Instructions for Authors



Who Can Submit?

Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication in Gulf and Caribbean Research provided he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception in the non-academic world to this might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer).

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General Submission Rules

Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note: "publication" as a technical report or as an extended abstract in a non-peer reviewed Proceedings volume does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to Gulf and Caribbean Research, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at Gulf and Caribbean Research. If you have concerns about the submission terms for Gulf and Caribbean Research, please contact the editors.

Detailed Instructions for Authors

Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts submitted to Gulf and Caribbean Research must describe original research or synthetic reviews, must not have been submitted elsewhere, and must be either a full-length manuscript or Short Communication. The Short Communication should be a concise statement representing either a preliminary report or a complete accounting of a significant research contribution. Brief methods papers will be accepted in this category.

Manuscripts should be submitted on-line to http://aquila.usm.edu/gcr; authors must create a login account prior to submission. Submission instructions on the web site should be followed. A cover page, including telephone number, fax number and E-mail address of the corresponding author, and a list of 3 suggested reviewers and their contact information, must be included in the cover letter field.   Manuscripts are submitted as a single Word document, to include the complete manuscript, tables, figure legends and figures.  Supplemental data should be submitted in a separate file.  Questions regarding manuscripts should be sent to:

Mark S. Peterson, Editor-in-Chief
The University of Southern Mississippi
School of Ocean Science and Engineering
Division of Coastal Sciences
703 East Beach Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564
Email: mark.peterson@usm.edu

Manuscripts will be judged on the basis of their contribution of original data, ideas, and interpretation. Manuscripts must be written in English but may have an additional abstract in an alternate language when appropriate. Authors for whom English is not their first language are encouraged to submit manuscripts; the editors will work with authors for any necessary language improvements post-acceptance. Manuscripts will be reviewed by a member of the Editorial Board and by at least two anonymous reviewers. The corresponding author will receive confirmation of receipt and the name, address, telephone number, and E-mail address of the editor handling peer review of the submitted manuscript.

Following acceptance of the manuscript, high resolution graphic files must be submitted. Graphic files should be submitted in their native file format (in the format of the program used to create the graphic) as a JPEG for digital images and EPS or TIFF for artwork and figures. Files should be uploaded individually to the Supplemental Contents tab at the journal web site. File names should include author name and figure number.               

Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts. The original manuscript must be typed in no smaller than 12 point font, using double spacing (including figure legends, footnotes, literature cited, etc.). Scientific names must be in italics. Pages should be numbered consecutively in the upper right hand corner and consecutive line numbers should be included. Margins on all sides should be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Manuscripts should conform to the Gulf and Caribbean Research “Instructions to Authors” and to American spelling.  All measurements should be in metric units; English units may be included in parenthesis.  No units should be stated for salinity (ie, “salinity of 33”, or “salinity ranged from 10 - 20”.). For questions of style not covered in the “Instructions to Authors,” refer to the Council of Biology Editors Style Manual, 6th Edition (Council of Biology Editors, 11 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1400, Chicago, IL, 60603). Unusual abbreviations should be kept to a minimum and should be spelled out on first reference. Full manuscripts should be divided into the following components: Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, Literature Cited, Tables, Figure Legends, and Figures. Note that an abstract must be included in the manuscript for full papers as well as in the abstract field on the submission page. Short Communications should not include an abstract and may combine results and discussion. Abstracts may be entered into the abstract field on the submissions page for Short Communications. Short Communications should be no longer than 10 double spaced pages, inclusive of Literature Cited but not including Tables with legends, Figure Legends, or Figures. A maximum of 3 figures and/or tables may be included with Short Communications.

Title Page. The title page consists of a condensed title or running head of no more than 45 letters and spaces, the manuscript title, authors’ names and appropriate addresses, and footnotes listing present addresses, acknowledgments or contribution numbers. The email address of the corresponding author should be included.  Key Words should be included on the Title Page for Short Communications. A title page must be included in the manuscript file uploaded to the web page.

Abstract.  The abstract is on a separate page and consists of no more than 250 words.  Abstracts should  concisely summarize the objectives, results and significant conclusions of the manuscript.  A list of no more than 5 Key Words follows the abstract.  None of the key words should duplicate words in the title of the manuscript. An abstract must be included in manuscripts of all articles uploaded to the web page.

Introduction. All manuscripts should clearly state a purpose or hypothesis to be tested in the Introduction.

Statistical Analyses.  The methods section of each paper must include the details of each statistical analysis.  For example, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) or two-way ANOVA must list the treatments compared (e.g., habitat type or habitat type and bayou, respectively) plus any interaction terms.  If overall test is significant, the authors must also provide the appropriate post-hoc test.  All analyses must describe what test was used to examine the assumptions (e.g., normality and homogeneity of variance) and provide the specific names of those tests.  The same is required for any multivariate statistics. If parametric statistical tests did not meet the assumptions, then the authors must provide what non-parametric tests were used in the methods with specific information as above or what transformation was used to meet those assumptions. Authors must also specify the p-value used to indicate significance and the statistical package used in all analyses.

