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Author Guidelines


Instructions for Authors

This information can also be found at wildlife/publications/wildfowl, together with PDF files of papers from earlier editions of Wildfowl.

Editorial policy

Wildfowl is an international scientific journal published annually by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). It disseminates original material on the ecology, biology and conservation of wildfowl (Anseriformes) and ecologicallyassociated birds (such as waders, rails and flamingos), and on their wetland habitats. Research and review articles related to policy development and application are welcome. Material on habitat management is also sought, particularly where this is directed to the conservation of wildfowl and other wetland birds. In all cases material should not have been published elsewhere or be subject to current consideration for publication in other journals.

Policy on ethics for ornithological research

Research projects submitted as papers for publication in Wildfowl must have proper regard for animal welfare and habitat conservation, and employ humane practices. Attention is drawn to the guidelines published in Animal Behaviour 61: 271275 and on the journal’s website: cws_home/622782/authorinstructions#6002. The impact of a particular study should be evaluated in terms of the possible gains in knowledge (and the practical use of this knowledge), weighed against potential adverse consequences for individuals, habitats or populations. Papers are considered for publication in Wildfowl solely on the condition that the work reported was undertaken within relevant legal statutes, or where work is carried out in areas lacking legislation or regulation, the work should conform to ethical standards expected in the UK.

The Editor reserves the right to review and reject papers on this basis.


There is no page charge for published papers. All papers accepted for publication become the copyright of WWT. Colour figures can be included, but the authors or their organisations would be expected to cover the additional cost of the colour pages.

Initial submission

Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the Instructions to Authors to Wildfowl. The Editor reserves the right to modify manuscripts that do not conform to scientific, technical, stylistic or grammatical standards and minor alterations of this nature will normally be seen by authors only at the proof stage.

An electronic version of the paper, in MS Word, should be submitted as an email attachment to The Editor at Submissions should be received no later than 15 May for publication in December of the same year. However, WWT reserves the right to postpone publication until the issue of the following year.

Types of paper

Standard papers

A standard paper should present the results of original research. The data must not have been published elsewhere, and the text should not normally be longer than 8,500 words. The format required for standard papers is described below.

Review papers

Papers on topical subjects of relevance to the journal’s remit. Reviews are often designed to summarise a particular subject area and/or to stimulate debate and further research. They should be presented in a style similar to that of standard papers as far as possible, and should not exceed 8,500 words.

Short communications

Short communications present new information that is often obtained from preliminary research or as a by-product of larger projects. A flexible structure is opted for in the presentation of these papers, with the author including as much introductory, methodological and discussion material as is necessary to show the context and relevance of the communication. However, short communications should follow the standard format, be concise and limited to a maximum of 3,000 words.

Field surveys

Survey and expeditionary material that provides new data on particular species or wetlands of special interest for waterbirds is also acceptable. Field survey reports should be of general interest to the readers of Wildfowl, and are normally limited to a maximum of five printed pages. They should include reference to the location of more detailed information on the work undertaken. Survey and expedition reports must be written in Wildfowl style and follow the format of standard papers.

Manuscript format

Manuscripts should be typed in double line spacing with a generous margin (c. 3.25 cm) each side. Pages should be numbered consecutively, including those containing acknowledgements, references, tables and figure legends. It is preferable that authors prepare their main text in Microsoft Word (Garamond font) and graphs in Microsoft Excel. Manuscripts must be in English and spelling should conform to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English. The passive voice is preferred; the active voice may be used only occasionally, typically to emphasize a personal opinion in the Introduction or Discussion.

Title page - this should contain:

A concise and informative title (as short as possible). Do not include the authorities for taxonomic names in the title.

A list of authors’ names (commencing with the correspondence author), along with their contact address details that should be valid for the coming year. Use first names and subsequent initials, not just initials, for authors. For instance, Adrian D. Smith, not A. D. Smith. An E-mail address should be included for the first or corresponding author.

A running header of not more than 45 characters.

Abstract - this should state the main purpose of the paper and give the key results, conclusions and recommendations. The Abstract should not include references or speculation, and should not exceed 340 words. Please note that all text should be written in the “third person”; i.e. “A study was carried out ...” and not “I carried out a study of ...”.

