Before submitting material to Oryx, please read and abide by these Guidelines for authors. If a submitted item does not comply fully with these Guidelines it will be returned for amendment prior to any review.
Oryx—The International Journal of Conservation publishes research on biodiversity conservation, conservation policy and sustainable use, and the interactions of these matters with social, economic and political issues. The journal has a particular interest in material with the potential to improve conservation management and practice. The Editors welcome submissions 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
Article (2,000–7,000 words) An Article is the standard format for presenting recent conservation research. Articles on the status or conservation of threatened species, taxonomic groups or habitats should be < 4,500 words and have, where relevant, a context beyond that of the subject studied.
Review (< 7,000 words) A comprehensive overview of a particular conservation topic or theme, offering a novel insight or perspective.
Forum Article (< 4,000 words) Debate about current and controversial issues in conservation. The Editor will usually commission one or more critical responses to a Forum Article, with the original author being offered the right of reply to any critiques.
Short Communication (< 2,000 words) Brief reports of recent research or findings, fitting on no more than four pages in the journal.
Word limits are all inclusive except for supplementary material, and should not be taken to imply that a submission can be of the maximum length regardless of content. All manuscripts should be as concise as possible. If a manuscript is overly long for the subject matter (even if it is within the word count limit) we may request—either prior or following peer review—that it be shortened.
The Editor welcomes contributions to the Briefly, Conservation News, Grants & Opportunities, Letters and Publications sections.
Deadlines for material for the Briefly, Conservation News and Grants & Opportunities sections are 1 October, 1 January, 1 April and 1 July for the January, April, July and October issues, respectively.
Conservation News, Letter and Letter Reply manuscripts must be submitted via ScholarOne Manuscripts.
Briefly news and items for Grants & Opportunities should be sent directly to the editorial office.
Briefly (< 150 words) Summaries of recent (< 6 months old) conservation developments or news that have been published by authoritative sources, including websites.
Conservation News (< 700 words) Communications of major recent developments (< 6 months old) in conservation or important announcements that have not been published elsewhere, particularly suitable for news that needs to be brought urgently to the attention of the international conservation community. Any references should be embedded in the text, and figures, plates or tables should be included only if essential for understanding of the material. Items deemed suitable will be published in the next available issue, space permitting. Conservation News manuscripts should be prepared using the Conservation News template.
Grants & Opportunities (< 350 words) The Editor welcomes short descriptions of grants and funding opportunities for conservationists.
Letters (< 700 words) The Editor welcomes substantial and informative contributions in response to material published in the journal. Original authors will usually be given the right to reply to any responses. Use the Letter or Letter Reply template, as appropriate, to prepare your submission.
Publications The Editor invites authors and publishers to send publications for potential review, although we cannot guarantee that any books received will be reviewed. Please send publications to the editorial office and note that books received for review will not be returned. Book reviews are by invitation, and the journal does not accept unsolicited reviews.
Articles and Reviews should include the following sections, in this order:
- Cover page
- Study area (if applicable)
- Methods (if reporting research)
- Results (if reporting research)
- Author contributions
- Conflicts of interest
- Ethical standards
- Tables and table captions (if applicable)
- Figures and figure captions (if applicable)
- Plates and captions (if applicable)
- Supplementary material (if applicable)
Short Communications should include the same sections, in the same order, but there should be no subheadings for the introduction, study area, methods, results and discussion sections.
Reviews may contain other appropriately named sections.
Minimize use of subheadings within sections. Do not combine the results and discussion into a single section.
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 and page numbers. Submissions should preferably be in a single file (except for Supplementary Material, which should be in a separate file), with all tables, figures and plates at the end, in DOC/DOCX format (not PDF). For initial submission, graphics can be in medium resolution as long as they are clearly legible, with publication-quality graphics to be provided upon any final acceptance.
A cover page should contain title, word count (all inclusive except for supplementary material), and full mailing address, e-mail, and address at the time the research was carried out, if different, of all authors, and the ORCID iD of at least the corresponding author.
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 and should be optimized for online search engines).
Introduction The broader context to the research, the current state of this area of research in the light of key literature on the subject, and your research question(s), aims or hypotheses.
Study area A brief description of the area in which your research was carried out, usually including a map figure showing location and any other relevant matters.
Methods The quantitative and qualitative methods used in the reported work should be appropriate to the research question and must be clearly described.
Results Your findings, with figures, plates and/or tables, as appropriate. Only incorporate photographs (which should be referred to as plates) if they are part of the evidence (e.g. a species photographed with a camera trap, or a photograph of a forest before and after fire).
