Return to front cover

Submitting manuscripts to the Antarctic Journal

The Antarctic Journal of the United States invites contributions from members of the antarctic science, logistics, and policy communities who want to communicate their work and ideas to an audience that combines specialists and scientifically literate nonspecialists. The Antarctic Journal is not peer reviewed but rather provides reports on U.S. activities in Antarctica and related activities elsewhere and on trends in the U.S. Antarctic Program. For additional information, contact Winifred Reuning, Editor Antarctic Journal; National Science Foundation; Office of Polar Programs; Room 755; 4201 Wilson Boulevard; Arlington, VA 22230; phone: (703) 306-1033; Internet:

Submitting material for the monthly online issues of Antarctic Journal of the United States

The editor of the Antarctic Journal will consider unsolicited manuscripts for publication. Format and content requirements for articles are summarized below; however, interested authors should review previous issues for style and content or contact the editor directly.

The audience for the monthly online issues is broad in background and interests, so authors should make sure that their articles will be intelligible to readers outside of their scientific discipline or other area of expertise. Avoid specialized jargon and abbreviations, but use technical terms as necessary. Define terms likely to be known only by readers who are familiar with subject. Spell out acronyms when they first appear, including standard scientific terms and chemical abbreviations, as well as names of organizations.

Papers will be edited to improve style, clarity, and grammar. Authors will have the opportunity to review their edited manuscripts before publication.

Articles: Feature articles should be no longer than 1,500­2,500 words, but there is no limit on the number of illustrations (figures, tables, or photographs). Appropriate topics include recent or significant science discoveries or advancements, cold-regions engineering, special support activities or issues, history, environmental topics, and policy issues.

Notes: Shorter articles, 800­1,000 words, will also be considered. Illustrations may be submitted with these articles, but notes should not include more than five figures. Appropriate topics for notes include meeting reports or announcements, new or improved technology, polar publications, and support or related activities.

Submitting articles to the annual review issue of Antarctic Journal of the United States

A summary of AJUS requirements

  • Keep your article within the word limit. Articles must be no more than 1,300 words, including figure captions and reference lists.
  • Write with Journal readers in mind. Antarctic Journal's readers are primarily people outside your field of specialization. Our audience is diverse and international. Describe the progress of your research in such a way that readers with a college degree, but not necessarily a science degree, will understand the significance of what you do.
  • Keep in mind that Antarctic Journal is not refereed. Although the National Science Foundation copyedits submissions, articles are not peer-reviewed for scientific content or merit. Your writing objective for this publication is to summarize your research, not to present it in detail for replication or scientific review by others.
  • Follow Journal style--
    • List no more than three authors.
    • Double space everything.
    • Spell out ALL abbreviations and acronyms at first use.
    • Use metric for all measurements.
    • Check your reference list to make sure it's complete and correct.
  • Keep artwork as simple as possible--
    • Use no more than three pieces of artwork.
    • Send camera-ready artwork, not computer files.
    • Submit only black-and-white artwork.
    • Avoid screens (shading) produced by the computer in your artwork.
    • Send glossy prints of photos. If you are submitting digitized images, please contact the editor first for format information.
    • Type the captions with the text, not on the artwork.

Questions about writing style and manuscript preparation

Who will read my Antarctic Journal article? Make sure the significance of your work will be apparent to readers outside your field, even if you feel you are explaining too much for your own colleagues. Readers of the Journal include the multidisciplinary and international community of antarctic researchers, antarctic program managers, government officials, and the public. Avoid specialized jargon and abbreviations, but use technical terms as necessary. Define terms likely to be known only in your field. Do not use the IMRAD style (i.e., introduction, methods, results, analysis, and discussion) of presentation; take a less formal approach.

Why is sticking to the word limit so important? Articles must not exceed 1,300 words, including the figure captions and reference list, and they must have no more than three figures and no more than three tables. Over the years, the Journal has grown both in the number of articles received and in the length of each article. To be able to publish as many articles as possible, it has become necessary to enforce the word limit. If we don't limit the number of pages, the book will become too large to bind and too expensive to mail. What's more, as articles become longer, they also tend to become too technical for the Journal's multidisciplinary and nonscience reading audiences.

What style guide should I follow? The Journal follows the Government Printing Office Style Manual (1984 edition) and The Chicago Manual of Style (14th edition).

How should I handle abbreviations? Define all symbols and spell out all acronyms and abbreviations where they first appear, even terms that are common in your discipline, including scientific acronyms, standard scientific notation, measurements, and chemical abbreviations, as well as names of organizations. Don't use any abbreviations on your artwork that you haven't defined in text. Please use metric for all measurements.

Who is considered an "author"? List as authors only those who actually participated in writing the paper; please limit this list to three authors. Cite other project participants in the acknowledgments. Please include the complete address (institution, city, state, and ZIP code) for all authors.

Is double spacing really necessary, even on the reference list? Absolutely. Use double-spacing for all parts of your manuscript-for tables, references, and figure captions as well as text.

