Marine Mammal Science

Cover image for Vol. 32 Issue 3

Edited By: Daryl J. Boness

Impact Factor: 1.665

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 41/160 (Zoology); 47/103 (Marine & Freshwater Biology)

Online ISSN: 1748-7692

Author Guidelines

Marine Mammal Science publishes significant new findings on marine mammals resulting from original research on their form and function, evolution, systematics, physiology, biochemistry, behavior, population biology, life history, genetics, ecology and conservation. Range extensions, unusual observations of behavior, and preliminary studies of a few individuals are published only where there is sufficient new information to render the manuscript of general interest. Low priority will be given to confirmatory investigations of local or regional interest.

The Journal endorses the principle that experiments using live animals should be undertaken only for the purpose of advancing knowledge. Consideration should be given to the appropriateness of experimental procedures, species of animals used, and number of animals required. All animal experimentation reported in Marine Mammal Science must be conducted in conformity with the relevant animal care codes of the country of origin. The Editor will refuse manuscripts in which evidence of adherence to such codes is not apparent.

Marine Mammal Science publishes (1) Articles: important original research; (2) Review articles: critical appraisals which place recent research in a new conceptual framework; (3) Notes: short communications on current research, important preliminary findings or new techniques; (4) Opinions: invited contributions on selected topics; (5) Letters: a forum for communications in response to papers previously published in Marine Mammal Science, opinion, interpretation, and new information on all topics of interest to marine mammalogists; (6) Obituaries and In Memoriam notices: obituaries are short announcements of recent deaths of Society for Marine Mammalogy members and In Memoriam notices are invited longer descriptions of the career and accomplishments of recently deceased members who have made major contributions to the field of marine mammal science and the Society.

Articles, Review articles and Notes are subject to peer review. Any Letter challenging published results or interpretations is transmitted to the author of the published work with an invitation to respond. The Letter and its response are published simultaneously. Letters are judged by the Editor on appropriateness of the subject and interest to readers. Obituaries and In Memoriam notices require contacting the Editor before submitting material. Brief Obituaries will be published after review by the Editor. In Memoriam notices will be selected based on the deceased member's contribution. Requests to do an In Memoriam notice must be made to the Editor, before being written. The Editor will consult with the Board of Governors of the Society to determine the appropriateness of publishing an In Memoriam notice for the deceased member and will invite the submission if determined appropriate.


The manuscript should be concise, logical, and unequivocal. Publication is facilitated if authors double-check for typographical and other errors and ensure that manuscripts and figures meet the requirements outlined below. Manuscripts that do not conform will be returned for correction before consideration. If in doubt, consult the Editorial Office. Authors are charged for excessive changes in proof.

If English is not your primary language before submitting your paper make sure to seek input from an appropriate source for proofreading it, if needed. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that the standards of English are suitable. It is not the job of reviewers or editors to make such editorial corrections during the review process. The Editor-in-Chief may reject a paper without assigning it for review if the quality of the writing is poor.

Manuscripts must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document or in a document format that can be imported into Microsoft Word. The submission should not be in Adobe PDF format.

A full-length Article includes a title page, abstract, keywords, text, acknowledgments, literature citations, tables, figure captions, and figures. Notes and Letters do not have an abstract and are prepared in narrative form without headings, except for 'Literature Cited.'

All parts of the manuscript, including footnotes, tables, and figure captions, should be typewritten, double-spaced with margins at least 2.5 cm wide. Number all pages of the manuscript beginning with the title page and include line numbers on each page. Underline only when the material is to be set in italics. Use capital letters only when the letters or words are to be capitalized. Do not end a line of text with a hyphen.

Title Page
The first page should contain only the title and the name, affiliation, and complete address (plus current address, if different) of the author(s). The title should be brief and contain words useful for indexing and information retrieval.

Abstract and Key Words
The abstract, of not more than 200 words typed on a separate page, should precisely reflect the contents of the paper, and focus attention on the purpose of the study, principal results, conclusions and their significance. Below the abstract, provide and identify as such three to ten key words or short phrases that will assist in cross-indexing your article.

As a general guide, The Chicago Manual of Style is recommended. Spelling should be standard U.S. (not British) to conform to Webster's Third New International Dictionary. Units should conform to the Système International d'Unités (SI). Non-standard abbreviations must be defined the first time they appear. Mathematical symbols, Greek letters, and unusual symbols should be identified clearly; superscripts and subscripts should be legible and carefully placed.

Standard Abbreviations
General:s, min, h (hour), d (day), wk, mo, yr, g (gram), mg, kg, Hz, kHz, MHz, km, m (meter), mm, cm, cc, mi (mile), ft, in. (note period), kn (knot), ha, gal, mL, L (liter, spell out when used alone).

