The Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery (JHMS) is designed to be a source of information for veterinarians and others involved in the health of reptiles and amphibians. JHMS is interested in all aspects of care for these species, including natural history and maintenance in captivity as well as particular medical and surgical problems.

All authors are welcome to submit manuscripts for consideration. Student authors (including undergraduate, veterinary, graduate, residents, interns, etc.) enrolled in a full-time education program will be granted a complimentary 1-year online student membership to the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians once they have completed the submission process. Please contact ARAV at [email protected] for further information.


Manuscripts are expected to be original works that have not been previously published. Publication as an abstract of 300 words or less or as an academic thesis are not considered previous publication. Use of the work of others or direct quotes must be cited appropriately. All manuscripts are submitted with the understanding that all authors have seen and approved the article as submitted. All authors must have contributed meaningfully to the work including the writing of the manuscript and all those who have contributed substantially to the work should be included as authors. Acknowledgments should be limited to persons who have contributed materially to the content. Sources of funding or support must be acknowledged. Any potential conflict of interest or financial disclosures should also be included.

Any manuscript involving animal research must include a statement regarding animal use approval from appropriate entities including approving body (e.g., an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)) and protocol numbers. If a protocol number is not available, an explanation should be forwarded with the manuscript. JHMS reserves the right to decline manuscripts for any animal safety and welfare concerns.

Peer Review

All manuscripts are subject to peer review by at least two qualified reviewers. Peer reviewers are generally anonymous (single-blind peer-review). Authors are expected to respond to reviewers’ comments and make revisions within 30 days. Revised manuscripts may be sent out for review again. Manuscripts that pass peer review are accepted for publication once the author has addressed all questions and concerns raised by reviewers and editorial staff. Accepted manuscripts are posted online on the JHMS website ( shortly after acceptance and printed in the next available issue. JHMS reserves the right to reject any manuscript.

Manuscript Prepation

Article Types

Authors may submit manuscripts for publication in the following sections:

  • 1.

    In My Experience: Brief clinical experiences regarding adverse or unusual drug reactions, empirical drug dosages, therapeutic modalities, diagnostic aids, disease trends, species idiosyncrasies, and herpetological medicine, care, and husbandry in general. Generally, these articles do not have separate introductions and may or may not have a separate discussion section. The body of the text is typically 1500–2000 words (excluding abstract and literature cited).

  • 2.

    Brief Communication: Brief Communications provide substantive information on research observations or clinical cases (case reports). Reports of single cases should include novel information or insights, for example, description of a novel diagnostic or therapeutic approach, a disease process not previously described in a given species, a previously undescribed etiology, or a disease not well described in the literature. Brief Communications are generally less than 3000 words in length (excluding abstract and literature cited).

  • 3.

    Case Series: Reports of clinical cases with a detailed introduction, signalment, history, captive care, laboratory and pathologic data, diagnosis, therapy, and results. Cases should be unusual or novel; however, they do not have to have a successful outcome. They should be informative to veterinary practitioners. The discussion should emphasize the important clinical, pathologic, and therapeutic features, as well as identify what is new and not previously appreciated. A complete and up-to-date review of literature should be included.

  • 4.

    Original Research: These papers can present clinical data and research concerning specific diseases or species including prospective or retrospective hypothesis-based research projects. Articles in this category may also include e.g., establishment of reference intervals, guidelines, image analysis, and other topics of interest to the JHMS readership.

  • 5.

    Review/Roundtable Articles: In-depth articles focusing on a specific disease or topic, review of literature relating to a specific topic, and expert opinions and discussions on specific topics.

Manuscript Formatting

Manuscript files should be submitted in Microsoft Word format with page numbers and line numbers included. English language editing is available through Charlesworth Author Services at a discounted price for JHMS authors through

  • 1)

    One author must be designated as a corresponding author and an email contact will be included in the final published manuscript.

  • 2)

    An abstract is required for all manuscripts. The abstract should be no longer than 300 words and summarize your key points.

  • 3)

    A list of four to six key words should follow the abstract for all article types. Individual key words can consist of more than one word and should include genus and species. Key words can include words in the title.

  • 4)

    Species mentioned should be listed by common name and then italicized taxonomic name when first mentioned in the text, e.g., inland bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Thereafter, the common name of the species should be used. Where applicable, sex, age, whether wild-caught or captive-born, and length of time in which its history can be documented should be included.

