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Instructions for Authors

Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs

Submission Instructions: New manuscript submissions are now on ScholarOne via the links below. Pending manuscripts will continue on EcoTrack. Authors submitting revisions and final versions of accepted manuscripts should follow the instructions in their decision letter.

Submit to Ecology | Author Guidelines

Submit to Ecological Applications | Author Guidelines

Submit to Ecological Monographs | Author Guidelines


Instructions for Authors of Accepted Manuscripts


Submission Instructions:

Specify journal and manuscript type

Click on the journal title in the table below for information on the mission and scope of each journal. Specify the manuscript type. Check the length limits for each type by clicking on the links. Note particularly that length limits for Ecology have become more stringent. Too many manuscripts submitted to Ecology are rejected without review for being overly long. [more info] Length limits include the entire manuscript meant for ink (including Literature Cited, tables and figures).

Requirements for submission

Original submission. Provide information describing the extent to which data or text in the manuscript have been used in other works that are published, in press, submitted, or soon to be submitted elsewhere. [More info]

Resubmission policy. If the manuscript (or a previous version of the manuscript) has been previously submitted to the same or another ESA journal, provide the previous manuscript number; explain how the current version differs from the previously submitted version and why it should be considered now for this journal. There are no guarantees it will be reviewed by the newly targeted journal.

ESA Code of Ethics. Authors must adhere to the ESA Code of Ethics. [More info]

Data Policy. The editors and publisher expect authors to make the data underlying published articles available. Authors of manuscripts submitted to Ecological Monographs as of January 1, 2011 and manuscripts submitted to Ecological Applications as of January 1, 2014 are required to make available all data associated with the results in a permanent, publicly accessible data archive or repository, if their manuscript is accepted. See Data Policy.

Include computer code. Authors must disclose software and statistical procedures used in the manuscript and provide any novel computer code used for models, simulations, or statistical analyses. [More info]

English. Authors whose native language is not English are encouraged to enlist the aid of a native English-speaking colleague to go over the manuscript for correct usage and clarity prior to submission.  You may also search the ESA Author Help Directory to find a volunteer.  No guarantees are associated with the use of this volunteer database.

Agreement to pay page charges. Authors must agree to pay page charges, or must obtain an ESA page-charge grant. Page charges will only be incurred for manuscripts accepted for publication. [More info]

Formatting your manuscript: Minimum formatting requirements

Consult recent issues for examples of journal style. For purposes of review, submitted manuscripts need not adhere to journal style in every detail; however, preparation of final revisions of manuscripts accepted for publication will be easier if ESA style is followed from the outset. But be sure to abide by the following minimum formatting requirements for submitted manuscripts:

* The entire manuscript must be double-spaced (text, quotations, figure legends, literature cited) at three lines per inch (12 lines/10 cm) with a 12-point font, Times New Roman. Choose the "double-spacing" option for line spacing. Leave a 1 inch (2.54-cm) margin on all sides of each page. Page size should be Letter 8 ½" by 11". Do not justify the right margin.

* Assemble the parts of the manuscript in this order: title page, abstract, key words, text, acknowledgments, literature cited, tables (one table per page), figure legends (on separate page preceding the first figure), figures (one figure per page; label each figure, i.e., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.), and lastly any Appendices for Ecological Archives. Please note that if your manuscript is accepted, the appendices would only be published online, but for review purposes, appendices need to be merged into one file together with the manuscript, for the convenience of reviewers and editors. Supplements for Ecological Archives will still need to be in a separate file.

* Number all pages (including tables, and figures), starting with the title page.

* All pages of text should have line numbers as well.

Allowable file formats:

  • Manuscript files in Word (.doc or .docx), WordPerfect (.wpd), Rich-text format (.rtf) or LaTeX (.TEX) format. (See ESA-LaTeX for some tips on getting your TEX document to conform to ESA style.)
  • Tables in doc, xls, tds, or csv format (or Tables may be included in the manuscript file)
  • Figures/Images in doc, jpeg, tif, gif, eps, ps, or ppt format (or Figures may be included in the manuscript file)
  • Appendices for Ecological Archives in doc, pdf or html format. Video appendices in mpeg format.
  • Supplements for Ecological Archives can include, but are not limited to, original and derived data sets, source code for simulation models, and details of and software for unusual statistical analyses.

Zipped files can be submitted for appendices and supplements if necessary. In that case, choose Zipped File as the file type, so that the system does not attempt a pdf conversion.

Tables and figures may be in a separate file or in one file together with the manuscript text. If figures are in a separate file, please provide a separate file with all the figure legends (or include it in the manuscript file). It is not necessary to provide a figure caption on the screen when uploading your figures. (Please be aware that a lower resolution figure may look fine on a computer screen, but that does not mean it will look good if a reviewer or editor prints it out.)

Ecological Archives. Authors should strive to make their manuscripts as concise as possible with the judicious use of Ecological Archives. [Other tips to make your manuscript more concise.]

Not until the manuscript is accepted do we require HTML formatting of appendices from you. Please see Ecological Archives for additional information and to view examples of digital appendices.


The Mechanics: Once your manuscript is ready:

Log-in to EcoTrack only to submit revisions or final versions of manuscripts which were originally submitted on EcoTrack.

Log-in to ScholarOne to submit new manuscripts, or resubmissions of manuscripts originally submitted on EcoTrack, via the journal-specific link below.

