Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Author Instructions

All manuscripts should be submitted via ScholarOne Manuscripts.

The Author Instructions are also provided as a PDF file.

Licence to publish
For details regarding copyright, please see Copyright/Licence to Publish.

Return to Index

Open access
Authors may choose to publish their paper Open Access on payment of a publication fee. See Open Access for more details.

Return to Index

To reduce the burden on the editorial team, Marine and Freshwater Research does not require pre-submission enquiries to the Editor. Authors should determine if their manuscripts fit the journal’s scope before submitting their manuscripts through ScholarOne Manuscripts. Editorial advice and decisions will not be provided on manuscripts submitted to the journal through other means.

Papers will be considered for publication if they make an original and significant contribution to research in the aquatic sciences, and fit the journal's scope. Descriptive papers may be accepted if they are placed in an appropriate conceptual setting and have global relevance. However, papers that are purely taxonomic or parochial, describe preliminary or incremental results, or simply present data with minimal or no context will not be considered. Manuscripts that are focussed on the biology of single taxa and do not provide a sufficient discussion on the ecological implications of their results may not be accepted. The Editor reserves the right to reject poorly prepared or inappropriate manuscripts without sending them for review. Manuscripts may be returned for revision before sending out for peer review if the English expression is poor, the data analysis is inappropriate, or the style deviates considerably from that advocated in this set of instructions.

Marine and Freshwater Research assumes that all authors of a multi-authored paper agree to its submission, and that the results have not been published nor are being considered for publication elsewhere. The journal endeavours to ensure that the work published is that of the named authors except where acknowledged and, through its reviewing procedures, that all published results and conclusions are consistent with the primary data. However, it can take no responsibility for fraud or inaccuracy on the part of the contributors.

Return to Index

Paper categories
Full Papers are complete reports of original research not previously published. Review articles should critically summarise relevant work in a specific field and indicate fruitful lines of further research. Comments on published papers should be submitted within one year of publication of the paper on which comment is being made and will be refereed. Authors of the original paper will be given the right of reply. Short Communications should have an abstract and may present results from a brief but well-designed study or deal with important observations not needing lengthy treatment. The Results and Discussion sections may be merged in a Short Communication. Isolated factual notes will not be considered.

Return to Index

The work should be presented in clear and concise English. All text should be in Times New Roman, 12 point font, with double or 1.5-line spacing throughout, and with a margin of at least 3 cm on the left-hand side. Every line of each page must be consecutively numbered in the left-hand margin, starting from 1 to the highest numbers needed as this greatly assists the referees. All pages of the manuscript must be numbered consecutively, including those carrying references, tables and captions to illustrations, all of which are to be placed after the text. Follow the form of headings, tables and illustrations exemplified in recent issues of the Journal.

Supplementary material which is not essential in the printed paper (e.g. large raw data files) but that may be useful to other workers can be lodged with the Editor if submitted with the manuscript for inspection by the referees. Such material will be published online as Supplementary Material in association with the published paper and made available free to all users.

Return to Index

Papers should usually be in the form Title, Abstract, Additional keywords, Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements and References. If authors choose to combine the Results and Discussion sections, they must also include a Conclusion to summarise their key findings. Consider using subheadings to organize material.

The title should be concise and appropriately informative and should contain all keywords necessary to facilitate retrieval by online search engines. The abstract (< 200 words) should open with a clear statement of the broad relevance of the work, briefly summarise the aims and research approach, give the principal findings, and conclude by specifying the main implications of the results to aquatic science. Additional keywords not already in the title or abstract should be listed beneath the abstract. A running head (< 50 letter spaces) should be supplied for use at the top of the printed page.

The Introduction should set the global relevance of the work in the opening sentences. Text should only cover essential background literature and clearly indicate the reason for the work. This section should close with a paragraph specifying aims and, where appropriate, testable hypotheses. In the Materials and methods, sufficient detail should be given to enable the work to be repeated. If a commercial product such as an analytical instrument is mentioned, supply its full model name and location of the manufacturer. Give complete citations and version numbers for computer software. Data analysis must be explained clearly, especially when complex models or novel statistical procedures are used (see Guidelines for data analysis and presentation). Results should be stated concisely and without interpretation (although in complex studies, modest interpretation of some data may provide context helpful for understanding subsequent sections). Data presented should address aims and testable hypotheses raised in the Introduction. Use tables and figures to illustrate the key points but do not repeat their contents in detail. The Discussion should explain the scientific significance of the results in context with the literature, clearly distinguishing factual results from speculation and interpretation. Avoid excessive use of references - more than three to support a claim is usually unnecessary. Limitations of methods should also be addressed where appropriate. Conclude the Discussion with a section on the implications of the findings. Footnotes should be used only when essential. Acknowledgments, including funding information, should appear in a brief statement at the end of the body of the text.

