Canids Specialist Group

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Canid Biology & Conservation

Instructions to authors

In most respects, formatting of a manuscript for submission to CBC differs very little from familiar formats for print journals. CBC requires only a few significant changes from the familiar formats.

A correctly formatted manuscript is critical to successful processing of the submission and the review and publishing process at CBC. It allows us to create a web version of the manuscript rapidly, to pass specific components of a manuscript to different editors efficiently, and to collect author and keyword information for journal indexing.

Please read through the following instructions before beginning to prepare your paper for submission. Contact if you require assistance.

1. The Peer Review Process

1.1 Editorial Policies

1.2 Editing and Review

1.3 Submission - an overview

1.4 Copy-editing

1.5 Publication



1.1 Editorial Policies

CBC is a primary research journal (primary = not previously published). A manuscript posted on a personal or institutional website amounts to a pre-print and will not be considered as published. A manuscript available as part of an electronic publication to which a library can subscribe (especially if the publication has an ISSN or ISBN), will be considered as published and thus not eligible for consideration by our journal.

The papers considered for publication in CBC should present original research, novel syntheses, reviews of current theory, methods, conservation policy or practice, or distribution updates. Data from previous publications may be included in articles when necessary for completeness, if the sources of the data are clearly identified.


1.2 Editing and review

The Editors make an initial appraisal of each manuscript. If the topic and treatment seem potentially appropriate for CBC, the manuscript is assigned to the Assistant Editor who oversees the review process. Once the review process has been completed, the Assistant Editor recommends acceptance, revision, or rejection of your manuscript. The final decision is made by the Editors.

CBC has a "blind" review process: the names of the reviewers are not disclosed to the authors, unless the peer-reviewers indicate they wish their names to be known.

A decision on the manuscript generally may be expected within one to two months of submission; delays in obtaining reviews may prolong this process. Manuscripts are sent out for review electronically, and all correspondence takes place via email. Although the peer-review process is accelerated by the use of electronic communication, traditional high-quality, peer-review standards are applied to all manuscripts submitted to CBC. Anyone who intends to submit a manuscript for publication in CBC is advised to read the guidelines (below) as well as submission notes before submitting their manuscript. If revisions are requested, the author should submit a revised manuscript to the journal within three months. Manuscripts undergoing revision for longer than three months will be considered new submissions.

Once a manuscript has been rejected, it will be eligible for further review only if a revision was invited, or if it has been rewritten so completely that it can legitimately be called a new manuscript. No other rejected manuscripts will be re-reviewed unless the rejection was based on a misinterpretation by the Editor. When submitting a rewritten manuscript, the covering letter must detail any changes made.


1.3 Submission - an overview

Submission to CBC is accomplished via email only. We do not require hard copies. In order to accelerate peer-review and minimize costs, all clerical steps during peer-review are handled by email. These require that manuscripts be prepared in a format that can be recognized by the software used by editors and reviewers.

The main text of the manuscript and each figure, table, or appendix must be submitted as a separate file. Suitable file names must be used to identify parts of the article. A list of attachments is required in the covering email. This list links the caption for each table, figure, and appendix with the file containing that table, figure, and appendix.

Manuscripts should be submitted by email, as attachments. Word (.doc or .docx) or Rich Text Format should be used for the main text, with a variety of graphic software used for pictures, figures and other media. Guidelines for formatting a manuscript for submission to CBC (e.g. references and units of measure) and the component files (e.g. article, figure, and table files) required for processing are given below.

The CBC Editors will send you an acknowledgement message once your submission has been received.


1.4 Copy-editing

After your manuscript has been accepted for publication, it will be edited. The Assistant Editor will contact you if questions arise during this process. You will be asked to proof the copy-edited manuscript. Once approved, your manuscript will be converted into an Adobe Acrobat file and published on the Internet.


1.5 Publication

Each accepted manuscript will be published in an "Issue-in-Progress" as soon as copy editing is complete and the author has approved the edited version. These manuscripts will be assigned Volume and Article numbers, so that they can be cited in a manner similar to citations to articles in a print journal. At intervals the Issue-in-Progress will become, simply, a new issue. All subscribers will then be notified of the contents of this latest issue of the journal.


2. Formatting a manuscript

2.1 File management

2.2 Text and graphics formats

2.3 Document style and content guidelines

2.4 The body of the manuscript

2.5 Attachments

2.6 Equations

2.7 Hyperlinks

2.8 Covering letter



2.1 File Management

Manuscripts submitted to CBC must be divided into a number of files to facilitate processing. The main body of the manuscript includes the abstract, core article, and references, and must be saved as one text file. Tables, figures, and appendices all constitute attachments, and each must be saved to a separate text, graphic, or special format file. Do not embed figures or tables in your text.


