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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The Western North American Naturalist welcomes previously unpublished manuscripts pertaining to the biological natural history of western North America, including western Canada and all of Mexico.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 online. Log in to your account on OJS, or if you are not registered on our website, create an account. Once logged in, go to the "author" page to create a new submission. Authors should adhere to the following guidelines; manuscripts not as such prepared may be returned for revision.

How to Format a Manuscript

Please format all manuscripts in WordPerfect or Microsoft Word, adhering strictly to the following requirements.

Cover letter. An accompanying cover letter must 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.

Manuscript preparation. In general, the Western North American Naturalist follows recommendations in Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 7th edition ( 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 guidelines.

Type and double space all materials, including literature cited, tables, table headings, and figure legends. Use the word processor's font attributes superscripts, subscripts, and so forth. Use standard 8.5 x 11-inch page size (22 x 28 cm), leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) margins on all sides.

Submit an electronic copy via this website. Manuscripts should be prepared in a standard word processing program. Number all pages and assemble in the following order: title page, abstract, text, acknowledgments, literature cited, appendices, tables, figure legends, figures. Use the word processing program to add line numbers to the entire document.

Title page includes an informative title no longer than 15 words; names, addresses, 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 indicate the author to whom correspondenceshould be addressed.

Abstract states 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:

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

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

Saab, V.A., and T.D. Rich. 1997. Large-scale conservation assessment for neotropical migratory landbirds in the Interior Columbia River Basin. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-399. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR.

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 double spaced on separate sheets and designed to fit the width of either a single column (2 5/8 inches; 6.7 cm) or a page (5 inches; 14 cm). Use lowercase letters to indicate footnotes whenever possible.

Electronic copies of figures may be initially embedded in the word processor or PDF file for the reviewers' convenience. However, authors of accepted manuscripts must provide figures in an appropriate file format: EPS, TIF, JPEG, or PDF. Lettering on figures should be large enough to withstand reduction to one- or two-column width. Originals must be no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches (22 x 28 cm). Resolution should be 300 dpi for photographs and up to 1200 dpi for black-and-white line art.

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 made for articles published; the rate if any one of the authors is an individual subscriber will be $40 per page. Manuscripts with color figures will be assessed an additional charge of $300. A PDF file of the published article will be provided to all authors.


Final Check:

  • Cover letter explaining any duplication of information,
  • Inclusion of addresses and e-mail addresses of all authors on the manuscript's title page,
  • A word processor or PDF file containing the text, tables, and figure captions,
  • Electronic figures in EPS, TIF, JPEG, or PDF format, and
  • 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. The submission file is in PDF, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect file format. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines. Figures are ideally submitted as supplementary files in TIF, EPS, PDF, or JPG format.
  3. 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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