Author Instructions


The New Zealand Journal of Ecology publishes peer-reviewed papers on any aspect of pure and applied ecology relevant to Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific.

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 feel free to contact the Editor-in-Chief in advance with a brief proposed outline. Maximum length is 20 printed pages (around 17500 words, including references, tables and captions).
  • Research Articles. These are conventional research papers. Most research articles are less than 10 pages (around 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 (around 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 (around 8000 words, including references, tables and captions).


The New Zealand Journal of Ecology has a series of policies that authors will be expected to abide by:

  • Author contributions. Manuscripts must include a statement of each author's contribution. Each author is expected to have: (i) made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work; or have drafted the work or substantively revised it; (ii) approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author’s contribution to the study); (iii) agreed both to be personally accountable for the author’s own contributions and to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even ones in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved, and the resolution documented in the literature. Ideally the statement should follow the CRedIT taxonomy of Brand et al. (2015). In the case of posthumous authorships, where an author has been deemed to have contributed sufficiently to warrant authorship but has died before they can approve the final version of the manuscript, we would ask that their contributions are also documented to justify their authorship, but following the guidance of Teixeira da Silva and Dobránszki (2015) the authors also include an appropriate statement in the Author Contributions section to make it clear that the authorship is posthumous and to document which aspects of the work the author was unable to take responsibility for.  The intention here is to both recognise and credit a deceased scientist's work and contributions, while also safeguarding their legacy such that they are not associated with work that was beyond their control.
  • Funding. Authors must disclose funding received in support of the work.
  • Data and code availability. Manuscripts must provide details about the availability of associated data and/or code in .  This information can be provided either in seperate "Data availability" and "Code availability" sections, or a combined "Data and code availiability" section depending on what makes most sense. It is important to understand that there is no expectation that any data or code will be made available, and the presence of absence of open data and/or code has no effect on the review process.  The journal simply requires authors to be clear about the situation. For further details on the reasoning for this requirement, and for examples of how to prepare these sections please refer to Etherington et al. (2022).  Authors are encouraged to submit their raw data to relevant long-term online data repositories.
  • Ethics. 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. Include permit numbers when relevant.
  • Conflicts of Interest. A conflict of interest is any financial, professional, or personal relationship that could be perceived as influencing the objectivity of the authors. The existence of any conflicts of interest will not preclude publication, rather the objective is to be open with your readers to ensure there is no subsequent loss of credibility in the author’s work if an undisclosed conflict of interest emerges. The journal requires that all authors disclose these in a separate “Conflict of Interest” section.  Potential conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to: (i) patent or stock ownership in products that are the subject of the research, (ii) membership of committees or advisory boards with associated decision-making powers, (iii) employment or voluntary involvement with organisations with a vested interest, (iv) grants or funding paid to the authors, (v) involvement in legal actions. If no conflicts of interest exist this must also be clearly stated.


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.  Any enquiries should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief.

Please note the following requirements for submission:

  • The manuscript must be in English, 1.5 or double line spaced, and with ample margins (to allow reviewers to make notes if reviewing a hard copy).
  • The article type (Review, Research, Forum, Short Communication) should be clearly stated above the title on the front page of the manuscript (so reviewers are clear what kind of paper has been submitted).
  • Each page must be numbered, and lines numbered continuously throughout the manuscript (to allow reviewers to easily refer to relevant parts of a manuscript).
  • On submission the authors will be asked to provide in a dedicated section of the manuscript entitled "Additional information and declarations" between the Acknowledgements and References section that contains affirmations that the manuscript is consistent with the journal policies (for an example please refer to this paper):
    • Author contributions
    • Funding
    • Data and code availability
    • Ethics
    • Conflicts of interest

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 handling the peer review process; they may speed up the review process for your manuscript. Please recommend 2-3 potential reviewers, along with their email addresses and a note explaining why each person would be a good reviewer.

Referees and editors 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 and requirements, are badly presented or written, or are too long will be returned to the authors without review.

When a manuscript is ready for submission, please use the 'button' below to submit via the Scholastica journal management system:

Submit to New Zealand Journal of Ecology


Each manuscript considered by the Editor-in-Chief 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. Manuscripts requiring revision after the review process should be returned within one month of the date of the request for revision and must be returned within 4 months; revised manuscripts received more than four months after the revision request date may be treated as new submissions.


