Author Guidelines

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After carefully reviewing the style guidelines below, submit manuscripts online at Polar Research's website. Step-by-step instructions on how to submit your manuscript online are available during the submission process. Further information can be obtained online from the submission site via the 'Support' button. You can also contact the Editorial Office at for guidance.

Track the progress of your submission by logging into Polar Research’s website.

Attention contributors!
Polar Research is now charging publication fees on accepted articles exceeding five typeset pagesin the journal's design. The first five pages are free; each additional page is 180 USD, excl VAT. There is no cost for supplementary material. The fee applies only to submissions made after this announcement has been posted (19 September 2014). Contributors of submissions accepted before the end of 2014 will not be billed until 2015.

To get a rough idea of how many words and graphics fit into five pages, please see the samples below or look at PDFs of recent articles published in the journal.

Words and characters for an article of 5 typeset pages
Sample: Ca. 3500 words or 22500 characters (including spaces), two figures and one table.

Words and characters for an article of 12 typeset pages
Sample 1: Ca. 6700 words or 43500 characters (including spaces), six figures and two tables.

Sample 2: Ca. 7500 words or 44500 characters (including spaces), eight figures and no tables.

Please be advised that the Editorial Board will take up to three weeks to internally review submissions to determine whether they merit external review. Note also that although Polar Research editors request that reviewers deliver their reports within four weeks, the review process can take considerably longer. For a cogent explanation of why this occurs, read this editorial in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology ("It takes time", Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 15, p. 889, 2008).

Plagiarism Detection
Co-Action Publishing is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content.

Co-Action Publishing uses iThenticate to screen all submissions for plagiarism before publication, but authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting


Submission of a manuscript implies that the work has not been published before, it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and its submission has been approved by all co-authors. Explain any special circumstances in the cover letter that is submitted with the online submission.

Authors are responsible for disclosing financial support from industry or other support that might bias the interpretation of the results.

Please note that the submitting author will be the principal contact for editorial correspondence, throughout the peer review and proofreading process, if applicable.

Publication fee
Polar Research is now charging publication fees on accepted articles exceeding five typeset pagesin the journal's design. The first five pages are free; each additional page is 180 USD, excl VAT. There is no cost for supplementary material. The fee applies only to submissions made after this announcement has been posted (19 September 2014). Contributors of submissions accepted before the end of 2014 will not be billed until 2015.

To get a rough idea of how many words and graphics fit into five pages, please see the samples below or look at PDFs of recent articles published in the journal.

Words and characters for an article of 5 typeset pages
Sample: Ca. 3500 words or 22500 characters (including spaces), two figures and one table.

Words and characters for an article of 12 typeset pages
Sample 1: Ca. 6700 words or 43500 characters (including spaces), six figures and two tables.

Sample 2: Ca. 7500 words or 44500 characters (including spaces), eight figures and no tables.

General information
The journal is published electronically only. There is no regular print edition.

Manuscripts that do not conform closely to the journal’s style guidelines may be returned to authors before being reviewed.

Types of articles
Original primary research papers comprise the mainstay of Polar Research. Review articles, brief research notes, letters to the editor and book reviews are also included. All regular papers will be published immediately after they have been edited, copyedited and the proofs finalized. Thematic clusters of articles, typically conference proceedings, are published from time to time and will be collated into online collections published at one and the same time.

Each of a manuscript’s authors should meet all three of the following criteria: (1) has made a substantial contribution to the design of the study, the collection of the data, or the analysis or interpretation of the data; (2) has drafted the manuscript or revised it, shaping its intellectual content; (3) has approved of the submitted manuscript and approves of the revised version that is to be published. Each author should be able to take public responsibility for a portion of the paper’s content, and should be able to identify the co-authors who are responsible for the remaining material.

Contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help or writing assistance and a department chairperson who provided only general support. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged.

How to structure a paper

With few exceptions, full-length research papers should be organized as described below.

TITLE. The title should be self-explanatory and concise.

Author names and addresses. A complete postal address must be provided for each author. It need not be an institutional affiliation. A single address is preferable for each author rather than multiple addresses: choose the main address. The aim is not to impress readers with prestigious affiliations. Names of universities and other institutions, departments, laboratories and so on should be given in English. If there is a strong reason to use the non-English name—for example, your funding agency or employer requires it—make this argument to the editor. Omit acronyms. An e-mail address is included for the corresponding author only.

