The discipline of taxonomy continues in its important mission to discover and describe the units of evolution, the species on planet Earth. Indeed, the eminent Director of Kew, Joseph Hooker, a close friend and correspondent of Charles Darwin, told him that no one had the right to ‘examine the question of species who has not minutely described many’ (Desmond & Moore 1991: 341). However, it is estimated that there are still up to 70,000 plant species to be described from our planet (Bebber et al. 2010), and this ‘incomplete taxonomic knowledge impedes our attempts to protect biodiversity’ (Wilson 2017). Kew Bulletin is privileged to publish new species of plants and fungi from taxonomists around the world. The description of newly discovered, and already often threatened, species, is one branch of taxonomy and systematics that the general public can identify and engage with. Each year the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew highlights some of the newly described species receiving much positive coverage in the UK (and international) media — including published newspapers, online news sites, and television and radio interviews. Of the 112 species published by Kew staff (including students, associates etc.) in 2019, 50 were published in Kew Bulletin, and several of those were including in the ‘Top Ten’ species highlighted in the UK, including Galanthus bursanus Zubov, Konca & A.P.Davis (Amaryllidaceae, Zubov et al. 2019), Mischogyne iddii Gosline & A.R.Marshall (Annonaceae, Gosline et al. 2019), Barleria deserticola I.Darbysh. & E.Tripp and Barleria namba I.Darbysh. (Acanthaceae, Darbyshire et al. 2019), and Cyrtandra vittata Bramley & H.J.Atkins (Gesneriacae, Atkins et al. 2019).

Kew Bulletin has recently updated its publication and production schedule guidelines, and the journal has now adopted the following timeframe. For shorter, more straightforward papers, e.g., a paper describing three new species and c. 20 manuscript pages long, Kew Bulletin will aim to copy-edit, proof and publish ‘online first’ within eight weeks of acceptance. For longer papers, such as monographs, revisions etc., we will aim to publish as ‘online first’ within six months. After acceptance, papers are sent to the Kew Bulletin Production Team at Kew to guarantee the high editorial standards we strive for, including copy-editing, proof reading, checking illustrations and figures, and ensuring references are correct. After this, manuscripts are sent to the Springer Nature production office for typesetting and proofs will be sent to authors from this office. Once final proofs are received by Springer Nature, a copyright release form is sent to the corresponding author and to ensure prompt online publication this form should be returned as soon as possible; papers are not published until the completed copyright form is received.

This information is included in the acceptance email to authors and is outlined here to give current and potential authors a better understanding of the publication process. Kew Bulletin looks forward to receiving new papers describing plant and fungal diversity, and to remain an important platform for the taxonomic community to publish their findings.

Timothy Utteridge1



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  2. Bebber, D. P., Carine, M. A., Wood, J. R. I., Wortley, A. H., Harris, D. J., Prance, G. T., Davidse, G., Paige, J., Pennington, T. D., Robson, N. K. B. & Scotland, R. W. (2010). Herbaria are a major frontier for species discovery. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107: 22169 – 22171.

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Utteridge, T. Editorial. Kew Bull 75, 2 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-020-9882-6

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