Voucher Specimens

Voucher specimens are preserved organisms (or parts thereof) that serve as a future reference for a name used in a scientific publication. Voucher specimens ensure the credibility and endurance of research results because they document the identity of studied organisms. Therefore, although not required for publication in the Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology, the preservation of voucher specimens is recognized by the Editorial Board as one of the most important responsibilities when publishing research. Accordingly, the Board has adopted the following policy statement:
'Authors are encouraged to designate, properly prepare, label and deposit high quality voucher specimens and cultures documenting their research in an established permanent collection and to cite the repository in publication.'

Recommended Procedure:

(1) The author should contact the curator of the voucher repository prior to deposition to assure that the collection will accept voucher material and to learn specific procedures required by that repository. (Note that in accepting voucher specimens, the repository assumes responsibility for protecting them from casual use or exchange and for encouraging their review by future taxonomic specialists. For performing this service, most repositories will appreciate the author's assistance in obtaining material and financial support in order to help maintain the scientist's research-vouchering specimens.)

(2) The number of voucher specimens designated should be sufficient, in the author's opinion, to represent the range of variation normally expected in the studied organism, but the number should not be so great that limited space and technical assistance in the repository are strained. In insects, for example, five to ten specimens each of males, females, pupae, larvae, and eggs (when available) of each species usually is adequate. in cytological or electrophoretic studies, photographs or permanent preparations should also be designated as vouchers.

(3) Specimens should be mounted and preserved using the standard, accepted techniques and each voucher specimen or specimen vial should have the following information provided at the time of deposition: (a) full, standard collection data (such as date, locality, and ecological habitat or host from which the specimen was collected, collector's name, and whether or not the specimen is from a laboratory culture), (b) the identification, identifier, and date of identification, and (c) a label (often green) designating the specimen as "VOUCHER" (often including an access number and/or the name of the senior author and an abbreviated publication reference).

(4) Authors should include in the text of their JAUE article, usually in the 'Materials and Methods' section, a statement naming the voucher repository, the number of voucher specimens deposited, any access numbers, and any noteworthy particulars about their preservation or labeling.

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