Return to Index

Please strive to make the References section accurate and consistent with the journal´s style. We use the Harvard system. Cite references chronologically in the text by the author and date. Multiple references from the same year should be cited alphabetically. In the text, the names of two coauthors are linked by ´and´; for three or more, the first author´s name is followed by ´et al.´.

Avoid excessive citation of references. All references cited in the text must be listed at the end of the paper, with the names of authors arranged alphabetically, then chronologically. No editorial responsibility can be taken for the accuracy of the references so authors are requested to check these with special care.

In the reference list, include the full author list, article title and journal name (i.e. no abbreviations). Papers that have not been accepted for publication must not be included in the list of references. If necessary, they may be cited either as ´unpublished data´ or as ´personal communication´ but the use of such citations is discouraged. Authors must ensure that they have permission to cite material as a personal communication and can provide unpublished data if required by a reviewer.

Pay special attention to punctuation, spelling of author and species names, and titles of articles, books and journals. EndNote provides output styles for Marine and Freshwater Research.

  • Journal article
    Prince, J. D., Sellers, T. L., Ford, W. B., and Talbot, S. R. (1988). Confirmation of a relationship between localised abundance of breeding stock and recruitment for Haliotis rubra Leach (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 122, 91-104.
    Raymond, M., and Rousset, F. (1995). GENEPOP (Version 1.2): population genetics software for exact tests and ecumenicism. Journal of Heredity 86, 248-249.
  • Book chapter
    Tegner, M. J. (1992). Brood-stock transplants as an approach to abalone stock enhancement. In ´Abalone of the World: Biology, Fisheries and Culture´. (Eds S. A. Shepherd, M. J. Tegner and S. A. Guzmán del Próo.) pp. 461-463. (Blackwell Scientific: Oxford, UK.)
    Wolanski, E., Mazda, Y., and Ridd, P. (1992). Mangrove hydrodynamics. In ´Tropical Mangrove Ecosystems´. (Eds A. I. Robertson and D. M. Alongi.) pp. 43-62. (American Geophysical Union: Washington, DC.)
  • Book
    Sokal, R. R., and Rohlf, F. J. (1981). ´Biometry. The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research.´ 2nd Edn. (W. H. Freeman: New York.)
    Attiwill, P. M., and Adams, M. A. (Eds) (1996). ´Nutrition of Eucalypts.´ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)
  • Thesis
    Silver, M. W. (1970). An experimental approach to the taxonomy of the genus Enteromorpha (L.). PhD Thesis, University of Liverpool.
    Harrison, A. J. (1961). Annual reproductive cycles in the Tasmanian scallop Notovola meridionalis. BSc (Hons) Thesis, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
  • Report or Bulletin
    Chippendale, G. M., and Wolf, L. (1981). The natural distribution of Eucalyptus in Australia. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Special Publication No. 6, Canberra.
  • Conference Proceedings
    Hayman, P. T., and Collett, I. J. (1996). Estimating soil water: to kick, to stick, to core or computer? In ´Proceedings of the 8th Australian Agronomy Conference, Toowoomba, 1 January 1996´. (Ed. M. Asghar.) p. 664. (Australian Society of Agronomy: Toowoomba).
    Kawasu, T., Doi, K., Ohta, T., Shinohara, Y., and Ito, K. (1990). Transformation of eucalypts (Eucalyptus saligna) using electroporation. In ´Proceedings of the VIIth International Congress on Plant Tissue and Cell Culture, Florence, 12-17 June 1994´. pp. 64-68. (Amsterdam IAPTC: Amsterdam.)
  • Web-based material
    Goudet, J. (2001). ´FSTAT, a Program to Estimate and Test Gene Diversities and Fixation Indices (Version 2.9.3).´ Available at [accessed 15 November 2007].

