Volumes > 37 (2010-->) Volumes 28-37 (2000-09) Volumes 18-27 (1990-99) Volumes 5-17 (1978-89)
a.k.a. Cormorant

Quick Search by author or article title:

Instructions To Authors

Marine Ornithology is published by the Pacific Seabird Group on behalf of a consortium of seabird groups: African, Australasian, Dutch, Japanese, and Pacific. The journal publishes contributed papers, Forum articles (papers on topics of general interest that express a particular viewpoint and may be solicited), and book, website and software reviews, on all aspects of marine ornithology worldwide. Review papers or Commentaries (i.e., short articles contributing new perspectives on existing publications) on important or emerging topics in marine ornithology are encouraged. Contributions dealing with coastal or inland seabirds such as gulls, terns, cormorants, and pelicans will also be considered.

Since 2000, Marine Ornithology has been published both in hard copy and in electronic form on the Marine Ornithology website (marineornithology.org). There is no charge for viewing or downloading papers posted by Marine Ornithology. They can be freely distributed and archived under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC BY-SA).

Authors do not have to be members of the sponsoring seabird groups. All contributions (except for book reviews) are submitted to at least two referees. If revised manuscripts are not received by the editor within four months of author's receipt of editorial and referees' reports, they will be treated as new submissions.

    Requirement for original publication:

Contributions must contain original work, conducted by the author, which has not been published, or is not under consideration for publication, elsewhere. Previous publication as part of a thesis or dissertation, presentation at a conference (oral presentation or poster), or publication of an abstract is acceptable.


All contributions must be in English, but may use spelling of any English-speaking country, such as British or US spelling; however, the system used should be consistent throughout the paper.


Submissions should be sent as e-mail attachments. The e-mail should include the title of the paper and the names of the authors. The text and tables should preferably be in MSWord with all lines numbered sequentially from start to finish. If another word processor is used, then an ASCII file of the text should also be submitted. Tables must be numbered in the order in which they are to appear, each on a separate page (see Tables, below). Each figure should also be on a separate page (see Figures, below). Please pay careful attention to the structure and format requirements, below. Papers that do not conform to these may be returned to the author.

Submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter that includes a brief statement of the objective of the submitted paper and why it is suitable for Marine Ornithology. The cover letter should confirm that the manuscript is an original submission that has not been previously published and is not being submitted elsewhere at the time of submission, that it is the work of the authors listed, and that all authors agree to the submission. Sources of support and funding for the research should be mentioned, and contributions of each author listed. Cover letters must also include the names and email addresses of three suggested reviewers. At least one reviewer should possess regional knowledge appropriate to the study area.

    Submission length:

Marine Ornithology generally considers submissions up to 30 manuscript pages in length (approximately 7500 words, excluding references). Submissions longer than 30 pages should be accompanied by a justification for the length, and may be returned with a request to shorten. Supplementary information may exceed this length limit and be submitted as separate files to be posted online (see Appendices).

    Ethics statement:

Methods sections for papers reporting on field studies or studies handling live birds or eggs must include an ethics statement confirming institutional approval (with name of institution), permit numbers, and animal care committee certification, as applicable.

    Manuscript structure and format:

Title: all caps, centred

Authors: all caps, centred, each followed by a superscript number indicating affiliation and address.

Author addresses: separate from names, italics, one address per line beginning with the superscript number corresponding to the author, e-mail address for corresponding author only

Abstract: An abstract should be included. The abstract includes the centred heading "ABSTRACT" followed by the citation of the article in reference format, followed by text of abstract (maximum 300 words for submissions of >2000 words), and five to seven key words. Short submissions <2000 words should include an abstract of 100 words or fewer. Abstracts do not include tables, figures, or references. Authors may supply a translation of the abstract into another language, to be published after the English-language version.

Numbers: Write out one to nine and first to ninth; use numerals for 10 and 10th and above; thousands are indicated by a space (SI format) and decimals by a period (e.g., 8803.72). Numerals are used before units (e.g., 345 km). For greater than and less than, the symbols may be used. Use an en-dash to indicate ranges of numbers (34–38). Do not use "from 34–38" to indicate "from 34 to 38"; for dates, use "We conducted this study 23–30 June..."

Units: SI units should generally be used, including standard SI symbols (Taylor, B.N. & Thompson, A. [Eds.] 2008. The International System of Units. National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 330, 2008 Edition. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute of Standards and Technology, US Department of Commerce). If non-SI units were the units measured, write out the non-SI unit (e.g., 15 nautical miles) and provide an SI conversion in parentheses (28 km). Compound units (e.g., km/h) can be indicated with a solidus or the exponent -1. Units do not have to be repeated for ranges of measures (e.g., 34–38 km), except that % should be repeated (e.g., 34%–38%). Temperature should include a space before the degree symbol (34 °C).

