Wader Study Author Guidelines

Manuscript structure

Research Papers should be structured with the traditional sections of a scientific manuscript, including Title, Authors, Keywords, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, References, Tables, and Figures. Brief reports of interesting observations or simple research findings (classified as Short Communications) may not require this level of structuring. Likewise, manuscripts that fall under categories such as Synthesis/Review, Perspectives, Forum, or Book/Thesis Review should adopt a structure that logically follows from their content.

Below, we provide a brief description of the main sections of a Research Paper:

Title – This should briefly describe the main subject and outcome of your study in approximately 10–25 words. Although this will vary with the type of study and personal preferences of the authors, typical components of a title include the primary research aim, study species, geographic region, some indication of the nature of the data collected, and the most important results.

Authors – Please provide the names of all authors (as you wish them to appear, including initials where appropriate), with the primary institutional affiliation(s) and/or current mailing address for each. An email address should be provided for the corresponding author.

Keywords – This is a list of terms (generally 5–10) that highlight the subject and content of your paper. These are used by on-line search engines to help direct people who may be interested in your paper.

Abstract – A short summary, generally 50–250 words in length, briefly describing the context, main questions, key results, and general implications of your work.

Introduction – Provide all background that readers may need to understand the subject and aims of your study. This typically includes a review of the current state of knowledge concerning your question or system, with references to previous literature in the field. Justify the relevance of your study with regard to gaps in current knowledge or specific research or management objectives. Make sure to clearly explain the questions, objectives, and foreseeable outcomes of your study.

Methods – This section should include all information necessary for another researcher to replicate your study. Describe any critical aspects of the study species, study area, field methods, equipment, data sources, assumptions, and analysis (statistical methods). Include only methods relevant to information appearing in the Results section.

Results – This section details all important findings of the study, and should follow logically from questions posed in the Introduction and procedures described in the Methods; do not introduce new questions or procedures of data collection here. This should adopt a concise, narrative style, with inclusion and reference to Figures and Tables whenever patterns in the data can be more clearly or more economically conveyed in a form other than descriptive text. Although some interpretation and synthesis of results might be appropriate, avoid subjective statements, recommendations, or elaborate discussion here.

Discussion – This is the place for interpretation of your results in the context of the study aims, and speculation on their potential importance and implications. Start with a brief summary of the Results and the main conclusions (i.e., the main message you want readers to take away from your paper). The Discussion should review the results in relation to your predictions and expectations, honestly consider caveats and limitations of the data, compare your findings with those of other published literature and popular wisdom, and provide future research and conservation recommendations, as appropriate. In general, it is not appropriate to introduce new data from your study that are not covered in the Methods and Results.

Acknowledgements – Here, you mention all important non-author contributions, sources of funding, acquired permits for land use and other procedures, and applicable (ethics) approvals. It is customary to thank colleagues and known reviewers that provided inspiration, logistical assistance, and helpful comments or suggestions for the manuscript. It is not necessary to thank the editor.

References – All references cited in the text must be included in the References section and vice versa. Please check all information in this section against the original publications (not citations by other authors), as typographical errors and omissions tend to proliferate in this manner. See below for specific formatting details.

Tables & Figures – Make sure all tables and figures are referenced in the text, and appear in the order in which they are first mentioned. Each should be accompanied by an informative caption, including explanation of all categories, axes, symbols, units, and abbreviations necessary to understand the material. Do not place tables and figures in the text, but as separate sheets for each table or figure after the References. See below for more details regarding technical specifications for figures.

Appendices – if you have extensive data tables or methodology, it may be appropriate to include these as appendices that can be made available as Supporting Online Materials. The corresponding editor will advise on this.

Submission Procedure

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to:

Please include a brief cover letter in the body of the email, which at minimum specifies the type of submission (e.g., Research Paper, Short Communications, Synthesis/Review, Perspectives, Forum, or Book/Thesis Review), and include your manuscript as an attachment. For initial submissions, all tables and figures may be embedded in the text file; for revised manuscripts, we ask that figures be included as separate graphic files. It is helpful, but not required, to include the names and contact information for 2–3 potential reviewers for your manuscript.

