

The Royal Irish Academy is committed to the dissemination of scholarship. To that end, it endorses the principles of open access, and is committed to work with and to assist authors and investigators make known their research findings in RIA publications.

The RIA aspires to pursue Green Access as a basic access model. We also participate in JSTOR’s register and read programme which allows individuals to read up to 78 articles a year without charge.

Authors can archive a post-print version of their paper, once the journal in which it appears is published.  We request that authors give the citation to the source and link to it. We can supply a DOI to make this linking easier.

Gold Access

There is no submission or publication fee for papers published in the Academy’s journals. However, Open Access brings with it a cost implication. To maximise access to original research, authors now have the option to make their papers freely available from the time of online publication, on payment of an open access charge (APC), which varies based on the size, content and complexity of the article. If an author wishes to take up this option, contact the Publications Office once a paper has been accepted for publication. For such papers, the final published version may be deposited in repositories immediately.

Funder mandates

The Royal Irish Academy will help authors  meet your funders’ mandates on access and licensing. Contact the Publications Office to discuss requirements once an article has been accepted.

Data Protection

When submitting to one of our journals you agree for the Royal Irish Academy Publications department to store and use your data. For more information on how your data is used see our Privacy and Data Protection policies, and the Publications Transparency Statement.

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now