Key words - a list, in alphabetical order, of five words or short phrases, excluding words used in the title.

Introduction - this should give the background to the study, including the hypotheses being tested and the reasons why the study is thought to be worthwhile.

Methods - a concise description of data collection, analytical methods, and equipment used (where appropriate), in sufficient detail for the work to be repeated.

Results - the results of the analyses, drawing attention in the text to information provided in the tables and figures. Where appropriate, the Results should follow the order of fieldwork/analysis presented in the Methods section.

Discussion - highlight the significance of the results in relation to the objectives for the work, and place them in the context of the broader scientific field. Where appropriate, resulting recommendations, e.g. for future management or research, should be clearly set out.

Acknowledgements - should be concise and appropriate.

References - when mentioned in the text, references should be listed in chronological order, separated by a semi-colon. Citation of work by one or two authors should be in full (Owen 1980; Bannister & Walker 1998), but where there are more than two authors, the citation should be abbreviated to et al. (Worden et al.) in the text. When different groups of authors with the same first author and date occur, they should be cited as (Thomson et al. 1991a, b).

In the reference list, the references should be given in alphabetical order, all authors’ names being quoted, with the journal name in full and in italics. For example:

Baldassarre, G.A. & Bolen, E.G. 1994. Waterfowl Ecology and Management. Wiley & Sons, New York, USA.

Béchet, A., Giroux, J.-F., Gauthier, G., Nichols, J.D. & Hines, J.E. 2003. Spring hunting changes the regional movements of migratory Greater Snow Geese. Journal of Applied Ecology 40: 553 564.

Follestad, A. 1994. Background for a management plan for geese in Norway. NINA Utredning 65: 178. [In Norwegian with English summary.]

Frederiksen, M., Fox, A.D., Madsen, J. & Colhoun, K. 2001. Estimating the total number of birds using a staging site. Journal of Wildlife Management 65: 282 289.

Nudds, T.D. 1992. Patterns in breeding waterfowl communities. In B.D.J. Batt, A.D. Afton, M.G. Anderson, C.D. Ankney, D.H. Johnson, J.A. Kadlec & G.L. Krapu (eds.), Ecology and management of breeding waterfowl, pp. 540567. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, USA.

Owen, M. 1980. Wild Geese of the World. B.T. Batsford, London, UK.

Wetlands International. 2002. Waterbird Population Estimates, 3rd edition. Global Series No. 12, Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Worden, J., Mitchell, C.R., Merne, O.J. & Cranswick, P.A. 2004. Greenland Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis in Britain and Ireland: results of the international census, spring 2003. Unpublished report to JNCC, The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, UK.

When referring to articles written in a language other than English, give the title in the original language. If the article is in a language other than English but contains an English summary, this should be stated in parentheses at the end of the citation, as shown for the Follestad (1994) paper above. References should be cited as “in press” only if the paper has been accepted for publication. Work not yet submitted for publication may be cited in the text and attributed to its author as “full author name, unpublished data”.

Tables - Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and titled. Table headings should be concise and tables should be numbered consecutively in the text as Table 1, etc. Data should not be duplicated in both figure and table form. Footnotes should be listed as letters not numbers.

Horizontal rules should be used in the tables themselves; use vertical rules only when absolutely necessary. The horizontal lines should be kept to a minimum, ideally limited to single horizontal lines before and after column headings and at end of table (e.g. Simple 1 format in Microsoft Word), with blank rows used to separate information presented within a table where needed to help interpretation. Keep tables in portrait format if possible, to fit one column (width: 6 cm) or 1 page (width: 13 cm) of Wildfowl.

Figures - Each figure should be on a separate page, with figure headings listed on a separate sheet. Figures should be about 50% larger than final printed size; any drawn or printed figures supplied for scanning should be of a high quality and large enough to take up to 50% reduction. Figures should fit to a single column (60 mm width, final size) or page (130 mm width) in the published paper. Authors should take care to ensure that symbols, labels, lines, etc. are large enough to allow reduction to a final size of c. 8 point, so that capital letters will be about 2 mm tall on publication. High contrast dots or line patterns are preferable to using different shades of grey, since they provide greater clarity on printing. Multiple graphs within one figure, should be marked with (A), (B), etc, and with an explanation for each provided in the figure heading. Authors should aim to ensure that there is no wasted space between multiple graphs.