Unless noted otherwise, the Wader Study editorship will assume that: 1) the data presented in the manuscript are original and your own work, and are not published or under consideration for publication elsewhere; 2) all authors agree to the content of the manuscript and that the corresponding author conscientiously represents their interests in this regard; and 3) that the work was conducted with scientific integrity and free from conflicts of interest.

Guidelines for Manuscript Style

The following information will help you to align your submitted manuscript with the style guidelines of Wader Study. We do not insist that initial submissions conform to these guidelines, although doing so may help expedite the review process. However, after review and initial recommendations by the editor, we will request and appreciate that your revised manuscript be formatted accordingly. This will greatly reduce the work required by our editorial staff and accelerate publication of your manuscript.

  1. Manuscripts must be in English; either American or British English spelling is acceptable as long as it is consistently applied. Non-native English writers are advised to seek language assistance prior to submission; if this is not possible, the Wader Study editors will try to provide or arrange language assistance.
  2. Text should be single-spaced but with a space between each paragraph. Please format text in a single, left-justified column with no indentation or hyphenation. Preferred text font is 12-point Times New Roman. On an A4 page with standard margins, two pages of text formatted in this manner will equate to approximately one printed page in Wader Study.
  3. Headers are formatted as follows: main section headers are in all capitals (e.g., INTRODUCTION, METHODS, etc.); subheads are in sentence case, with an initial capital only; sub-subheads are in sentence case and italic. It is unnecessary to apply bold-face to headers.
  4. For scientific (Latin) names of species, the genus is capitalized and the species epithet is in lower case; these should be italicized but not in parentheses (e.g., ‘Phalaropus lobatus’). English common names should be capitalized (e.g., ‘Red-necked Phalarope’). However, when informally shortening the species name or referring to a generic group (e.g., ‘phalaropes’), lower case is used.
  5. In text, use standard abbreviations for months (Jan, Feb), measurements (g, km), units of time (hr, min), etc. Abbreviate compass directions (e.g., ‘birds generally flew ENE from our study site in NW Australia’) except when part of a proper name (e.g., South Africa). Format for time and date is as follows: 18:30 on 13 Apr 2012. In text, spell out numbers less than ten.
  6. Use the following statistical abbreviations: ANOVA, SD, SE, df, CV, NS, n, P, r, F, G, χ2, t-test, U-test. Other statistical abbreviations, in general, should conform to the Sixth Edition of Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (1994, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK).
  7. When using less familiar abbreviations, acronyms, or technical terms, please define them upon first usage.
  8. When quoting sources or defining terms, use single (‘ ‘) rather than double (“ “) quotation marks. For narrative emphasis, use italic font, rather than quotes, underline, all-caps, or bold face.
  9. All references to existing work or knowledge should be supported by citations, preferably the original publication, or credit for unpublished work (e.g., ‘pers. comm.’, ‘pers. obs.’, or ‘unpubl. data’).
  10. When referring to trademarked software or other products, include the company name and country (e.g., ‘British Antarctic Survey, UK’).
  11. Please make use of automatic spelling and grammar checks. Double- and triple-check everything!

Reference Citation Style

The example paragraph below illustrates the styles for referencing different types of published information. Note that typographic conventions (e.g., capitalization, use of parentheses) vary among sources; when these differ from those of Wader Study, titles should reflect the style of the original publication. For non-English source material, please indicate the original language of publication at the end of the reference (e.g., ‘In Russian’).

Referenced published material may occur in a variety of forms, such as journal articles (Battley 2006, Verkuil et al. 2012), books (Engelmoer & Roselaar 1998), edited volumes (Gwinner 1990), book sections (Alerstam & Lindström 1990), reports (MacKinnon et al. 2012), theses (Rynn 1982), and websites (Wetlands International 2013). Sometimes, multiple journal articles may have the same authors, either in the same year (Conklin & Battley 2011a,b) or in different years (Conklin & Colwell 2007, 2008).

