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As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

The Journal publishes short communications and scientific papers on matters of importance to the conservation and management of whales, dolphins and porpoises, and in particular papers that are relevant to the tasks of the IWC Scientific Committee. 

Any supplementary files relevant to the submission but not intended for publication can be submitted at step 4 of this submission process.

Short communication

Short communications are papers which present original and significant material usually limited to a single finding, interesting observation or an important technical/methodological advance.

Such papers are limited in length to no more than 5 printed pages or ~2500 words of text, and would normally include up to one figure (multi-panel) and one table.

The manuscript should follow the same format as a normal research articles with respect to the Title, Authors and Affiliations, Abstract, Key Words, Main Text, Acknowledgements and References. However, the main text is written in freeform without any headings and the Abstract should be no more than 100 words. Each paper will begin with “Short Communication:” followed by the title.

Heading styles

Authors using Microsoft Word are encouraged to contact the Editorial Office for a copy of the appropriate template or to download the template directly, click HERE with your right mouse button and choose option 'Save target as..'. the file is called Journal.dot.

  • The standard font type is Calibri
  • Title - Bold, 24pt, sentence case, centre aligned
  • LEVEL 1 - BOLD, CAPITALS, ranged left (10pt) followed by one line space
  • Level 2 - Bold, sentence case, side heading (10pt), followed by no space
  • Level 3 - Italics, sentence case, side heading (10pt), followed by no space

Do not number sections unless absolutely necessary (e.g. where substantial cross-referencing occurs).

Cetacean names

Please use approved IWC common names in the text. Use the Latin name only the first time, in brackets after the common name.


Please choose from the approved list.

Preferred spellings

'British' English spelling should be used unless the author is from the United States, in which case 'American' spellings may be used. The published version, however will use 'British' spellings.


These are used in compound adjectives preceding a noun;

  • e.g. age-length key, length-specific method

but not where part of the compound adjective consists of a numeral;

  • e.g. 3cm long earplug, a 500kW lamp

Hyphens are also omitted where a compound noun is sufficiently familiar to be printed as one word;

  • e.g. ultrasonic, daytime, interspecific, overexploitation, northeastern, whalewatching

except where this would result in an awkward spelling;

  • e.g. infra-red, night-time, photo-identification


Common examples are given below:

  • Area (when referring to Area I, etc.), Sector, Division, Initial Management Stock, Antarctic, South Atlantic Ocean, Northern Hemisphere, Scientific Committee, Table 1, Fig. 1, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Bryde's whale and Hector's dolphin (i.e. where named after a person);


  • but, central North Pacific, sub-committee, sub-Arctic, sei whale, common dolphin, etc.

Numbers, dates, map references

(a) In the text numbers under 10 should be spelt out where used individually. Figures should be used for a sequence of quantities and in reference to percentages (where % rather than percent is used); e.g.

  • six sperm whales but 6% of sperm whales;
  • 1 blue whale, 3 Bryde's whales and 6 sperm whales were observed.

(b) Commas should be inserted into numbers with four or more digits; e.g. 6,789; 2,060,313.

(c) Decimal points should be indicated by full stops, not commas. Zeros should be included; e.g. 0.12.

(d) There should be no space between numbers and abbreviated units; e.g. 6m, 25kg.

(e) Dates should be in the form: 17 March 1983 not February 20, 1998.

(f) Map references should be in the form: 42º6'S, 23º42'W.


(a) Where the last letter of an abbreviation is the same as the last letter of the full word then no full stop is necessary; e.g. Fig. 1 but Figs 1-7.

(b) Capital abbreviations do not require full stops; e.g. WC, USA, MSYR, 60°N, CV, SD, SE etc.

(c) Commonly used abbreviations for quantities have no full stop; e.g. 6cm, 22m, 14ft, 456kg.

(d) If a personal communication is used, abbreviate as `pers. comm.'.