In the results section, authors must be specific when stating significant differences were noted.  For example, if comparing two items state ‘density was significantly (Student t-test: t=1.22, p<0.05) greater in seagrass than mud flat habitat types’, not just that they were different with no direction of difference. Results of ANOVA and nonparametric analyses should include the statistic value (F-value or Chi-square value) as well as the degrees of freedom. The significance of any interaction terms in more complex analyses must be provided. Finally, if a transformation was used to meet assumptions, then authors should acknowledge those results as well.

Figures. Figures should stand alone without reference to the text and should not duplicate information found in tables. Include titles and explanatory legends for all illustrations on a separate sheet placed before the figures. Each figure should be clearly identified with the figure number. Lengthy definitions of symbols should be placed in the figure legend, not on the figure itself. Group composites of related figures. Figure panels should be identified as A, B, etc. (capital letter, no punctuation). Figures should be included in the Word document of the manuscript for initial submission and review. Following manuscript acceptance, high-resolution figures in their original format (i.e., .jpeg for photos, .tif or .eps for line drawings) should be uploaded as separate files for each figure to the "Supplemental Content" tab on the web site.

Delete extraneous material on figures to avoid clutter. Avoid thin lines (line settings should be at least 1 pt, color = black), small dotted lines, shading, and stippling. For bar graphs use black, white, or hatched designs. Axis labels should conform to the GCR standard (e.g., mg/L, g/m3, etc.). Prepare figures with the final published size in mind. Whenever possible, figures will be reduced to a one column width (8 cm, 3.25”). Very broad figures will be reduced to fit a two-column width (16.5 cm, 6.75”). Be certain that symbols and lettering will be legible when reduced, or submit figures in the size they will appear in the journal. For best reproduction value, please use the font “Helvetica” (Arial when Helvetica is not available) for all text in illustrations and graphs. Use the same font throughout all illustrations in the paper.  Color figures are acceptable.

Tables. Tables have at least three columns; the second and subsequent columns refer to the left column. Each column must a have heading. Headings should accurately describe the entries listed below. Titles must be short and concise. Place explanatory matter such as nonstandard abbreviations in the caption, grouping when possible. Use a 12-point font, double-space, and place each table on a separate page. Number tables consecutively. Tables should stand alone without reference to the text. Avoid lengthy footnotes and do not duplicate information in the text or data presented in graphic forms. Very long tables are discouraged; very short ones should be combined when possible. Tables including lists of scientific names should be arranged in phylogenetic order. 

Literature Cited. References to published literature should be cited in the text: Peterson (1996) or Alvarez and McLelland (1996) or Lotz et al. (1996) or (Peterson and Hoggard 1996, Wayman et al. 1996). Multiple references by the same author should be listed chronologically (oldest first) in the Literature Cited in the following order:  single author, two authors, multiple (3 or more) authors. Authors must include DOI links (in the format of http://dx.doi.org/ followed by the DOI number) where available for all journal article citations. Basic style is as follows:

Books. Author, A.B. and C.D. Author. 1995. Title of Book. Publisher, City, ST, Country (USA, UK, Canada, as appropriate), 000 p. http://doi.org/xxxxx

Book articles. Author, A.B., C.D. Author, and E.F. Author. 1995. Title of article. In: A.B. Anderson, C.D. Jones, and E.F. Smith, eds. Title of Book, 2nd ed., Vol. 1 Toxicology. Publisher, City, ST, Country, p. 00–00. http://doi.org/xxxxx

Computer Programs and Databases. Company. 1995. Title (ACRONYM) (database). City, ST, Country.

Journal articles. Author, A.B., C.D. Author, and E.F. Author. 1995. Title of article. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 22:11–33. (Or, In press, see below). http://doi.org/xxxxx. Do not include issue number of journal unless multiple issues of the same volume all begin with page 1.

On-Line Journal Articles. Author, A.B., C.D. Author, and E.F. Author. 2011. Title of article. PloS ONE 7(7):e number. http://doi.org/xxxxx

Proceedings. Author, A.B. and C.D. Author. 1995. Title of article. Proceedings, Name of Conference, City, ST, Country, Date (day(s) Month year), p. 00–00.

Reports. Author, A.B. 1995. Title of report. WHO 65-07789. Final/Technical Report. Agency (spelled out), City, ST, Country. 000 p. If no authors are listed, put name of agency first.

Theses. Author, A.B. 1995. Title of thesis. Ph.D. thesis. University, City, ST, Country, 000 p.