May I submit an electronic version? Electronic submissions are preferred, but please send a hard copy as well and make sure that symbols, characters, accents, and other similar items are correct on the hard copy. All electronic submissions must be IBM compatible. Use a 3.5-inch disk and WordPerfect, Microsoft Word for Windows, or ASCII format. Disks will not be returned. If you want to submit a manuscript by electronic mail, please contact the NSF editor first.

How many copies of my article should I submit? Please send two copies of each submission, one with original artwork and one with photocopies.

What's the purpose of the "Manuscript Cover Sheet"? The names and addresses you supply on this sheet tell us where to send the edited manuscript for author review. The travel dates you provide help us know when you will be unavailable. If you are submitting more than one manuscript, please include a cover sheet for each manuscript. If you are a project leader and want to have papers organized in a specific order, please include this information in the cover letter that accompanies your manuscripts.

What happens to my paper after submission? Papers are edited to ensure that they conform to Journal style, that they are clear and understandable for the intended audience, that they are internally consistent, and that they are free of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Authors receive their edited manuscripts for review.


Printable artwork. Provide hard-copy, camera-ready illustrations of each figure. The annual review issue is printed traditionally, so we can't use computer file copies, art with computer-generated grayscale, or color line art. Line art should be composed using only solid black lines, open white spacing, and cross-hatching or stippling. Scanned and color photos reproduce poorly, so please submit only glossy-finish, black-and-white photos. (Some digitized images are acceptable, but please check with the NSF editor first.) A sharp image with good contrast is essential for quality reproduction, so photocopies in place of originals can't be accepted.

Type size. Remember that illustrations may be reduced by 50 percent or more. Make sure that all text and numbers on the illustration will be legible if reduced.

Combined art. To help decrease production time and costs, please combine separate parts of the same figure (i.e., "A," "B," and "C") into a single piece of artwork and label each part with a capital, italicized letter.

Labeling. Line art should be labeled in a margin on the front. Photographs should be labeled on the back. To avoid marring the image, an Avery-type label may be used. All figure labels should include the figure number and the lead author's last name and initials. If a lead author has submitted more than one article, include enough words from the title to distinguish it from other submissions. If you want your illustrations returned, please indicate this on the art itself and include the name and address of the person to whom it should be returned.

Captions. Captions for all figures should be double-spaced and should follow the reference list with the text of the manuscript. Do not type the captions on the artwork. Please remember to cite figures in the text. If you have more than one figure, each must have a separate number. Include credit information, if applicable, in the caption.


Remember to include titles and in-text citations for all tables. Don't forget to spell out any abbreviations that you haven't defined in the text. Keep your tables simple, direct, and easy to grasp. Use no more than three tables per article, regardless of the size of the tables.


Format. The basic reference format for the Antarctic Journal is

First author (last name, initials), Second author (initials last name), and Last author (initials last name). Year of publication. Title in sentence style (no quotation marks). Editors (of book). Full title of journal or book. Either journal information (volume, number, page numbers) or book information (location and name of publisher).

For references with more than one author, please cite all authors (do not use "et al."). If you're unsure of the format for a particular entry, refer to past issues of the Antarctic Journal. List only the references you cited in text on your reference list.

Journals. Spell out titles of all journals and give both volume and issue number. (Issue numbers may be omitted only for publications paginated consecutively throughout a volume.)

Books and proceedings. Be sure to cite the city and state or country of publication for books. Do not include the page numbers. Provide the date of conferences and the name and location of the publisher of the proceedings.

Foreign language. For articles or books published in a foreign language, please provide a translated title along with the original title.

Text citations. For citations with one to three authors, include the last name(s) and the year of publication. When more than three authors are cited, use the first author's name, "et al.," and the year of publication. All authors and publications you cite in text must be included on your reference list.


Because the Library of Congress Antarctic Bibliography will be citing your work, you may want to submit a 100-word abstract of your paper for use by this abstracting and indexing service. These abstracts will not be used in the Antarctic Journal, so please submit them on a separate sheet of paper and include the article's title and authors' names.

Handling AJUS-specific information

Field research sites. If you don't use an index map, cite geographic coordinates of study areas. Avoid use of unofficial names. For official antarctic names, refer to Geographic Names of the Antarctic, U.S. Board on Geographic Names, (NSF 95-157) or the Gazetteer of the Antarctic, National Science Foundation, 1989.

Personnel. List all field personnel, and give the dates that they were in the field. Use names, not initials.

Grant numbers. If appropriate, use this sentence as your last paragraph: "This research was supported by National Science Foundation grant [contract]" (Insert your grant or contract number in the blank space.) Make sure that you include your complete, seven-digit grant or contract number (not your "S" number) as well as the full name of the granting agency.

Cover photographs or illustrations. Particularly good photographs or drawings will be considered for use on the cover. Please provide caption information and a credit line for all potential cover photographs.

Journal subscriptions and reprints

Authors receive a complimentary subscription to the Journal. Reprints are not provided. Because the Journal is not copyrighted, authors may freely copy their articles.

Do you have questions about submitting your work to AJUS?

Contact the Journal editor: Winifred Reuning, Polar Coordination and Information Section, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230; phone: (703) 306-1033; fax: (703) 306-0139; e-mail:

Return to front cover