Fisheries Guide for Authors

These are the newest guidelines to help you publish in Fisheries magazine


Click for a PDF of Fisheries 2018 Instructions for Authors

Fisheries Magazine

2018 Instructions for Authors

Thank you for choosing to submit your paper to us. These instructions will ensure we have everything required so your paper can move through peer review, production and publication smoothly. Please take the time to read and follow them as closely as possible, as doing so will ensure your paper matches the journal’s requirements. For general guidance on the publication process at Wiley please visit our Author Services website.

This journal uses ScholarOne Manuscripts (previously Manuscript Central) to peer review manuscript submissions. Please read the guide for ScholarOne authors before making a submission. Complete guidelines for preparing and submitting your manuscript to this journal are provided below.

Please note that Fisheries uses CrossCheck™ software to screen papers for unoriginal material. By submitting your paper to Fisheries you are agreeing to any necessary originality checks your paper may have to undergo during the peer review and production processes.


Fisheries is the monthly peer-reviewed membership publication of the American Fisheries Society (AFS). Its goal is to provide timely, useful, and accurate information on fisheries science, management, and the fisheries profession for AFS members. Some types of articles which are suitable for Fisheries include fishery case histories, review or synthesis articles covering a specific issue, policy articles, perspective or opinion pieces, essays, teaching case studies, and current events or news features. We strive to be a voice for AFS members who have ideas and stories to share that will advance fisheries science or AFS as a professional society.

We particularly encourage the submission of short-form (under 5 typeset pages) “mini-review” articles. We will waive page charges for even shorter articles (under 2 typeset pages) on such articles as current events in fisheries science, interviews with fisheries scientists, history pieces, informative how-to articles, etc. We also encourage articles that will expose our members to new or different fields, and that recognize the varied interests of our readers. Research articles may be considered if the work has broad implications or applications and the subject matter can be readily understood by professionals of a variety of backgrounds.

Pre-submission consultations are welcomed and encouraged to evaluate content, or determine how manuscripts can be structured to be consistent with Fisheries editorial goals. Please contact Jeff Schaeffer ([email protected]) for pre-submission reviews.

Fisheries is the mostly widely read fisheries science publication in the world. Accordingly, content submitted for consideration should appeal broadly to fisheries professionals and speak to the interests of the AFS membership. Lengthy, highly technical, or narrowly focused research articles are better suited to the AFS technical publications, and we encourage authors to consider the other AFS journals as venues for these works.


The maximum length of articles accepted in Fisheries is 8,800 words (including photos, figures, tables, pull quotes, titles, translations, etc.). One full page of article text with absolutely no figures, tables, pull quotes, titles, headers, translations, or photos is approximately 880 words or 6100 characters including spaces. Please adhere to this standard, taking figures and other non-text content into consideration, when preparing manuscripts for submission to Fisheries.

Features, Perspectives, and Review Articles
We encourage submission of topical manuscripts of broad interest to our readership that address contemporary issues and problems in all aspects of fisheries science, management, and policy. Articles on fisheries ecology and aquatic resource management; biology of fishes, including physiology, culture, genetics, disease, and others; economics and social issues; educational/administrative concepts, controversies, techniques, philosophies, and developments; and other general interest, fisheries-oriented subjects will be considered.

Policy and issue papers are welcome, particularly those focusing on current topics in fisheries policy. As noted above, we are particularly interested in mini-reviews, which should concisely but comprehensively summarize a topic under 4,400 words or less. Papers are judged on scientific and professional merit, relevance, and interest to fisheries professionals. Features and perspectives generally should not exceed 4,500 words (excluding references and tables) and should not cite more than 40 references. Please consult the managing editor PRIOR to submission for a length or reference limit exemption for review articles or articles of Society-wide significance.

Please submit your manuscript online using our manuscript tracking website at If you cannot submit your manuscript online, please e-mail or phone the managing editor, Peter Turcik, for instructions: [email protected] or 301-897-8616 x201 (for fastest response, please e-mail).

