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Before submitting an article for peer review please carefully read and follow these Instructions for Contributors (including the Guidelines for preparation of figures and plates and the Code of Conduct for researchers contributing articles). Please also read the Submit an article page before making your submission via Oryx on ScholarOne Manuscripts, to ensure that you have all of the required information ready. Download the full Instructions

General instructions
Open Access option
Guidelines for preparation of figures and plates
Code of Conduct for researchers contributing articles


General instructions

Oryx—The International Journal of Conservation, published quarterly on behalf of Fauna & Flora International, is a journal of biodiversity conservation, conservation policy and sustainable use, and the interactions of these with social, economic and political issues. The journal has a particular interest in material with the potential to improve conservation management and practice. Oryx also supports the publishing and communication aspirations of conservation practitioners and researchers worldwide, and helps build capacity for conservation.

Articles (2,000–7,000 words), Reviews (< 7,000 words), Forum papers (< 4,000 words) and Short Communications (< 2,000 words) are invited on topics relevant to the journal’s focus, including:

  • The nature and results of conservation initiatives, including case studies
  • Research on the sustainable use of wild species
  • Research on the status of threatened species, taxonomic groups or habitats
  • Reviews of conservation policy, strategy and legislation in practice
  • Planning for species and biodiversity conservation
  • The working of international conservation conventions
  • The history of conservation, including the role of key people, organizations and initiatives
  • The causes and consequences of biodiversity loss
  • Case studies of conservation projects and programmes
  • The social, economic and political dimensions of conservation

Note that word counts are all inclusive except for Tables and Figure and Plate captions.

Reviews provide comprehensive overviews of a particular conservation topic. Forum papers promote debate about current and controversial issues, usually with critical responses commissioned from one or more authors. Articles on the status of threatened species, taxonomic groups or habitats should generally be < 4,500 words and have, where relevant, a context beyond that of the subject studied.

Submission Online at Oryx on ScholarOne Manuscripts (see Submit an article for further advice). Upon submission the Corresponding Author must confirm that: (1) the submitted manuscript has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere, (2) all authors have read the submitted manuscript and agreed to its submission, and (3) all authors have abided by the Code of Conduct for authors contributing articles. If there is overlap with other articles, including any in press or in preparation, this should be stated and the articles in question sent to the Editor. Both quantitative and qualitative methodology used in the reported work should be appropriate to the research question and must be clearly described. Management recommendations should be made where appropriate, and details of any implementation provided.

Age of data Where relevant, dates of any fieldwork must be provided. Oryx publishes research with the potential to have an impact on conservation outcomes. This requires conclusions to be based upon the best available and up-to-date information and analysis and we therefore look carefully at all manuscripts in which conclusions are based on field data collected some time ago (generally > 4 years). We recognize, however, the value of historical field or collection records but require evidence that these studies are directly relevant to effective conservation. Bear this policy in mind when submitting your manuscript and, if the data and/or associated analyses are not recent, justify, both in your cover letter and in the manuscript, the use of these data in terms of the conservation relevance of your findings.

Preparation of manuscripts Consult a recent issue of Oryx for general style. Contributions should be in English, with British English spelling and terminology, double-spaced, without footnotes, and with line numbers. Submissions, which can be a single file with all Tables, Figures, Plates and Appendices at the end or with text and other elements in separate files, must be in DOC format (not PDF). For submission, graphics can be in low to medium resolution as long as they are clearly legible, with publication-quality graphics to be provided upon any final acceptance. Cover page should contain title, word count (all inclusive except for Tables and Figure and Plate captions), and full mailing address, e-mail, and address at the time the research was carried out, if different, of the corresponding author and all additional authors. Pages to be numbered, and order of sections to be: cover page, main text, biographical sketches, Tables, Figure and Plate captions, Figures, Plates. Short Communications must not have any subheadings.

Title A succinct description of the work (≤ 20 words) preferably embodying either the aim or the overall conclusion.

Abstract In < 250 words, the aims, methods, major findings and conclusions; should be informative without reference to the text and should not contain any references or undefined abbreviations.

Keywords Up to eight pertinent words or phrases, in alphabetical order (these can repeat words in the title).

Structure Articles should generally follow the Introduction, Study Area (where appropriate), Methods, Results and Discussion format. Minimize use of other subheadings.