ABSTRACT. The abstract explains the topic of the paper, the problem or question that the paper seeks to address, what methods were used in the study, what the most important results were and what they mean. Though it consists of a single paragraph, the abstract has two main parts: the motivation and the outcome. A common error is to include too much background material in the abstract and not enough specific results. Avoid vague conclusions.

An abstract should stand on its own and be understandable independently of the main paper. Whereas complete articles are often read by specialists only, abstracts are read by a wide readership who should be able to grasp the motivation for the work, its main findings and why these are important.

The abstract should not exceed 250 words. A good abstract can be consierably shorter.

KEYWORDS. Choose up to six keywords/phrases. Do not borrow words from the title: keywords are meant to supplement information given in the title rather than to reiterate it. Consider using larger issues or phenomena as keywords, such as climate change or biodiversity.

RUNNING HEAD. Provide a short version of the manuscript title. This will be used at the tops of pages if the article is accepted and published.

INTRODUCTION. This section states the motivation for the work. First, provide context to familiarize readers with the topic. Second, point out the gap that your study fills: explain what the scientific community has as opposed to what it wants. Third, explain how your work addresses this need. Finally, offer a brief overview of what will follow in the paper. Do not refer to section numbers: sections are not numbered in Polar Research.

Note that in Polar Research there is no heading for the introductory section of an article. It is understood that the first section following the abstract is the introduction.

METHODS. This section describes the methods in enough detail to allow other scientists to reproduce the work presented in the paper. The Methods section can include subsections, such as a subsection describing the study area and subsections for the different kinds of analysis performed.  

If there is a great deal of detailed methodological information, consider placing much of it in a supplementary file.

RESULTS and DISCUSSION. These sections report and discuss (interpret) your findings, respectively. Start each paragraph with a sentence stating its main message—what you want readers to remember from the paragraph.

Depending on the nature of the work, the Results and Discussion may be effectively combined into one section because readers may not be able to make sense of the results without your interpretation.

CONCLUSION. This section relates your findings to the motivation stated in the Introduction and takes the outcome of your work to a higher level of abstraction than the Discussion. Do not summarize the previous sections of the paper or recapitulate everything you did, but do show whether you have addressed the need stated in the Introduction. Explain what your findings mean in a larger context than you did in the Discussion.

At the end of the conclusion you may include firm plans that you have for future work on the topic or you may present a general invitation to the scientific community to address remaining knowledge gaps or new questions that have arisen from your work. This is not a required component of the concluding section.

Do not be reluctant to write a short Conclusion. This section may comprise just a few sentences. If it merely reiterates what has already been stated in the paper, a lengthy Conclusion does not make a paper more impressive.

For more guidance on what goes into the various sections of a scientific paper, see the eBook English Communication for Scientists, edited by Jean-Luc Dumont (last updated 2014). The book can be accessed for free here:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. Acknowledge the various kinds of help you have received. Omit acronyms unless these have already been explained in the paper.

REFERENCES. See specific instructions for these elsewhere in these Author Guidelines.

FIGURES. Acronyms and abbreviations that appear in a figure or table must be explained either in the figure/table itself or in the caption, even if the acronym or abbreviation has already been explained in the main body of the paper. If your paper is accepted, you will be asked to provide each figure as a separate file, but for review purposes figures are embedded into the manuscript, after the Reference section.

TABLES. Provide tables after the figures.

SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL. For review purposes, Supplementary Material is provided at the end of the main document. If the paper is accepted and published, supplementary files are not typeset and are available to readers alongside the main article. They can include large quantities of text, graphs, photographs, videos, data tables and so on. If there are citations, the supplementary file must include a Reference section. References that are cited in the supplementary material but not in the main paper should not appear in the Reference section of the main paper.

Manuscripts should be double-spaced. Lines should be numbered.

Please arrange the material in this order: (1) title page, main text and references; (2) figures with captions; (3) tables with captions.

Arrange the title page in the following way: (1) title of manuscript, (2) name of allauthor(s), (3) postal address of each author, including department, larger institution, street number or postbox, city, postal code and country; (4) the email addresses of all authors (listed by authors’ initials), (5) name, full postal and email address of the corresponding author who also acts as guarantor for all parts of the paper; (6) abstract; and (7) no more than six keywords.

Use no more than three grades of subheadings. Subheading are not numbered in published Polar Research articles, but on your submission you may include the level of each heading in brackets to avoid confusion. Do not include foot- or endnotes.

