Guidelines for Authors

Author Guidelines for Alaska Park Science
Updated February 2020

Alaska Park Science is an award-winning journal published by the National Park Service, Alaska Regional Office. The journal reports information from on-going and recently completed research in and around Alaska’s national parks. Alaska Park Science covers all relevant scientific disciplines in the biological, physical, cultural, and social sciences. The journal is published once or twice a year and all issues are available online.

General Guidelines: Alaska Park Science aims to provide informative, interesting, visually pleasing, and intelligible information at an informed general public reading level. Articles should highlight Alaska’s unique qualities and contributions to science. The journal emphasizes research findings and applications of science to support management action.

Audience: The principal audience for Alaska Park Science is non-technical, consisting of the interested public, educators and students, natural and cultural resource scientists, and park staff including superintendents, resource managers, and interpreters.

Distribution: Alaska Park Science is distributed online as shared content web articles and as a pdf that may be printed. Subscribers to the journal receive an email notification with links to the pdf file and each article when a new issue is released.

Style Guidelines: Articles should be written in such a way that generalists, or a non-technical public audience, can grasp the significance of the topic and understand the application of findings. The tone should be easy to read and appropriate for a college-level audience (does not need to be aimed at 6th- or 8th-grade level). Articles should be written primarily in the active voice, using non-technical language that can be understood by those outside the specific field of study. Where uncommon technical language is used (jargon), add definitions or otherwise explain. The following are good examples of readability and tone:

Catastrophic Glacier Collapse and Debris Flow at Flat Creek
A Survey of Human Migration in Alaska's National Parks through Time
History, Purpose, and Status of Caribou Movements in Northwest Alaska

When mentioning species, use their common name followed by the binomial scientific name (Genus species) when they are first mentioned. Please use US customary units with metric equivalents provided in parentheses, for example, 100 miles (160 km). Please do not use NPS park alpha codes (e.g., DENA) as abbreviations.

Authors should include in-text citations for references used (e.g., Hoeffecker and Elias 2007, Elias et al. 1996); footnotes and endnotes are not used in this journal. The following are examples of the reference style:

Journal article
Elias, S. A., S. K. Short, C. H. Nelson, and H. H. Birks. 1996. Life and times of the Bering land bridge. Nature 382(4):60-63.

Book
Hoeffecker, J. and S. A. Elias. 2007. The Human Ecology of Beringia. Columbia University Press, 304 pp.

Website
Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska. 2013. Managing for the future in a rapidly changing Arctic: A report to the President. Available at: http://www.interior.gov/news/upload/ArcticReport-03April2013PMsm.pdf (accessed May 14, 2013)

Length: Articles should generally be less than 2,500 words in length.
Title and subheads: Use short and engaging titles (park names do not necessarily need to be part of the title). The use of subheads is encouraged for readability and organization. They should be descriptive and meaningful (such as "climate change influences on salmon migration patterns" rather than "methods" or "discussion"). The article should not begin with a subhead (such as "introduction" or "background").

Images and Illustrations: Please submit photos and other illustrations for your article. Be sure that proper safety practices are depicted in the photos, as well as appropriate NPS attire. Please send original files (including Excel files for graphs) of high quality/high resolution. Images should be at least 300 dpi at the size at which it will be used (generally, file sizes should be >1 MB). Each article will have a landscape-format, full-page “cover” image in addition to any images and figures used to illustrate the content of the article. Images with simple subjects that work at a thumbnail size as well as full page work best. These should also be at least 300 dpi at 8”x11”.

GIS maps and other computer-generated illustrations should be exported in a pixel-based file (such as bitmap, tiff, or jpeg) at a high resolution (at least 300 pixels per inch [300 dpi] at a size of approximately 8" x 10"). Do not submit illustrations copied from web pages, PowerPoint, or Word documents, since their resolution is too low for quality publication. Do not submit images for which you do not have copyright permission. If you use a previously published image/figure, please provide appropriate attribution. Please contact the Science Communication Specialist (e-mail us) with any questions.

Captions: Please provide captions, in a text file, for all images and illustrations used in the article, as well as photo credits (be sure you have permission if the photographer is not an NPS or other federal employee). Authors are responsible for securing and forwarding copyright permissions for images, as needed.

Presenting Data and Tables: Authors should reconsider the need for tables and decide if the information could be summarized in a paragraph or a graphic (graph or infographic). The online media for Alaska Park Science does not lend itself well to complicated tables. Authors are encouraged to think about ways to avoid tables, or greatly simplify them.

Interactivity: Web links should be included to provide access to additional data, technical papers, and relevant project information. Because articles are web-based, readers have the opportunity to directly access peer-reviewed science, videos, sound files, or other web pages with additional resources to support individual articles. Please include these types of links as appropriate.
Acknowledgements: Please include appropriate acknowledgements to recognize partners and funding sources that made your work possible.

Example: We thank Philip Hooge and Jim Taggart for initiating the pioneering work on halibut site fidelity in Glacier Bay. We also thank Chad Soiseth and Craig Murdoch for arranging National Park Service funding for publishing the 1991 research and conducting the 2013 study, during which they assisted with almost every stage of the research. In addition, we thank the Rasmuson Fisheries Research Foundation, the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center, the North Pacific Research Board, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity program for providing funds that contributed to this research. We also thank the many people who assisted with the fieldwork for both studies.

Deadlines for receipt of final articles and illustrations: To be determined in collaboration with the Guest Editor (see Guidelines for the Guest Editor).

Review: Although Alaska Park Science is not a discipline-specific journal, we are committed to excellence in quality and accuracy. Therefore all articles will be reviewed by at least two individuals with sufficient technical or scientific expertise in the subject matter to offer substantive comments on the content of the article. Each article will also be reviewed by Editorial Board members for readability, management sensitivity, and relevance to the NPS Alaska Region.

Review Process: The following are the general steps involved in the review process for Alaska Park Science. The Guest Editor will provide a timeline and other specifics.

  • Your first draft will be reviewed by the Guest Editor and Science Communication Specialist to ensure it is appropriate in tone and style (following these guidelines) for the journal. You may be asked to revise your article before it is sent for peer review.

  • You will be asked to provide at least two suggestions for potential peer reviewers. These should be people with similar technical expertise, but not directly involved in the work presented in the article.

  • The Guest Editor will manage the peer review, sending your article to at least two reviewers (could be within NPS, another agency, or outside of government). The reviewers will be provided with a review form and they have the option to use track changes and comment within the draft. We will keep the reviews confidential, within the Editorial Board, however, these documents may be subject to Freedom of Information Act inquiries.

  • Review comments will be compiled and returned to you to address. You will then return a second draft to the Guest Editor.

  • The Editorial Board will do a final review of the article and may return additional comments to address before finalizing the article.

  • Final articles, images, figures, and other supporting materials will then be submitted. As the issue is being compiled, you will receive a “proof” of the article as laid out to approve.

  • You will receive an email announcement upon release of the issue.

Author Information: Include contact information for each author: name, position, affiliation, phone number, and email address.

Form of Submission: Manuscripts should be sent as digital text files attached to an email message to the Guest Editor and to nina_chambers@nps.gov

CONTACT for general inquiries: akr_alaska_park_science@nps.gov

Last updated: February 6, 2020