References Cited in the text as, for example, Hardcastle & Wilson (1996) or (Leadbeater, 1996). For three or more authors use the first author's surname followed by et al.. Multiple references to be in chronological order. Reference list should be in alphabetical order, and article titles and the titles of serial publications to be given in full. If citations and bibliography are prepared using a bibliography manager any field codes, tags or similar must be removed. The following are examples of Oryx style:

Beck, B.B., Rapaport, L.G. & Stanley Price, M.R. (1994) Reintroduction of captive-born animals. In Creative Conservation: Interactive Management of Wild and Captive Animals (eds P.J.S. Olney, G.M. Mace & A.T.C. Feistner), pp. 265–286. Chapman & Hall, London, UK.

Bowler, M. (1991) Implications of large predator management on commercial ranchland in Zimbabwe. MSc thesis. University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Brady, L.D., Huston, K., Jenkins, R.K.B., Kauffmann, J.L.D., Rabearivony, J., Raveloson, G. & Rowcliffe, M. (1996) UEA Madagascar Expedition '93. Unpublished Report. University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

IUCN (2011) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species v. 2011.1. Http://www.iucnredlist.org [accessed 25 August 2011].

LeBoeuf, B.J., Kenyon, K.W. & Villa-Ramirez, B. (1986) The Caribbean monk seal is extinct. Marine Mammal Science, 2, 70–72.

MacArthur, R.H. & Wilson, E.O. (1967) The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA.

Sutherland, W.J. (ed.) (1998) Conservation Science and Action. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK.

Biographical sketches The research interests of all authors (< 150 words total), over and above what is obvious from the subject of the manuscript and the authors’ affiliations.

Tables Each on a separate page, with captions that are comprehensible without reference to the text.

Figures & Plates Guidelines for the preparation of Figures and Plates are provided below. Captions should be comprehensible without reference to the text.

Appendices For mathematical or statistical models, lengthy tables, and questionnaires. May be published online-only, depending on length. Online-only appendices can also include Figures and Plates, and these can be in colour.

Abbreviations Minimize use, and provide full expansion of any at first mention in the text.

Symbols, units & currencies Use SI units (International System of Units) and ISO 4217 currency codes.

Nomenclature Where necessary, provide the basis used for nomenclature of taxa. The first time a species is mentioned its scientific name should follow without intervening punctuation, thus African elephant Loxodonta africana. English names should be in lower case throughout except when they incorporate a proper name.

Offprints, page charges & colour figures Contributors receive a PDF file of their article, and may purchase hard copy offprints. No page charges are levied. Colour Figures can be published but only at the author’s expense.

Copyright Authors will be asked, upon acceptance of an article, to transfer copyright to Fauna & Flora International.

Review Manuscripts are subject to rigorous peer review. Contributors may suggest appropriate reviewers. For manuscripts with a substantial statistical content, one of the reviewers will be a statistician. The main criteria for acceptance are originality, scientific rigour, an appropriately broad context, relevance to the readership and acceptability of style. We receive more submissions than we are able to publish and the final authority in all matters relating to publication lies with the Editor.

Proofs Sent to authors as a PDF file. Corrected proofs must be returned to the Editor within 3 days of receipt; minor corrections can be communicated by e-mail.

The Editor welcomes contributions to the other sections of the journal (deadlines for the January, April, July and October issues are 1 October, 1 January, 1 April and 1 July, respectively)—see Submit other material).

Letters Substantial and informative contributions (< 700 words) in response to material published in the journal.

Briefly News (< 6 months old) of general conservation interest based on authoritative published sources (< 150 words), including reputable web sites.

Conservation News Major recent developments (< 6 months old) in conservation or important announcements (< 700 words), other than from published sources.

Grants & Opportunities, and Publications Availability of grants or funding opportunities, and book reviews, respectively. Authors and publishers are invited to send publications to the Editor for potential review.

Oryx is covered by Biological Abstracts, BIOBASE/Current Awareness in Biological Sciences, Current Contents Agriculture, Biology and Environmental Science, Science Citation Index, SciSearch, Research Alert and Ecology Abstracts.

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Open Access option

Cambridge Open Option allows authors the option to make their articles freely available to everyone, immediately on publication. This service reflects Cambridge’s commitment to further the dissemination of published academic information. The programme allows authors to make their article freely available in exchange for a one-off charge paid either by the authors themselves or by their associated funding body. This fee covers the costs associated with the publication process from peer review, through copyediting and typesetting, up to and including the hosting of the definitive version of the published article online. Payment of this one-off fee entitles permanent archiving both by Cambridge University Press and by the author; however, it also enables anyone else to view, search and download an article for personal and non-commercial use. The only condition for this is that the author and original source are properly acknowledged.

