Submission Guidelines for Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies

Preparation and Submission of Manuscripts


Manuscripts should be submitted via the online submission system at this site using the Submit your paper or article link. Enter the information requested following the guidelines below. Please note that you will need to submit multiple files and submit some items more than once (e.g., you will submit an Abstract twice, once by pasting or typing it in during the submissions process and once as part of the manuscript itself.) The manuscript should be submitted by using the upload file feature. The cover letter and any figures should be submitted by using the add additional files link.

Cover Letter

Each submission should be accompanied by a separate cover letter to the editor. This should contain a brief description of the manuscript that includes the type of submission, its major findings and their significance (if it is a Research Article or Short Communication), suggestions for three appropriate reviewers, at least two of which are outside of the corresponding author’s home institution, and any requests for reviewer exclusions. It should also include any additional information requested in the following sections, if applicable. The cover letter is confidential to the editor and will not be available to reviewers.

Text Specifications

Manuscript file types acceptable for submission include Word, *rtf, and *.txt. The text should be double-spaced, pages should be numbered, and, if using Microsoft Word, line numbers should be inserted (under the Layout option of the Page Setup menu) to facilitate reviewer comments. Tables may be typed single-spaced. Nonstandard abbreviations should be defined the first time they are used in the text. Use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum. Avoid right-justification (use align text left) and use of hyphenation.

Organization of Manuscripts for Research Articles

Title Page

The title page should list the full title, a shorter running title (50 character maximum, including spaces), the corresponding author and their contact information (institutional affiliation, if any, address with zip code, email address and phone number), additional authors with their institutional affiliations, keywords, and word, figure and table counts.

Author names should be spelled out rather than set in initials. Authors should be footnoted with numerical superscripts to their corresponding affiliations and shared authorship roles. Commas should precede numerical superscripts (e.g., John B. Smith,1 Jane C. Doe,2 etc.).

Affiliations should contain the following core information: department(s) or subunit(s), institution, city, state or region, zip code or postal code, country.

Unrestricted joint authorship is permitted. Joint authors should be footnoted with numerical superscripts. The footnote should appear directly after the affiliation addresses.

A “Current address” footnote may be used. It should appear directly before the corresponding authorship footnote and be designated with a numerical superscript.

The published corresponding author is responsible for ensuring adherence to all editorial and submission policies and for any communications that may arise after publication. A single corresponding author should be designated.

This line should include the email address of the corresponding author and should appear at the bottom of the title page. The corresponding author also should be footnoted with a nonsupercript asterisk to their email address.


The Abstract should be around 200 words in length, and in no case more than 500 words. It should clearly convey the conceptual advance and significance of the article without excessive use of jargon. For research articles, it should present a brief background indicating the context of the research, a description of the results with minimal experimental detail, and a brief summary of the significance of the findings. References should not be cited in the Abstract.


The Introduction should be succinct, with no subheadings, and should present the background information necessary to provide a context for the results.

Study Sites, Material and Methods

These sections should include sufficient detail so that readers can understand how the experiments were performed, and so that all procedures can be repeated, in conjunction with cited references. The Material and Methods section should also include a description of any statistical methods employed in the study. These sections may be divided with bold headings (aligned left) and further subdivided with italic headings (aligned left), so that material is presented clearly and contextually.


The Results section should describe the results of the research. This section may be divided with bold headings and further subdivided with italic headings.


The Discussion should explain the significance of the results and place them into a broader context. It should not be redundant with the Results section. This section also may be divided with bold headings and further subdivided with italic headings.


One or more appendices may include supplemental data, statistical analyses, or additional information pertinent to the results. It should not include additional text discussion. The TNAS encourages the use of appendices as a means to facilitate publication of complete datasets. Authors should carefully consider whether it is more effective to present their data within the body of the manuscript or in one or more appendices. In general, data that can be effectively summarized in tables or figures that can fit on one page should remain within the manuscript itself, but highly detailed descriptions of data and more complex summaries should be presented in an appendix. An appendix may be extensive, for example, if it presents details of animal or plant surveys. It should be used to present information that cannot be rendered in print with enough detail to be informative, tables that have too many columns and/or rows to fit across one printed page, and tables and figures that would substantially lengthen the body of the manuscript. An appendix may be divided with bold headings and further subdivided with italic headings.


The Acknowledgments section may acknowledge contributions from non-authors and list funding sources, and it should include a statement if any conflicts of interest exist.

