Ocean Fact - Author Guidelines

Quick Checklist

To make the submission process easier, we differentiate between first submission and submission of revisions. When submitting a new article for the first time we will ask you to provide specific pieces of information and documents. Our blog use a double-blind peer review (neither the reviewers nor the authors know each other, see “Peer-review process”).

A new submission should contain:

  1. A short introduction of yourself, your work and article (<150 words) serving as a cover letter for your submission.
  2. A list of keywords describing the work (make sure to check the subjects covered in the blog).
  3. A separate title page with title, abstract and author information.
  4. A separate manuscript document containing the title, abstract, no author information, the main document following our guidelines, in-line illustrations with captions (figures, pictures, or links to online content for videos), references (mainly for scientific blogs).

Format of your submission

  1. The self-introduction will be pasted in a text box on the form as well as included in the title page.
  2. Title page, manuscript (including figures) can be submitted either as a doc file (.doc or .docx) or PDF.
  3. Once your submission has been reviewed and accepted, we will ask you to upload high quality images.

Subjects covered on the blog

The aim of OceanFact is to promote the work of early career marine scientists and students. We not only write about science and how we do science but also the life of marine scientists. The project promote transparency in science in an educative way by showing what is behind the scene and how we can apply knowledge and experiences from a scientific life to our daily lives (from the lay audience perspective to the student perspective).

We welcome scientific submissions in the following subjects:

  • MB – Marine biology (main subject 1): articles treating of the marine life (e.g. biology, physiology) or the marine environment in general
  • BO – Biological oceanography (main subject 2): articles treating of ecology in the marine realm  or the marine environment in general (e.g. populations, communities, ecosystems)
  • AB – Aquatic biology: articles treating of aquatic biology on concepts that could be applied to the marine system
  • BG – Biogeochemistry: articles treating of the chemistry of the ocean
  • PO – Physical oceanography: articles on the physics of the ocean (e.g. properties of the saltwater)
  • EC – Ecology: articles using a terrestrial, freshwater or marine perspective and at explain concepts or ecological processes that may be described in the marine realm
  • ES – Environmental science: articles treating of the environment itself (e.g. human use, pollutions, management, fisheries)
  • GS – Guest & other subjects: related to previously described subjects (law & governance, economy…)

Note that subjects MB and BO may overlap. Articles may fit in more than one category but should be ascribe to a main category for the reviewing process.

As part of our transparency goal, we welcome submissions on lifestyles and (field work) diaries, life hacks and college hacks (how to learn and study better):

  • BS – Behind the scene of Science: article on how you conducted their science to answer a scientific question (the scientific method)
  • LF – The Sea as a Lifestyle (for scientist and sea lovers): diaries showing where science or the sea as taken you (voyage diaries, diving diaries, diving resorts, life as a fisherman, associative work…)
  • ST – Biostatistics: tutorials on statistics, how to do your stat analysis (for instance with R stat package)
  • TM – Productivity & Time management for (non-)scholars: insights from scholars and non-scholars on how they manage a productive life and still retain hours for their family and hobbies

Ideas of articles – What can you write about

The following list of examples is non-exhaustive and we will be delighted to review creative submissions.

You can talk about:

  1. Your research (bachelor, masters, PhD and higher): you can share how you conducted your research, what you discovered…
  2. Research of others – Scientific breakthrough: you can write a popular summary of a recently published study or summarize work in a scientific field…
  3. Concepts related to our subjects: you can explain concepts, theories, describe what tools scientists use, how we manage ecosystems and natural resources, how it is related to economy…
  4. Interview of scientists and stakeholders: you can interview scientists on a concept, or stakeholders (fishermen, lawyers, NGOs, citizens)
  5. The sea or science as a lifestyle: what you do beside research, hobbies related to the sea and nature (diving reports, photography, aquariophily… the list of possibilities is endless)
  6. A mix of all those ideas: be creative

Title Page & Abstract

Title Page

The title page serves as a way to link a submission to its author. It is a confidential document only accessible to the main editor and will not be transmitted to reviewers (i.e. double-blind peer-review).

A title page should contain the following information:

  • The title of the article (10 to 15 words maximum).
  • The author(s)’ identity(ies): names, email of the corresponding author at least, degree (B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., post-doc…)
  • If any, their affiliation: country (optional), university, lab.
  • Your self-description, serving as cover letter for your submission.
  • The abstract with keyword list.
  • The keyword list should contain from three to five keywords describing the work (e.g. “food webs”, “climate change”, “time series”).

Abstract

The abstract should start by indicating in which subject you plan on submitting your article.
The main text of the abstract should not exceed 150 words and should clearly and concisely describe the motivations behind the article and what the article is about. For articles treating of science, you can stick to an “introduction-aims-methods-results-conclusion” flow. The abstract will be the first thing, after your self-introduction, that will read to decide if your article is a good fit for our blog or not. Make it interesting.