2.2 Text and graphics formats

Text files must be submitted in Word (.doc or .docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). We will accept graphics in the following formats: GIF, JPEG, EPS, BMP, TIFF. Many graphics packages will save to, or export to, one or more, of these file formats.

There are several important considerations concerning the submission of graphics for electronic publication. You are advised to view your graphics prior to submission to verify that they have been generated properly.

Do not include title and caption information with your graphics. All caption information must be provided in the main document the List of attachments in the covering document.


Other file formats
In keeping with the nature of the electronic medium, CBC permits the inclusion of non-text appendices such as video files, computer simulation programs, and satellite images. These will be available as links or separate downloads. However, authors are advised that many readers have not installed the tools to view these less conventional appendices. Similarly, file size should be a consideration to speed up downloads.


2.3 Document style and content guidelines

All papers must be in English. Write with precision, clarity, and economy: use the active voice and first person whenever appropriate. Use English (U.K.) spellings (e.g. behaviour not behavior) for all text.

Spacing, fonts and page numbering

Single-space all material (text, quotations, figure legends, tables, references, etc.). Use 10-point Arial font. Page numbers should not be applied by the author.

All paragraphs to start flush left, with no indentation. There should be single (not double) spaces between words. After the full stop (period) at the end of a sentence, there should be two spaces. Text should be justified. Do not use carriage returns at the end of lines within a paragraph. There should be two carriage returns between each paragraph.

Avoid centred headings, but if you do, for example in a table, use the centre command, not spaces. Use tabs when typing a table  not spaces. Spacing across a page causes format problems when the text is converted for printing. Also, try not to use lines (rules) in tables - the editor adds them.

Serial commas should be used. In a series consisting of three or more elements, the elements are separated by commas. When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series, a comma is used before the conjunction. Example: "SSC has published Action Plans on Crocodiles, Equids, Wild Cats, and Dogs" is correct. Whereas the sentence "SSC has published Action Plans on Crocodiles, Equids, Wild Cats and Dogs" is ambiguous because it is unclear as to whether or not "Dogs" is a separate Action Plan from "Wild Cats”.

Underlining / Italicization

Please italicize Latin scientific names (see below) and the symbols for all variables and constants except Greek letters in the text. Symbols should be italic in the illustrations to match the text. Do not underline text. Italics should rarely be used for emphasis.

Species names and categories of threat

Please include Latin names for all species mentioned in manuscript, and even those mentioned as ancillary components of the study (e.g., trap bait). A Latin name should be italicized and follow the first mention of the common name of a species in the manuscript (e.g., coyote Canis latrans). Subsequent mention of that species will not require the Latin name. Common names should be lower case unless they are proper names (e.g. Rüppell’s fox, Ethiopian wolf, but golden jackal).

Please include the IUCN Red List Category for focal species. IUCN categories should be capitalized: Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Near Threatened, Least Concern and Data Deficient. These should be abbreviated as: CR, EN, VU, NT, LC and DD respectively. For information on threat categories and current species designations, see:


Citations in the text should be in the form: (Mech 1970), (Fritts and Mech 1982), and (Fritts and Mech 1982, Harrington et al. 1982), without a comma separating the author and year. Where there is more than one reference, place in chronological order. Use et al. (not italicized) when there are three or more authors (Fritts et al. 1982).


Avoid footnotes; most footnote material can be incorporated in the text to the benefit of readers and editors.


Use the International System of Units (SI) for measurements. Numbers between zero and ten should be written out in word form. Any number, and its units, which begins a sentence should be written out. For example: “Seven hundred square kilometres of forest...”. When referring to a decade in numerals, no apostrophe is needed. For example: “In the 1960s...”

Use a comma (,) to separate thousands, e.g. 1,000 (one thousand), 2,000,000 (two million). Do not use a full-stop (period) in a number unless as a decimal point, e.g. 360,000.5 (three hundred sixty thousand point five).

Do not put spaces between a number and its unit of measurement: for example: 650kg, 300km.


2.4 The body of the manuscript

The main component of each submission is the manuscript body. This single-spaced text file must be saved in Word (.doc or .docx), or Rich Text Format in a file called Main. This main manuscript file must be divided into a number of sections:

Manuscript type
Author information
Biographical sketch
List of attachments

The sections must be listed in the order given above, separated one from the other by a single blank line.