These should be used for:

  • references to titles of books and periodicals (e.g. Moby Dick);
  • names of vessels (e.g. Shonan Maru No. 2, Moonlight Tango);
  • Latin names of plants and animals (e.g. Eubalaena glacialis);
  • foreign words not part of everyday English (e.g. et al. );
  • trade names (e.g. Guinness).


Use single quotation marks. Double quotation marks are only to be used for a quote within a quote.

Within a quotation, follow the style and punctuation of the original. If omitting a section, indicate by three full stops `. . . '.

If interpolating a word or phrase please use square brackets [my italics].

Equations, mathematical references

(a) Ensure that superscripts and subscripts are easily discernible.

(b) Show all symbols clearly and, by hand in the margin, spell out Greek letters the first time they occur.

Clearly distinguish between: the letter l and the number 1 (e.g. by underlining the letter); and the letter O and the number 0.

Use italics for letters indicating parameters, e.g. y = mx + 66c + vz


Do not use a comma prior to `and' in a list (e.g. green, white and orange).

Data are NOT data is.

If a colon is used prior to a list of points, the points should not begin with a capital letter and should be separated by semi-colons.


(a) In the text:

  1. Where more than two co-authors are involved use: O'Flaherty et al. (1983).

  2. If more than one reference is made then a semi-colon is used; e.g. Irving, 1982; James, 1881; Watterson, 1987.
  3. In references to the Scientific Committee or other International Whaling Commission reports, IWC is used; e.g. `It was agreed last year (IWC, 1983) that . . .'
  4. Where an author has more than one paper in the same year use 1981a, 1981b, etc.

(b) In the reference list:

  1. All the authors' names are written irrespective of the numbers of authors.
  2. Surnames always precede initials; e.g. Bannister, J.L., Best, P.B. and Cawthorn, M.W., except for editors of books in example (v) below.
  3. If the reference is to an article in a journal then the title of the paper (in lower case except for words which would normally have initial capitals), the title of the journal (in italics and abbreviated using the FAO World List of Scientific Periodicals except for certain preferred modifications, e.g. Rep. int. Whal. Commn. ), the volume number and the page numbers of the article must be given; e.g.

    Mayo, C.A. and Marx, M.K. 1990. Surface foraging behaviour of the North Atlantic right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, and associated zooplankton characteristics. Can. J. Zool. 68:2214-20.


  4. If the reference is to a whole book, then the title of the book (in italics, and with initial capitals for major words in the title), the name of the publisher, the city of publication and the total number of pages must be given; e.g.

    Martin, A.R. (ed.). 1990. Whales and Dolphins. Salamander Books, London, New York. 192pp.


  5. If the reference is to an article or chapter within a book, then the title and page numbers of the article, the editor's name, the title of the book (in italics), the name of the publisher, the city of publication and the total number of pages of the book must be given; e.g.

    Mitchell, E.D. 1974. Present status of northwest Atlantic fin and other whale stocks. pp. 108-69. In: W.E. Schevill (ed.) The Whale Problem: A Status Report. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. i-viii+419pp.


  6. If the reference is to an unpublished paper from the IWC Scientific Committee or any other meeting, then the title of the paper, the number/reference of the paper, the title and date of the meeting, and the number of pages should be given along with an e-mail address or other method by which the paper can be obtained; e.g.

    Braham, H.W. 1982. Comments on the world stocks of bowhead whales and estimating total population abundance in the western Arctic. Paper SC/34/PS13 presented to the IWC Scientific Committee, June 1982 (unpublished). 12pp. [Available from the Office of this Journal]


  7. The reference list should be arranged in alphabetical order by author and, within this, by date of publication.
  8. Pease include DOIs on all references if possible [Available at: https://doi.org/xxxxxxxxxxxxx].


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In submitting a paper to this Journal, authors agree that, upon publication, the paper may be promoted by the IWC.  This might be via a range of means including the IWC website and Twitter feed.  Authors are invited to provide their Twitter handles, web page links and any other information that may be useful in promoting their paper and the Journal.