Main manuscript and Figures

Main manuscript

Length

The article should contain between 800 and 1,600 words (reading time of about 10 min). If you need more space, you can submit articles as a series by indicating “Series” at the beginning of the title (e.g. “Series – Food webs – How from the concept to their collection”). Make sure to  highlight the different parts in your manuscript. Parts of a series will be published separately in consecutive order and may be reviewed by different reviewers. Make sure that series parts standalone and can be understood without the need of other parts in the series (otherwise indicate it in your submission and we will add them separately as part of the review). Be aware that it may take more time to publish a series (especially long series) as we will start to publish a series only when at least 75% of the full material is ready for publication.

Style

Avoid jargon or explain with any means possible (see “Writing tips”). Remember that articles published on the blog will be dedicated to a lay audience. Write

Facts and Take Home Message

To help promote your article on social medias and use the content in our educative tools (e.g. quiz, booklets, board games), we ask you to clearly provide factual pieces of information and/or your take home message. Those pieces of information should be included as bullet points at the end of the main text. You can check our instagram for examples.

  • Each bullet point should contain one and one only main piece of information.
  • Each bullet point should not be longer than about 300 characters / 50 words.
  • You may provide up to ten pieces of information (facts and take home messages included) but should provide, if possible, one picture to illustrate the fact (or take home message). We will use it on our Instagram.

Figures and images

Qualifies as figures / images any illustrative material that supports your story (pictures, graphs, drawings, conceptual diagrams, audio, videos). One has the freedom to be creative as long as it participates to the understanding of the article.

Format

Depending on the length of the article, each article should contain:

  • A featured image (1200 px wide, 600 px) that will be displayed at the top of the article after the title and will be used to promote the article on the blog.
  • 2-3 figures on top of the featured image (900px wide)
  • Extra figures (numbers depending on take home message, see section referred above) for promotion on social media, that we can easily crop to a 1:1 ratio format for Instagram
  • Figures should standalone and be accompanied by a clear, concise, descriptive legend
  • Figures should be wrapped in-line with the manuscript where they should appear on the blog.
  • We will ask you to provide high quality images (format listed above) after your article has been accepted for publication (we can downsize your figures for you)

Copyrights

We ask authors to only provide:

  • pictures for which they own the rights of use,
  • creative commons pictures in CC0, or combinations of BY, SA or ND CC  licenses, with provision of necessary pieces of information for attribution of original photographers.
  • pictures with copyrights, if and only if, authors provide proof that they were allowed by the copyrights owners to use their content (with mentions “Courtesy of [Copyright Owner name]” and link to the original content.

If one is unable to share his/her own pictures, we recommend authors to make graphic illustrations or to find creative commons alternative. If needed be, we can ask our content creators via our private creators mailing list if they have suitable content.

By submitting figures to OceanFact, you agree to the terms described here-above. OceanFact will not be hold responsible for copyright infringements. Additionally, if scrolling the blog, you think your property rights has been violated, please contact us right away and we will make sure to remove the content (provide the link to the blog post and proof that you own the rights).

Writing tips

Your Content Goes Here

First submission and Peer-review process

Shortly after your submission, we will attribute a unique ID to your submission and send you temporary credentials to our publication management system. You will be able to follow the peer-review of your article as well as interacting with editors. There are no publication charges, however, you can be added to our top priority list for the price of a cup of coffee (see Premium Services).

At the end of the initial peer-review, you will receive one of the following responses:

  • positive (i.e. “accepted with no revisions”, “accepted with minor revisions”, or “accepted under conditions), or
  • negative (i.e. “rejected with major revisions and possibility to resubmit”, “rejected and unsuitable for the blog”).

At the end of a round of revision, you will be send a series of comments and tasks to make the article suitable for publication.

We peer-review our articles under a double-blind system, meaning that reviewers and authors do not know each others’ identities. A double-blind peer-review ensures impartiality in the review process as well as controlling the quality and truthfulness of the work. In addition to a classic peer-review by peer scientist, we will send submissions to “citizen-reviewers“—non experts in the field and non-scientists—selected among our private-access readers. Citizen-reviewers provide feedbacks on the clarity of the work and ensure accessibility  of the work to a lay audience.

If you wish to become a science reviewer or a citizen-reviewer, contact the editing board.

Revised submissions & Premium services

When submitting a revised version of their article, authors must provide text and figures ready for publication and dissemination.

Authors must upload the final version of their main manuscript, featured images and images for the blog following our guidelines (see size, aspect ratio) at a resolution of 72 ppi for pictures published on the blog and 150 ppi with an aspect ratio of 1:1 for content disseminated on Instagram.

Before publication, the article will be proof-read and translated.

Premium Services

As of today, there are no publishing fees nor publication charges. However, to speed up the publishing process, ease the translation and reduce the cost of maintaining our platform, one can subscribe to our premium services for the less than the cost of a cup of coffee. Tick the available options in the form and we will send you our billing information.

Available options:

  • Priority – Fast peer-review and publishing (2.99€): your article will be treated first.
  • Translation in French (1.99€): the article will be processed in our premium translation manager.
  • Best option: Both services and 5% discounts on our partners’ websites (4.5€)