The Cambridge Open Option is only offered to authors upon acceptance of an article for publication and as such has no influence on the peer review or acceptance procedure. The paper will continue to be made available in both print and online versions, but will be made freely available to anyone with Internet links via our online platform, Cambridge Journals Online. In addition, such papers will have copyright assigned under a Creative Commons Attribution licence, which enables sharing and adaptation, providing attribution is given. All articles will continue to be handled in the normal manner with peer-review, professional production and online distribution in Cambridge Journals Online. Articles will also be included in the relevant Abstracting & Indexing services and in CrossRef, and can have supplementary content (text, video or audio) added to their online versions. Cambridge will also deposit the article in any relevant repositories on the author’s behalf, where that is a condition of the funding body.

The Cambridge Open Option is now available to authors of articles in Journal of Tropical Ecology at the standard Cambridge rate of £1695/$2700 per article. Requests to take up the Cambridge Open Option will be subject to approval by the Editors of the Journal. For more information on Open Access and Cambridge Journals, please follow this link.

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Guidelines for preparation of figures and plates

Figures are printed at widths of 79, 107.5 and 165 mm (3.1, 4.2 and 6.5 inches, respectively); wherever possible design for widths of 79 or 107.5 mm. See recent issues of the journal for examples of suitably designed Figures. Plates  (i.e. photographs) are  usually printed at 79 mm width. On initial submission Figures and Plates can be at low to medium resolution as long as they are legible. For accepted articles we require Figures and Plates at publication quality (see below). We welcome colour Figures and Plates but they can be printed only at the author’s expense; contact the Editorial Office if you require a costing. Figures and Plates can, however, be published in colour online and greyscale in print at no cost to the author; in such cases authors need to ensure that any graphic will also reproduce well in greyscale.

We accept graphics for publication only in encapsulated postscript (EPS), scalar vector graphic (SVG) or tagged image format (TIF). Line artwork is best prepared in vector-based drawing software (e.g. Corel Draw, Illustrator, Freehand, Inkscape, ArcView). Export maps and graphs thus prepared in EPS or SVG format. When exporting, embed fonts if possible (or convert to outlines), do not use lines of hairline width but rather use a minimum width of 0.3 points, and do not downsample the quality of any embedded images. Design specifically for one of the journal's three Figure widths (see above). Submit Plates in TIF format. For a photograph to be printed at 79 mm (3.1 inches) we require a minimum size along the width of 1,860 pixels (600 pixels x 3.1 inches).

Maps and graphs prepared in raster-based software (e.g. Photoshop, Gimp) will also need to be submitted in TIF format, and the same guidance regarding size applies. A Figure designed for printing at a width of 107.5 mm (4.2 inches) requires a minimum size along the width of 2,520 pixels (600 x 4.2), and a full page width Figure of 165 mm (6.5 inches) must be at a minimum size of 3,900 pixels (600 x 6.5). For all TIF files, whether Figures or Plates, please note that the resolution is irrelevant—it is the dimension in pixels that is important. Before sending, print out EPS and TIF Figure files at the designed width to check legibility of fonts and sharpness of lines and shading. If in doubt about the quality or format of a Figure or Plate send a test file to the Editorial Office. See Analysis & Writing Tools for advice on graphics software.

In general any manuscript that involves a study site or specific location will require a map Figure. Such Figures must: (1) be surrounded by a thin-line box, (2) be geographically referenced either with a few inward-pointing latitude and longitude tic marks or with a small inset map indicating the location of the main figure, (3) have a scale bar in km, and (4) have all lines such as country boundaries, roads and rivers, wherever appropriate, extending to the bounding box.

For all Figures use line thicknesses in the range of 0.3–1.0 points and font sizes in the range of 8–12 points. All fonts used in Figures should be sans serif (e.g. Arial) rather than serif (such as Times Roman). All Figure elements should be in black-and-white. If shading is required, use only a limited range of grey shades, generally not more than three.

In general, Plates will only be included in an article if they form evidence that is integral to the subject studied (e.g. a camera-trap photograph of a rare species) and if they are of good quality. We welcome other photographs of interest (such as of the study site, species or fieldwork) for consideration for the Gallery. Contact us for more information.

