Instructions for Authors

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General Instructions

Ecología Austral is the scientific journal of the Argentine Ecological Society. It publishes original scientific articles on any area of the environmental sciences.

Articles may be:

  1. Original research: results of field, experimental or theoretical research being an original contribution to knowledge,
  2. Reviews: papers reviewing the present knowledge of a topic,
  3. Short communications: short papers reporting on a minor work representing an improvement in general knowledge or a methodological development,
  4. Debates: points of view of ecological theory or methods, backed and supported by technical and/or bibliographical material, and
  5. Didactic aids (only in Spanish): brief essays on ecological topics of the usual curricula, to be used as readings by undergraduate students.

Articles are peer reviewed at least by two referees. Reviewers will remain confidential, unless a referee decides otherwise. The Editor may reject, before submission to referees, those manuscripts that do not conform the Instructions for Authors, or that are not within the scope of subjects and purposes of Ecología Austral.

The maximum length should be about 30 pages for Original Articles, and about 20 pages for Reviews, Debates, Teaching Aids, and Short Communications. Manuscripts should be in Spanish, English or Portuguese. Authors should provide a version of the title, summary, keywords and legends of tables and figures in another language: in Spanish if the article is in English, or in English if the article is in Spanish or Portuguese.

Manuscripts should be sent in format native to the word-processor used (e.g., "doc"). Submit the manuscript using the corresponding form available at Format the document for A4 paper size, with all margins of 2.5 cm, and all pages and lines numbered. Include all the material in a single file, with figures, tables and the corresponding legends pasted at the end of the document, each in a different page.

Page proofs will be sent to the author, shortly before printing, as an "Adobe Acrobat portable document" format (PDF) file. The Acrobat file retains font, page layout and graphics information; it can be delivered across networks, viewed on screen and printed from most PC platforms. You will need the "Adobe Acrobat Reader" in order to view these files; if you do not have one, you may download a free copy from

At this stage, you may find minor alterations to conform to scientific, technical, stylistic or grammatical standards. Typeset proofs are checked before they are sent to the authors; however, it is the responsibility of the author/s to review page proofs carefully and check for citations, formulae, omissions in text, etc. Authors should return their corrections before a week since the page proofs were sent; if not, the manuscript will be printed as in the page proofs.



There are no publication costs.


Cover Page: Titles and Authors

The cover page must contain:

  1. the title (do not use all capital letters and make it as short as possible) in the paper's language and in a second language (in Spanish if the article is in English, or in English if the article is in Spanish or Portuguese);
  2. the list of authors, each with her or his complete name, affiliation, address and e-mail, identifying the corresponding author;
  3. a short title or running head (not longer than 50 characters including spaces); and d) keywords (in both languages).
  4. keywords (A list of up to 10 keywords must be included. Compound terms will be considered as one keyword. Keywords should not repeat words that are already in the title. The list of keywords should be sent in the language of the article and in English. If the language of the article is in English, please send the list of keywords in English and Spanish).

If the authors' present address is different from the institutional affiliation of the author during the period when all or most of the research was carried out, this should be mentioned as a note at the bottom of the title page.


The abstract (up to 300 words) should focus on the purpose of the study, the major findings and main conclusions. In addition, you must provide an abstract in a second language (in Spanish if the article is in English, or in English if the article is in Spanish or Portuguese). Do not include bibliographic citations in the abstract.


Write with precision, clarity, and economy. Use the active voice and first person where appropriate (passive voice is preferred in describing methods and results; active voice may be used to emphasize a personal opinion, typically in the Introduction and Discussion sections).

Use an ordinary 12-points serif typeset (Times New Roman or similar) and double line spacing. Number all pages, including cover page, references, acknowledgments, figures and tables. Do not indent paragraphs or titles. Use left alignment and do not hyphenate. Do not use the carriage return (enter) at the end of lines within a paragraph. Use two returns at the end of paragraphs (i.e., one empty line between paragraphs). Use consistent punctuation; insert only a single space between words and after punctuation.