Discussion A consideration of the importance of your key findings in relation to the aim(s), objective(s) and/or hypotheses outlined in the introduction, their context with respect to other research, and any management recommendations, if appropriate, and details of any implementation of relevant conservation action.
Author contributions Include a brief statement that specifies the contributions of each author (specified by their initials).
Acknowledgements Include a brief statement that thanks, in non-effusive terms, those who have provided assistance (following peer review this should normally include acknowledgement of reviewers), and details of all sources of financial support, for all authors, with grant numbers if relevant. If there was no specific funding, provide the following statement: ‘This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, or commercial or not-for-profit sectors’.
Conflicts of interest Provide details of all known financial, professional or personal relationships with the potential to bias the work. Where no known conflicts of interest exist, state ‘None’.
Ethical standards All research and writing submitted to Oryx must comply with the journal’s ethical standards. Please include a statement to this effect and, if the research involved human subjects, experimentation with animals and/or collection of specimens, provide details of the ethical clearance(s) received.
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 citations to be in chronological, rather than alphabetical, order: e.g. (Martin et al., 1994; Leadbeater, 1996). The reference list should be in alphabetical and then chronological order, and article titles and the titles of serial publications to be given in full. For publications that have more than seven authors, present only the first six names followed by et al. (see example below for Büscher et al.). If citations and bibliography are prepared using a bibliography manager, any field codes, tags or similar must be removed. The following are examples of references in 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.
Büscher, B., Fletcher, R., Brockington, D., Sandbrook, C., Adams, W.M., Campbell, L. et al. (2017) Half-Earth or Whole Earth? Radical ideas for conservation, and their implications. Oryx, 51, 407–410.
Farjon, A. (2013) Juniperus excelsa. In The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013. Http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42232A2964786.en [accessed 26 April 2017].
IUCN (2016) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018-1. Http://www.iucnredlist.org [accessed 19 September 2018].
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.
Soliku, O. & Schraml, U. (2018) From conflict to collaboration: the contribution of co-management in mitigating conflicts in Mole National Park, Ghana. Oryx, published online 10 September 2018.
Sutherland, W.J. (ed.) (1998) Conservation Science and Action. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK.
Figures and Plates Follow the guidelines for the preparation of figures and plates. Captions should be comprehensible without reference to the text.
Tables Each must be on a separate page, with captions that are comprehensible without reference to the text.
Supplementary material Online platforms give authors the opportunity to include data that it would be impractical to include in the printed article. Such data may substantially enhance the importance of the research and be of benefit to readers. Authors may include tables, figures, videos and audio files. All supplementary material must be submitted with the original manuscript, as a separate file or files, cited in the text as Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Fig. 1 or Supplementary Material 1, as appropriate. Supplementary files will be peer reviewed but not copy-edited or typeset, and will be published as supplied. Where authors wish to deposit data in a third-party archive (mandatory for files of 25 MB and over) instead of publishing as supplementary material in the journal, any necessary supplementary material files should be uploaded to the third-party archive and the DOI that the archive assigns to the supplemental files should be cited in the text. If you wish to provide a link to supplementary data and/or code on GitHub you will need to provide a DOI for this material; e.g. see Making Your Code Citable. Any DOI must be supplied prior to online publication of the relevant article.
Media PDFs If you are submitting a manuscript that includes video or audio this will be simultaneously published online in two formats: (1) as regular PDF/HTML versions (with the video/audio available as supplementary material and represented as a still image in the article), and (2) as a Media PDF, which will allow the reader to view the video/audio within the PDF. When submitting your manuscript please include a high resolution still that best represents the content of the video. The still will be used for the version of the article that appears in print and for the regular (i.e. non-Media) PDF file. The accompanying caption should be of the form: ‘Plate 1 (from Supplementary Video 1) <Caption for still>’. Directions for inserting the video, and an alternative caption, should also be provided immediately following; e.g. ‘<Video 001.mpg to replace Plate 1>’ ‘<Video 1 <Caption for video>’. This version will be used for the Media PDF file. For audio the direction should be added immediately after the word or figure that will contain the clickable link to the audio. The video/audio file should be uploaded at submission using the video/audio file designation option on ScholarOne, and should have the same naming convention as the corresponding plate. This file will then be inserted into the placeholder (in place of the still) for the Media PDF version.