Geographic coordinates: Geographic coordinates can be given in any recognized international system. For the degree, minute, second system, indicate locations as follows (note no spaces): 64°34'15"N, 163°34'32"W, using symbols for degree, prime and double prime available in MS Word.

Statistics: Statistics should be reported with an appropriate indicator of variance and significance. Statistical notation (e.g., n, P, t, F) should be italicized.

Latin abbreviations: circa should be given as ca.; e.g. (for example) and i.e. (that is) should be used judiciously as they are often unnecessary; they are followed by a comma in each case. For in-text references to works by more than two authors, et al. is followed by a period and italicized. It is not italicized in the reference list.

Punctuation in lists: In a list of more than two items, use a comma after every item (serial or Oxford comma, i.e., use a comma before "and" or "or" in a list in the body of the text). If one or more items in a list contain a comma, use semi-colons after every item.

Dates: For days of the year, use the format 12 February 2016; for months, May 2012; for year ranges, use an en-dash to indicate a range and write out years in full (e.g., 2012–2015); for a season that spans two calendar years, use a solidus and abbreviate second year (2012/13 austral summer).

Stable isotopes: Notation should follow the Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights (CIAAW) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) guidelines and recommendations. These are summarized for biological sciences in Bond, A.L. & Hobson, K.A. 2012. Reporting stable-isotope ratios in ecology: recommended terminology, guidelines and best practices. Waterbirds 35(2): 324-331. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1675/063.035.0213.

Text citations are in date order and separated by commas (e.g., Gandalf 1601, Baggins & Gamgee 1722, Morgoth et al. 1855). Note that et al. (italicized) is used for more than two authors.

Section headings: left-aligned, caps on first-level heading, initial cap only on second- and third-level headings. Short manuscripts (<2000 words) may have few or no headings if appropriate.

First-level: METHODS

Second-level: Statistical analysis

Third-level: Multivariate methods

Normal primary sections:



Figures include charts and graphs, maps and photographs. They can be submitted embedded at the end of a document, or separately, as .tif, .bmp, .wmf, .eps, .pdf or .jpg files. Once the submission is accepted, high-resolution images will be requested to ensure high-quality reproduction. We welcome colour figures. These will appear in colour at the website, but will be in black-and-white for the printed edition unless the additional charge is paid (see Page charges). Photographs should be of high contrast, and submitted as high-resolution digital files (.jpg, .tif). We encourage the submission of relevant, optional black-and-white photographs that can be used as space-fillers, if the opportunity arises.


Captions for figures must be listed on a separate page, numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the manuscript. Figure captions begin with bold letters denoting the figure number (e.g., Fig. 1.)


Tables typically present summary data or outcomes of analyses. Full data sets, unless they are small, should be presented as online appendices rather than as tables in the manuscript. Tables should be designed so that they will fit on a single page of the journal in the normal portrait orientation. Tables are numbered in sequence of their mention in the text and "TABLE 1" is indicated centered, all caps, on a separate line preceding the title. Titles should be brief and descriptive of the overall content. Variables appearing in the table headings or left-hand column, as well as units and significance levels, should not be part of the table title. All information needed to understand the content of cells should appear in the table headings and left-hand column, including units and variables. Spanner headings are a useful way to indicate information common to more than one column. Rows spanning the columns can be used in the table field to indicate divisions in the table by categories. Data should be arranged so that columns generally present comparable amounts. Footnotes to the table should be indicated by superscripted letters (a, b, c, etc.) on the title or at an appropriate place in the field and defined below the table. Footnotes should be in order of appearance in the table (from left to right, top to bottom.) Footnotes are useful for indicating significance level, exceptions, methodological details, etc.


Additional information, including large tables and data sets, may be published as appendices. Appendices are made available on the website only, with a link from the table of contents. The author's unedited file is converted to PDF for online publication. Appendices should be numbered in order of their mention in the manuscript (e.g., "Appendix 1, available on the website"). The appendix number (e.g., "Appendix 1") should be indicated at the beginning of each file.


References should be listed at the end of the paper in alphabetical order of the first author's name. Authors should ensure that they are written in the style used in Marine Ornithology. Use in-text references judiciously; only one or two citations are necessary to support well-established concepts such as the use of seabirds as ecological indicators or the effects of introduced predators on seabird populations; more may be required in a Discussion to support an author's particular interpretation of results.