Web Articles.  Author, A.B. and C.D. Author. 2005. Title of web article. Complete web address. (viewed on month/day/year).

Unpublished data, personal communications and articles in preparation are not acceptable as literature citations and should be referred to parenthetically in the text, e.g., (J.A. Smith, pers. comm., affiliation, address). Verify all personal communications with the source of the information and obtain approval for use of the author’s name. Articles that are "in review" should be cited as a footnote in the text, and the journal must be included. Articles that are “In press” may be so designated in the reference. An article is not properly referred to as “In press” unless it has been accepted for publication. The journal in which an “In press” article will appear must be included in the literature citation.  Accepted articles available on-line prior to in print should include the doi number in the citation. 

Guidelines for Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Writing Process.
Gulf and Caribbean Research strongly discourages the use of artificial Intelligence (AI) and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process. However, if any form of AI is used in the writing process, authors should only use these technologies to improve readability and language, and the authors should carefully review and edit the result. The use of AI must be disclosed in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript. Furthermore, authors must indicate that AI has been used when submitting the manuscript, and include this information in their cover letter.

The AI disclosure statement should read: During the preparation of this work the author(s) used [NAME TOOL / SERVICE] in order to [REASON]. After using this tool/service, the author(s) reviewed and edited the content as needed and take(s) full responsibility for the content of the publication.

Taxonomic Descriptions. For taxonomic and systematic submissions authors should use the full authority when referring to species names for the first time. Descriptions and redescriptions should be in the “Results” section and higher classifications should precede the scientific name to an appropriate taxonomic level depending on the scope of the work (e. g., Order, Family, Tribe). Novel names should be followed with n. sp., n. gen., etc . . . as appropriate. If warranted, a synonymy section should follow the scientific name on a new line. Description in bold should begin on the line following the synonymy section and telegraphic style should be used for descriptions. For telegraphic style, authors should begin sentences with the subject (character or feature), omit prepositions and articles, and avoid unnecessary verbs (e. g., Body linguiform, 1000 long, 300 wide at level of midbody; anterior margin rounded; posterior margin emarginated). Figures and tables should be cited in text following appropriate structures. Number of specimens used for the description should follow Description in parenthesis but not in bold, for example: Description (based on 37 individuals).

Following the description, “Taxonomic Summary” should be listed as a subheading. The taxonomic summary must include the following: Specimens Deposited, Type-locality, and Etymology. Each subsection should begin a new row, be followed by a colon, and the listed information should end with a period. For Specimens Deposited holotype, paratypes, or voucher specimen museum accession numbers should be listed and any hologenophores identified; for new descriptions the holotype should be listed first. The type locality must have general locality information (e.g., beach, estuary, coast, bathymetric feature) and regional information (City, State, Country) as well as map coordinates. Additional information should be included in the taxonomic summary as appropriate and depending on the taxa, including: Representative DNA sequences, Habitat and Distribution, Coloration, Type-host (for parasitic groups, to include common name and authority as well as symbiotype accession data if one was vouchered), Site (of infection for parasitic groups), Ecological data (e.g., Prevalence and Intensity for symbiotic taxa), and, if material used for the description was obtained from other localities or other hosts, a section stating where the additional material is from. Etymology should be the last subsection of the taxonomic summary, and authors should consult Chapter 7 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature when assigning names. Etymology should not be written in telegraphic style.

“Remarks” should be listed as a subheading following the taxonomic summary section and include sufficient comparisons to similar taxa and enough detail to sufficiently differentiate the described taxa from similar taxa. This section should NOT be written in telegraphic style.

Upon receipt of proofs, it is the author’s responsibility to register nomenclatural acts with ZooBank (http://zoobank.org/). Once registration with ZooBank is complete, the author must notify the editors prior to publication. When type material is being deposited to collections, authors are encouraged to deposit holotypes and some paratypes into the national collection of the country of origin as well as to deposit additional paratypes or voucher material in the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Museum (http://gcrl.usm.edu/museum/collections.php).

Supplemental Data. Exceptionally long tables, supporting figures, detailed statistical analyses, and supporting information can be submitted as supplemental data files. A separate link to the supplemental data will be provided in the manuscript.  Supplemental data should be numbered consecutively as Figure S1, Table S1, etc. and be submitted as a single PDF to the supplemental data link. Format of supplemental tables and figures should follow the guidelines outlined above.  Long lists of individual organisms, station numbers, or water quality parameters will not be accepted as supplemental data. Inclusion of supplemental data in the final publication is at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. Upon acceptance of the paper, authors will be asked to provide separate files for each item of supplemental data in the original format (Word or Excel).

Data File Archive. We strongly suggest authors archive their raw data sets with the agency who funded the project or with their own research institution. A link to archived datasets should be included at the end of the Materials and Methods section or in the Acknowledgments section.

