Full title of journal: Taxon: International journal of plant taxonomy, phylogeny and evolution   (ISSN 0040-0262)

Frequency of issue: Quarterly (February, May, August, November)

Editor of “Reviews and notices of publications” column, 1986–date: Rudolf Schmid (addresses below)

Circulation and readership of Taxon: Paid circulation about 2000: 30% U.S., 30% Europe, 40% other areas, 60% individuals, 40% institutions. For various reasons the actual readership of Taxon is appreciably larger, approaching an estimated 30,000 persons. Many individuals regard personal memberships as expensive and thus consult library copies. Nearly 1000 libraries carry Taxon, including all of the major research libraries in the biological sciences. Taxon is the preeminent journal in the field of plant systematics and evolution. Because of its interdisciplinary, holistic nature (see subject areas below), the journal also has a large readership among zoologists, ecologists, and other biologists who are not strictly botanically oriented.

The “Reviews and notices of publications” column: This unique, outspoken, and witty column “has become the ‘first read’ article for many subscribers” (R. A. Howard, An almanac of botanical trivia, 1996) and has proven invaluable to book acquirers and professional librarians. In August 1999 at the XVI International Botanical Congress held in St. Louis, Rudolf Schmid was awarded a Special Engler Medal in Silver for 1999 in recognition of his accomplishments as editor of the column since its February 1986 issue (see Taxon 49:125–127, Feb. 2000)—54 columns for 1986-1999. The Engler Medal is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of plant systematics.

Subject areas:
In general biology, especially the plant sciences: systematics and taxonomy (botany and general biology), evolutionary biology, conservation, biogeography, ecology, history and philosophy of science, biography, bibliography, science dictionaries, indices and other compilatory works;
In botany and other plant sciences: comparative anatomy and morphology (botany), vegetation studies, plant groups (orchids, cacti, conifers, parasites, carnivorous plants, etc.), forestry, horticulture, agriculture, ethnobotany, economic botany, and juvenile literature.

Types of items reviewed or noticed: Books, monographs, textbooks, facsimile reprints, other reissues, journals (premier or special issues), maps, posters, microfiche editions, CD-ROMs, DVDs, juvenilia, computer software. Miscellaneous journal articles, especially if bibliographic, biographical, historical, or floristic, are also often listed.

Format of the column: Text-page size (sans header) is 230x166 mm (9.1x6.5"), starting with the 2002 issues; previously (vols. 1–50, 1951–2001) it was 202x127 mm (8.0x5.0"). The notices are usually annotated, with a largely uncritical enumeration of the contents or highlights of the publication. Many notices are quite lengthy, some up to a half page or more of print. As Ian Jackson remarked in 1997, “The usual full list of contents, chapter headings, etc., in fact, provides the best review of the book....” Here are sample notices:

Armstrong, Patrick. 2000. The English parson-naturalist: A companionship between science and religion. Gracewing, 2 Southern Ave., Leominster HR6 0QF, UK. x, 198 pp., 16 pp. pls., text ill. (1 map), ISBN 0-85244-516-4 (PB), £12.99.—Contents: phenomenon of the Eng. parson-naturalist; his monk antecedents; fls.; birds; other mammals; insects, inverts.; geol.—searching for evidence of the Flood; nat. hist. societies, museums, the conserv. movement; abroad; retrospect, prospect; glossary; index. With chap. biblios. A very fine analysis by the son of parson-naturalist-ornithologist Edward Armstrong (1900–78).

Kirkpatrick, Jamie (James Barrie). 1997. Alpine Tasmania: An illustrated guide to the flora and vegetation. Oxford University Press, Melbourne. xii, 196 pp., [16] pp. pls. (col.), text ill. (B&W), ISBN 0-19-553753-X (PB), US$35.00.—Contents: alpine environ.; hist.; flora; pl. comms.; conserv.; glossary; biblio.; index. A fine, well-ill. guide to the Tasmanian alpine environ.

Statistics for various issues of Taxon:
        February 1994: 23 items reviewed, 92 noticed in 24 pages
        February 1995: 36 items reviewed, 126 noticed in 46 pages
        February 1996: 19 items reviewed, 125 noticed in 40 pages
        February 1997: 77 items reviewed, 79 noticed in 68 pages
        February 1998: 70 items reviewed, 329 noticed in 102 pages

Address for review copies and new book information (To avoid delay, do not send items to our European offices):
        Dr. Rudolf Schmid, Reviews and Notices Editor, Taxon
        Department of Integrative Biology           Or for faster, more secure arrival:
        University of California                             16 Edwin Dr.
        Berkeley, CA 94720-3140, USA             Kensington, CA 94707-1022, USA

         email:  ; website:
         phone: (510) 525-0439 (person, answering machine); fax: (510) 643-6264

Deadlines for receipt of items:
    1 January for inclusion in the following February issue of Taxon
    1 April for inclusion in the following May issue of Taxon
    1 July for inclusion in the following August issue of Taxon
    1 October for inclusion in the following November issue of Taxon.

NEW! NEW! Advertisements in Taxon: Rates per page are US$500 for B&W, US$1000 for color. Inserts are also possible. Contact: Managing Secretary, TAXON, Department of Higher Plant Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, A-1030 Vienna, Austria (

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Last revised: January 2004