Your article will be copy-editted by the journal's technical editor. This process will proceed once the manuscript has been formatted to meet the journal's style conditions are met, see the STYLE section below.  In doing so please ensure that:

  1. You manucript is submitted in as a .docx file type to allow for production.
  2. Your citation and referencing style is correct for the NZJE (Style format files are available below, and please report any errors such that these can be improved).
  3. All citation / reference links have been removed.
  4. Remove page and line numbers.
  5. All tables and figures are on seperate pages
  6. Please remove all styles and formatting from your document and ensure that your font is Times New Roman, size 12 pt.

When a manuscript is entirely acceptable the Technical Editor will format the manuscript and 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.


Authors should consult the latest issue of the Journal for style of formatting manuscripts.

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 used as required. Manuscripts should be prepared as follows:

  • Title. Twenty words maximum.
  • Names of authors. All authors listed.  The use of author ORCIDs is supported and encouraged and should be included here when possible.
  • Addresses of all authors. Identify the corresponding author and their postal and email addresses. We welcome iwi and other affiliations such as community groups in the author affiliations.
  • 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.
  • Acknowledgments. Please consider adding acknowledgements to journal reviewers at the revisions stage.
  • Additional information and declarations. Authors must indclude a dedicated section with sub-headings that contain statements consistent with the following journal policies:
    • Author contributions
    • Funding
    • Data and code availability
    • Ethics
    • Conflcits of interest
  • References and citation style. Style format files are available for EndNote, Bookends, and as CSL (e.g. for Mendeley, Zotero, etc.) that will enable authors to manage references effectively and correctly (please notify the Technical Editor of any issues or errors to improve these resources). For authors formatting manually basic instructions are provided below, and please refer to recent issues of the journal for the correct style. If authors have questions please contact the Technical Editor. Poorly formatted references will be returned to the authors for corrections.

      Citation format: In text citation format is name and year for a single author (Smith 2000), with an & for two authors (Smith & Jones 2001), and et al. for three or more authors (Smith et al. 2002). For two authors, where authors names are described in the text, i.e. outside parentheses use ‘and’ instead of &: e.g. Smith and Jones (2001). Multiple citations are separated by a semi-colon (Smith 2000; Smith & Jones 2001; Smith et al. 2002). Where multiple citations are to the same author use a comma between dates (Smith 2000, 2009, 2014; Smith & Jones 2001). Citations must be ordered chronologically, and where cited papers have the same date then these citations are ordered alphabetically (Smith 2000; Armadillo & Smith 2001; Smith & Jones 2001; Zebediah & Jones 2001).

      Reference format:

      • No punctuation around surname or initials – only use a comma to separate author names.
      • No punctuation between author lists and year, or editor lists and ‘ed’/’eds’.
      • No bold or italics other than italics for species names.
      • No punctuation between Journal name and volume(issue)
      • Use an enrule – between pages in range not a hyphen -
      • Do not use hard spacing
      • You must provide the numbers of pages in publications
      • If the article is not published, you cannot cite it as a published reference and must have an intext citation to unpubl. data
      • Provide a date of access for web pages (see below for formatting)

      Reference examples:

      • Article: Beleaguered B, Dubious RE, Denial M, Overwrought B, Confused A 2019. How imperfect can land sparing be before land sharing is more favourable for wild species? Journal of Applied Ecology 56: 73–84.
      • Book: Burns BR, Barker G, Harris R, Innes J 2000. Conifers love cows. Chipping Norton, Surrey Beatty & Sons. 400 p.
      • Book Chapter: Burns BR, Barker G, Harris R, Innes J 2000. Conifers and cows: Forest survival in a New Zealand dairy landscape. In: Craig JL, Mitchell N, Saunders DA eds. Nature conservation 5: Conservation in production environments: Managing the matrix. Chipping Norton, Surrey Beatty & Sons. Pp. 81–89.
      • Thesis: Smelling BO 2002. Decay and moral turpitude in the final years of the giant lizard people of Dorset. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
      • Government publication: Russell JC, Towns DR, Clout MN 2008. Review of rat invasion biology: implications for island biosecurity. Science for Conservation 286. Wellington, Department of Conservation. 53 p.
      • Website: Spudnik M, Doofus T 2001. Why societal and human behaviour presented in the television programme the Telly Tubbies are representative of University management. The online university of excellence. (Accessed 18 September 2001).