Polar Research generally treats recent editions of the Concise Oxford Dictionary as its spelling authority. When there are alternatives, choose the spelling indicated by the COD as the preferred British spelling. Some examples: organize rather than organise; behaviour rather than behavior; centre rather than center; palaeo- rather than paleo-.

Use metric units. Abbreviate units like kilometre, metre and centimetre to km, m and cm. Use these abbreviations to refer to events that took place in the past: Kya (thousands of years ago) and Mya (millions of years ago). Use these abbreviations to refer to the age of geological material: Ky (thousands of years) and My (millions of years).

Scientific names of species are italicized and in parentheses following the first mention of the common name of the species. Except where this might cause confusion, abbreviate genus names to the first initial when these are repeated within a few paragraphs. Do not capitalize common names of species unless these are derived from personal or place names, such as Steller’s sea lion.

Dates should be given like this: 16 November 2006. In figures and tables, they may be abbreviated: 16/11/06. Use the 24 hour clock for times, e.g., 16:30.

Use an acronym only when the abbreviation is warranted by repeated appearance in the text. Give the full name at its first appearance, followed by the acronym in parentheses. Thereafter use consistently the acronym, except in figure and table captions, where the full phrase is used. Do not employ an acronym for a term that appears only a few times in the manuscript.

Format in-text citations like this:

“… in accordance with Smith et al. (1998).”
“…compared to previous studies (Smith et al. 1998; Jones 1999; Wright & Miller 2010).”

Authors for whom English is a second language should consider having their manuscripts professionally edited before submission, e.g. Cambridge Language Consultant, Write Scientific Right, Editage, ManuscriptEdit, Cambridge Proofreading LTD,, Regent Editing, Quality Proofreading by PSUK or English Editing and Proofreading Services. All services are paid for and arranged by the author. Use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

Ensure that all entries in the reference list are cited in the manuscript and that all sources cited in the manuscript are listed in the references.

Citations are mentioned chronologically in the main body of the text, using this style:

…(Smith et al. 1968; Jones 1992a, 2001; Hansen & Smith 1999).

In the reference list sources are ordered alphabetically. Non-English letters (e.g., Ø, Å and Æ) are alphabetized like their nearest English equivalents (e.g., O, A and Ae).

Make each reference as complete as possible; superfluous information will be weeded out during copyediting.

Uchida M., Nakatsubo T., Kanda H. & Koizumi H. 2006. Estimation of the annual primary production of the lichen Cetrariella delisei in a glacier foreland in the High Arctic, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. Polar Research 25, 39-49.

Give the full name of the journal. If an article number and doi are provided instead of a page span, format the reference like this:

Bradford J.H. & Harper J.T. 2005. Wave field migration as a tool for estimating spatially continuous radar velocity and water content in glaciers. Geophysical Research Letters 32, L08502, doi 10.1029/2004GL021770.

Rapley C. 1999. Global change and the polar regions. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Polar Aspects of Climate Change. Tromsø, Norway, 24-28 August 1998. Polar Research 18, 117-118.

Blom H., Clack J.A. & Ahlberg P.E. 2005. Localities, distribution and stratigraphical context of the Late Devonian tetrapods of East Greenland. Meddelelser om Grønland Geoscience 43. Copenhagan: Danish Polar Center.

Do not include page spans for whole reports. If the report was edited, format it like this:

Gerland S. & Njåstad B. (eds.) 2004. Arctic climate feedback mechanisms: proceedings of a workshop at the Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway, 17-19 November 2003. Norsk Polarinstitutt Rapportserien 124. Tromsø, Norway: Norwegian Polar Institute.

Revkin A.C. 2006. The North Pole was here. Boston: Kingfisher.

Do not include the page lengths of books.

Pugnaire F.I. & Valladares F. (eds.) 1999. Handbook of functional plant ecology. New York: Marcel Dekker.

Green T.G.A, Schroeter B. & Sancho L.G. 1999: Plant life in Antarctica. In F.I. Pugnaire & F. Valladares (eds.): Handbook of functional plant ecology. Pp. 495-543. New York: Marcel Dekker.

Name X. In press. Title of article. Journal Title.

'In press' refers to a paper that has been unconditionally accepted for publication by the journal named. No year is given until the paper is actually published.

An unpublished paper which has not yet been accepted for publication is referred to as '(unpubl. ms.)' in the text. It is not usually listed in the references.

Papers presented at conferences and other kinds of meetings (but not published in proceedings volumes) are formatted like this:

Name X. 2006. Title of paper (or poster). Paper (or poster) presented at the XYZ Symposium. 20-23 January, Tromsø, Norway.