The article, along with the figures and tables, will allow editors and reviewers to assess the suitability of the manuscript for publication. Provide supplementary materials in appendices. Reviewers will be asked to assess the appropriateness of the division of information between the main article and the appendices.

Manuscript type

Papers published in Canid Biology and Conservation are defined in six categories, as indicated below.


Opinion editorials invited by the Editors to highlight important topics of science, conservation policy, and conservation practice (including field methods and population management) relevant to the Canidae. The length may not exceed 2,000 words.


Peer-reviewed articles that integrate various disciplines to suggest new opportunities for tackling conservation issues in the Canidae. Succinct papers are appreciated.

Distribution Updates

Short notes reporting extensions or contractions on the range of Canidae species. These communications are to extend the range of a given species or to document a local extinction or an error in distribution. The length may not exceed 2,000 words and references are to be kept to a minimal set. A map should be included whenever possible.

Field reports

Papers presenting singular discoveries, changes in conservation status, progress reports of conservation projects, new field projects, and short communications of methods or practice. The length may not exceed 2,000 words and references are to be kept to a minimal set.

Research reports

Papers that present the results of original research covering any of the topics suggested above. Articles may not exceed 4,000 words, but may contain any number of appendices of any kind (e.g. tables, graphs, maps, colour photographs, video clips, sound, computer animations, and original data bases).


A brief reply or comment on an article published in CBC. Short responses (less than 250 words) will be reviewed by the Editor who directed the peer-review for the article in question. Longer responses (250-1000 words) will be subject to more rigorous screening. If accepted, responses will be linked to the article commented upon.


The title should indicate the topic of the article. It should be informative and short - the maximum length is 12 words or 100 characters; longer titles will be shortened by the editor. Do not include the authority for taxonomic names in the title or abstract. Titles may not include numerical series designations.

Author information

Provide the following information for each author: [author's first name] [initial] [author's last name] [institution], [full mailing address]. Email: [email address]

An email address is required for the corresponding author; it is preferred but not required for the other authors. The corresponding author need not be the first author listed on the manuscript. However, please indicate the corresponding author with an asterisk (*). Separate one author's record from the next with a blank line.


Up to ten keywords are permitted. Words from the title of the article may be included in the keywords. Each keyword should be useful as a point of entry for a literature search.


The abstract, single-spaced and of no more than 300 words, should provide a brief summary of the research, including the purpose, methods, results, and major conclusions. Avoid speculation in the abstract; if included, speculation about possible interpretations or applications of your results should play a minor role. Do not include any literature citations in the abstract.


The formatted, single-spaced core article of your manuscript should be included in the main file after the abstract.

Organize your article into subsections labeled Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion, as appropriate to the content of the article.

Brief articles, such as Distribution Updates or Field Report usually do not require an Introduction subtitle, and might not include Methods and Results sections. For longer articles, you may need to add a subsection for Conclusions.

Subsection headings should be left justified, completely uppercase, bold, and placed on their own line. Separate each subsection with a blank line. Lower order headings, for example separating the Methods into Study Area and Sampling components, should be left-justified, italicized, and lowercase except for the initial letter of the first word which should be uppercase.

The motivation or purpose of your research should appear in the Introduction, where you state the questions you sought to answer, and then provide some of the historical basis for those questions.

In the Methods section you should provide sufficient information to allow someone to repeat your work. A clear description of your experimental design, sampling procedures, and statistical procedures is especially important in papers describing field studies, simulations, or experiments. If you list a product (e.g. radio tracking transmitter, trap, analytical device), supply the name and location of the manufacturer. Give the model number for equipment used. Supply complete citations, including author (or editor), title, year, publisher, and version number, for computer software mentioned in your article.

Results should be stated concisely and without interpretation.

For the Discussion section, focus on the rigorously supported aspects of your study. Carefully differentiate the results of your study from data obtained from other sources. Interpret your results, relate them to the results of previous research, and discuss the implications of your results or interpretations. Point out results that do not support speculations or the findings of previous research, or that are counter-intuitive. In the later section, pursue new ideas suggested by your research; compare and contrast your research with findings from other systems or other disciplines; pose new questions that are suggested by the results of your study and suggest ways of answering these new questions.


Acknowledgements should be included in the main file after the Article section.


The References section should be included in the main file after the Acknowledgements section.

Before submitting the manuscript, check each citation in the text against the References to ensure they match exactly. Delete citations from the list if they are not actually cited in the text of the article.