Alerstam, T. & Å. Lindström. 1990. Optimal bird migration: the relative importance of time, energy and safety. Pages 331–351 in: Bird Migration: Physiology and Ecophysiology (E. Gwinner, Ed.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Battley, P.F. 2006. Consistent annual schedules in a migratory shorebird. Biology Letters 2: 517–520.

Conklin, J.R. & P.F. Battley. 2011a. Contour feather moult of Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri) in New Zealand and the Northern Hemisphere reveals multiple strategies by sex and breeding region. Emu 111: 330–340.

Conklin, J.R. & P.F. Battley. 2011b. Impacts of wind on individual migration schedules of New Zealand bar-tailed godwits. Behavioral Ecology 22: 854–861.

Conklin, J.R. & M.A. Colwell. 2007. Diurnal and nocturnal roost site fidelity of Dunlin (Calidris alpina pacifica) at Humboldt Bay, California. Auk 124: 677–689.

Conklin, J.R. & M.A. Colwell. 2008. Individual associations in a wintering shorebird population: do Dunlin have friends? Journal of Field Ornithology 79: 32–40.

Engelmoer, M. & C.S. Roselaar. 1998. Geographic Variation in Waders. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.

Gwinner, E., Ed. 1990. Bird Migration: Physiology and Ecophysiology. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

MacKinnon, J., Y.I. Verkuil & N. Murray. 2012. IUCN situation analysis on East and Southeast Asian intertidal habitats, with particular reference to the Yellow Sea (including the Bohai Sea). Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No. 47. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Rynn, S. 1982. A revision of the taxonomy of the genus Limosa. PhD thesis, Liverpool Polytechnic.

Verkuil, Y.I., N. Karlionova, E.N. Rakhimberdiev, J. Jukema, J.J. Wijmenga, J.C.E.W. Hooijmeijer, P. Pinchuk, E. Wymenga, A.J. Baker & T. Piersma. 2012. Losing a staging area: eastward redistribution of Afro-Eurasian ruffs is associated with deteriorating fuelling conditions along the western flyway. Biological Conservation 149: 51–59.

Wetlands International. 2013. Waterbird Population Estimates Fifth Edition. Wetlands International. Accessed 24 Oct 2014 at:

Technical Guidelines for Submitted Files

  1. Text files are preferably prepared in Microsoft Word or compatible text formats.
  2. Figures may be submitted in TIFF, EPS, or JPEG format, or as graphs in Excel spreadsheets. For final revised manuscripts, figures should be included as separate files, not embedded in the text file.
  3. Tables should be provided in editable Word or Excel format, not as graphics.
  4. Figures and tables should be formatted as simply as possible for clarity. Please ensure that fonts and symbols appear in a size that is legible at realistic reproduction size.
  5. To minimize printing costs, color figures are discouraged in the printed version, but will be considered when necessary for clarity. However, color figures are encouraged for the online-available PDF versions. We may request grayscale versions of any figures submitted only in color.
  6. Photographic figures are encouraged, particularly when grayscale reproduction is sufficient (see above). Ideally, resolution of digital images should be at least 300 pixels/inch at the desired size of reproduction (although lower resolutions may be acceptable in some cases).
  7. We encourage submission of striking, representative photographic images for consideration to appear on the cover of Wader Study. These should be clear, high-quality images appropriate for our standard cover layout (approximate horizontal aspect 1:1.4).

Reporting ethical issues, with an emphasis on animal welfare

While carrying out the studies reported in their submitted manuscript, authors are expected to comply with the laws of the country/countries concerned and with the ethical standards of the institutions involved. At submission of the manuscript, authors should include a statement that appropriate permits were obtained.

For contentious or invasive approaches, such as lethal collection of animals or (field) procedures that may have caused pain/discomfort or compromised the health or survival of living animals, the editors may request inclusion of appropriate permit numbers as well as details on licences, permits or other legal documents that were required for these studies.

The Editorial Board wants to stress that killing waders/shorebirds for research purposes is considered unethical in many countries and is rarely justified, and therefore should only be used when there is no reasonable alternative. Where this has occurred, the reasons justifying the use of such methods should be explained to the editors and summarised in the text.