Essays are thought-provoking or opinion articles based upon sound science. Essays may cover a wide range of topics, including professional, conservation, research, AFS, political, management, and other issues. Essays may be submitted in conjunction with a full feature article on the same topic. Essays can be up to 2,000 words, may include photographs or illustrations, and should not cite more than eight references. However, essays should provide scientific documentation, unlike unreviewed opinion pieces (below). Essays are peer-reviewed based on the following criteria: contribution to the ongoing debate, logical opinion based on good science, persuasiveness, and clarity of writing. Reviewer agreement with the opinion of the views expressed is not a criterion. Essays do not have page charges or abstracts. Essays should be formatted and submitted online as described below.

Fisheries Education
Fisheries will consider publication of case studies and other articles specifically intended as teaching tools. These articles, including case studies or short topical summaries, should be formatted to be used for teaching aids for courses taught at the undergraduate level. Fisheries Education articles should be readily understood by undergraduate students with basic training in biological/ecological sciences, and include background information, discussion questions, teaching notes, and references. Peer review of teaching case studies and educational topics will be handled by a special committee of the AFS Education Section.

Materials to Submit

  • Assemble manuscripts in this order: title page, abstract page, text, references, tables, figure captions. Tables may be included at the end of the article file or may be submitted as separate files. Figures should not be embedded in the article file and should be submitted separately.
  • Authors are strongly encouraged to submit a word processing file in either Word or plain text format.
  • Figures/images should be in EPS or TIFF (preferred) formats, and tables should be in Excel or Word formats.
  • Word count is extremely important. (See limits for article types above.)
  • The cover letter should explain how your paper is innovative, provocative, timely, and of interest to a broad audience. It should also include a list of potential reviewers who can provide an unbiased, informed, and thorough assessment of the manuscript. The cover letter can also be used to provide further explanation, if part of the information has been published or presented previously.
  • Also in the cover letter, please include:
  1.  A blurb (this should be one sentence that explains the article and captures the reader’s attention) for social media outlets.
  2.  A potential cover teaser: 4-5 words that will go onto the cover of the magazine.

General Instructions

  • Consult current issues for additional guidance on format.
  • Manuscripts should be double-spaced, including tables, references, and figure captions.
  • Leave at least a 1-in margin on all sides. Indent all paragraphs. Number pages sequentially and use continuous line numbering.
  • Use dictionary preference for hyphenation. Do not hyphenate a word at the end of a line. Use Chicago Manual of Style to answer grammar or usage questions.
  • The first mention of a common name should be followed by the scientific name in parentheses. Our standard is the current edition of Common and Scientific Names of Fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • Define abbreviations the first time they are used in the text.
  • Spell out one-digit numbers unless they are units of measure (e.g., four fishes, 3 mm, 35 sites). Use 1,000 instead of 1000; 0.13 instead of .13; % instead of percent.
  • Use the name-and-year system for references in the text as follows:
  1.  One author: Jones (1995) or (Jones 1995);
  2.  Two authors: Jones and Jackson (1995) or (Jones and Jackson 1995);
  3.  Several authors: Jones et al. (1995) or (Jones et al. 1995). But include author names in references.
  4.  Manuscripts accepted for publication but not yet published: Jones and Smith (in press) or (Jones and Smith in press).
  5.  Personal communications: (J. Jones, Institute for Aquatics, pers. comm.).
  6.  Within parentheses, use a semicolon to separate different types of citations (Figure 4; Table 2), (Jones and Smith 1989; Felix and Anderson 1998). Arrange lists of citations chronologically (oldest first) in a text sentence.
  • DO NOT cite more than three references for a specific point.
  • For quotations include page number (Jones 1996:301).
  • Institutional authors may be cited as acronyms in the text but must be defined in the reference list.