Submission of Material for Website Slide Show. Authors may submit a photograph or color line drawing for consideration to be featured in a slide show at the top of the journal webpage. This can be an existing figure from the manuscript (or a part of a multi-paneled manuscript figure) or a separate high-resolution jpeg that complements the paper subject matter. The photograph/illustration and a short description should be submitted separately to the manage files tab on the website. The decision of which illustrations to use in the slide show is at the discretion of the Editors.

Processing the Manuscript

A manuscript may be returned to its author without review if it is judged to be of poor quality, there is a conflict of interest (COI) judged by the Co-editors, or the manuscript is inappropriate for this journal.

Conflict of Interest. By definition, a COI occurs if, within a particular decision-making context, any author is subject to two coexisting interests that are in direct conflict with each other. For instance, the research must be conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. A COI is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.

Peer Review Process. Each manuscript will initially be evaluated by the Editor and Co-Editor for appropriateness for GCR. If appropriate, the manuscript is assigned to an Associate Editor, who sends it to a minimum of two reviewers with expertise in the subject matter discussed. The GCR uses a single blind review process. Authors must list 3 appropriate reviewers and their contact information when submitting a manuscript.  Reviewers give evaluations, suggest improvements, and recommend acceptance or rejection of the paper. Reviewing should be completed within three months. If reviewers disagree, the paper may be sent to a third reviewer or a member of the editorial board. The Associate Editor will return all reviewer comments and his/her recommendations to the editorial office, whereupon the Editor-in-Chief will send a decision letter and the critiques of reviewers to the corresponding author. Resubmit revised manuscripts to the journal website. A detailed response letter indicating changes made by authors relative to each edit/comment must be included with a general cover letter when submitting a revision. In this response letter, the authors must provide the NEW line number(s) for each change made for each reviewer for ease of finding those changes. Revised manuscripts must be received within 45 days of the date of provisional acceptance to avoid being considered a new submission, but an extension can be requested. The revision and the detailed response letter will be evaluated by the AE who handled the review process plus the Editor-in-Chief. The AE will make a recommendation on the revision to the Editor-in-Chief who will make the final decision on the manuscript. Subsequent to final proof development, the Co-Editor with copy edit the final revision and assess image quality. The final Proof will be sent to the author(s) for approval. If a manuscript is re-reviewed and given a second "major revision" decision, the paper will be rejected by the Editor.

Publication. The page proofs are sent to the corresponding author designated on page one of the manuscript prior to publication. Authors are responsible for proofreading these pages. Return the proof and completed copyright form to the editors within 48 h. With the exception of production errors, authors will be charged for changes in proofs that are excessive. Limit changes to correction of printer’s errors when possible. Any changes requested after initial return of proofs will be assessed a fee of $10/change. The Editor-in-Chief is also responsible for reading page proofs.

Publication/PDF Charges. There are no page charges, and no fee for color illustrations for publication in GCR. There is a $500 charge/manuscript for open access publication, payable after acceptance of the manuscript and prior to publication. There is a reduced Open Access charge for authors residing in developing countries; see list of qualifying countries.   Authors have the option of paying the fee for open access or selecting limited access (abstract only will appear on-line) for no additional fee.  Authors selecting limited access may order a PDF for their personal use for a charge of $90; PDFs may not be put on the author’s web page.  Payments can be made by clicking the online store link at aquila.usm.edu/gcr.

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Rights for Authors and The Aquila Digital Community

As further described in our submission agreement (the Submission Agreement), in consideration for publication of the article, the authors assign to The Aquila Digital Community all copyright in the article, subject to the personal--use exceptions described below.

Attribution and Usage Policies

Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, in any medium as permitted by a personal-use exemption or by written agreement of The Aquila Digital Community, requires credit to The Aquila Digital Community as copyright holder (e.g., The Aquila Digital Community © 2015).

Personal-use Exceptions

All articles published in Gulf and Caribbean Research under the Open Access option are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY). This includes the right to share, reproduce, remix, and modify the articles for any use, provided that attribution to the journal is included. The attribution statement should include the citation of the article, a link to the license, and an indication if any changes were made to the original content. The attribution statement should not contain any language stating or implying that the journal endorses how the material is reused. A sample attribution statement is below:

Figure adapted from John Doe, “Study of Phytoplankton Growth in the Northern Gulf of Mexico,” Gulf and Caribbean Research, vol. 28, licensed under a CC-BY 4.0 International License.

For more details about the CC-BY license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

People seeking an exception, who have questions about use, or who wish to use articles that are not published as Open Access should contact the editors.

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General Terms and Conditions of Use

Users of the The Aquila Digital Community website and/or software agree not to misuse the The Aquila Digital Community service or software in any way.

The failure of The Aquila Digital Community to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between The Aquila Digital Community and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

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