Return to Index

Tables and figures
Tables must be numbered with Arabic numerals and have a self-explanatory title. A headnote containing material relevant to the whole table should start on a new line, as it will be set in a different font. Tables should be arranged with regard to the dimensions of the printed page (17.5 by 23 cm) and the number of columns kept to a minimum. Excessive subdivision of column headings is undesirable; use abbreviations that can then be expanded upon in the headnote. The first letter only of headings to rows and columns should be capitalised. The symbol for the unit of measurement should be placed in parentheses beneath the column heading. Footnotes should be kept to a minimum and be reserved for specific items in columns. Horizontal rules should be inserted only above and below column headings and at the foot of the table. Vertical rules must not be used.

All figures must be referred to in the text (e.g., Fig. 1, Fig. 2a-d, Figs 1 and 2), and should be numbered consecutively in the order that they are cited within the paper. Electronic submission of figures is required. Photographs and line drawings should be of the highest quality and, if not created digitally, should be scanned at high-resolution: photographs at 300 dpi at final size, saved as .jpg files; hand-drawn line drawings at least 600 dpi at final size, saved as .tif files. Black-and-white photographs should be saved in greyscale format as .tif or Photoshop files. Labels must be applied electronically to the scanned images in Photoshop, rather than scanning manually labelled figures. Colour figures and photographs must be submitted in CMYK format for printing purposes, not in RGB. Photographs and images must be of the highest quality, and trimmed squarely to exclude irrelevant features. When in a group, adjacent photographs must be separated by uniform spaces that will be 2 mm wide after reduction. A scale bar is desirable on micrographs and photographs lacking reference points. Important features to which attention has been drawn in the text should be indicated.

Line illustrations prepared using either a draw or chart/graph program should be saved in the following formats: encapsulated postscript (.eps) (preferred format); Adobe Illustrator (.ai); or Excel (.xls). Illustrations created using Powerpoint should be saved in PowerPoint or as Windows metafiles (.wmf); CorelDraw files should be saved as .eps or .ai files; charts created on a Macintosh computer should be saved as .eps, .ps or PICT files; SigmaPlot files should be saved in .eps format (postscript printer driver required). In all cases, they should be editable vector graphic files. Minimise use of 3D graphs. Remove colours from all charts and graphs that are to be reproduced in black, grey and white.

The lettering of figures must be in sans-serif type (Helvetica is ideal) with only the first letter of the first word of any proper names capitalised, and should not be in bold type. For letter size, the height of a lower-case ´x´ after reduction should be approximately 1.2 mm. Do not use the symbols ´+´ or ´×´ for data points. Grid marks should point inwards and legends to axes should state the quantity being measured and be followed by the appropriate units in parentheses. Thickness of lines on line diagrams at final size must be no less than 0.5 pt. Grouped figures should not exceed 17.5 cm by 23 cm. Colour graphics will be accepted, but the cost of production is borne by the author.

Colour is free of charge in the online versions of your paper. Colour charges are incurred only if you want colour in the print version of the journal, and are ~ AU$300 per page. The exact cost will depend on the number of images and their placement, and can be discussed with the journal’s Production Editor after your manuscript has been accepted for publication. Note that colour may be necessary in the print version of the journal (and will therefore incur colour charges) if the images do not make sense in monochrome.

Please contact the Production Editor for further information.

Return to Index

Supplementary material
In an effort to make best use of printed journal space, Marine and Freshwater Research strongly encourages authors to place supporting files such as additional tables, figures and raw data in ´Supplementary Material´, which is linked online to the paper when it is published electronically. Such material is not crucial to the paper’s interpretation but would bolster claims, illustrate specific aspects of interest, or expand on a point in the text. There is no special format for Supplementary Material and it should be cited in the main text as ´..available as Supplementary Material...´ or ´(see Supplementary Material)´.

Return to Index

Guidelines for data analysis and presentation
Effective data analysis seeks to summarise and clarify results, enhancing the objectivity with which they are presented and interpreted. If an analysis fails to achieve this, it is probably unsuitable. No matter what analysis is used, the reader must be provided with enough information to independently assess whether the method is appropriate. Therefore, assumptions and models underlying unusual statistical analyses must be clearly stated, usually with supporting references. Even when conventional parametric statistics are used, the reader must be assured that the data satisfied assumptions of normality as well as other specific requirements (e.g. homogeneity of variances). Bayesian and other non-frequentist approaches are welcomed but their application and assumptions must be explained and justified in sufficient detail.

