Friday, January 21, 2022

Author Instructions

Authors preparing manuscripts for submission to Notornis are asked to read and follow these instructions. By doing so, the passage of their scripts through the editorial process will be eased and publication achieved more expeditiously.

Scope of the journal

Notornis publishes original papers and short notes on all aspects of field ornithology, whether observational or applied, and welcomes contributions from professional, amateur and student ornithologists alike. It concentrates on birds of the ocean and lands of the southern Pacific, a region broadly inclusive of all South Pacific islands but extending to Antarctica and including the seas from Australia to the western shores of South America. Special emphasis is accorded the New Zealand region.

Submission of manuscripts

Manuscripts may be submitted by e-mail to the Managing Editor, Dr Craig Symes

The submission should be in MS Word format (or as an .rtf file). To facilitate the review process, a single document should be submitted, with Tables and Figures (preferable .jpg format) included in the document following the main text and references. Large embedded files should be compressed sufficiently so that the final document size is no larger than 10MB, yet image quality is retained. Authors should indicate in the text where each Table and Figure is most appropriately inserted. Authors are requested to contact the Editor should submission requirements be difficult to meet, e.g. scanned images too large for submission. Should the manuscript be accepted, the Editor will request separately submitted files for images in the relevant format.

  • Title: Arial font; Rest of document in Palatino linotype (the font in which papers are published)
  • Font: no less than 12 pt type
  • Suitable Margins
  • A4 setting

A covering letter/statement must accompany the submission, giving the name, postal address, phone, and e-mail addresses of the corresponding author and confirming that the paper or material in it has not been published previously and is not under consideration with another publication. If the manuscript contains information provided to the author as a personal communication, confirmation that the author has permission to publish this information is required.

Before submission

Authors are strongly advised to have their manuscript read, and critically reviewed, by friends or colleagues. Although this is not a formal requirement of the journal, it may influence the treatment of the manuscript. Notornis receives more manuscripts than it can publish and poorly constructed manuscripts are unlikely to enter the journal’s editorial process. Complying with any administrative requirement (in-house review; permission to publish, etc.) of the author’s workplace or supporting agency is a matter between those parties; such matters are not checked by the editors and OSNZ accepts no responsibility in case of any dispute. Sequence of authors is similarly the responsibility of the authors alone and should be resolved prior to submission. As such, it is the responsibility of corresponding authors to ensure that all authors of the paper accept their position on the final version of the published paper. Potential conflicts of interest between authors and other institutions must be brought to the attention of the editors.

Ethics Papers reporting experimental work on animals should include a reference to the code of practice adopted and relevant animal ethics approval. Lack of such confirmation may result in the rejection of the paper on ethical grounds. While the review process may highlight certain issues in this regard it is the responsibility of the author/s to ensure that the relevant procedures are followed and acknowledged when, 1) working on and handling animals, and 2) accessing land where permission is required.

Editorial process

All manuscripts are acknowledged upon receipt. The Managing Editor will make an initial assessment of the manuscript to confirm its subject, content, scope and quality are appropriate for the journal. The Managing Editor will then approach potential referees to review the paper; two reviewers for an original paper and one reviewer for a short note. Referee’s reports, together with initial editorial comment will be conveyed to the author, preferably within three months of submission. The Managing Editor will decide on acceptance for publication following receipt of the reviewers’ reports. The corresponding author will then be advised of an outcome.

Manuscript styles

Full papers

Sequence  The main sections of the manuscript should be:

  • Title page containing the title, authors’ names, affiliation(s), a suggested short title, and the name and address (including phone number and E-mail as appropriate) of a corresponding author. The title should be as short as possible while still reflecting the content of the paper.
  • Abstract of about 150 words that provides a succinct summary of the main findings of the study, followed by up to seven Keywords.
  • The major parts (Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, Literature cited) should follow continuously. Further sections such as Study site may be added, before the Results. Avoid footnotes. If the manuscript is part of a series, this should be noted in the Acknowledgments.

