Focus and Scope

The journal publishes articles in all fields of tropical biology and conservation, and is directed to a scientific and technical public. Selection criteria for manuscripts are the amount of new information, quality, and interest to a general readership. Studies with a strong experimental design, prolonged field work and taxonomic-systematic studies of whole groups are typical of the papers that are accepted. We do not publish: studies that only add details or cases to previously known phenomena, preliminary studies, communications, species lists, notes or other short articles, or highly specialized reports of limited interest. We welcome unsolicited review articles that critically review the achievements, controversial aspects and main goals for future research of some particular field of tropical biology and conservation.

Peer Review Process

Stringent peer reviewing: The acceptance rate, close to 30 %, allows a careful selection of papers by importance and subject. The two organs of evaluation and support, the Editorial Board, and the International Scientific Board (see inside cover) have renowned world class experts. The peer review is simple blind.

Stages in manuscript processing: Manuscripts that follow our scope and format indications are sent to three reviewers, external to the publishing branch, who make recommendations to improve them or qualify them as unacceptable. The second draft is corrected by our staff and returned with instructions to prepare the final version for the printer. The Editorial Board has the final word on acceptance.

Publication Frequency

The average time between reception and final decision is 2.3 months

Open Access Policy

Our journal agrees with the norms of the Open Access Initiative, every published paper can be read or download from this website.

Editorial Boards

Scientific Board EEUU


Harlan Dean

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachussets, USA

Juliette Denslow

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Rodolfo Dirzo

Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA

Ana Dittel

University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA

William Eberhard

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Washington, USA

Paul Ehrlich

Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA

Peter W. Glynn

University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA

Harry W. Greene

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA

Daniel H. Janzen

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Gordon H. Orians

University of Washington, Seatle, Washington, USA

Jay M. Savage

Rana Dorada Enterprises, San Diego, California, USA

David Wake

University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

Edward O. Wilson

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachussets, USA


Scientific Board Europe


Peter Döbbeler

Institut für Systematische Botanik, München, Germany

Klaus Gocke

Institut für Meereskunde, Kiel, Germany

Maarten Kapelle

U. Amsterdarm / The Nature Conservancy, Amsterdam, Holland

Wilson Lourenço

Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France

Lawrence Mound

The Natural History Museum, London, England

Matthias Wolff

Zentrum für marine Tropenökologie, Bremen, Germany


Scientific Board América Latina


Michel E. Hendrickx

UNAM, Sinaloa, México

E. Rappoport

Universidad del Comahue, Bariloche, Argentina

Sergio Salazar-Vallejo

ECOSUR, Chetumal, México


Scientific Board África


Pius Araoye

Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria


Consejo Editorial

Julián Monge-Nájera
Director de la Revista

Juan B. Chavarría, Jorge Cortés, Enrique Freer, Francisco Hernández, Carlos O. Morales, José A. Vargas Zamora, Bernal Morera, Federico Villalobos Brenes
Miembros del Consejo Editorial


Vanessa Nielsen Muñoz

Editora Administrativa


Sergio Aguilar Mora

Editor Gráfico


Alonso Prendas Vega
Editor de Desarrollo


Jorge Polanco Cortés


Melania Vargas Revilla
Asistente Administrativa



The Revista de Biología Tropical / International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation is a mainstream scientific journal covered by the following international indexation systems:

  • Web of Science
  • Science Citation Index
  • Current Contents
  • Google Scholar
  • Scopus
  • Biological Abstracts
  • Abstracts on Hygiene and Communicable Diseases
  • Animal Breeding Abstracts
  • ASFA (Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts)
  • Bio-Control News and Information
  • Cabell’s Directory of Publishing Opportunities
  • Chemical Abstracts
  • Dairy Science Abstracts
  • Ecological Abstracts
  • Entomology Abstracts
  • Field Crop Abstracts
  • Forestry Abstracts
  • GetCited
  • Grasslands and Forage Abstracts
  • Helminthological Abstracts
  • Herbage Abstracts
  • Horticultural Abstracts
  • Index Medicus
  • Index Veterinarius
  • INIS Atomindex (International Nuclear Information System)
  • LILACS (Literatura Latino-Americana e do Caribe em Ciências da Saúde)
  • Medline
  • MEDES – MEDicina en ESpañol (Fundación Lilly)
  • Human and Experimental
  • Nutrition Abstracts and Reviews Series A:
  • Livestock and Feeding
  • Nutrition Abstracts and Reviews Series B:
  • Pascal
  • Periódica (Índice de Revistas Latinoamericanas en Ciencias)
  • Poultry Abstracts
  • Protozoological Abstracts
  • Research Alert
  • Review of Agricultural Entomology
  • Review of Medical and Veterinary Entomology
  • Review of Medical and Veterinary Mycology
  • Review of Plant Pathology
  • SciELO
  • Scirus
  • Seed Abstracts
  • Veterinary Bulletin
  • Water Resources Abstracts
  • Weed Abstract
  • Zoological Record
  • Plataforma Open Access de Revistas Científicas Electrónicas Latinoamericanas (e-revist@s), DOAJ.
  • Member of the Free Journal Network (