Describing data. Full details of sampling, survey and experimental designs, protocols for collecting data (with references where appropriate), precision of measurements, sampling or experimental units, and sample sizes must be given. Typically, reported values should include the sample size and some measure of precision (e.g. standard errors or specified confidence intervals) of estimates. Presenting data as graphs is invaluable, helping demonstrate trends and illustrate where data might violate statistical assumptions. Tables are useful when specific values are to be presented or the data do not lend themselves readily to graphical presentation. See recent issues of the Journal for examples of effective figures and tables.

Describing statistical analyses. The specific statistical procedure must be stated. If it is an unusual one, it should be explained in sufficient detail, including references where appropriate. All statistics packages used should be cited fully with their version number. Sometimes, it will be necessary to indicate which procedure, method or module within a package was used. If conclusions are based on an analysis of variance or regression, there must be sufficient information to enable the construction of the full analysis of variance table (at least both degrees of freedom, the structure of F-ratios, and P values). Indicate which effects were considered fixed or random and explain why. If data are to be pooled or omitted, this should be fully justified.

Actual P values are far more informative than ´P < 0.05´ or symbols such as ´*´. However, statistical significance should not be confused with effect size and biological importance. Power analyses (i.e. determination of Type II error rates) may be useful, especially if used in conjunction with descriptive procedures like confidence intervals.

Return to Index

Units, nomenclature and formulae
Use SI units for all measurements unless there are valid reasons for not doing so - these will need full explanation. Avoid ambiguous forms of expression such as mL/m2/day. Note that the journal style is to express units with exponential notation (e.g. mg/mL is expressed as mg mL-1).

Measurements of the radiation environment. Measurements of the radiation environment should be presented in terms of irradiance or photon irradiance or both, with the waveband of the radiation specified. Photon irradiance units are particularly advantageous in papers concerned with the quantum efficiency of plant photo-processes. Measurements in terms of luminous flux density should be avoided in papers reporting results in photobiology, including photosynthesis.

Units and nomenclature in physical oceanography. For sea water and the normal range of saline waters in estuaries, use the Practical Salinity Scale of 1978 (see UNESCO Technical Papers in Marine Science numbers 36 and 391, 1981). Within the range of 2-43 ´parts per thousand´ on the old scale (the approximate range within which the Knudsen relationship applies), salinities should be reported as dimensionless values. Scales on figures should be labelled ´Salinity´ without any unit or index. As the quotation of salinities as dimensionless values may puzzle some readers, it is recommended that the Methods section state that salinity values are based on the Practical Salinity Scale of 1978 (PSS 78). Alternatively, salinity can be expressed as weight of solute per thousand parts of solution expressed in units of weight (g kg-1). For uniformity, the same unit should be used in reporting salinities based on historical data. Where salinities are calculated from conductivity ratios measured with a salinometer, the basis of the conversion should be stated. Density of sea water can be calculated from the International Equation of State of Seawater 1980 (IESS 80) and expressed in kilograms per cubic metre.

For other symbols, units and nomenclature in physical oceanography papers, authors should adopt the recommendations of the IAPSO Working Group (SUN Report 1979, Publication Scientifique number 31, International Union of Geodosy and Geophysics, Paris).

Units of current velocity and discharge. Express current velocity as metres per second. Discharge (volume over time) can be expressed as either cubic metres per second or megalitres per day but authors must be consistent in their use of units throughout the paper.

Mathematical formulae. Mathematical formulae should be presented with symbols in correct alignment and adequately spaced. Equations should not be embedded images; use equation editors that result in an editable format. Each formula should be displayed on a single line if possible. During the final proof stage, the author(s) must check formulae very carefully.

Enzyme nomenclature. The names of enzymes should conform to the Recommendations of the Nomenclature Committee of the IUB on the Nomenclature and Classification of Enzymes as published in ´Enzyme Nomenclature 1984´ (Academic Press, Inc., New York, 1984). If there is good reason to use a name other than the recommended one, at the first mention of the alternative name in the text it should be identified by the recommended name and EC number. The Editor should be advised of the reasons for using the alternative name.