      Reference order: All references are listed alphabetically by surname then initials. Two or more references by a single author are listed chronologically. Two or more references by the same first author but with different second authors are listed alphabetically by the first author then by second author. Two or more references by the same first author but with two or more co-authors, cited in text as et al., are listed alphabetically by first author then chronologically. Works by the same author(s) and published in the same year are to be distinguished by letters appended to the year. Thus:

      • Smith AB 1986
      • Smith AB 1994
      • Smith AB, Brown AB 1993
      • Smith AB, Jones JF 1990a
      • Smith AB, Jones JF 1990b
      • Smith AB, Jones JF, Brown AB 1953
      • Smith AB, Brown AB, Jones JF 1956
    • 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 within the figure files themselves.
    • Figures. Includes all line drawings, maps and photographs. Figures must be numbered consecutively, and refered to in text as (Fig. 1), (Fig. 2), etc. 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 designed to conform to either column width of 85 mm or double-coumn width of 180 mm, with either having a page height of 247 mm.  Figures should be prepared so that the lettering and details are clear when reduced to their final size. Acceptable file types include pdf, jpg, tif, and png, with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi, and a maximum file size of 2.0 MB.  As far as is possible colour figures should be colourblind friendly and robust to printing in greyscale.  Poorly presented figures will be returned to authors for redrawing.
    • Appendices. These can be included online as supplementary material. This can include additional tables and figures and supplementary methods.


    The New Zealand Journal of Ecology is now an open access journal, and the logic and decisions behind this development are detailed by Etherington et al. (2023). Therefore, during article production authors will be required to choose (1) a copyright holder and (2) an open access licence. Quite literally, the copyright holders are those who should hold the intellectual property rights to the published works (particularly important for articles containing Mātauranga Māori or knowledge from other Indigenous Knowledge Systems); and the copyright licence protects the creator’s and provider’s rights to be able to (1) reuse their work themselves and (2) to decide how their work is reused by others (Copyright Licensing New Zealand 2022).

    Copyright: The default position is that article copyright is held by the authors “© 2022 The Author(s)”, but this does not necessarily need to be the case. There could be occasions whereby the authors would like to assign copyright to a specific entity, for example an iwi: “© 2022[insert name of iwi]”; or when authors are required to establish copyright via their employer or another organisation or group of people “© 2022 [insert name of employer]”. The New Zealand Journal of Ecology takes the stance that authors are best positioned to make these decisions, and as such authors are free to dictate who is the appropriate copyright holder for the article.

    Licensing: The New Zealand Journal of Ecology uses Creative Commons licences and the default position of the journal will be to suggest a Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY) licence. The CC BY licence maximises the potential for the authors work to be communicated, and is consistent with MBIE’s Open Research Policy regarding publication of research funded by MBIE. However, as discussed by Etherington et al. (2023), there may be occasions when a more restrictive licence is appropriate, and authors are free to choose any of the Creative Commons licences that include the attribution requirement. For those authors who need support in choosing a licence we recommend they refer to the Creative Commons Licence Chooser or that they seek further advice. We would like to stress a few additional points that are often areas of confusion:

    • A licence with a non-commercial (NC) or no derivatives (ND) condition will prevent the work being used in educational resources such as Wikipedia.
    • A no derivatives (ND) condition is generally unhelpful for dissemination of research. It will also prevent others from producing a translation of your work, but doesn’t prevent others using your work for quotation, review, criticism as per the usual fair use principles. All Creative Commons licences, including ND licences, also allow reproductions for non-commercial purposes.
    • A non-commercial (NC) condition only protects against others profiting from your expression of your knowledge (your words and illustrations), it does not prevent someone from profiting from the use of your published knowledge – this is what patents are for.


    Page charges are NZ$40.00 per page, while members of the New Zealand Ecological Society are levied a concessionary rate of NZ$25 per page.

    To encourage the publication of papers covering mātauranga Māori the journal has some funds to cover page charges for these papers, and if you want to access these supporting funding please contact the Editor-in-Chief ahead of submission to ensure the funding is available and can be used to cover page charges assuming the paper is accepted for publication.

    Where the lead author of a paper is a member of the society, and no funds are available via any members of the authorship team or their institutions, then via application to the Editor-in-Chief ahead of submission the society will consider waiving page charges to prevent the member from being excluded from publishing within the journal.


    The journal also publishes obituaries for outstanding New Zealand ecologists who the New Zealand Ecological Society Council feel have also demonstrated consistent and notable service to the Society.  Obituaries do not need to be submitted via Scholastica for peer-review, rather to discuss suitability of and content for an obituary please contact the Editor-in-Chief in the first instance.