Try not to use more than two title levels to organize the text, and definitely no more than three. You can use any headings and subheadings that you think useful. Preferred headings are (in order):

It is strongly recommended that authors try to keep Results and Discussion sections separately. Type headings (in capital letters) and subheadings on separate lines. If you use a third title level, type it underlined in the same paragraph that the following text. Try to keep them short so that they will fit within a single column (aprox. 30 characters, including spaces, for headings and 40 characters for subheadings).

For instructions on bibliographic citations jump to References.

Scientific Names

Give the Latin names of the species in full at their first mention in text (even after a full mention in the title) with the authority for its name (or cite a checklist or authority work which may be consulted by the readers); genera names may be abbreviated to a single letter thereafter (or two, only if needed) if no confusion will result.

Space limitations in tables or figures may require use of a "code" (such as the first letters of the genus and species names) that should be in italics, like the original scientific name. If this is the case, codes must be identified in the legend or, if they are too many of them, in an appendix at the end of the paper.

Numbers, Symbols and Formulae

Use "." (point) as decimal symbol. Do not use any symbol to separate thousands digits. Use leading zeroes (at the left) with all number <1, including probability values (e.g., P< 0.001).

Numbers from one to nine should be spelled out in the text, except when used with units or in percentages (e.g., two trees, 12 species, 5 seconds, 3.5%). At the beginning of a phrase always spell out numbers (e.g., "Thirty-two devices were...").

Use 24 hours time format, with ":" as separator (e.g., 15:45 h). Use day/month/year as date format (e.g., 25 September 2000, or 25/09/00 if needed in tables or figures). Give years in full (e.g., "1994--2000").

Define all symbols, abbreviations and acronyms the first time they are used. In the text, when only one unit appears in a denominator, use the solidus or slash "/" (e.g., g/m2 ); for two or more units in a denominator, use negative exponents (e.g., g.m-2.h-1) . Use "L" instead of "l" for liters. Use "h" for hours and do not abbreviate "day". Mathematical expressions should be carefully represented.

If possible, please format formulae in their final version (for example, you may use the equations editor included in MS Word or in WordPerfect); otherwise, make them understandable enough to be formatted during typesetting (e.g., use underlining for fractions and type numerator and denominator in different lines).

Include, at the end of the manuscript, a list of any non-keyboard, special symbols used in text or legends (e.g., Greek letters, mean, plus/minus, circles or squares). Name them under a "List of special symbols" and then insert each symbol and describe it briefly (e.g., ±: plus/minus symbol; π: Greek letter lower case pi;≥: bigger than or equal symbol; etc.).

Use of Italics

Italicize scientific names and the symbols for all variables and constants (letters used as symbols for quantities ,e.g., n, x, F, t, Z, P, and X) except Greek letters and certain statistical and mathematical terms (e.g., ln, e, exp, max, min, lim, SD, SE, CV, and d.f.). Symbols should be italic in the illustrations to match the text. All books, journals and periodical titles are set in italic. Italics should rarely be used for emphasis.


Keep them short and specific to direct contributions to the paper and the research involved. Use the initials and the surname of the people you acknowledge, but do not include their institutional affiliation. Include in this section all acknowledgments to institutions, positions and grants that you consider appropriate and that are not included in your affiliation (detailed on the cover page).

Literature cited (References)

Before submitting the manuscript, check each citation in the text against the literature cited to see that they match exactly (date and spelling) and that all the required bibliographical details are given. Total page number are preferred, but optional; place (city and country) of publication of books are also optional for international publishers or for easily available publications (but provide it for local publishers or rare publications). Give full surnames for papers up to six authors (or provide the initial five and use "et al." for the rest).

For papers still in press, use "in press" to replace the date in reference list and citation in the text, and consider them as the latest in the chronological order. The list should conform in order and punctuation to that in any recent issue of Ecología Austral (the last names of authors should carry only the first letter in upper case, and the remaining letters should be in lower case or small caps; the initials of the names should be in upper case and should have no periods nor spaces between them). Below several examples are given (with notes between brackets):

Author1, AB & BC Author2. 1989. Title of article. Brief Journal Title in Italics, 00(0):000–000

Author1, AB; B Author2; CD Author3; DE Author4; FG Author5 et al. [if more than six] (eds). In press. Book Title in italics. Publisher [optional: City, Country. 000 pp.]

