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Usually in my articles for the \documentclass[journal]{IEEEtran}, I use the description environment without getting any error, i.e. \begin{description} … \end{description}. However, when I used the \documentclass{bioinfo} for the Oxford Bioinformatics journal template I got an error stating that the description environment is undefined.

Can anybody help me to figure out this issue?

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The list environments (like description) are not defined in the LaTeX kernel but by the document classes. Seems bioinfo does not define it. IMHO it is thus broken, since description is a standard LaTeX environment - you should contact its authors. – Martin Schröder Dec 28 '12 at 7:29
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You could grab the necessary details from article.cls:

enter image description here

\documentclass{bioinfo}% http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/bioinformatics/for_authors/submission_online.html
\newenvironment{description}% Taken from article.cls
               {\list{}{\labelwidth\z@ \itemindent-\leftmargin
                                \normalfont\bfseries #1}
\setlength{\labelsep}{.5em}% Also taken from article.cls
  \item[An item] Here is a description on an item.
  \item[Another item] Here is a description on an item.

You would have to include everything between \makeatletter and \makeatother (inclusive).

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Many thanks! it works. – user2987 Dec 29 '12 at 22:17

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