Figures should not be boxed and tick marks must be on the outside of the axes. To make best use of space, you may need to rearrange parts of figures, for instance so that they appear side by side. Legends should furnish enough detail for figures to be understood without reference to the text. If symbols are straightforward (circles, squares, crosses or triangles), include them in the figure legend; otherwise they should be explained in the figure heading. Please keep the type size the same on legends and keys for all figures. Lettering should be in Garamond font with capitals used for the initial letter of the first word only. Bold lettering should not be used. Units of axes should appear in parentheses after the axis name.

If possible, please submit your artwork in electronic form. Large files (> 6MB) should be submitted on disk or CD. Vector graphics (e.g. line artwork) should be saved in Encapsulated Postscript Format (EPS), and bitmap files (e.g. half-tones) in Tagged Image File Format (TIFF). Ideally, vector graphics that have been saved in a metafile (.WMF) or pict (.PCT) format should be embedded within the text file at the end of the paper.

Scientific Names

Apply capitals as follows: Bewick’s Swan, Pink-footed Goose etc.; but swans or geese. Follow an appropriate authority for common names, e.g. Checklist of Birds in Britain and Ireland, Birds of the Western Palearctic etc. Give the scientific (Latin) name of each species in full, in italics, at first mention in the main text, not separated by a comma or brackets, e.g. ...Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata was... . If there are many species, cite a check-list which may be consulted for authorities instead of listing them in the text. Do not give authorities for species cited from published references. Where appropriate, follow the Voous order of species.

Presentation of statistical information

Most statistical tests result in an estimate of the likelihood that a particular result could have arisen by chance. This probability is denoted by P. Authors are encouraged to follow the normal convention of indicating the probability of the result having arisen by chance and should be indicated by the use of < (less than) followed by the appropriate level (0.05, 0.02, 0.01, 0.001) taken from a set of statistical tables. Any result with a probability greater than 0.05 should be regarded as not significant and denoted by n.s. in the text, (not by P > 0.05). Authors are strongly recommended to follow the practice of using a null hypothesis before carrying out a test. In all cases, present the degrees of freedom, using a post-fix to the statistic symbol, for instance: χ2 4, r2 8, t28.

Authors should ensure that the test they carry out is appropriate and the data are acceptable for the particular test. Ensure that the statistic is calculated correctly when small samples are involved (this includes the use of Yates’ correction for the calculation of χ2 1).

Examples of the style in which to present results are:

“... and the difference is significant (χ2 1 = 6.9, P < 0.01).” “... the correlation between A and B is significant (r28 = 0.79, P < 0.001).” “The difference between the samples is not significant (t17 = 1.2, n.s.).” “Examination of the data using an ANOVA gives F12,23 = 29.1, P < 0.001.” 


All submitted manuscripts are subject to peer review, normally by at least two referees. If a manuscript is returned for revision, the corresponding author will be instructed to complete this exercise by a specific date; if an extension is required please contact the Editorial Assistant. It is expected that a manuscript accepted for publication in Wildfowl is in a form which is satisfactory to the author/s and will therefore not require changes at proof stage, other than the correction of errors occurring during the preparation for printing.


Proofs will be sent to the correspondence author by e-mail, as an Acrobat PDF (portable document format) file. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) from the following web site: readstep2.html

Only minor alterations may be accepted at this stage, unless approved by the Editor. Proofs must be returned to the editorial office by first class/air mail and by the date given. Alternatively, authors may use email to submit amendments providing the changes are clear and concise. The Editor reserves the right to correct the proofs, using the accepted version of the typescript, if the author’s amendments are overdue and the journal would otherwise be delayed. Proofs should be checked very carefully. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that proofs are correct in every respect.


Following publication, an electronic (PDF) copy of the paper will be sent to the corresponding author by e-mail. The PDF file will be sent to other authors of the paper on request. If you have any queries regarding the submission of papers to Wildfowl, please write to the Editor or send an e-mail to:

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Slimbridge, Gloucestershire GL2 7BT

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1453 891900

Fax: +44 (0)1453 891901 or 890827



Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

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