  • 5)

    All measurements should be given in the metric system. Biochemical values should be listed in International System (SI) units with conventional units in parentheses, or on the next line (if in a table). Temperatures should be in Celsius, with Fahrenheit in parentheses.

  • 6)

    Abbreviations may be used in the text if the full meaning was previously stated but should not be used to begin a sentence. Standard pharmaceutical abbreviations need not be explained. Numbers less than 10 should be spelled out.

  • 7)

    Drugs and all other products should be listed by generic or chemical name followed by, in parentheses, trade name, concentration, manufacturer, city, state two-letter abbreviation, and country. Dosages of all drugs should be given in mg/kg or ml/kg (if mg unit is inappropriate), not how many milligrams or milliliters were given to an individual animal. Route of administration (abbreviated), frequency of dosage, and duration of treatment should be indicated. For example, 2.5 mg/kg amikacin (Amiglyde V, 250 mg/ml, Fort Dodge Laboratories, Fort Dodge, IA, USA) SC every 72 h for six treatments.

  • 8)

    When preparing the manuscript and literature cited, peer-reviewed journal papers or published book chapters are considered most reliable, whereas non-peer-reviewed, unpublished, or poorly available proceedings papers are considered less valuable and should be avoided.

  • 9)

    Literature should be cited by author and year, in parentheses, and then listed in alphabetical order at the end of the text. For references with three or more authors, citations in the text should include only the first author followed by et al. Literature cited in the text should be listed in chronological order. In the Literature Cited, for papers with more than 10 authors, the first nine authors should be listed, followed by et al. Journal titles should be abbreviated as in the National Library for Medicine, which can be found at: Use the following style: (Schumacher et al., 1994; Wellehan, 2019; Boykin and Mitchell, 2021).

Citation styles for Literature Cited

Chapter or Article in a Book

Sladky KK, Mans C. 2019. Analgesia. In Divers SJ, Stahl SJ (eds): Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. Elsevier, St. Louis, MO, USA:465– 474.

Article in Journal

Schumacher J, Jacobson ER, Homer BL, Gaskin JM. 1994. Inclusion body disease in boid snakes. J Zoo Wild Med, 25(4):511–524.


Stöhr AC, Nevarez JG. 2019. Blood transfusions in reptiles: Why don’t we do more? Proc ExoticsCon, St. Louis, MO, USA:915.

In Press

Meyer C, Russell L, Liu C-C, Lattin CR, Nevarez JG. 2024. Plasma and shed skin corticosterone levels in a population of Louisiana pine snakes (Pituophis ruthveni). J Herpetol Med Surg, in press.


Floyd RB. 1983. Thermal Physiology of Bufo marinus Embryos and Larvae: The Ecological Significance of Laboratory Observations. PhD Diss., School of Aus- tralian Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.


WOAH (World Organization for Animal Health). 2023. Infection with Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. Aquatic Code Online Access. Available from: Accessed 2024 Jan 10.

Please disable any reference managing programs, e.g., Endnote, when submitting your manuscript.

Personal Communications

If personal communications are referenced in a manuscript, the first initial(s), last name, highest academic degree of the source of the information, ‘‘personal communication’’, and the year in which the information was obtained should be listed in the text (D. Varble, DVM, personal communication, 2019). Personal communications should not be listed under Literature Cited.

  • 10)

    Figures and Tables:

Each figure should be submitted as a separate file with a corresponding file name. Tables should be included at the end of the manuscript in the Microsoft word file.

Line art should be 1,200 dpi or 50 pixels/mm; grayscale, color illustrations, or photographs at 300 dpi or 12 pixels/mm; combination art (illustrations or photographs with text) should be 600 dpi or 25 pixels/mm. All images should be cropped as close as possible to the image border (1 or 2 points).

Short figure legends should be provided for each figure that includes the species (common and scientific name), stain, and original magnification or bar scale. Figure legends should be included at the end of the manuscript. Figure legends should be able to stand alone without the need to reference content within the manuscript text.

  • 11)

    Supplemental material may be submitted. These should be listed in a separate section of the manuscript text (before acknowledgements and literature cited).

Publishing charges

There are no charges for standard publishing, including for color images. Charges for open access publishing may apply.

Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically at Before you use the JHMS submission website, you must first register on the site. There is online help to assist you or you can contact the Editor-in-Chief, Rachel E. Marschang, PD Dr. DECZM (Herpetology), DEVM at [email protected].