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Author Guidelines

The Western North American Naturalist welcomes previously unpublished manuscripts pertaining to the biological natural history of western North America, including western Canada and all of Mexico. Preference will be given to concise manuscripts of up to 12,000 words. Longer manuscripts will be considered for the monograph series. Simple species lists are discouraged.

Submit a Manuscript through the web interface at or send an electronic copy to Mark C. Belk, Editor, Western North American Naturalist, During submission, authors will be expected to provide information describing the extent to which data, text, or illustrations have been used in other papers or books that are published, in press, submitted, or soon to be submitted elsewhere. Authors should adhere to the following formatting guidelines; manuscripts not so prepared may be returned for revision.

Manuscript preparation. In general, the Western North American Naturalist follows recommendations in Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 8th edition (University of Chicago Press; available from: However, we do differ slightly in our treatment of entries in literature cited and other minor stylistic matters. Authors may consult the most recent issue of the Western North American Naturalist for formatting examples.

Type and double space all materials, including literature cited, tables, table headings, and figure legends. Use the word processor's font attributes to indicate italics, superscripts, subscripts, and so forth. Use a standard page size and margin allowance.

Submit electronic files. Please follow the online instructions for file submission. A PDF file will be compiled automatically and made available for your approval before the submission is finalized.

Title page includes an informative title no longer than 15 words; names, affiliations, and email address of all authors; a running head of fewer than 40 letters and spaces; and notes to indicate changes of address and to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract states briefly the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions of the research. Authors are welcome to provide a Spanish translation of the abstract for publication for a reduction of total page charges by $40 for notes and by $65 for articles.

Text has centered main headings printed in all capital letters; 2nd-level headings are centered in upper- and lowercase letters; 3rd-level headings begin paragraphs.

Voucher specimens. 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.

References in the text are cited by author and date: e.g., Martin (1998) or (Martin 1998). Multiple citations should be separated by commas and listed in chronological order. Use "et al." after name of first author for citations having more than 2 authors.

Acknowledgments, under a centered main heading, includes special publication numbers, grant or contract numbers, or protocol numbers when appropriate.

Literature Cited, also under a centered main heading, lists references alphabetically in the following formats (journal article, book, edited work):

Kondole, G.M. 1997. Hungry water: effects of dams and gravel mining on river channels. Environmental Management 21:533–551.

Brady, N.C. 1990. The nature and properties of soils. 10th edition. MacMillan, New York.

Tokeshi, M. 1995. Life cycles and population dynamics. Pages 225–268 in P. Armitage, P.S. Cranston, and L.C.V. Pinder, editors, The Chironomidae: biology and ecology of non-biting midges. Chapman and Hall, London.

Tables are prepared as separate word processing files. Authors should consider that tables will be typeset to fit the width of either a single column (2 5/8 inches; 6.7 cm) or a page (5 inches; 14 cm). Wider tables will be rotated 90° and can have a maximum width of 21 cm. Typically, lowercase letters are used to indicate footnotes.

Figures are prepared as separate files in the following acceptable formats: EPS, TIF, JPEG, or PDF. Lettering on figures should be large enough to withstand reduction to 1- or 2-column width. Resolution should be 300 dpi for photographs and up to 1200 dpi for black-and-white line art. Authors will not be charged extra for including color figures.

Notes. If the manuscript would be more appropriate as a short communication or note, follow the above instructions but do not include section headings.

A charge of $55 per page is assessed for articles published; the rate if any one of the authors is an individual subscriber will be $40 per page. A PDF file of the published article will be provided to the corresponding author for distribution.

Final Check:

  • Inclusion of affiliations and e-mail addresses of all authors on the manuscript's title page
  • A word processor file containing the text, literature cited, and figure captions
  • Tables in word processor files
  • Figures in EPS, TIF, JPEG, or PDF format
  • Conformity with instructions


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in the comments to the Editor).
  2. I agree to the following policy: A charge of $55 per page is made for articles published; the rate for individual subscribers will be $40 per page. However, manuscripts with color figures may be assessed an additional charge. Authors whose articles are published will be provided with a PDF version of their article, which may be used and distributed according to the copyright agreement.


Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.


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