Chemical nomenclature. The names of compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, steroids, and vitamins should follow the recommendations of the IUPAC-IUB Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature. Other biologically active compounds, such as metabolic inhibitors, plant growth regulators, and buffers should be referred to once by their correct chemical name (in accordance with IUPAC rules of Chemical Nomenclature) and then by their most widely accepted common name. Where there is no common name, trade names or letter abbreviations of the chemical may be used.

Microbiological nomenclature. The names of bacteria should conform to those used in ´Approved List of Bacterial Names´ (American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C., 1980). Fungal nomenclature should conform to the International Code for Botanic Nomenclature.

DNA data. DNA sequences published in the Journal should be deposited in one of the following nucleotide sequence databases: EMBL, GenBank or DDBJ. An accession number for each sequence or sequence set must be included in the manuscript before publication. In addition, electronic copies of the data sets in nexus format should be supplied with the manuscript to aid the review process.

Return to Index

Animal and human research ethics
Researchers must have proper regard for the ethical implications of all research involving animals or humans*. Possible adverse consequences of the research for individuals or populations – of any species – must be weighed against the potential gains in knowledge and practical applications. Papers reporting work with animals or humans must include a reference to the code(s) of practice adopted for the research. Permits for ethics clearance for human or animal research, for sampling and for animal handling must be specified clearly in the Acknowledgements. Authors are required to confirm that their research meets the ethical guidelines, including adherence to the legal requirements of the study country, when they submit their manuscript via ScholarOne Manuscripts. The Editors will take account of human research ethics or animal welfare issues and reserve the right not to accept a manuscript for publication.

*Human research is research conducted with or about people, and may include the involvement of humans through taking part in surveys, interviews or focus groups; being observed by researchers; researchers having access to their personal documents of other information; or access to their information as part of an existing published or unpublished source or database (for more information, see the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, 2007).

Return to Index

Data deposition
Authors are encouraged to deposit labelled voucher specimens documenting their research in an established permanent collection and to cite this collection in publication.

Authors are encouraged to place all species distribution records in a publicly accessible database such as the national Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) nodes or data centres endorsed by GBIF, including BioFresh.

Return to Index

How to submit manuscripts
To submit your paper, please use our online journal management system ScholarOne Manuscripts, which can be reached directly through this link or from the link on the journal´s homepage. If a first-time user, register via the ´Register here´ link, or use your existing username and password to log in. Then click on the ´Author Centre´ link and proceed.

A covering letter must accompany the submission and should include the name, address, fax and telephone numbers, and email address of the corresponding author. The letter should also:
1) justify why the work should be considered for publication in the Journal and clearly explain the scientific novelty of the research;
2) state that the manuscript has not been published or simultaneously submitted for publication elsewhere; and
3) include names, addresses and email contacts of four well qualified and independent referees who are world experts in the field (but not from the author’s institution) and have not published with the author in the last five years.

If you encounter any difficulties, or you have any queries, please contact:
Marine and Freshwater Research
CSIRO Publishing
Locked Bag 10
Clayton South, Vic. 3169
Telephone +61 3 9545 8439
Fax +61 3 9545 8578

Authors are strongly advised to consult recent issues of Marine and Freshwater Research as well as the Sample Issue to confirm their paper fits the scope and follows the Journal´s conventions for headings, tables, illustrations, style, references, and general form. Following these closely will shorten the time between submission and publication and reduces the workload for reviewers. Poorly prepared and unnecessarily lengthy manuscripts have less chance of being accepted or will require laborious revision.

Resubmission of manuscripts revised in response to reviewers´ comments should occur within 2 months of the primary editorial decision, and be accompanied by a detailed point-by-point explanation of how each comment has been addressed. When submitting revised manuscripts authors are encouraged to ensure they provide sufficient information to enable a clear decision to be made, but on occasions revised manuscripts may be sent for further review. Unless prior arrangements are made with the Editor, revised manuscripts received after 2 months will usually be treated as new submissions.

Return to Index

Proofs and reprints
Page proofs are sent to the corresponding author for checking before publication. Proofs should be checked and returned by email to the Production Editor within 48 h of receipt. At this stage, only essential alterations and correction of typesetting errors may be undertaken. Excessive author alterations will be charged to the author.

Reprint order forms and prices are enclosed with the proofs and should be completed and returned to the Production Editor with the proofs. Corresponding authors will be sent a free PDF of their paper on publication. There are no page charges.

Return to Index