Author1, A & B Author2, Jr. 1989. Chapter title. [Chapter number] Pp. 00–00 in: AB Editor (ed.). Book Title in Italics. Vol. 1. 2nd edn. Publisher [optional: City, Country. 000 pp.]

Author, A. 1989. Paper title with lower-case initials to all words and italics. PhD thesis, University. [City, if not obvious from the University name, and Country].

For manuscripts in Spanish, replace "in:" for "en:" and "In press" for "En prensa" in the entire list, irrespective of the language of the reference title (see the Spanish version of these instructions). Similar changes are expected for manuscripts in Portuguese. Do not use the expression "ibid." (ibidem, as above) in the reference list: the full reference details must be repeated.

All journal titles should be abbreviated according to Biological Abstracts or another recognized standard; if unknown, spell them out completely.

References should be ordered alphabetically in the reference list. For compounded surnames, the capital letter usually indicates the alphabetical order (e.g., V Van Gogh under "V", but L van Beethoven [van Beethoven, L] under "B"; O McDonald under "Mac"; A Di Meola under "D", but C de Burgh [de Burgh, C] under "B"). Where several references correspond to the same authors they should be placed in chronological order in the list. If there is more than one reference by the same series of authors they should be listed in alphabetical order of the subsequent authors, and then chronologically.

Do not include in the References: abstracts, unpublished material or papers in proceedings not widely distributed and easily available. These materials may be listed in the text as personal observations (by one of the authors of the manuscript, citing it as "Author1, pers. obs.", or just "pers. obs." if by all the authors), unpublished data (similar to the previous category, as "Author1, unpubl. data"), personal communications (information from third parties: "Author, affiliation, pers. comm.), or public communications (information in published abstracts, or information publicly distributed over the Internet but not permanently archived: "Author, affiliation, public comm.").

Cite references in the text as "Author (Year)" or, if in parenthesis, as "(Author Year)" [e.g., Pérez (1998) or (Pérez 1998)]. Use "et al." for more than two authors, as in "Author1 et al. (Year)", and "&" for papers by two authors, as in "(Author1 & Author2 Year)"]. Use lower-case letters to distinguish between two papers by the same authors in the same year [e.g., Pérez et al. 1998a and Pérez et al. 1998b]. This distinction must be also present in the References. Separate with "," (comma) papers by the same authors in different years [e.g., Pérez et al. (1996, 1999).

List multiple citations in chronological, not alphabetical, order [e.g., (Joe 1996; John 1999; Jack et al. 2001)], using ";" (semicolon) to separate references by different authors. The only exception is for papers by the same authors, that you should cite together in the chronological order of the older one [e.g., (Joe 1996, 1999; John 1998, Jack et al. 2001)]. You may refer to specific pages in a work by putting, in the text, the page numbers after the year, e.g. Joe (1996:57-85); in the "Literature Cited" list, the reference should be to the entire work. The expressions "in litt." and "op. cit." should be avoided. The following form should be used: (Joe 1967, cited in John 1989). Both should appear in full in the reference list.


Keep tables as simple as possible. Table legends should go above the tables, and provide information as to completely interpret the table without resorting to the text; if there are measures or counts all numbers should have explicit units. Never repeat the same material in figures and tables; when either is equally clear, a figure is preferable. Do not include any type of information in tables that is not discussed in the text of the manuscript.

Tables formatted in MS Word or WordPerfect (or as RTF tables), each in a different page, are preferred; if this is not possible, separate each field or data with tabs (never with spaces). Tables structured for column width (70 mm) is preferred over those for page width (145 mm). Do not divide tables in two or more parts.

Do not use vertical lines and try to minimize the horizontal ones. You should use tables in recent issues of Ecología Austral as a guideline.

Do not use vertical lines and try to minimize the horizontal ones. You should use tables in recent issues of Ecología Austral as a guideline.