Abbreviations, contractions and acronyms Other than those commonly recognized (e.g. CITES, IUCN, WWF) abbreviations and acronyms put an unnecessary burden on the reader. Resist the temptation to use them and, rather, use a style of writing that obviates the necessity to write out terms or organizational names in full at every usage.
Symbols, units and 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 the common name without intervening punctuation, thus African elephant Loxodonta africana. Common names should be in lower case throughout except when they incorporate a proper name.
For detailed guidance on designing maps and data plots, advice on the wise use of graphics formats, and video tutorials to help with drafting beautiful figures, please see Writing for Conservation.
For initial submission, figures and plates do not need to be of publication quality but they must be legible and clear. The graphics formats accepted at this stage are Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPG), Tagged Image File Format (TIF) and Encapsulated Postscript (EPS).
Publication-quality figures and plates (see below) will be requested when the text of an accepted article is sent to the corresponding author for a final check following copy-editing (i.e. prior to proofing). At this stage instructions will be provided, if necessary, for modification of the figures and plates to ensure they convey their message or purpose clearly and comply with the journal’s style.
We accept final publication quality graphics only as SVG, EPS, TIF or PNG files, and not in JPG format (except, in some circumstances, for plates, for which see below). No matter which software you use to prepare figures (i.e. maps and data plots), export them preferably in SVG or EPS format. Only export vector graphics in TIF or PNG format if export in SVG or EPS format is not available. 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 (0.1 mm), and do not downsample the quality of any embedded images. Submit plates as TIF or PNG files unless the original image is only available in JPG format, in which case submit plates in this format.
Design figures and plates for one of the journal’s three widths: 82, 115 and 171 mm. Design for the narrower widths wherever possible. TIF or PNG graphics designed for widths of 82, 115 and 171 mm must be submitted at a minimum width of 2,000, 2,800 and 4,000 pixels, respectively (for further details see Writing for Conservation). Note that for all TIF, PNG and JPG files the resolution is irrelevant—it is the dimension in pixels that is important.
Before submitting figures, print them at the designed width to check legibility of fonts, sharpness of lines and clarity of shading. If in doubt about the quality or format of a figure or plate send a test file to the editorial office. See Tools and resources for advice on choice of graphics software.
In general any manuscript that describes 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 with inward-pointing latitude and longitude tic marks and/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. Use line thicknesses of 0.3–1.0 points (0.1–0.35 mm) and font sizes of 6–10 points (2–3.5 mm). All fonts used in figures and plates should be sans serif (such as Arial) rather than serif (such as Times Roman). If shading is required in a greyscale figure, use only a limited range of grey shades, generally not more than four. For detailed advice on the preparation of graphics, see Writing for Conservation. Any disputed international borders should be shown with a dashed or dotted line. Shapefiles for most disputed borders are available from Natural Earth.
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 colour figures and plates but they can be printed in colour 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 colour figure or plate will also reproduce well in greyscale.
Prior to submission, go through the author’s checklist to ensure your manuscript has been prepared correctly and that you have all the required information to hand.
Manuscripts must to be submitted via ScholarOne Manuscripts. If there is overlap with other articles, reports or similar material, including any in press or in preparation, this should be stated and the articles in question sent to the Editor.
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 journal’s Ethical standards. In a covering note to the Editor please indicate how the research and submitted manuscript complies with points 2 and 4 of the Ethical standards and, in the Methods and/or Acknowledgements sections of the manuscript, as appropriate, indicate how the research complies with points 1, 3 and 5–8 of the Ethical standards, as required. With respect to point 3, any research that involves interviews with people should normally have received ethics approval from the institution of the lead investigator, and this will need to be indicated in the acknowledgements.
Copyright Authors will be asked, upon acceptance of an article, to transfer copyright to Fauna & Flora International.
Proofs These will be sent to authors as a PDF file. Corrected proofs must be returned within 3 days of receipt; minor corrections can be communicated by e-mail.
Published article PDFs, page charges and colour figures Authors receive a link to the PDF of their published article, an access code allowing full access to the PDF for up to 10 colleagues, and can generate a link to freely and legally share a read-only version of the PDF on social media and scholarly collaboration networks, to enhance the impact and discoverability of their research. No page charges are levied. Colour figures can be published in print but only at the author’s expense (no charge is levied for colour figures in the online article).
The journal’s editorial policies outline the conditions for submitting a manuscript and a number of other essential matters about which potential authors need to be aware.
Conditions for submission of manuscripts The submitting author must be able to assent, on behalf of all authors if applicable, 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 journal’s Ethical standards.
