Author Guidelines

Below is a summary of the Author Guidelines, while the full version is available as a PDF from the NAMMCO Scientific Publications website.

Manuscript Submission

Authors need to submit one electronic copy of the manuscript in Microsoft Word (.doc or docx) format through the NAMMCO Scientific Publications website. This requires that the author submitting the manuscript first register as a user. After establishing a user account, instructions for submission will be provided through the online portal. The required information on all authors should also be filled out in the online form when submitting.

Authors are requested to write and submit their manuscripts in the NAMMCO Scientific Publications Template for Authors. This template has all the necessary formatting and styles already defined. Further information on this is available in the template itself. Although initial submissions may be sent in any format, all accepted papers will be required to be submitted in the template format so authors are encouraged to use the provided template from the beginning of the submission process. 

Note that the template is in the Word Template format (.dotx), however, manuscripts should be saved and submitted in the normal Word format (.docx).

If you are unfamiliar with Word styles, please see this guide to applying styles in Word. Note that the author template styles cannot be modified.


Nouns and collective terms should be written in small letters (seals, beaked whales, monodontids).

Hyphens can be used for terms (e.g. strap‑toothed whale, short‑snouted spinner dolphin), but should not be used for words at the end of lines.

Descriptive terms and jargon that may be familiar only to specialists in the field should be avoided.

Italics should be used to highlight words in foreign languages, including scientific names and symbols for all variables and constants, except Greek letters.

Scientific names of all organisms should be given (in brackets and italics) the first time that they are mentioned. After this the common English names should be used.

Footnotes are not accepted.

Numbers, measurements and statistical terms

Measurements and their designated abbreviations should be given according to the International System of Units (SI), but if the original measurements are made in non‑SI units, the actual values and the units should be given with SI equivalents inserted in parentheses.

Abbreviations of statistical terms should conform to the sixth edition of the CBE Style Manual (which may be purchased from the Council of Biology Editors, 111 e. Wacker Drive, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60601‑4298 USA).

Numbers should be written as in the following examples: 1; 1.21; 1,000; 1,000,000.

In scientific text, Arabic numerals should be used in preference to words when the number designates anything that can be counted or measured (e.g. 3 hypotheses, 7 samples). Ordinal numbers are treated in the same manner as cardinal numbers (e.g. 5th, 3rd). Numerals are also used to designate mathematical relationships such as ratios and multiplication factors (e.g. 5:1, 1000 times (or 1000×), 4-fold).

One of the exceptions to the use of numerals is that numerals are not used to begin a sentence. The second exception is when 2 numeric expressions are adjacent in a sentence. The number easiest to express in words should be spelled out and the other left in numeric form. In general, it is preferable to retain the numeric form for units of measurement.

Decades should be written without apostrophes, e.g. 1970s or 1890s.

Coefficients of Variation (CV) and Confidence Intervals (CI)

For manuscripts containing abundance estimates, the following examples present the correct ways to provide information on CV and CI:

  • The average combined platform probability of sighting a whale was 0.87 (CV=0.03)
  • The total corrected estimate was 9,867 (95% CI: 4,854 – 20,058)
  • The total uncorrected estimate was 31,953 (CV=0.17, 95% CI: 22,536 – 45,306)


Manuscripts with equations should enter the equations using the Insert → Equation function in Microsoft Word .docx documents. If using an older version of Microsoft Word, the Equation editor function should be used. The equations style in the template should also be used for formatting.


For religious neutrality, NAMMCO Scientific Publications uses BCE and CE as alternatives to the Dionysian BC (“before Christ”) and AD (“Anno Domini”) system for distinguishing eras. This means CE (common era) should be used instead of AD, and BCE (before common era) rather than BC.

Figures and Tables

All tables and figures must be submitted as separate files through the website, as well as included in separate sections at the end of the document. They should not be integrated into the main body of the article. If you are having difficulty inserting your table into the template, submitting it as a separate file is sufficient. However, please note this in the Comments for the editor box when submitting.

Tables submitted for publication should be included in a format such as .docx, .rtf, or .tex. Tables should not be formatted using spaces and tabs. Tables should be combined whenever feasible to reduce redundancies and the minimum number of horizontal and vertical dividing necessary for clarity should be used. Decimal points of numbers in columns should be aligned.

Figures need to be high resolution TIFF or EPS files. Information on how to convert other file types to TIFF format.

Multi-panel figures (those with parts A, B, C, and D) and multi-part figures should be submitted as a single file that contains all parts of the figure (i.e. pieces of the figure cannot be separated when copy/pasted, etc.).

To make your figure accessible, please check that the colours and size of the text in your figure are clearly visible to all. You can use an online tool such as Coblis to evaluate the colour of the figure for various forms of colour blindness.

Referencing and legends

All figures and tables must be referred to in the text of the article, as in the following examples: (Figure 1); (Table 2); "Figure 3 illustrates..."; " shown in Table 4". Figures and tables should also be numbered consecutively in 2 different series, one for figures and another for tables.

Figure and table legends should be short, precise, informative and strictly connected to the individual figure/table, to facilitate that it may be read and understood in isolation from its context within the body of the text. The text of the figure and table legends for should be written in the figure and table caption styles specified in the template.

Supplementary Files

Extensive or detailed data sets or statistical information may be included as Supplementary Files. Supplementary Files should be uploaded through the journal website as separate files in any of the following formats: Word (.doc), Excel (.xls), PDF, PPT, JPG, EPS, or TIFF.

Data Policy

NAMMCO Scientific Publications expects that data supporting the results in published articles is made publicly available and accessible through being archived in a public repository. Authors should provide a data availability statement at the end of their article describing the availability or absence of open access to their supporting data. When data have been shared, authors are asked to include in their data availability statement a link to the repository they have used and the relevant reference number or persistent identifier for the shared data. Whenever possible, the scripts and other artefacts used to generate the analyses presented in the paper should also be publicly archived. If sharing data compromises ethical standards or legal requirements, authors are not expected to share it, although this should be justified and explained in the data availability statement.

Citations and References

NAMMCO has adopted the APA style as a standard for the formatting of citations and references. The authors are responsible for the accuracy of all citations both in the text and in the list of References according to this style.

A descriptive overview of the formatting requirements for references and citations is provided in the full guidelines. For more information, authors may also consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).

NAMMCO encourages authors to use one of the available software programs for the management of in text citations and reference lists. This will be the easiest and fastest way to ensure that the formatting of all references is done correctly. This can include common programs supported by educational institutions such as EndNote or Reference Manager, or alternatively programs such as Zotero that are available online and can be downloaded for free.

As a general rule, only published material should be cited and only literature cited in the text should be included in the list of References. However, citation of personal observations by the author of the present paper (personal observation), personal communications from others (personal communication), unpublished data and unpublished written material (e.g. working group papers) are acceptable at the discretion of the editors. Such citations should not, however, be used to support critical components of the article and should not be listed in the References. It is the author's responsibility to obtain permission to cite unpublished material.

Please consult the APA publication manual 6th Edition for any queries not addressed in the full guidelines, or contact the editor.