Headings There are three levels of headings. First level is BOLD CAPITALS; second level is Bold initial capitals; third level is Italic capitals and lower case. If necessary, a fourth level of Capitals and small capitals can be invoked. Text continues on the same line for third and fourth level headings. Use only those levels that are appropriate: main sections, such as ‘Discussion’, are first level headings.

Short notes

These are generally of <2000 words and report a single item of ornithological interest. The text is without subdivision with results and discussion combined and the only first level headings used are ‘Acknowledgements’ and ‘Literature cited’. Authors’ names and affiliation(s) are placed at the beginning and keywords at the end of the manuscript.

Book reviews

Publishers of books, journals and other publications dealing with ornithological topics are invited to send copies of their publications for review to Trish Wells, the Book Review Editor, Ornithological Society of New Zealand, 

Letters and Notices

Notornis may be used as a forum for ornithological discussion and debate and welcomes contributions as “Letters to the Editor”. Letters are published at the discretion of the Managing Editor and must make a reasoned contribution to ornithological knowledge or debate. Notices of ornithological interest about events, people or study opportunities will be published in the 1st and 3rd issues of each volume in the feature Noticeboard. Contact the Managing Editor for details.

Editorial conventions

Style The basic references are the New Zealand style book and the Concise Oxford dictionary. Use italics for foreign words, including such combinations as sensu stricto, and et al. Minimise the use of non-standard abbreviations and acronyms that the reader must memorise. Use SI (Systéme Internationale d’Unités) units, abbreviations, and symbols (NZS 6501: 1982, Units of Measurements (Standards Association of New Zealand)). If non-SI units are used for consistency with another publication, they should be accompanied by the SI equivalents. Conversions should use appropriate levels of significant figures. Time should be given according to the 24-hour clock, without internal punctuation (e.g., 1134 h), in local Standard Time.

Statistical terms Sample size must be denoted by n, mean denoted by , probability level denoted by P, standard deviation by sd, standard error of the mean by se, and degrees of freedom by df. Provide values for all test statistics used. Symbols denoting test statistics should be italicized.

Taxonomy and nomenclature The most recent edition of the Checklist of New Zealand birds should be taken as the prime reference for both scientific and common names of bird species in the New Zealand region (see: Use a similar authoritative source for other regions. Use of other nomenclature can be adopted where necessary, as in taxonomic papers or where explained or justified in the text. At first mention, both the common and the scientific names (italicised and in brackets) of a species must be given; thereafter one or other may be used, but not both. If the scientific name is used it should be given in italics. Subspecific names should be given only if relevant to the content of the paper. Authorities for species names are not required, unless dictated by the subject matter.

Literature cited

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all references. All citations in the text must be on the list of references; all on the list must be cited. Cite references in the text chronologically and list alphabetically in full at the end of the paper. In the text, names of two authors should be linked by ‘&’; for three or more, the first author’s name should be followed by ‘et al.’ Papers that have not been formally, and thus are not publicly attainable, may not be included in the literature cited and must be cited as unpublished data (‘unpubl.’) or as a personal communication (‘pers. comm.’); proof of authority to use a ‘pers. comm..’ is required. Use and listing of transitory reference sources, e.g. web sites, is not encouraged. Titles of periodicals should be given in full. Journal titles or titles of other periodicals or series must be cited in full. Sample reference formats should be as follows:

Castro, I. 1995. Behavioural ecology and management of hihi (Notiomystis cincta), an endemic New Zealand honeyeater. Unpubl. PhD thesis, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 1996. The field guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.

McLennan, J.A.; Rudge, M.R.; Potter, M.A. 1987. Range size and denning behaviour of brown kiwi, Apteryx australis mantelli, in Hawke’s Bay. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 10: 97–107.