For author lists with more than six authors, indicate the first three, followed by ET AL. (not italicized).


FÉRET, J.-B. & ASNER, G.P. 2014. Microtopographic controls on lowland Amazonian canopy diversity from imaging spectroscopy. Ecological Applications 24: 1297-1310. doi:10.1890/13-1896.1

HAMMOND, R. L., CRAMPTON, L. H. & FOSTER, J. T. 2015. Breeding biology of two endangered forest birds on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The Condor 117: 31-40. doi:10.1650/CONDOR-14-75.1

All journal names are written out in full and italicized. Use a digital object identifier (doi) whenever available. A doi is persistent and does not change if the URL does; the doi is normally available on the first page of a journal article.


CAMPBELL, R.W., DAWE, N.K., McTAGGART-COWAN, I., COOPER, J.M., KAISER, G.W. & McNALL, M.C.E. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia. Vol. 1 - Nonpasserines (Introduction, Loons Through Waterfowl). Victoria, BC: Royal British Columbia Museum.

Chapter or section of book:

CLOBERT, J. & LEBRETON, J.-D. 1991. Estimation of demographic parameters in bird populations. In: PERRINS, C.M., LEBRETON, J.-D. & HIRONS, G.J.M. (Eds.) Bird Population Studies: Relevance to Conservation and Management. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.


(Similar to book, but include report numbers and/or series, and institution as publisher. If there is no named author, the institution is also the author):

KINLAN, B. P., ZIPKIN, E. F., O'CONNELL, A. F. & CALDOW, C. 2012. Statistical analyses to support guidelines for marine avian sampling: final report. OCS Study BOEM 2012-101. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 158. Herndon, VA: US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs.

Electronic resources:

(Such as online books: similar to book, with addition of online information and doi, if available):

STRICKLAND, D. & OUELLET, H. 2011. Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis). In: POOLE, A. (Ed.) The Birds of North America Online. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. [Available online at: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/040. Accessed 28 May 2015]. doi:10.2173/bna.40.


This example has no author and no date of publication of the page (as is often the case with websites), so the page title is used in the in-text citation and to order the reference. An access date is added to indicate when the author last checked the website:

Threats to birds [Online]. Carlton, Victoria, Australia: BirdLife Australia. [Available online at: http://birdlife.org.au/conservation/science/threats-to-birds. Accessed 28 May 2015].


DAVIS, M. B. 1999. Reproductive success, status and viability of American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus). MSc thesis. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University.

    Species Names:

On first mention in the abstract and in the body of the manuscript, species should be given by English-language common name directly followed by scientific name (no parentheses or comma), e.g., Sooty Shearwater Ardenna griseus. Species names should follow the IOC World Bird List (Gill, F. & Donsker, D. [Eds.] 2015. IOC World Bird List (v 5.4). doi: 10.14344/IOC.ML.5.4. http:// www.worldbirdnames.org/); another international source may be used but should be named in the Methods, particularly for species where taxonomy is currently in flux. English names of species should be capitalized (e.g., White-chinned Petrel) but not the name of a group of species (e.g., petrels). Scientific names of genera and species — but not family names — should be italicized. Trinomials should be used only when accurately known and essential to the text. After first mention, only the English common name need be used.

    After Acceptance:

The copy-edited manuscript, followed by page proofs, will be sent to the corresponding author and must be carefully checked and returned within five days of receipt. Because papers are available for download from the website free of charge, reprints are not supplied.

    Page charges:

As of 1 January 2016, a contribution of US$40/printed page for papers and short communications accepted is requested from authors who have institutional funds or grants that cover publication costs. If pages are printed in colour, a non-waivable charge of US$100/page is required (no charge is levied for colour figures published on the website). If the contributor is already paying the $40 page charge, colour will be included for an extra $60/page. Additional charges may be requested if figures have to be redrawn. Please discuss any requests to waive page charges with the Editor- in-Chief before the accepted manuscript is sent to the copy editor.

All material, except book reviews, should be submitted to:

David Ainley
H.T. Harvey Assoc.
983 University Ave., Bldg D
Los Gatos, CA 95032, USA

Reviews, and books, monographs and proceedings for review should be sent to:

Book Review Editor
Pat Baird
Centre for Wildlife Ecology
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6

For general information about the journal, contact:

Managing Editor
Louise Blight
Procellaria Research & Consulting
Victoria, BC, V9A 5C3

© Marine Ornithology 2017