Title Page

  • Type the title near the middle of the page, centered, in caps and lowercase. Please do NOT submit the paper with a title in all caps
  • Keep the title short, preferably less than seven words; it should accurately reflect the paper’s content. Use common names.
  • Below title, include author(s) name(s), title(s), affiliations, city, and state. In multi-authored works, indicate which author is responsible for correspondence.

Abstract Page

  • Type the abstract as one paragraph. You can copy and paste this into the online form.
  • Do not cite references or use abbreviations in the abstract.
  • Ensure that the abstract concisely states (150 words maximum) why you did the study, what you did, what you found, and what your results mean.


  • See “General Instructions.”
  • Set all type at left. Boldface primary subheads and italicize secondary subheads.
  • Insert tabs—not spaces—for paragraph indents.
  • Italicize any words that should appear in italics.
  • Avoid footnotes by including the information in the text.


  • Double-space between each reference entry but do not indent text. References will be formatted during the production process.
  • Alphabetize entries first by the surnames of senior authors and the first word or acronym of corporate authors; second, by the initials of the senior authors with the same surname; and third, by the surnames of junior authors. References by a single author precede multi-authored works by the same senior author, regardless of date.
  • List multiple works by the same author(s) chronologically, beginning with earliest date of publication.
  • Distinguish papers by the same author(s) in the same year by putting lowercase letters after the date (1995a, 1995b).
  • Use a long dash when the author(s) is/are the same as in the immediately preceding citation.
  • “In press” citations must have been accepted for publication, and the name of the journal or publisher must be included.
  • Insert a period and space after each initial of an author’s name.
  • Do not abbreviate journal names. Verify all entries against original sources, especially journal titles, accents, diacritical marks, and spelling in languages other than English.


  • Tables must be submitted in MS Word documents using the “Tables” tools, or as MS Excel files. Do not send tables as un-editable pictures that have been pasted into the document.
  • Tables may be included with the article or submitted as separate files.
  • Double-space everything, including the table title and column headings.
  • Use single horizontal lines to separate column heads and to indicate the end of the table—other horizontal lines are not needed. Never use vertical lines.
  • Use sentence-style captions for tables, not fragments.
  • Capitalize only the first letter of the first word in each column and row entry (except initial caps for proper nouns).
  • Tab between column items — DO NOT “space” between columns.
  • Type “NA” (not applicable) where no entry applies in the table body. Do not add filler dashes.
  • Label footnotes with lowercase, superscript letters, starting from the beginning of the alphabet (a, b, c).
  • Redefine, in the table’s caption or in a footnote, any acronyms that are used in the table but are mentioned only infrequently in the text.


  • Illustrations are photographs, drawings, or figures. Prepare illustrations using professional standards, and consult issues of Fisheries for examples.
  • For review on the manuscript tracking system, we digital photos (or scans).
  • Identify all people who appear in photographs, and identify photographer or agency responsible for photo. Caption must be in sentence, not fragment, form. Photos are not considered figures and do not need to be referenced in the text.
  • Electronic photos should have good contrast, a size of at least 4 x 6 inches, at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) resolution, and be saved in EPS or TIFF (preferred) formats. For black-and white figures and graphs, please use a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. We cannot accept PowerPoint files. Hardcopy also must be submitted for production purposes after acceptance.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use any copyrighted material contained in their journal article and supplementary materials. This requirement applies to any content that was not personally created by the author but instead is reproduced or adapted from other sources. Please see this helpful guide.

Page Proofs and Reprints
The corresponding author will receive page proofs of the article (sent as a PDF file via the Online Proofing System) approximately four to six weeks prior to publication. Check carefully for typographical errors and possible problems with the placement or captions of illustrations. Extensive revision is not allowed at this stage. Indicate any changes and return page proofs within 48 hours via the Online Proofing System. Reprint ordering instructions will be provided to the corresponding author with the page proofs.