Statistics: P (probability), mean – use mean symbol (X bar), SD, SE, CV, SEM, n (sample size), df, r (correlation coefficient), t, F, U, Z (statistical tests); letters in equations are italicized.

Latin words and phrases (always italicized): i.e., (note comma); e.g., (note comma), ca.; cf; in vivo; in situ; vs.; etc.; per se; et al.; via; sensu; sensu faro; sensu stricto; a priori.

List all acknowledgments briefly under a single heading at the end of the text on a separate page. If applicable, give the permit number under which the work was conducted.

Literature Cited
References should be cited in the text in the following form: Smith (1982); Smith (1982a, b); Smith (1983, 1984); Smith and Jones (1984); (Smith 1986); (Smith 1986, Jones 1987); (Smith 1986; Jones 1986, 1987); (Smith 1986a, b; Jones 1987); (U.S. Federal Register 1997); more than two authors, Smith et al. 1987. References are cited chronologically, not alphabetically in the text.

References should be double-spaced and listed alphabetically as 'Literature Cited' in the following standard form, giving the journal titles in full and each author’s last name starting with a full capital followed by lowercase for the rest of the name.

Armstrong, W. A., and C. W. Oliver. 1995. Recent use of fish aggregating device in the eastern tropical Pacific tuna purse-seine fishery: 1990-1994. National Marine Fisheries Service Center Administrative Report LJ-95-14 (unpublished). 47 pp. Available from SWFC, PO Box 271, La Jolla, CA 92038.

Gentry, R. L., and J. R. Holt. 1982. Equipment and techniques for handling northern fur seals. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Report NMFS SSRF-758. 15 pp.

Hubbs, C. L., W. F. Perrin and K. C. Balcomb. 1973. Stenella coeruleoalba in the eastern and central tropical Pacific. Journal of Mammalogy 54:549-552.

Leatherwood, S., and R. R. Reeves. 1983. The Sierra Club handbook of whales and dolphins. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, CA.

Murchison, A. E. 1980. Detection range and range resolution of echolocating bottlenose porpoise (Tursiops truncatus). Pages 43-70 in R.-G. Busnel and J.F. Fish, eds. Animal sonar systems. Plenum Press, New York, NY.

U.S. Federal Register. 1997. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; change in listening status of western population of Steller sea lion as endangered. FR 62(108):30772– 30773 (5 June 1997). National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC.

References with more than seven authors should be listed as follows (Note there are a total of 10 authors for this paper):

Zuerner, R. L., C. E. Cameron, S. Raverty, et al. 2009. Geographical dissemination of Leptospira interrogans serovar Pomona during seasonal migration of California sea lions. Veterinary Microbiology 137:105-110.

Multiple citations for an author and single co-author are arranged alphabetically according to co-author. If there is more than one co-author, citations are arranged chronologically.

Issue numbers are not used unless page numbering begins at 1 with each issue. The number of pages is not given for books, but should be included for unpublished documents, theses, and 'gray literature' (government reports, technical bulletins, etc.)

Citation of personal communications and unpublished data are not to be included under 'Literature Cited' but should be referenced as footnotes, that include the complete name and address of the source and the month and year of the communication or notification of the unpublished data. If the unpublished data citation is from the author or a coauthor a footnote with detail is not required. Meeting abstracts should not be cited as such or included in the Literature Cited Section. If information from an abstract is the only source of support for a point being made, it must be treated as a personal communication or unpublished data and have received prior approval from the author of the abstract before being cited. Such citations should be used minimally and shall not comprise a critical component of a major point being made in the manuscript because the validity or reliability of such data cannot be evaluated properly by readers.

A paper may be cited 'in press' only if it has been accepted in final form by a journal. Papers 'submitted' or 'in preparation' may not be cited as such, but information in them may be cited as 'personal communication.' Any citation of information based on a manuscript submitted or in preparation, must be with the explicit permission of the lead author or person who provided the information. Citations of non-refereed documents (e.g., contract reports, environmental impact statements, meeting working papers) and gray literature is discouraged and should not be used as “one more example” of a point when primary peer-reviewed literature is cited to support the point. However, if there is no primary peer-reviewed literature to support important findings or the interpretation of those findings presented in the manuscript, they may be cited. Such citations should only be referenced in the Literature Cited section if the reference is readily available to the reader. The source for the reference must be given, including if necessary the address where it can be obtained. Any document bearing a 'Do not cite without permission' statement may be cited only with the explicit permission of the lead author. A statement that all necessary permissions have been obtained must be included in the cover material accompanying the submitted manuscript. Authors must double-check all literature cited; they are solely responsible for its accuracy.

