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Aims and Scope

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 reviews of books, websites, and software 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 seaducks, ulls, terns, cormorants, and pelicans will also be considered.

Editorial Process

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 the author's receipt of editorial and referees' reports, they will be treated as new submissions.

Upon acceptance, the technical editors will apply house style while copy-editing the manuscript. The 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.

Open Access

Since 2000, Marine Ornithology has been published both in hard copy and in electronic form on the Marine Ornithology website ( There is no charge for viewing or downloading papers posted by Marine Ornithology. Authors retain copyright and full publishing rights; by publishing in Marine Ornithology, authors agree that their papers can be freely distributed and archived under Creative Commons license (CC BY).


Creative Commons License
Marine Ornithology work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Instructions To Authors

Requirement for original publication:

Contributions must contain original work that was conducted by the author and that 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 must be sent as attachments to e-mails that include the title of the paper and the name(s) of the author(s). The text, figures, and tables must be in a single Microsoft Word file (.docx preferred to .doc) with all lines numbered sequentially from start to finish. 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 must 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,
   • it is the work of the authors listed, and
   • all authors agree to the submission.

Sources of support and funding for the research should be mentioned, and the 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 the name of the institution), permit numbers, and animal care committee certification, as applicable.

Page Charges:

A contribution of USD$50/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$120/page is required (no charge is levied for colour figures published on the website). If the contributor is already paying the $50 page charge, colour will be included for an extra $70/page. Additional charges may be requested if figures must 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.

Manuscript template:

A Word template for manuscripts may be downloaded here.

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

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. Please include the e-mail address for corresponding author only, in brackets.

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 > 2 000 words), and five to seven key words. Short submissions (< 2 000 words) should include an abstract of 100 words or fewer. Abstracts do not include tables, figures, or citations. Authors may supply a translation of the abstract in 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., 8 803.72). Numerals are used before units (e.g., 345 km). For “greater than” and “less than”, the symbols > and < may be used.

Units: The International System of Units (SI) should be used, including standard SI symbols; as exceptions, knots and nautical miles may be used. If non-SI units were measured, write out the non-SI unit (e.g., 15 hectares) and provide an SI conversion in parentheses (0.15 km2) at first mention of the unit. 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 % and ‰ 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, 052°34'32"W, using the symbols for degree, prime, and double prime available in Microsoft 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. while e.g. (exempli gratia, for example) and i.e. (id est, that is) are not italicized. The latter two abbreviations should be used judiciously as they are often unnecessary; they are followed by a comma in each case. Limit use of cf. to comparisons. For in-text references to works by more than two authors, et al. is italicized and followed by a period; 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 02 February 2016; for months, September 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 (e.g., 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 & Hobson (2012) and the related erratum.

Citations: 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, all caps on first-level headings, sentence case on second- and third-level headings. Short manuscripts (< 2 000 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, graphs, maps, and photographs. They should be embedded at the end of the document as .jpg files. Once the manuscript is accepted, we will request a high-resolution image of at least 300dpi. for reproduction. We welcome colour figures. Bear in mind, however, that these should be reproducible in black and white for the printed edition unless the additional charge is paid (see Page charges). Maps of study locations must be accompanied by an overview map to give geographic context to at least to the country level.
When preparing your figures, we encourage authors to consider colour palettes that are suitable for people with colour vision deficiencies. Using white backgrounds, sharp contrast, as well as variable symbol and line patterns to distinguish different data series is preferred even if the final figure is in colour.
Authors working in the R statistical environment may find the following tools useful: colorbrewer2; RcolorBlindness.
Photographs should be of high contrast and submitted as high-resolution digital files (at least 300dpi). The photographs should be captioned with location, date, and photographer. 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 together 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.) and subdivisions of figures should be labelled using capital letters (e.g., A, B, etc.). The font and size should be consistent throughout the manuscript.


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. As noted, footnotes to the table should be indicated by superscripted lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.) on the title or at an appropriate place in the field, and they should be 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 published on the website only, with a link from the table of contents. The author's unedited file is converted to .pdf format 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. Appendices will not be edited; they will be posted online as submitted, with a header and footer linking it to the paper. Please submit any appendices as .doc or .docx files.


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

HUNT, G.L., JR. & HUNT, M.W. 1975. Reproductive ecology of the Western Gull: The importance of nest spacing. The Auk 92: 270–279. doi:10.2307/4084556

All journal names are written out in full and italicized. Please use a digital object identifier (doi) whenever available. A doi is persistent and is normally available on the first page of a journal article.


Book titles are written in title case.

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, Canada: Royal British Columbia Museum.

Chapter or section of book:

Book titles are written in title case.

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 sections, but include report numbers and/or series, along with the 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, USA: US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs.

Electronic resources:

(For example, software and databases: similar to book, with addition of online information and doi, if available):

LISOVSKI, S., WOTHERSPOON, S., SUMNER, M., BAUER, S. & EMMENEGGER, T. 2015. Analysis of Light Based Geolocator Data. Package ‘GeoLight’. Version 2.0.0. [Manual accessed at on 24 November 2018.]

R DEVELOPMENT CORE TEAM 2018. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: The R Foundation for Statistical Computing.

STRICKLAND, D. & OUELLET, H. 2011. Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis), version 2.1. In: POOLE, A. (Ed.) The Birds of North America Online. Ithaca, USA: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. [Accessed at on 28 May 2015.] doi:10.2173/bna.gryjay.02.1


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. Carlton, Victoria, Australia: BirdLife Australia. [Accessed at on 06 September 2015.]


DAVIS, M.B. 1999. Reproductive success, status and viability of American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus). MSc thesis. Raleigh, USA: 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 latest edition of the IOC World Bird List ( If another international source is used, it must 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. English names for flora and fauna other than birds are not capitalized, as there is no internationally accepted list of common names.

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
Eric Wagner

For general information about the journal, contact:

Managing Editor
Natasha Gillies
University of Liverpool, UK

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