The Freshwater Fishes of Mexico

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Our citation standards

By Juan Miguel Artigas Azas
Last updated on 30-Aug-2016
Juan Miguel Artigas Azas,

Goals of our library

To have a reliable and extensive bibliography concerning cichlids that serves as a research tool for our members and provide support for our curators. As of today (Aug 2016) our library counts with over 1,200 references and over 7,500 cross-links.


The main concern we have in handling the library is to avoid the duplication of references, so for each new reference to be included a search has to be made for its previous existence in the database. Tools to help with this are the publication report, which shows all references for a given publication (of those publications we have registered), the author report, which shows all references from a given author (again of those authors registered), and of course mainly the library search form.

One of the most important goals of the library is to provide an extensive classified bibliography to each species, so the inclusion in the reference register of the treated species, with the page(s) where this happens (ideally) and the name used in the publication, should be of top priority. When a species is treated with a previously known combination (junior synonym), it is the name of the synonym that has to be selected for the cross-link. All references for a junior synonym list as part of the bibliography of the senior species, and other previously used names are shown between parenthesis.


Add a reference:

To add a new reference to the library, a link in the editors bar (gray bar at the bottom of each screen) visible to all with the correct librarian rights has to be followed (clicked on), this will lead to a form to add the reference.

In the add reference form, all data for a given reference can be included, as follows:

Author: select the senior author of the reference for the list, in the author is not present; please include it in the Author (Not Listed) box with the format lastname, firstname with no abbreviations (if possible). Regularly, new authors are added to the authors list, so please even if the last time you added a reference the author was not found in the list, check again when adding a new reference for that author. If a name is selected from the list, there is no need to fill up her name in the Author (Not Listed) box.

Co-authors: All the coauthors, with the format initial for names (without space) and then last name, coauthor separated with a comma and the last with an ampersand symbol, (e.g. J.M. Artigas Azas, P. Sellers & R. Wessel).

Title: The title of the reference in sentence form, with just the first word (or proper names) in capital letters. In the title field Bulletin Board Code (BBC) can be used to tag for [i]italic text[/i] (e.g. The tiresome life of [i]Theraps irregularis[/i] in the current).

Publication: Select the name of the publication, using the Publication (Not Listed) box in the same way as for an Author.

Page Range: Include volume, number and page range in format #-# (e.f. 12-17), the system will correctly format the pagination.

Digital identification number: This is the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or alternatively the International Standard Book Number (IBN) number for the publication, if available.

Publication date: You can select day, month and year for the publication date, not all fields have to be selected if not available (e.g. you can select mar-2015 or 2015).

Abstract: The abstract of the publication, as in title, BBC can be used to tag for [i]italic text[/i] or [b]bold text[/b].

Keywords: The keywords for a reference should be separated with commas, keywords which are already part of the title or abstract of the publication are not necessary to be included in this box.

Language: The language in which the paper is written, select from the list, if the language is not available, please communicate to FFM administrator for its inclusion in the system.

Category and Category2: These are two different schemes of classification for our references, not all references may be classified in both schemes, but if they are it is strongly encouraged they both are set, as it makes interested users easier to find them.

Comments: Comments are very useful to specify aspects as species possible misidentifications, reprints, and any other matter concerning the reference. Comments are linked to their author and inclusion date and can be edited at any time by their author alone. Any librarian can add a comment to a reference. All comments are listed in the reference page.

Once all information is included, click on the “Include in the database” button at the lower part of the reference form. If data is complete and correct, the system will redirect you to the reference edition form.

If any mandatory information is missing in the reference field, the system will let you know with an error message at the bottom of the form and the reference will not be included in the database. The already supplied information will remain in the fields so those necessary can be completed for submission.

Please be warned that once a reference is included in the database, both the library curator and the author of such reference (if registered as user) will be immediately notified by e-mail of its inclusion, with the included data and a link to the reference page.

Edit a reference:

A reference can be edited once included in the database, in fact, immediately after inclusion of a new reference you will be redirected to the edition form so the species treated in the reference can be cross-linked to it. The reference editing form can be accessed through the “edit reference” option in the editors bar (gray bar at the bottom) in the particular reference page. Upon opening the editing form, the familiar editing fields will appear which allow for their edition. Those fields can only be edited if the reference has not been determined. Determination of a reference is done by the library curator to secure the integrity of all references, once it has been checked by him. Once determined, only he can either undetermined it or edit it.

Nevertheless, even if a reference has been determined, a comment can always be added by any librarian, using the comments text box. If a previous comment by the editing librarian had been included, it will show in such box with the possibility to edit it. We strongly encourage that comments are included when felt necessary.

At the lower part of the edit reference form there is a box that allows selecting from the editor’s computer a PDF file for that reference to be included in the library.

The “Public” check box should only be selected if the reference is public domain. If this latter box is selected, the PDF will show as available for any user, regardless of her rights. Files of up to 30 MB can be currently included, although this limit is increased every time the system allows for it.

A PDF shows as available when a small PDF icon is shown to the left of the reference citation (in any FFM page). Clicking on this icon will open a page that allows for the reference to be e-mailed to the requester.

Cross-link a species to a reference

In the lower part of the reference editing form the utility to add new species is found. From there you can select a species from the list (regardless of its taxonomic status as it has been explained), include the page or list of pages (e.g. 3, 5, 76) where the species is treated (optionally but encouraged to do it as it saves time to curators when researching), include the name combination used in the reference for the species (leave blank if it is the same name as in the list) and click on the add button to cross-link to the reference. The edit button allows for a page to be included or edited when the species was cross-linked to the reference before. The remove button allows for the removal of the cross-link.

Once a species has been cross-linked to a reference, it will show so in a list indicating the number of species cross-linked, each one of them with the page where they are treated, the name used and the current taxonomic status of the species according to our catalog.

Please be warned that once a reference is edited in the database, the library curator will be immediately notified by e-mail of its edition. Once a species has been cross-linked to the reference (or a cross-link removed), the author of such reference (if registered as user) and the curator of the species profile will be immediately notified by e-mail of the action.


I hope you will find rewarding participating as librarian of the Freshwater Fishes of Mexico and will help you create a very solid information base for cichlids. As always, you can let me know any comments or suggestions you may have to improve the library system, as well as malfunctioning of its functions, as it may have due to its constant development.


Artigas Azas, Juan Miguel. (August 30, 2016). "Our citation standards". Freshwater Fishes of Mexico. Retrieved on February 20, 2019, from: