Author Instructions


The New Zealand Journal of Ecology publishes papers on any aspect of pure and applied ecology. Emphasis is on the New Zealand region but information of general interest from anywhere else in the world will be considered for publication. Work published or offered for publication elsewhere cannot be accepted. All papers become the copyright of the New Zealand Ecological Society.

Each manuscript considered by the Scientific Editor to be appropriate for the Journal is allocated to a member of the Editorial Board (i.e. Associate Editor) who will oversee the review process. Referees and Board members are busy people who do the task voluntarily; please do them the courtesy of submitting manuscripts that have been thoroughly appraised by your colleagues and have had the writing edited by someone with an excellent knowledge of English grammar. Manuscripts that are in poor accordance with journal format, badly presented or written, or too long will be returned to the authors without review.

Manuscripts requiring revision after the review process should be returned within 1 month of the date of the request for revision and must be returned within 4 months; revised manuscripts received more than 4 months after the revision request date will be treated as new submissions.

Page charges are NZ$26.50 per page, waived in exceptional circumstances on application to the Scientific Editor. Society members are levied a concessionary rate of $16.50 per page for the first ten pages per year.


Four types of manuscripts are considered:

  • Review Articles. These are critical overviews of topics likely to be of general interest to the readership of the Journal. Prospective authors considering writing such an article should contact the Scientific Editor in advance with a brief proposed outline. Maximum length is 20 printed pages (ca 17500 words, including references, tables and captions).
  • Research Articles. These are conventional research papers. Most research articles are less than 10 pages (ca 7500 words, including references, tables and captions); however, longer papers will be considered.
  • Short Communications. These are shorter research papers and have a maximum length of 5 printed pages (ca 3500 words, including references, tables and captions) .
  • Forum Articles. These include discussion articles about topical issues, opinion pieces, and rejoinders to previous papers published in the Journal and elsewhere. Maximum length is 12 printed pages (ca 8000 words, including references, tables and captions).


Submit a copy of the manuscript, in English, double spaced, with ample margins, each page numbered, and lines numbered continuously throughout the manuscript, as an email attachment to the Scientific Editor. Manuscripts must be submitted electronically and should include all figures and tables in a single document. Microsoft Word documents are preferred (so that reviewers can make comments using ‘track changes’); PDF format is acceptable as an alternative.

Please confirm (in your email submission) that all authors have seen the final version of the manuscript and are happy for it to be submitted, in that form, to the New Zealand Journal of Ecology and copy all co-authors on this email. If the person who submits the manuscript is not the nominated ‘corresponding author’, please advise the Scientific Editor whether this person should also be copied into correspondence with the journal during the review process. Manuscripts that exceed 5MB in size cannot be submitted by email; in this case, please email the Scientific Editor for file transfer instructions.

If your manuscript has been reviewed and rejected by another journal, but you feel that your previous referees’ reports are useful, you may submit these along with your manuscript. The use of these reports is at the discretion of the Associate Editor; they may speed up the review process for your manuscript. Please recommend 4-5 potential reviewers, along with their email addresses and a note explaining why each person would be a good reviewer.


Researchers must have proper regard for conservation and animal welfare requirements. The New Zealand Journal of Ecology endorses the ANZCCART (NZ) policy for the responsible use of animals in science ( Researchers must acknowledge approval of Animal Ethics Committees and demonstrate approval from relevant government agencies (e.g. New Zealand Department of Conservation), iwi or landowners.


Authors should consult the latest issue of the Journal for style of formatting manuscripts and references. SI units must be used throughout. Authors should use UK English following the Concise Oxford Dictionary for spelling, but when giving Māori names macrons should be added to the text (but not to title, abstract or keywords) where known. Manuscripts should be prepared as follows:

  • Title. Fifteen words maximum.
  • Names of authors. All authors listed should have made a significant contribution to the paper. ‘Gift’ authorship is not encouraged. In cases of 'shared authorship' (where multiple authors have contributed equally to the manuscript) this can be noted in a footnote beneath author addresses.
  • Addresses of all authors. Identify the corresponding author and their postal and email addresses.
  • Running head (for top of page). Up to five words.
  • Abstract. Up to 400 words for Review Articles, 300 words for Research and Forum Articles, and 150 words for Short Communications.
  • Key words. Up to ten (five for Short Communications).
  • Main text. For Research Articles and Short Communications this will usually consist of Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion.
  • Acknowledgements. Include permit numbers. Please consider adding acknowledgements to journal reviewers at the revisions stage.
  • References. Style follows The Royal Society of New Zealand journals from Vol. 31. You can download the Endnote output style for the New Zealand Journal of Ecology HERE
  • Tables. Each table must be on a separate sheet and numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. Keep column headings brief. Vertical lines should not be used for separating columns.
  • Figure legends. Can be on the same page as figures for initial submission, but need to be kept together on the same page for technical editing if the manuscript is accepted. Do not include legends on the figures themselves.
  • Figures. Includes all line drawings, maps and photographs. Figures must be numbered consecutively. Multiple figures can be on the same page at initial submission (for review), but each figure must be on a separate page or submitted as separate files if the manuscript is accepted. Figures should be prepared so that the lettering and details are clear when reduced to their final size. Lettering in a non-serif font should be done by a skilled draughtsperson or computer but not typed. Poorly presented figures will be returned to authors for redrawing. Colour photographs and other figures can be published freely in the online version of the Journal, but publication in the print version is at the author’s expense; please indicate your preference at the time of acceptance of the article.
  • Appendices. These are not encouraged for the printed paper but can now be included online as supplementary material as a single PDF file. This can include additional tables and figures and supplementary methods. Lengthy appendices containing raw data or extensive species frequency data can now be published in this way. However, authors are also encouraged to submit their raw data to relevant long-term online data repositories (e.g., the New Zealand National Vegetation Survey databank (NVS), NatureWatch NZ, eBird New Zealand).


When a manuscript is entirely acceptable, the Technical Editor will request an electronic version of the manuscript with figures formatted as JPEG or TIFF files. Page proofs will subsequently be sent by email to the author for checking.

It is the author’s responsibility a) to keep the Technical Editor informed of changes in address, and b) to make arrangements for colleagues to correct proofs if the author is likely to be absent when the proofs are to be dispatched. When proofs are not received back from an author within an adequate time frame the manuscript will be published without the author’s corrections.