Reid, B.; Williams, G.R. 1975. The kiwi. pp. 301–330 In: Kuschel, G. (ed.) Biogeography and ecology of New Zealand. The Hague, Junk.

Rowe, S.; Empson, R. 1996. Distribution and abundance of the Tanga’eo, or Mangaia kingfisher (Halcyon sancta ruficollaris). Notornis 43: 35–42.


Each table should begin on a separate page, following on after the references and figure captions, and be numbered in Arabic numerals in the order as referred to in the text, and accompanied by a title at the top. Double-space throughout. Horizontal lines should appear only between the title and the table body, and below the last line of tabulated data. In some instances, clarity may be improved by short horizontal lines over column heads that are logically linked. Do not use vertical lines anywhere in the table. See recent issues of Notornis for samples and carefully follow the Table format therein.


Authors are reminded that they will be asked to provide electronic versions of their figures with their revised manuscripts, or asked to submit high-quality illustrations that can produced high-quality scans. Hand-drawn illustrations are best done in Indian ink on cartridge paper. Computer-generated illustrations should be saved as high resolution (300–600 dpi) files and in both .tif (or .eps) and .jpg formats. Files in other formats (especially those associated with word processor packages) cannot normally be used. The .jpg file should be sent with the initially submitted manuscript, the .tif or .eps files with the final revised version of the manuscript.

Figures should allow for reduction to standard sizes to fit page space: column width is 71 mm; full page width is 147 mm. An intermediate width of 100 mm can also be used. Page height is 205 mm, but allowance must be made for a caption set in 8 pt type. Half page height is best. ‘Landscape’ orientation can be accommodated where necessary. Check image quality and legibility by photocopying at the necessary reduction. Final size for lettering should be no less than 1.5 mm for a capital letter, which translates to a minimum of 12 pt type if 50% reduction is required. Lettering should be in sans-serif type (e.g., Helvetica or Arial), not bold, and only initial letters of axis labels capitalised. The preferred symbols are those that are readily available on word processor packages.

Photographs must be sharp and of good contrast. Identify any necessary details with appropriate labelling. Colour photographs can be printed, but please enquire before submitting.

Maps should be simple enough to present the relevant context of the study. Colour may be used if relevant to the message of the manuscript. Avoid copying poor quality and/or over-detailed images from, for example, Google Earth or institutional reports, etc.

Captions should be prefaced by Figure in bold and referenced sequentially in the text by Fig. 1, etc. (not Figure). Avoid legends on the illustration if they clutter and/or cover important parts of the figure. List the meanings of shading or other details in the caption if appropriate, for example, hatched bars, chicks fledged; solid bars, chicks died. Captions should contain enough information to explain the figures without reference to the text. Put symbols on the figure itself, if possible, not on overlays.

Procedure after acceptance

Authors will be asked to provide an electronic version of their revised manuscript (by E-mail), as a MS Word file or as a .rtf file. All figures must be supplied electronically (as .jpg or.tif files) as separate files and not embedded in the text. From this, the publishers will create a marked-up version of the manuscript for printing, making any necessary editorial modifications in the process. This version will be sent by E-mail to authors for acceptance or negotiation of editorial changes and for eventual “sign off”. Traditional page proofs are no longer supplied, however proofs (as .pdf files) of papers with complicated layouts will be sent to authors at the Managing Editor’s discretion.

Copyright The Ornithological Society of New Zealand assumes copyright of the printed script. The author(s), by “signing off” the final and marked-up version of their manuscript, are assigning copyright to the Society. The assumption of copyright is to protect authors from having their publication subjected to commercial exploitation without their knowledge and agreement and does not confer any financial gain to OSNZ.


Traditional reprints of papers are no longer supplied or produced. Instead, following publication, authors will be provided with an electronic reprint (as a .pdf file) of their paper and encouraged to distribute this widely. Authors unable to accept an electronic reprint should advise the Managing Editor.

Page charges

There are currently no page charges for authors.