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The Moss Flora of China

Welcome | About the Project | About the Checklist
Checklist of Chinese Mosses | References | Guide for Contributors

Moss Flora of China (English Version) Project Guide for Contributors

I. General Description of the Project

  1. Introduction
    The Moss Flora of China (English version) is an international, collaborative project organized by the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The purpose of this project is to prepare, edit, and publish a series of organized volumes concerning all mosses known from China, including Taiwan and Xizang (Tibet). At the same time, the project is developing a computerized database for all the mosses treated in the Flora.

    This project is an offshoot, but not a directly translation of the on-going project, Bryophyte Flora of China (Chinese version). It is a separate program with different emphases on format and treatments of the taxa. The English version Flora is prepared under the supervision of an International Editorial Committee. All guidelines and policy decisions concerning this project are made by this committee.

    An English version of the moss flora of China will provide the first modern floristic treatment of its kind that can be accessed by non-Chinese reading researchers. It will provide an up-to-date summary of the distribution of about 25% of the world's moss flora. Through completion of this project, we can look forward to an increased knowledge of the rich and diverse Chinese moss flora.

  2. Project Description
    The moss flora of China, with over 2,500 species, is the richest and the most diverse in the Northern Temperate zone. Despite its size and diversity, there is little information about this flora available outside China. The Moss Flora of China (English version) will serve as a means of providing the basic information about the taxonomic account and distribution of all accepted Chinese mosses to the general scientific community.

    The entire Flora will be published in eight printed volumes as well as in a Hypertext version on CD-ROM and on a variety of on-line computerized information services (World Wide Web and Gopher) within next 5-10 years. The Flora will include identification keys, familial, generic, and species descriptions, Chinese and Asiatic synonymy, illustrations, distribution maps, summaries of habitats, altitudinal ranges, provincial distribution and geographic ranges in countries bordering China, and remarks regarding the circumscription of problematic taxa.

    The taxonomic treatments in this flora will be written by Chinese and non-Chinese bryologists who specialize in various moss families. The authors will base on extensive collections of Chinese mosses deposited in Chinese and western herbaria. This project will provide an opportunity for organizing and making accessible all the information on Chinese mosses, including the vast number of unmounted and unprocessed moss collections in Chinese herbaria.

    The information on Chinese mosses will be continuously added to the Moss Flora of China database after this project itself has been completed. The database will be maintained at the Missouri Botanical Garden as a permanent resource and made available as hardcopy, CD-ROM or through other media, including Gopher and World Wide Web (WWW) servers at MO.

  3. Organization
    The name of the supervising committee is: The International Cooperative Editorial Committee on the Bryoflora of China, which is the governing body of this project. The committee consists of five Chinese members from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Universities (Peng-cheng Wu, Beijing; Chien Gao, Shenyang; Xin-jiang Li, Kunming; Ren-lian Hu, Shanghai; and Zhi-hua Li, Guangzhou); and five non-Chinese members from the U.S., Canada, Finland, and Japan (Marshall R. Crosby, the Missouri Botanical Garden, USA; Benito C. Tan, the Farlow herbarium of Harvard University, USA; Dale H. Vitt, the University of Alberta, Canada; Timo Koponen, University of Helsinki, Finland; and, Zen Iwatsuki, the Hattori Botanical Laboratory, Japan). The editorial committee will consult on matters of coordination and meet as required for the duration of the project.

    The duties and responsibilities of the editorial committee are:
    1. to oversee decisions regarding scientific content and presentation of the data;
    2. to facilitate author's collaboration in the project and to participate in writing taxonomic treatments of various families;
    3. to solicit and edit manuscripts; and
    4. to apply for grants and seek funds in helping implementation of the project.

    The editorial and coordination center of the project is located at the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis to which all correspondence should be addressed. Si He (MO) is the project coordinator responsible for routine activities incurred at the center. The main functions of the editorial and coordination center are to solicit and organize specialist contributors for preparing taxonomic treatments, to organize and manage databases, to verify and edit manuscripts, to make their contents available electronically in a Hypertext version on CD-ROM and on the Internet, and, finally, to publish the printed volumes of the Flora.

  4. Individual participation
    On of the goals of this project is to synthesize existing knowledge of the current classification of each moss family. The project, therefore, must involve the worldwide bryological community, especially the U.S. institutions, in order to draw upon their expertise. Only in this way can the taxonomic accounts on the mosses of China be developed to the fullest extent and to the highest international standards. This project is designed to encourage participation by as many bryologists as possible in writing and reviewing taxonomic treatments.

    Authors, co-authors, and reviewers participating in this project include nearly all Chinese bryologists and bryologists from North America, Europe, Russia, and Japan. Participants have been working on this project in their home institutions on a volunteer basis. Nevertheless, funds will be sought by western co-authors to support Chinese counterparts coming to western herbaria to prepare large manuscripts. Although visiting major western herbaria is a more efficient method of studying large and difficult groups, the preliminary revision and initial preparation of English manuscripts of all taxa will have to be undertaken inside the Chinese author's institutions.

    In order to protect the project from over-committed authors and maximize the number of bryologists participating in this project, prospective authors are encouraged to treat groups of genera or even species individually, rather than whole families. Bryologists particularly knowledgeable about East Asiatic bryology or about special groups that fall within their taxonomic expertise will be invited to review treatments. Invitations to authors and reviewers are issued by the project coordinator upon recommendation of the editorial committee. Authors, reviewers, and all other participants who contribute their efforts to this project are acknowledged fully and appropriately in the printed books and in all versions of the Flora as well as in the computer database.

  5. Review process
    Manuscripts, computer diskettes, distribution maps, and illustrations should be sent directly to the editorial center at MO for processing. Upon receiving the manuscripts, the project coordinator will verify their format, overall accuracy of the information, nomenclature, distribution maps, illustrations, citation of Chinese literature, and consistency in the spelling of the names of Chinese people and localities. Those manuscripts in need of special attention will be returned to the authors for additions or changes. If a manuscript is satisfactory, the project coordinator will immediately forward the manuscript to two editorial committee members, plus one outside authority, for review. This process will take no more than three months in order to meet the project's publication deadlines.

    The editorial committee members and corresponding experts will review the manuscripts, make appropriate corrections and suggestions, and send them back to the editorial center. Upon receiving the reviewed manuscripts from the editorial committee members and reviewers, the project coordinator will check their comments, make necessary decisions, and verify any radical changes in consultation with the author(s). If a manuscript is adequate for final processing, the project coordinator will prepare its final proof copy. Authors will receive the final copy of the manuscripts as proofs for correction. The corrected proofs will then be processed at the editorial center for making camera-ready copies that will be sent to the publisher.

  6. Publication
    The Missouri Botanical Garden and the Science Press in Beijing have agreed to publish the floristic treatments of the Flora in eight volumes in a timely fashion. The entire Flora will also be made available in a Hypertext version on CD ROM and on the Internet accessible through the WWW server at MO.


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