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Code of Conduct for researchers contributing articles

We believe it is important that conservation research conforms to the highest possible ethical and legal standards. The journal has therefore had a Code of Conduct for researchers contributing articles since 2001. In fact, we believe it is important that researchers read the Code even before carrying out research. If you submit an article for consideration by Oryx you will be required to assent to three points, one of which is that all authors on the article have abided by this Code of Conduct. The Code covers important aspects of both research and the preparation of articles for publication.

1. All research must have the necessary approvals and permits from appropriate institutions and statutory authorities in both the host country and the researchers’ country of origin (if different).

2. Any intellectual property rights on data and results obtained from the research must be managed within the legal requirements of the host country and be shared fairly among the participants, especially those from the host country. Such arrangements should be formalized prior to initiating the research through prior informed consent by the host country and institutes. Research should not infringe local rights in intellectual property. If research is carried out in a host country that has few legal requirements for such work, researchers should follow the standards of their country of origin.

3. Oryx recognizes the importance of capacity building as an important component of conservation activity, as well as the importance of full involvement by all stakeholders in research activity. Therefore we recommend that:

4. Any research undertaken in a foreign country should, wherever possible, be based on active collaboration with appropriately qualified and experienced individuals from the host country. One objective of the research should be, where necessary, to enhance the capacity of scientific and technical staff in the host country.

  • Copies of any reports and publications resulting from the research shall routinely be provided to all relevant institutions in the country where the research is being undertaken
  • Wherever appropriate, researchers from the host country should be included as co-authors of all relevant publications.
  • Where appropriate, the results of research should be reported back to relevant local and national organizations.
  • Where research involves fieldwork in areas occupied by people, or affects species or ecosystems within which people have de facto or de jure tenure rights or cultural connections, it should be carried out in a way that respects local beliefs, economic and cultural interests, and rights.
  • Where relevant, research should involve the participation of local partners, and should have regard for the enhancement of local capacity to understand and manage ecosystems and populations.

5. Field researchers should adopt the highest precautionary standards to avoid the accidental introduction and distribution of invasive and pathogenic organisms.

6. Researchers are encouraged to adopt existing IUCN/Species Survival Commission  guidelines (e.g. on reintroductions and invasive organisms) as a framework for professional procedure, and are encouraged to design their studies and research to match the research and management needs stated in Species Survival Commission Action Plans and National Biodiversity Action Plans.

7. Research on species should wherever possible be non-intrusive, but it is recognized that responsible collection of data by intrusive means may be necessary in some cases. Moreover, useful research can be conducted using specimens taken or killed by others (for example, as part of wildlife management operations). The following guidelines for the treatment of individual specimens should be followed.

(a) In cases where specimens are collected and/or killed by the researcher:

  • data collection involving the killing of an organism should only take place when such collection is essential to the scientific integrity of the research being undertaken;
  • the number of specimens collected should be the absolute minimum required for research integrity;
  • the specimens collected should not be of species that appear on national or international lists of threatened species unless they are necessary for the purposes of research aimed at enhancing their conservation. In such cases, the researchers must have the appropriate permits from the relevant statutory authority.

(b) In cases where information is collected from specimens that have been killed by others: if data collection makes use of existing game control, hunting or harvesting operations, it should take place in such as way that no additional mortality occurs as a result of the research, either directly or indirectly (e.g. through increased demand).

8. Animal capture and handling techniques should conform to the highest standards of animal welfare. If animals are to be killed they must be killed humanely. Researchers should confirm that they have followed a code of conduct from a reputable source, such as that developed by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour and the Animal Behaviour Society—see Dawkins & Gosling (1992) Ethics in Research on Animal Behaviour, Academic Press, London, UK, Animal Behaviour (2001) 61, 271-275, or Ethical Treatment of Animals in Applied Animal Behaviour Research.

This Code of Conduct was developed by Professor Bill Adams (University of Cambridge), Professor Andrew Balmford (University of Cambridge), Dr Jeffrey A. McNeely (IUCN), Dr Mike Maunder (National Tropical Botanical Gardens, Hawaii), Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland (Imperial College London), Professor Paul Racey (University of Aberdeen) and Dr John G. Robinson (Wildlife Conservation Society).

As published in Oryx 35(2), 99-100, with minor modifications.

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