Ethical requirements


The journal publishes only original work that makes a clear and strong contribution of new information in its field. When authors submit a manuscript they legally imply that they followed all pertinent legislation and ethical principles (including informed consent and proper treatment of nature according to UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers; Committee on Publication Ethics and Helsinki Ethical Norms,; that all coauthors participated in the main aspects of research and agree to publication; and that the study is original; scientifically valid; has not been published before, and was not sent simultaneously to another journal. Board and staff members can publish in the journal but are excluded from all decisions regarding their manuscripts.

Authors, reviewers, board members and staff must report conflicts of interest as soon as they arise. Any cases of error, citation manipulation, piracy, plagiarism, duplicate submission, republication, fabrication or falsification of data, and financial conflict must be informed to the Editorial Board, which will investigate them even if the report is from anonymous sources. Articles found in fault can be rejected, retracted or be added errata.


Manuscripts are sent to three external anonymous reviewers who act as referees and include an ethics assessment in their opinion (we apply plagiarism software to all manuscripts). Reviewers will know the identity of authors but not vice versa. The evaluation forms are public (here).

The decision of acceptance or rejection rests with the Editor, who is based on the opinions of referees and is backed by the support of an Editorial Board and an International Scientific Board. Authors can appeal Editor’s decisions once to the Editorial Board and that decision is final. Board meeting proceedings are stored in the University Archive as public documents.

The journal publishes about 130 articles per year, not including the occasional supplements. The rejection rate is 28 % ad portas and 38 % after peer review (2018 data).

Considering both boards, 82 % of members are external to the publishing institution and foreign authors and institutions represent 78 % of articles in normal issues and 12 % of supplements (2018 data). All processing is documented in OJS.


Copyright is shared by the authors and the journal; contents can be reproduced if the source and copyright are acknowledged, according to the Open Access license. Self-storage in preprint servers and repositories is allowed for all versions. We encourage authors to publish raw data and data logs in public repositories and to include the links since the first draft so that reviewers and readers can consult them at any time. Blogs with comments and a Forum section that allows reply articles are available to readers in our website.

The journal is financed by public funds via the Universidad de Costa Rica and editorial independence and ethical compliance are guaranteed by SIEDIN norms (; we do not publish paid adds or receive funds from companies. 

Journal History

In September 1952, Dr. Ettore de Girolami proposed to Dr. Alfonso Trejos, Director of the clinical laboratory in the San Juan de Dios Hospital, the creation of a scientific journal sponsored by the University of Costa Rica. Dr. Trejos accepted the idea with enthusiasm and begun planning the journal.

By that time, Dr. Rodrigo Facio, with whom Dr. Trejos and Dr. de Girolami had a good relationship, was elected University President. They knew that Dr. Facio had other priorities in his new administrative position, yet they submitted their idea to him and to the University Council. The establishment of a journal would bring the opportunity to disseminate, in Costa Rica and foreign countries, the scientific goals and products of the institution and would also enrich the university library.

In October of the same year, in an informal meeting, Dr. Facio, recommended them how to proceed with the administrative paperwork, prior to the presentation of the project to the University Council. In December, the formal proposal was ready, and the Council approved it on January 5th, 1953. Few days later, founder members met several times to discuss details, such as journal name, size, issues published every year, type of paper, shape and color of the front cover and how many copies would be printed in each edition. All were difficult decisions that, at the end, were properly solved.

Considering that most articles were expected to be regional, the word “tropical” should be part of the journal's name. The University of Costa Rica had only four faculties at the time: Pharmacy, Odontology, Sciences and Agronomy, in consequence, the appropriate word was “biology”. To choose the first word of the name, a list of known journals was consulted: Acta, Anales, Boletin, Publicaciones, Gaceta, Revista, Prensa, etc.

On February 9th, 1953, founders met with the deans of the four faculties and made a final pronouncement: the name of the journal would be "Revista de Biología Tropical".

Most steps were followed as expected, with the exception of some problems in the university’s printing office, that was not ready to start publishing the new journal. To solve this, the University President and the Treasurer, Mr. Abel Méndez, authorized the Board to hire an external company that could print the Revista. The company FALCO, offered the best options in quality and price, and had a linotypist with experience in scientific terminology.

On July 15, 1953, the first issue of the Revista de Biología Tropical was out of the printer and ready to be distributed.

Since then, the journal has been an important motivation for young scientific minds who work in tropical countries, and find in Revista de Biología Tropical a good medium to express their ideas.

Adapted and summarized from an Spanish account written by Dr. Ettore De Girolami in 1988.
See the full document (only available in Spanish)