Seabird Group Seabird Group

Guidelines for contributors


The Seabird Group produces an annual colour journal Seabird, containing papers, reviews and short communications on seabird biology, conservation, identification and status. The main geographical focus of the journal is the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas, but contributions are also welcome from other parts of the world provided they are of general interest. All papers are peer reviewed and will be hosted on our website upon publication.

We welcome submissions from authors of all backgrounds, including (but not limited to) academics, conservation practitioners, ringing groups and other amateurs. We particularly encourage contributions from students and people at an early stage of their careers.


Contributions must be in English. However, authors whose first language is not English and who would like their paper checked by a native speaker before formal submission can submit it to our Manuscript Submission Support Service team (see below for details). Similarly, authors with little experience of writing a formal paper can make use of the team. Submissions must be made via email, as a Microsoft Word file, and authors should suggest 2-4 potential reviewer names if possible.

Manuscript format

  • Use continuous line numbers throughout the manuscript
  • The title should be short and concise, and a proposal for a 'running head' is welcomed.
  • Authors' names should be given below the title of the paper, with addresses (including the email address of the correspondence author, who should be indicated with an asterisk).

For full-length papers, divisions should include: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, and References. A small number of subdivisions within the Methods, Results and Discussion are welcomed. Online supplementary material can be hosted on our website.

  • The Abstract (not exceeding 250 words) should reflect both content and emphasis of the paper. It must be easy to read, emphasising biologically relevant findings, while touching only slightly on methods.
  • The Introduction should be restricted to the context, scope, purpose, and the rationale of the study.
  • The Methods should be limited to the information on what is essential to judge whether the findings are valid.
  • The Results should be used to convey the key findings of your study, using tables, graphs and be supported by appropriate statistical tests.
  • The Discussion should be limited to the main contributions of the study in relation to the findings of previous workers. Restrict speculation to what can be supported with reasonable evidence; assertions made in the paper that are not supported by your data must be justified by appropriate references.
  • Acknowledge those who contributed substantially to the paper, or to data collection, as well as relevant funders. Please also list licenses and site permissions in this section.
  • Avoid repetition and verbosity; while individual manuscripts will vary in length, standard manuscript submissions should not exceed 5,000-6,000 words. Authors are encouraged to contact the Editorial team regarding longer review/overview submissions (8,000-9,000 words). We can host Supplementary Materials on our website.


  • Cited literature should be restricted to significant, published papers, or publicly available reports; avoid over-referencing. Check your citations carefully against the reference list and vice versa.
  • Use the author-date format to cite in the text, e.g. (O'Connor 1984), (Baudinette & Schmidt-Nielsen 1974) or, in case of more than two authors (Pettifor et al. 1988).
  • References in the text should be in order of year of publication, and then by alphabetical order of the author, e.g. (Brown 1974; Anthony et al. 1981; Harris 1981).
  • In the reference list the literature cited should be in alphabetical order. Titles should be given in the original language, and journal titles cited in full.
  • Please check the precise wording of title and journal. Please give page numbers for book chapters or species accounts.
  • The publisher and location should be indicated for books and reports.


Arneill, G. E., Perrins, C. M., Wood, M. J., Murphy, D., Pisani, L., Jessopp, M. J. & Quinn, J. L. 2019. Sampling strategies for species with high breeding-site fidelity: a case study in burrow-nesting seabirds. PLoS ONE 14: e0221625.

Bogdanova, M. I., Daunt, F., Newell, M., Phillips, R. A., Harris, M. P. & Wanless, S. 2011. Seasonal interactions in the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla: links between breeding performance and winter distribution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 2412–2418.

Hammer, S. 2016. The use of eggs and diet of Great Skuas as biomonitors in the Faroe Islands. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Harris, M. P. & Wanless, S. 2004. Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica. In: Mitchell, P. I., Newton, S. F., Ratcliffe, N. & Dunn, T. E. (eds.) Seabird populations of Britain and : 392-406. Poyser, London.

Montevecchi, W. A., Garthe, S. & Davoren, G. K. 2006. Biophysical influences on seabird trophic assessments. In: Boyd, I. L., Wanless, S. & Camphuysen, C. J. (eds.) Top Predators in Marine Ecosystems: 118-130. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

O'Brien, S. H., Mitchell, P. I., Parsons, M. & Mavor, R. A. 2003. 'Seabird monitoring on St Kilda in 2003.' Unpublished JNCC Report, Aberdeen.

Van Eerden, M. R. & Voslamber, B. 1995. Mass fishing by Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis at lake IJsselmeer, The Netherlands: a recent and successful adaptation to a turbid environment. Ardea 83: 199-212.

Text style

All text should be in upper and lower case, and un-formatted; underscores, bullets, indentations and tabs should not be used in the text. Headings should be in bold, sub-headings in bold italic. Use single spaces between sentences. Avoid formatted breaks between paragraphs; use single 'hard return' spaces. On first mention, a species should be referred to by its vernacular name, followed by its systematic binomial name in italics, using the naming conventions of the official British List Capitals should be used for the initial letters of all single words and hyphenated vernacular names of species (e.g. Great Black-backed Gull, White-bellied Storm-petrel) but not for group names (e.g. grebes, gulls, corvids). Non-English words, other than those that have been adopted into English, should be in italics. Units and abbreviations should conform to the S.I. system (International System of Units) where possible. Use 0.01 and not .01, or 0,01. Use 50%, not 50 percent.

Figures and legends

Legends for Figures / Tables / photographs should be positioned within the text on a line of their own to indicate preferred position for final layout. Legends for Figures and Tables should also be added at the end of the manuscript on a separate page. In addition to the embedded Figure, Table or photograph, please submit an electronic copy. Each Figure and Table should be on a separate page at the end of the document. Use Arial font for lettering within Figures and realise that the diagram may have to be reduced in size. Figures should be provided in a vector format if possible (e.g. pdf or Adobe Illustrator format). Please bear in mind the needs of people with colour vision deficiencies when preparing Figures (for further information, please see Pollet & Bond 2020). Tables should be concise and self-explanatory and have only horizontal lines. Use tabs, rather than spaces to separate columns for tables. Photographs need high contrast and should be supplied in their most original form i.e. the original, un-cropped, unaltered camera files where possible, or if not, TIFF / JPEG files of at least 20 cm and 300 dpi. Location, date and photographer should be indicated.

Statistical information

Details of statistical analysis, which should always be included, are type of test, the value of the relevant test statistic, the sample size and/or degrees of freedom and the probability level. Commonplace statistical abbreviations such as ANOVA, SD, SE, CI, df, t-test, X2, F, P, n, r, should be used. A post-fix to the test statistic symbol can be used to present the degrees of freedom, e.g. F12,34. and where appropriate, include a reference for the statistic used. Variables and mathematical formulas should be in italics.


Authors can request that their manuscript is checked and assistance provided for English and scientific style, where necessary. Please contact to make use of this service.

Downloadable PDF of guidelines