Author Instructions


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

Page charges are NZ$40.00 per page, while members of the New Zealand Ecological Society are levied a concessionary rate of $25 per page for the first ten pages per year.  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 Scientific Editor 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 Scientific Editor the society will consider waiving page charges to prevent the member from being excluded from publishing within the journal.


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 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, through the New Zealand Journal of Ecology Scholastica portal, using the link at the bottom of this page. 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 Scientific Editor.

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.

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 2-3 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.


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. 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).
  2. All citation / reference links have been removed.
  3. Remove page and line numbers.
  4. All tables and figures are on seperate pages
  5. 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 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.


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. (2022). 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. (2022), 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.


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. Fifteen words maximum.
  • Names of authors. All authors listed should have made a significant contribution to the paper. ‘Gift’ authorship is discouraged.
  • 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. Include permit numbers. Please consider adding acknowledgements to journal reviewers at the revisions stage.
  • Data and code availability. Manuscripts must provide details about the availability of associated data and/or code.  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.
  • Author contributions. Manuscripts must include a statement of each author's contribution, ideally following the CRedIT taxonomy of Brand et al. (2015). Each author is expected to have:
    • 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;
    • approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author’s contribution to the study);
    • 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.

    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.

    • References. Please refer to recent issues of the journal for the correct style. Style format files are available for EndNote, Bookends, and as CSL (e.g. for Mendeley, Zotero, etc.), and if you have questions please contact the Technical Editor.
    • 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, jpeg, tiff, and png, with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.  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.


    Submit to New Zealand Journal of Ecology