The list should conform in sequencing and punctuation to that of IUCN/SSC recommendations for Action Plans. All journal titles should be spelled out completely. In the titles of articles, capitalization of the common names of organisms and the spellings of all words should agree exactly with that used in the original publication.

Provide the publisher's name and location when you cite symposia or conference proceedings; distinguish between the conference date and the publication date, if both are given. Do not list abstracts or unpublished material in the References. They may be listed in the text as personal observations (by an author of the present paper), personal communications (from others), or unpublished x (where x = data, manuscript, or report); provide author names and initials for all unpublished work and abstracts.

Book references must include author, year of publication, book title, editors (if applicable), page numbers (if applicable), name of publisher, and place of publication:

Novak, R.M. and Paradiso, J.L. (eds.). 1983. Walker's mammals of the world. 4th edition. Volume I. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Kingdon, J. 1990. Island Africa. Collins, London.

Book chapter references must include author, year of publication, chapter title, page numbers, editors, book title, name of publisher, and place of publication:

Jenks, S.M. and Wayne, R.W. 1992. Problems and policy for species threatened by hybridization: the red wolf as a case study. Pp. 237-251 in D.R. McCullough and R.H. Barrett (eds.), Wildlife 2001. Elsevier Applied Science, New York.

Journal references must include the author, year of publication, article title, journal title (abbreviated titles following published standards are acceptable), volume number, and page numbers. This information should also be included for reports, theses, manuscripts, etc:

Boitani, L. 1983. Wolf and dog competition in Italy. Acta Zoologica Fennica 174:259-264.

O'Brien, S.J. and Mayr, E. 1991. Species hybridization and protection of endangered animals. Science 253:251-252.

Reports must include all applicable information required above, as well as location if distribution is restricted:

Bain, J.R. and Humphrey, S.R. 1980. A profile of the endangered species of Thailand. Report No. 4, Office of Ecological Services, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Conference and symposium proceedings must include all applicable information required above, as well as the location, date, and name/subject of the conference or symposium:

Diemer, J.E. 1987. Tortoise relocation in Florida: solution or problem? Proceedings Desert Tortoise Council 1984 Symposium: 131135.

Online papers and other web publications must include all applicable information required above, as well as the specific URL.

Malcolm, J.R. and Sillero-Zubiri, C. 2001. Recent records of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) from Ethiopia. Canid News 4:1 [online]. URL http:\\canidnews\4\wild_dogs_in_ethiopia.pdf

For additional examples of citation formats, please see the References section of the IUCN/SSC Canid Action Plan – available for free download at

Biographical Sketch

Include a short biography of each author not exceeding 50 words each.

List of attachments

All tables, figures, text appendices, videos, computer simulations, and databases constitute attachments to the main body of the manuscript. As such, they must be submitted as separate files to be handled properly by the editors. A List of attachments must be provided to indicate the inclusion of these attachments in the manuscript. The List of attachments should be included in the main file after the References section of your manuscript as well as in the covering email.

List tables, figures, appendices, and other attachments in that order. Within each category, list and number items in the order in which they are introduced in the article. Double-check your entries to ensure that you have included a file name and a caption for each figure, table, and appendix file.

Provide enough detail in the table title and figure caption information to allow a reader to comprehend the main points of each attachment without reference to the article or to the attachment itself.

For tables, provide a short descriptive title that reveals the point of grouping certain data in the table rather than simply repeating the labels from the component columns and rows. Include any statistical and other details at the end of the title. Similarly, ensure that the figure captions direct the reader’s attention to the key points conveyed by the figure. For non-text or non-graphic attachments (e.g. video, sound), indicate the software required to run that attachment and, if possible, provide an URL to a source for that software.

Instructions for formatting the most common attachment types are detailed below.

Please note that the List of attachments tag and the list itself may be omitted if the manuscript has no attachments.

Equation files are not considered attachments. Equations, therefore, should not be included in the List of attachments. Please see the Equations section below for further details.

2.5 Attachments

CBC accepts attachments (tables, figures, appendices, etc.) that support your manuscript. Each attachment must be submitted as a separate file, as noted above. The filename is the only link between the attachment file and the attachment title or caption as listed in the List of attachments. Please ensure that these correspond exactly.


Supply tables in either Word or Rich Text Format. All tables text must be in Book Antiqua font, size 9 or 10. Ensure that row and column entries are denoted by the proper row and column divisions of the table function in the word-processing software and not by meticulous typesetting with tabs, spaces, and blank lines. This latter approach is invariably corrupted in any future conversions. Otherwise send these in Excel format (.xls) so that they can be edited easily.