Authors for whom we receive a valid email address will be provided an opportunity to purchase reprints of individual articles, or copies of the complete print issue. These authors will also be given complimentary access to their final article on Wiley Online Library.

Page Charges, Peer Review, and Copyright
Page Charges are US$85 per published page, plus a US$30 flat fee, and are billed to the author within two months of publication. Page charges will be waived for topical review articles, and articles less than 1760 words in length. AFS members may request full or partial subsidy of their papers if they lack institutional or grant funds to cover page charges. Technical reviews and acceptability of manuscripts are independent of the need for subsidy.

All manuscripts will be reviewed by two or more outside and independent referees who are experts in the subject of the manuscript, and evaluated for publication by the science editors, senior science editors, and editor in chief. Authors may request anonymity during the review process and should structure their manuscripts accordingly.

Papers are accepted for publication on the condition that they are submitted solely to Fisheries and that they will not be reprinted or translated without the publisher’s permission. See “Dual Publication of Scientific Information”, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 110:573-574 (1981). AFS requires an assignment of copyright from all authors, except for articles written on government time or for the government that cannot be copyrighted. Authors must obtain written permission to reprint any copyrighted material that has been published elsewhere, including tables and figures. Copies of the permission letter must be enclosed with the manuscript and credit given to the source.


These include, but are not limited to: exceptional digital images of fish or aquatic habitats, current events, interviews, member profiles, AFS member milestones or memorials, and submissions to magazine columns including Cool Fish, Landscapes, Photo Diary, Backpage, Student Angle, and World Fisheries. The Cool Fish and Landscapes columns examine unusual or interesting fish or habitats. The World Fisheries column acquaints readers with lesser known fisheries, generally outside of North America. The Photo Diary (7-8 photos) and Backpage (1 photo) columns tell fisheries stories through the use of exceptional photography. Do NOT use the online manuscript tracking system to submit magazine items—the text and >300 dpi digital photos (TIF or JPG) for all items except the Calendar should be emailed to the managing editor at [email protected]

Unit News and Other Departments
AFS members are encouraged to submit items for the Unit News, Member Happenings, Obituaries, Letters to the Editor, and Calendar departments. Dated material (calls for papers, meeting announcements, and nominations for awards) should be submitted as early as possible, but at least eight weeks before the requested month of publication. AFS Unit News and Letters should be kept under 400 words and may be edited for length or content. Obituaries for former or current AFS members may be up to 600 words long and a photo of the subject is welcome.

Calendar items should include the date, event title, location, and contact information (including a website, if there is one), and should be submitted online at or emailed to [email protected]

Student Angle
We welcome student perspectives. For information about submitting a Students’ Angle column, please contact Student Subsection President Lisa Izzo at [email protected].

Fisheries Guest Columns
Authors are encouraged to submit most opinion pieces about fisheries science or management as essays for editorial review. Occasionally, editorials about professional or policy issues may be inherently unsuitable for a scientific review. Sometimes these pieces are submitted by a committee, agency, or organization. Editorials should be 750–1,500 words, may be edited for length or content, and referred for outside review or rebuttal if necessary. A disclaimer may accompany Fisheries Forum editorials stating that the opinion is that of the author and not the American Fisheries Society.

Book Reviews
Please contact Book Review Editor Francis Juanes at 413-545-2758, [email protected], if you want to be added to the list of potential book reviewers.

New books (preferably two copies) submitted for review should be sent to:

Francis Juanes, Liber Ero Professor of Fisheries Department of Biology , University of Victoria, PO Box 3020, Station CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3N5. Canada. Tel: (250) 721-6227. E-mail: [email protected].

Peter Turcik, Managing Editor
American Fisheries Society
425 Barlow Place
Bethesda, MD 20814-2199
301-897-8616, ext.201
[email protected]
(For fastest responses, please e-mail)

Detailed instructions for using the online manuscript tracking system are available at:

Also see the Fisheries “Guidelines for Reviewers” at