Excessive tabular data are discouraged. Tables should be typed separately and double-spaced. Tables should be numbered with Arabic numerals in the sequence first referenced in the text and have a brief title. Column headings and descriptive footnotes should be brief. Do not use vertical rules.

Figures are costly and should be used with discretion. An illustration is justified only if it clarifies or reduces the text.

Please note that if accepted, figures will be requested in TIFF or EPS format. Please save line artwork (vector graphics) as Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), with a resolution of at least 600 dpi and bitmap files (halftones or photographic images) as Tagged Image Format (TIFF), with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at final size. More detailed information on the submission of electronic artwork can be found at:


Most papers require statistical analyses to support interpretation of the data. Use of appropriate statistical analyses is critical. Not all scientists are proficient at determining the correct or most appropriate analyses to be used for the nature of the data or design of the study. If none of the authors is a statistician or quantitative biologist, it is important for the authors to consult with someone who has the appropriate expertise to provide guidance on statistical analyses.


All manuscripts should be submitted online at: Useful guidelines can be found in ScholarOne’s “Quick-Start Guide for Authors” and “Tips for Uploading Files in ScholarOne Manuscripts” located at: Please contact the editorial office at if you have problems submitting your manuscript. A manuscript number will be assigned to each new submission and sent to the submitting author via return email. In all correspondence beyond the initial submission, please put your assigned manuscript number on the subject line of your email.

Authors submitting a manuscript do so on the understanding that if it is accepted for publication, copyright of the article, including the right to reproduce the article in all forms and media, shall be assigned exclusively to The Society for Marine Mammalogy. The Society will not refuse any reasonable request by the author for permission to reproduce any of his or her contributions to Marine Mammal Science.

Authors are responsible for a publication fee of $15.00 (U.S.) per page or part thereof. If funds for publication are not supplied by an agency or grant, a waiver of the publication fee may be applied for by email to the Editor at Please write “waiver request” and the manuscript number on the subject line.


Forest G. Wood, a founder of the Society for Marine Mammalogy, was noted for his editorial skills. All students submitting manuscripts accepted for publication in Marine Mammal Science should indicate at the time of submission if they want to be considered for this award. The Board of Editors will select the winner from among the accepted manuscripts submitted during the interval between successive Biennial Conferences on the Biology of Marine Mammals. The John R. Twiss Jr. Award is for a student paper based on innovative research related to marine mammal habitat and ecosystem conservation. If your paper fits the criteria for this Award and you want to be considered for it, then also indicate at the time of submission.

Registration of Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequences

Newly reported DNA or amino acid sequences must be deposited in the appropriate public databases (GenBank/EMBL/DNA Data Bank of Japan or UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot). Accession numbers must be included in the final version of the manuscript prior to publication.

Taxonomic Usage

Taxonomic usage in Marine Mammal Science should follow the List of Marine Mammal Species and Subspecies on the Society for Marine Mammalogy website ( This list will periodically be updated as appropriate. Authors wishing to use a different nomenclature should explain the departure in a footnote. The Editor may seek input from the Society’s Committee on Taxonomy before accepting a departure.

Policy for Papers Based on Samples Obtained Lethally:

The journal’s current policy is to allow publication of papers that include data from lethal sampling as long as the sampling has been done legally in the country from which the samples were obtained. In cases where animals are taken in international waters it is difficult to apply this standard. The Board of Governors of the Society for Marine Mammalogy recently (January 2016) reconsidered this policy in light of the Society’s Guidelines for the Treatment of Marine Mammals in Field Research, which states the following with regard to the use of samples obtained lethally (see below):

Researchers should use alternative non-lethal procedures when they are available and satisfy the objectives of the research.
Animals should be killed in the most humane and rapid method available.
Any population or stock-scale impacts should be minimized through prudent selection of animals (e.g. avoidance of reproductive females if possible) and sample size.
Where possible on-going activities outside the research community (e.g. hunting, by-catches, strandings) should be utilized as a source of material for scientific studies of marine mammals.

Marine Mammal Science is thus revising its policy regarding papers based on the use of samples obtained lethally. The new policy will be: The journal will only consider papers based on data acquired through lethal sampling if there is no other reasonable alternative for obtaining the information. The decision to reject a paper under this criterion will be made by the Editor in consultation with Associate Editors and input from reviewers. In cases where animals are killed incidentally to human activities (e.g., bycatch or ship strike) or are obtained during legal native subsistence hunting, even though there may be a nonlethal way to obtain the information, the Editor may allow the paper to be published. If an author feels a decision by the Editor is unreasonable or biased, the author may appeal to the Society for Marine Mammalogy’s Ethics Committee. Upon review of the relevant information and in consultation with Ethics Committee members, the Chairman of this Committee will then decide whether the Editor’s decision should stand or be reversed.

CC-BY for all OnlineOpen authors

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit: