Submit a Report to the Publication Series

We accept submissions only from National Park Service offices. Reports from external contributors are welcome, but they must be submitted through a sponsoring NPS office.

Rigorous format requirements for reports are necessary to ensure consistent presentation, compliance with NPS graphic identity standards, correct exporting, and the application of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requirements.

We provide templates for each report series. Please follow the guidance outlined on this page as well as the specific formatting instructions embedded in the report templates. Reports not adhering to the instructions may be returned to the author for correction.

Steps to Submit a Report

Step 1

Decide if the manuscript is better suited for the NRR or NRDS series.

Step 2

Prepare and format the manuscript. Formatting recommendations:

MS Word - Option 1

Prepare the manuscript and associated tables, figures, photos, appendixes, and other content. Concentrate on document language and content and not on the specifics of format and layout (e.g., page numbers on and near landscape pages; precise placement of graphics and tables; dynamic report elements such as lists of contents or footnotes).

Once the report content is complete, download the current version of the MS Word report template to use for final formatting. Please use a current template: versions are revised periodically to correct new software bugs or to accommodate updates.

Copy and paste your report content into the template, following the guidance and font styles provided in the instructions.

Note: This option may work best if there are multiple authors working in different locations and with different software versions.

MS Word - Option 2

Download the current version of the MS Word report template and prepare your manuscript directly in the template file. Again, please use a current template: versions are revised periodically to correct new software bugs or to accommodate updates.

Note: This option may work best if there is a single author or limited number of contributors.

Additional Format Recommendations for MS Word

For either option in MS Word, we strongly suggest that all final edits be done on a single computer.

To meet Section 508 requirements we also require that Word documents use a single-column layout, no text wrapping, and simple placement of elements such as images, graphics, and tables.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign templates are also available for download. InDesign offers more formatting flexibility and layout features than MS Word. If your report will be published in Adobe InDesign, please work with your NPS layout specialist on the preferred way to proceed. We recommend that these reports be prepared by a person with specific experience publishing NRR and NRDS documents using InDesign.

For Either MS Word or Adobe InDesign:

Please contact us if you expect to print more than 50 hard copies of your report, or if you expect your report will have high public visibility or distribution. In these cases certain additional formatting and NPS graphic identity standards may need to be applied.

Step 3

For NRRs (which require peer review), complete the peer review process and any ensuing manuscript changes.

Step 4

Complete the Manuscript Submittal Form (MSF) (accessible to NPS staff only).

  • Each report will have a unique MSF web address.
  • Authors or editors can begin and save a draft of the online MSF.
  • Peer review mangers, program managers, and report collaborators can also access the MSF (using the unique URL).

Step 5

Publication series staff will review the manuscript to ensure compliance with format standards. Some formatting modifications may be made and if so, the modified manuscript will be returned, with a description of all changes, to the submitter for approval.

Step 6

Publication series staff will complete the final section of the MSF and will send the submitters further instructions for uploading the final PDF version of the report to the IRMA Data Store. Publication is complete


Natural Resource Publication Series staff will archive copies of the Manuscript Submittal Form. The peer review manager is responsible for maintaining all records associated with the peer review process, including correspondence, comments, and responses.

Edits to published NRR and NRDS reports are restricted after reports have been made available to the public in any way (e.g., physical copies sent, digital copies distributed by email or posted for download on any public-facing website.

Contact the series manager, Fagan Johnson ( if you have any questions.

Last updated: February 22, 2018