Include the full name of the conference (beginning with capital letters) as well as the date(s) and place, as shown above. There are no italics.

If the paper appeared in a published proceedings volume, format the reference as for a book, a report in a series or a special journal issue, as the case may be.

Prestrud P. 1992. Arctic foxes in Svalbard: population ecology and rabies. PhD thesis, Norwegian Polar Institute.

Name X. 2006. Name of item. Accessed on the internet at http// on 16 November 2006.

If the item can be cited as a printed document instead of an internet source this is preferred. Institutions may make their reports and other publications available in full on the internet, but they are often also available in print, which publishing details such as the name of the series, the publisher and the place of publication.

Non-English titles of articles, chapters, books and reports are followed by the English translation in parentheses. Translations are not included for non-English serial (journal) titles. Examples:

Salomonsen F. (ed.) 1990. Grønlands fauna. (Greenland's fauna.) Copenhagen: Gyldendal.

Magnus M.H. 1983. Norge og den sovjetiske polarforskning i nord og sør. (Norway and Soviet polar research in the north and in the south.) Farmand 6, 84-87.

Korĉinskaja M.V. 1980. Rannenoriskaja fauna Arhipelaga Svalbard. (Early Norian fauna of the Svalbard Archipelago.) In D.V. Semevskij (ed.): Geologija osadnocnogo cehla Arhipelaga Svalbard. (Geology of the platform cover of the Svalbard Archipelago.) Pp. 30-43. Leningrad: Scientific Research Institute of Arctic Geology (Nauèno-issledovatelskij Institut Geologii Arktiki).

In the case of publications that were published in the Cyrillic alphabet, titles, authors' and editors' names should be transcribed into the Latin alphabet using the system of transliteration used by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This system is very similar to that used by the ISO, the International Standardization Organization. Click here for the UNESCO Cyrillic-Latin transliteration table.

In the manuscript, figures and tables should be referred to in the order in which they are numbered: do not refer to Fig. 4 before Figs. 1-3 have been mentioned.

Keep character size in proportion (not necessarily uniform) in figures: avoid very small and very large letters, numbers and other symbols. Labels on maps, other figures and tables should not consist entirely of upper case letters; use capital letters sparingly, e.g., 'Annual primary production' rather than 'Annual Primary Production' or 'ANNUAL PRIMARY PRODUCTION'. Fonts like Helvetica and Arial are preferred in figures. Use rounded parentheses rather than square brackets, e.g., ‘Length (mm)’ rather than ‘Length [mm].’ Preferably in an upper corner, label parts of composite figures (a), (b) and (c) rather than (A), (B) or (C) or A, B or C or [A], [B] or [C].

There is no charge for colour figures, but contributors are asked to bear in mind that many readers printing out their articles will not have the option of printing them in colour. Whenever possible, figures should therefore be understandable even when printed in greyscale. The gratuitous use of colour in figures is discouraged. For pre-submission advice about converting colour figures to greyscale without the loss of information, please send an e-mail to the Chief Editor, who will be happy to assist.

To facilitate the review process, the submission should include all the tables, figures, captions and supplementary material within the same Word document as the main text. Smaller file sizes for figures are preferable because this will help keep the document from becoming unwieldy. (If authors are concerned that the low-resolution versions of their figures that are included in the main Word document will be hard for reviewers to decipher, then authors should note this in their cover letters and/or in their figure captions and, during submission, they may upload higher-resolution or vector-based versions of their figures as individual files.) If the mansucript is accepted, vector-based or high-resolution versions of the graphics will be requested for publishing.

Include the figure number (e.g., "Fig. 1", "Fig. 2b") directly in each graphic, above or below the illustration. The preferred digital format for illustrations pasted into submissions (as explained in the preceding paragraph) is jpg. If an article is accepted, acceptable digital formats are tif, jpg, ai, eps and ps. For publication, tif and jpg graphics should have a resolution of 300 dots per inch at whatever dimensions the figure is expected to be laid out in the finished article: single column width is about 8 cm, 1.5 column width is about 11 cm and double column width is about 17 cm. Convert large tif image files into jpg format ("maximum quality") and ensure that they are not bigger (in terms of their height and width in cm) than required.

To publish illustrations borrowed from other sources, including in modified form, Polar Research’s Editorial Office must receive formal permission from the copyright holder. This may be the author of the original work from which the figure is borrowed or it may be the publisher. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that all necessary permissions are sought and obtained.