Submit to Ecology

Submit to Ecological Applications

Submit to Ecological Monographs

If you have not already done so, check to see if you are already in the ScholarOne database by putting your email address in the E-mail Address field under Password Help and click "Go". You could be in the database even if you were never previously an author of a manuscript submitted to any of the ESA journals. Do not create a new account if you are already in the database. If you suspect we have an old email address for you, please contact [email protected] to update your record. If you have verified that there is no account for you, you can create an account at the submission site by clicking on the “Register Here” button. Please study the site’s Instructions and Forms using the link at the top of the screen and then let the system guide you through the submission process. Online help is available to you at all times during the process. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Corresponding author. The corresponding author is responsible for the submission of the manuscript and all correspondence with staff and editors from submission through publication. An acknowledgment letter will be sent to the corresponding author once the staff has ensured that the submission adheres to the requirements and is ready to be sent to the Editor-in-chief. A decision letter will ultimately be sent to the corresponding author, and if the manuscript is accepted there will be further correspondence during the publication process. ESA can communicate with only one author at a time per manuscript, but the corresponding author may notify the staff at any time to switch the correspondent role to a co-author, especially if the current correspondent will not be available.

Author profiles. Authors are responsible for modifying their profile to keep the editors and staff informed of changes in their contact information. Before submitting a manuscript, please be sure your profile information is current. (Click "modify profile" from your homepage.) Please notify your co-authors to update theirs as well. The corresponding author is not able to update a co-author's profile. Do not add a duplicate entry for a co-author, but rather request the co-author to update their profile. Do not put in a co-author's email address (or that of another colleague) as your secondary email address. It is all right to put in an assistant's email address as your secondary email, so long as that person is not going to ever co-author a manuscript, review a manuscript, or serve as an editor.

The submission process

You can save and exit at any time during the process, and come back later to where you left off.The manuscript submission process is broken into a series of 5 screens that gather detailed information about your manuscript and allow you to upload the pertinent files. The sequence of screens are as follows:

  1. A long form asking for author information, title, abstract, key words, journal, manuscript type, adherence to ESA policies, and file quantities. You can paste in the title and abstract from your manuscript. You may indicate your suggestions for Subject-matter Editor, who oversees your manuscript during the peer review process. In addition, authors are invited to suggest names of individuals who might be appropriate peer reviewers. Suggested editors and reviewers should not have any conflict-of-interest in evaluating the paper. (You can also name Editors and reviewers you would prefer to be excluded. It's advisable to include a justification in the note field and possibly your cover letter as well.)
    • Searching the database for co-authors and suggested reviewers. We already have an extensive database of many potential authors. Before entering your contributing authors' information, try first to use “find person” to see if your contributing author is already in the system. Just type in the complete last name and click "find Person". If the right name comes up, click on it and close the name window. The person's information will copy into the form. Do the same thing for suggested reviewers.
    • Only the person's name, institution, and city will be visible on the form. Other fields will be redacted to prevent unauthorized users from taking advantage of the database. Do not attempt to update or correct any of the information. Continue with your manuscript submission, but please notify the contributing author to come into the system to modify and update his or her profile; or notify the staff. Do not add a new record for someone in the database, even if the record is out-of-date.
  2. A screen asking for the actual file locations on your computer (via an open file dialog). After completing this screen, your files will be uploaded to our server.
  3. A screen requesting the order files should appear in the system-generated merged PDF. All files (except Supplements for Ecological Archives) will then be converted by EcoTrack to PDFs. This process generally takes about 10 minutes. You can come back later to see if it is complete. If it does not occur within an hour, you can contact the staff for assistance.
  4. A completion screen that will provide you with a specific manuscript number for your manuscript.
  5. An approval screen that will allow you to verify that your manuscript was uploaded and converted correctly. You need to view each pdf and approve it. You are able to replace, add, and delete files on this page. When you are satisfied that your submission is complete, click "confirm approved converted files." Do not approve your submission if there are any issues about which you need to contact the staff. Instead contact [email protected] for assistance. Please do not send already uploaded files to staff or Editor-in-chief by e-mail.
    • Parsed citation file: Please note that once you upload an article file, EcoTrack will convert the article to pdf and make a parsed citation file. You do not need to view or approve this file. It may be used by the editors and reviewers during the peer review process. If your paper is selected for publication, you may be asked to resolve any issues with citations that are formatted incorrectly.
    • What is in a parsed citation file: Many correctly formatted citations will contain external links to those papers on Cross Ref and Pub Med. A link to search Google Scholar will also appear for each citation. Citations which are incorrectly formatted will appear in red.
  6. Once you approve your submission, you no longer have access to modify files or the information about your manuscript. The manuscript will enter the submission queue, and our staff will check it over for completeness and adherence to our guidelines. If there are any issues, you will be contacted by e-mail. Otherwise you will receive an acknowledgement and the submission will be sent on to the editor-in-chief for consideration.

Checking the manuscript status After you approve your manuscript, you are finished with the submission process. You can access the status of your manuscript at any time by:

  1. Logging into EcoTrack with your password.
  2. Clicking on Live Manuscripts and then Check Status.
  3. If you scroll down below your manuscript summary, you can see the significant events since your manuscript submission.

Manuscript correspondence. You are encouraged to use the "Send Manuscript Correspondence" feature for all correspondence to editors and staff regarding your manuscript. This option is located in "Manuscript Tasks" below the manuscript summary table. Do not use it for sending copies of the files you have uploaded to the editors or staff.

Getting help. If you need additional help, you can click on the help signs Question Mark Image spread throughout the system. A help dialog will pop up with context-sensitive help. Please contact the staff at <[email protected]> if you need additional assistance.

rev 2/3/16



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