Each figure must be self-explanatory and be referenced in text. Avoid repeating information among tables, figures, and text. Nomenclature, abbreviations, symbols, and units used in a figure should match those used in the text.

Figures prepared for column width (70 mm) are preferred over page width (145 mm). Figures should be designed at final size in their original software, with the size of the letters between 6 and 12 points (ideally 8-10 points). Lettering is best in a sans-serif face (e.g., Arial, Helvetica, Century Gothic, Verdana, Tahoma, News Gothic) capitalizing only the initial letters.

Figures should not be boxed; try to minimize the number of lines (e.g., do not draw top and right lines in an ordinary scatterplot). Do not use titles or identifying letters (as a) and b)) on the graphs. Do not send color figures. Use black, white (open) and bold hatching for bars and symbols.

Try to avoid gray shades or use them as distinctly as possible (only 50%, or 25%, 50% and 75%). Preferred symbols are open or closed black circles, squares and triangles. Symbols should be of approximately 1.5 mm in their final size. Include symbol keys within the body of the illustration rather than in the legend. Some straightforward symbols can be included within legends, but only if it is essential to do so.

If possible, include the figures in your word-processed file, pasting them as "image" or Windows Metafile Format (WMF) in different pages of the document (e.g., in Windows you may copy and paste through the Clipboard).

For example, in MS Word for Windows you can

  1. copy the image from the original application (to the Clipboard) and then paste it in the word-processor, using the "Edit/Paste special…" command, and selecting "Image" as the format to paste, or
  2. create a Windows Metafile Format (WMF) file, available as "Export" or "Save as…" options in most graphic packages, and then insert it in the word-processor file using "Insert/Image/From file..." command.

The image must be in its final size (70 mm wide preferred). Do make sure that the image in the word-processor file adjusts to what you expect (e.g., texts and symbols size); it helps to design the figures at final size in the original software. If made in Excel, Corel Draw, Statistica for Windows, Sigma Plot or KyPlot, in addition to the figures in the word-processor file, please also send the original file/s.

If you cannot follow these procedures, you can paste or insert the figures in the word-processed file (and also send it apart) as a bitmap (TIFF format is preferred; GIF, PCX or BMP are also acceptable) of 600 dpi, in grayscale depth (8 bits) and the final estimated size (better for one column wide=70 mm, not more than 145 mm wide). You may get the bitmap from the original application (graphics and drawing packages usually provide an export option) or by scanning a good quality print of your figure. Supplying uncompressed TIFFs is preferable but if the image size is very large compressed versions are acceptable (LZW, ZIP, ARJ).

For figures consisting of more than one element (e.g. parts a), b) and c)), please supply the different parts separately (i.e. paste or insert them separately in the same word-processor page). The reason for this is that the components of the figure may require some modification of their layout. Each figure should be centered on a different page and at final size with the correct orientation.

If you find any problems in applying the above methods, you can contact the Assistant Editor by e-mail (at for help and/or specifications. If the above methods are unavailable to you, send good quality paper versions of the figures, following the directions for design, size and layout. However, this might slow down your paper's publication time.

Eventually authors may be contacted by the Assistant Editor after manuscript acceptance to provide modified versions of the figures.


Photographs should only be included if they convey information that is essential to the understanding of the article. They should be "clear" and have high contrast. Name and number them as explained for figures.

They should be sent as electronic files, scanned at grayscale (8 bits) depth at least at 300 dpi, preferably for a final size of one column (=70 mm wide). They should be saved as TIFF (.tif) or GIF (.gif) files, available as exporting formats in most graphic and scanning packages. Supplying uncompressed TIFFs is preferable but if the image size is very large compression software are acceptable (LZW, ZIP, ARJ).

If the above electronic method is unavailable to you, send copies in photographic paper (they may not be returned). However, this might slow down your paper's publication time.


Maps should only be included if they convey information that is essential to the understanding of the article. Name and number them as explained for figures. Plan them preferably for a final size of one column (=70 mm wide). Include north, graphic scale and coordinates. As in figures, use black, white, hatches and very different shades of gray (25%, 50%, 75%), and include keys in the image rather than in the legend. Send them as recommended for figures.