Each table file should be named table#.filetype, where # is the table number and "filetype" specifies the format in which the table is saved (e.g. table1.doc, table2.rtf). Tables should be numbered in the order in which they are discussed in the text. Single space all tables. Either portrait or landscape orientation is acceptable. All title and caption information should appear in the List of attachments, not in the Table file.

Never repeat the same material in figures and tables; when either is equally clear, a figure is preferable. Do not include any class of information in tables that is not discussed in the text of the manuscript.


Figures must be supplied as graphic files in either of the following formats: GIF, EPS, JPG, BMP, or TIFF. Scanned files of printed graphics are also accepted provided they are supplied in one of the listed graphics formats, and the quality of the scanned images is high.

Supply figures in either landscape or portrait orientation. All title and caption information should appear in the List of attachments, not in the Figure file. Each figure file should be named figure#.filetype, where # is the figure number and "filetype" the format in which the figure is saved (e.g. figure1.gif, figure2.bmp).

Please ensure that labels and text in your figures are legible. They should be no smaller than a typical 10 point font. Uppercase letters are preferred except where SI requires lowercase letters for unit abbreviations. Avoid very large letters and lettering styles in which letters are very thin. Use italic lettering for variables, constants, and scientific names in illustrations to make them consistent with the text. All figure text must be in Book Antiqua font, size 9 or 10.

Solid black bars in bar graphs tend to overwhelm other parts of the graph; use coloured, shaded, or hatched bars in preference to black ones. Colour figures will be accepted, but the journal cannot ensure that all readers (including the reviewers) will have access to the software and hardware required to view your figures in colour. It is the author's responsibility to ensure that colour figures are also legible when viewed in black and white.

Photographs of animals and habitats add interest and "reality" to scientific data. We encourage you to include such a photograph where appropriate. It is the author's responsibility to provide digital copies of all figures, including photographs. (This can be accomplished using a scanner.) Please note, however, that graphics can add substantially to download times for editors, reviewers, and readers. Avoid the inclusion of too many photographs and keep them to a reasonable size.

Text appendices

We anticipate that some Canid Biology and Conservation articles may include appendices with varying content. These appendices may include an expanded methods section, supplementary tables, and mathematical proofs. Include each appendix as a separate file named append#.filetype where # is the appendix number and "filetype" is either Word or Rich Text Format, . Appendices should be numbered in the order in which they are discussed in the text. As for tables and figures, please provide all title and caption information for the appendices in the List of attachments in the main file, not in the appendix itself. The journal software will link the title and caption to the appendix when converting the file for display on the web.

Other appendices

Nontext appendices should be labelled logically to indicate content (i.e. "Program#.filetype", "Sound#.filetype") and should be described fully (by content, file format, usage, software required to run them, etc.) in the caption provided in the List of Attachments.

2.6 Equations and statistics

Provide any equation as a separate graphic file named eqn#.filetype where # = 1,2,3...n and indicates the equation number and filetype is one of the following file formats: GIF, JPEG, BMP, TIFF or EPS.

Use leading zeros with all numbers < 1, including probability values (e.g. P < 0.001).

2.7 Hypertext markup language (HTML) links

Authors may include links to other Internet resources in their article. This is especially encouraged in the reference section. Please provide the full website address (e.g.,

2.8 Covering letter

If you wish to relay any comments to the Editor and the Assistant Editor, you may include them in the main body of an email or as an attachment in Word or Rich Text Format file.

If the manuscript includes any previously published material (text, figures, tables, etc.) in original or modified form, please inform us in the covering letter that you have received unrestricted permission from the copyright holders for this use.

When re-submitting a manuscript after revision, use the covering letter file to communicate the details of revisions made to the manuscript. Other possible covering letter messages include suggestions of qualified reviewers or a request that a particular individual not be asked to review the paper, with reasons for the request.


3. Submitting a manuscript

Once you have formatted your manuscript according to the specifications, you must submit the manuscript by email for consideration for publication in CBC. Manuscripts should be sent to


Please ensure that all the required files are included in the package you send to CBC. We require minimally a file called "main", and we recommend that you include a covering letter in the main text of the email or in a file called "coverlet". Please take care to include only files required for the manuscript in the submission.

Acknowledgement of receipt of your submitted manuscript

The CBC editors will email an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission to the corresponding author listed in the manuscript. If you have not heard from CBC within fourteen (14) days of your submission, please contact


Guidelines prepared by the Editors 15 December 2012.