If there is overlap of the submitted manuscript with other articles, reports or similar material, including any in press or in preparation, this should be stated and the articles in question sent to the Editor.
Open Access Oryx authors have the option to publish their articles under a Gold Open Access model, applying a Creative Commons licence. This makes the article freely available, immediately upon publication. There is a one-off Article Processing Charge paid by the authors or their associated funding body. Cambridge University Press has a number of Read and Publish agreements to support Open Access publishing. The Publish element covers the Article Processing Charges for authors from affiliated institutions. To see if you are eligible, please check Cambridge University Press’s information about Read and Publish Agreements. Authors also have the option of archiving the accepted version of their article (prior to copy-editing and typesetting) under a Green Open Access model, by posting it on a personal website, or institutional or subject repository. Please visit the Cambridge University Press website on Open Access publishing in journals for full details of the Open Access options and policies.
Preprint repositories Authors are free to deposit a version of their manuscript on preprint servers prior to submitting it to Oryx. Later versions that have benefited from peer review, copy-editing or typesetting must not be made available on such repositories. After publication authors should add citation and copyright information and a link to the online version of record (using the DOI), along with the following wording: “This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article published in Oryx—The International Journal of Conservation. The version of record is available online at [insert DOI link].”
ORCID When submitting a manuscript, corresponding authors will need to identify themselves using an ORCID iD. We encourage all authors, whether corresponding or other author, to use ORCID, which provides a unique identifier with several benefits: (1) It increases the discoverability of your publications by helping readers to find work that you’ve authored. (2) Providing your ORCID iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will save you re-keying information. You can also use your iD to log in to the journal’s online submission system. (3) Your ORCID record is a good place to compile and display (if you choose) validated information about your research activities. If you don’t already have an iD, you can create one during submission. You can register for one directly from your user account on ScholarOne or via the ORCID website. If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting by linking it to your ScholarOne user account: log in to your account using your normal username and password, edit your account by clicking on your name at the top right of the screen, and from the drop-down menu select E-Mail/Name, and follow the instructions at the top of the screen to update your account. Authors’ ORCID iDs will be published in the article.
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, and possibly shorter for time-critical research). 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.
Reproducing copyrighted material Authors wishing to use materials from any source published, online or otherwise, must obtain necessary permissions from the authors or publishers who are the copyright holders. In the case of original material published under a Creative Commons license authors should refer to the appropriate attribution. Any use of copyrighted material must be stated in the cover letter and permissions should be provided upon submission.
Conservation evidence Check the existing evidence for any intervention, at Conservation Evidence. If relevant evidence is available provide at least a sentence summarizing this in the Introduction (e.g. Four out of five previous studies found that increasing temperatures to 30–37 °C for at least 16 h cured amphibians of chytridiomycosis; Smith et al., 2017). If Conservation Evidence indicates there is as yet no evidence for the action, please state this. If Conservation Evidence has not yet summarized the evidence for the management action, please search for studies testing the action, and summarize any relevant evidence for similar actions. If Conservation Evidence does not yet cover the topic and no individual studies exist please state this.
Online manuscript submission and peer review Manuscripts submitted to Oryx are handled within the journal’s online submission and peer review system, ScholarOne Manuscripts. Authors and peer reviewers are required to register on this system (or use an account created for them by the editorial office) and to keep their records up-to-date. Authors and reviewers need to ensure their e-mail system receives notifications from ScholarOne Manuscripts, which may require whitelisting the domains amazonses.com and manuscriptcentral.com. Users should contact the IT department at their organizations if e-mails from ScholarOne Manuscripts are not delivered.
Peer review process and standards The Editor and editorial office will conduct an initial check of all submissions to determine if the topic is appropriate for the journal and if the submission meets the journal’s standards of content, presentation and ethics. All potentially suitable submissions of Articles, Short Communications, Reviews, Forum Articles and Forum Article Responses are then subject to rigorous external peer review, usually by two reviewers. Occasionally, in cases of conflicting reviews or other complicating factors, a third peer review may be necessary before an editorial decision can be made. Where it is exceptionally difficult to secure two qualified reviewers who are free of conflicts of interest, the Editor may make a decision based on their own expertise and one external review. For manuscripts with a substantial statistical content, one of the reviewers will be a statistician. Peer review for Oryx is single blind, i.e. the reviewers are aware of the authors’ identities, but not vice versa (but reviewers may sign their review if they prefer not to be anonymous).
Conservation News items, Book Reviews, Letters and Letter Responses are reviewed by the Editor or a member of the editorial board and are not normally subject to external peer review.
For externally peer reviewed submissions, the Editor will make every effort to find expert reviewers who are free of significant conflicts of interest. Reviewers are selected based primarily on the knowledge of the Editor and and editorial board members, use of electronic databases, and a manuscript’s reference list. Authors are given the option to recommend or oppose potential peer reviewers during manuscript submission. These preferences may be considered, at the Editor’s discretion, but note that the Editor will usually avoid using only author-recommended reviewers.
To avoid inviting peer reviewers with significant conflicts of interest, the Editor will generally exclude from consideration: (1) individuals who have co-authored manuscripts with the authors within the previous 5 years, (2) individuals who work at the same institution as the authors, and (3) individuals who have other conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, for or against the paper. If the Editor has to make exceptions to these general principles, the potential implications of such exceptions will be considered when making a decision.
Revised manuscripts may be subject to further external review if necessary.
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.
Appeals Appeals against an editorial decision will be considered only when new information becomes available (for example, additional factual input from the authors, revisions, extra material in the manuscript, or appeals regarding conflicts of interest and concerns about biased peer review). An appeal must be made within 2 months of the decision date and should be directed to the Editor via e-mail. If appropriate and/or required, the Editor may consult a member of the editorial board regarding an appeal. The Editor’s decision following an appeal is final.
Copy-editing and proofs Accepted content will be copy-edited to conform to the journal’s style. The corresponding author will receive the copy-edited version and the pdf page proofs for checking. No substantial rewriting of the article is permitted at these stages. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to check the article carefully at the proof stage, including the spelling and order of author names. Once the article has been published online, further changes cannot be made.
Publication ethics The publisher of Oryx, Cambridge University Press, is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics, an organization that provides advice and resources on all aspects of publication ethics and research and publication misconduct. Oryx will follow procedures recommended by Committee on Publication Ethics when dealing with cases of potential misconduct. Submissions may be subject to similarity checking using iThenticate, to prevent publication of plagiarized content.
Non-legitimate journals There has been a rise in non-legitimate, for-profit open access journals. These take advantage of authors seeking to publish their work by charging publication fees without providing peer review, editorial oversight or publishing services such as copy-editing, professional typesetting or proof reading. Such publications have low standards and little or no quality control, and frequently publish material within a short time following submission. We encourage authors to follow the Think. Check. Submit. guidelines to identify potentially problematic publications. The Directory of Open Access Journals is a community-curated list of quality, peer reviewed open access journals that can be used to identify reputable journals. Where a submission to Oryx cites articles published in a journal that can be identified as non-legitimate, the authors will be asked to remove such references.
Maps/disputed borders We recognize that some international borders are disputed. The journal remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Corrections We encourage readers and authors to notify us if they find errors, particularly any that could affect the interpretation of data or information presented in an article. When a serious error is identified, the editorial office will work with authors and the publisher to correct such errors. Oryx will publish corrections when serious errors are found, and will consider retraction when errors are so fundamental that they invalidate the work.
We believe it is important that conservation research conforms to the highest possible ethical and legal standards. When you submit an article for consideration by Oryx you will be required to assent that all authors have abided by these Ethical standards. The standards cover important aspects of both research and the preparation of articles for publication.
- 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).
- 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.
- Oryx recognizes the importance of capacity building as a component of conservation activity, as well as the importance of full involvement by all stakeholders in research activity. Therefore we recommend that:
- Any social, anthropological or ethnobiological research should follow the highest standards of research ethics;
- Researchers should confirm that their research conforms to the standards set out by a reputable source, such as the guidelines developed by the British Sociological Association, which are based on the ethical codes produced by the American Sociological Association, the Association of Social Anthropologists of the Commonwealth, and the Social Research Association.
- 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 should 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.
- Field researchers should adopt the highest precautionary standards to avoid the accidental introduction and distribution of invasive and pathogenic organisms.
- 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.
- 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 a way that no additional mortality occurs as a result of the research, either directly or indirectly (e.g. through increased demand).
- 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 the ethical standards of 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.
These ethical standards were developed by Professor Bill Adams (University of Cambridge), Professor Andrew Balmford (University of Cambridge), Professor Jeffrey A. McNeely (formerly IUCN), Dr Mike Maunder (Eden Project), Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland (University of Oxford), Professor Paul Racey (formerly University of Aberdeen) and Dr John G. Robinson (Wildlife Conservation Society).
As published in Oryx, 35(2), 99–100, with minor modifications.