Web Resources:

Any web-based resource (e.g., database, online computer program, etc.) should be listed along with its URL in a separate section entitled Web Resources, following the Acknowledgments. It may also be cited in the Literature Cited.

Literature Cited:

References should be presented in this section in alphabetical order. Within the text, cite references using author and date (e.g., Waters 2001) with no comma between the author and date. When multiple references are cited at one time within the text, cite them in chronological order (e.g., Waters 2001, King 2003) with a comma between them. For a reference cited within the text, cite all authors if there are three or fewer authors and cite the first author and use et al. if there are more than three authors. In the Literature Cited section, cite all authors unless there are more than ten, in which case cite the first five followed by et al. All published material cited in the text must appear in this section, and visa versa. Except for theses and dissertations, the use of unpublished work (personal communications, unpublished data) should be avoided. If used, it should not be cited in this section, but indicated in parentheses in the text. Authors and dates used only as authorities for scientific names do not appear in this section, but may be indicated in parentheses in the text. Adhere to the following style, noting that except for initials used in author’s names and for states, abbreviations are not used.

Waters JM, Craw D, Youngson JH, and Wallis GP. (2001) Genes meet geology: fish phylogeographic pattern reflects ancient, rather than modern, drainage connections. Evolution 55(9): 1844-1851.

King SM. (2003) Dynein motors: Structure, mechanochemistry and regulation. In M. Schliwa (Editor), Molecular Motors, pp. 45–78. (Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH)

Cowan WM, Jessell TM, and Zipursky SL. (1997) Molecular and Cellular Approaches to Neural Development (New York: Oxford University Press).

Peters EJ, Barada T, Garvey W, Schainost SC, and Holland RS. (2006) Nebraska statewide stream fishery inventory. F-164-R Final Report, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lincoln, NE. 184 pp.

Williams AB, Abele LG, Felder DL, Hobbs Jr HH, Manning RB, McLaughlin PA, and Farfante IP. (1989) Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: decapod crustaceans. Special Publication 17, American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. 77 pp.

Canfield HL and Weibe AH. (1931) A cursory survey of the Blue River system of Nebraska. Economic Circular No. 73, Bureau of Fisheries, U. S. Department of Commerce, Washington D.C. 10 pp.

High Plains Regional Climate Center. (2008) Lincoln, NE: National weather service cooperative observer network and automated weather data network archives: Historical data summaries. Retrieved from the Internet 4 Jan 2008:

Hubbard SJ and Thornton JM (1993) NACCESS (computer program). Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London.
SAS Institute. (2003) SAS Version 9.1.3. Cary, North Carolina.
Software may also be cited in text; for an in-text citation, include the name and location of the manufacturer in parentheses.

Johnson RE. (1942) The Distribution of Nebraska Fishes. M.S. Thesis, University of Michigan.

Adam M, et al., (1997) Society for Neuroscience, abstract.

Figure Titles and Legends

Figure titles and legends should be included in the submitted manuscript as a separate section following the Literature Cited. Each figure should have a brief title that describes the entire figure without citing specific panels followed by a legend that more fully describes the figure. In multi-panel figures, the legend should describe each panel. Each figure must be numbered consecutively with whole numbers (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3, etc.). Figure titles may not contain parenthetical information, reference citations, or footnotes, though legends may contain such information. For any figures presenting pooled data, the measures should be defined in the figure legends (for example, data are represented as mean ± SEM).


Tables should be submitted within the submitted manuscript as a separate section following the Figure Titles and Legends. To facilitate publication of tables without undue delay due to formatting difficulties, please adhere to the following guidelines for constructing tables.
• Prepare tables using the Microsoft Word Table Function.
• Include a short, descriptive title for each table.
• Use concise footnotes or legends for clarification.
• Use superscripted lowercase letters, not symbols or numbers, for footnotes in tables.
• Use footnotes to include parenthetical information and reference citations.
• Number tables as Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, etc., not Table 1a, Table 1b, etc.
• Define all abbreviations used within a table in the table legend or footnotes.
• Do not place an Excel Table into a Word document.
• Do not save Tables as figures, i.e., as .jpg or .tif files.
• Do not upload Tables individually; include them within the same file as the submitted manuscript.
• Do not use tabs or spaces to delineate a table.
• Do not include color within a table.
• If borders are used, mimic the style of tables in Volume 32 of the TNAS.
• Do not use paragraph returns to separate data within a cell.

Figure Organization, Format, and Style

Figures should be uploaded individually using high-resolution digital files. They should not be embedded within the manuscript itself. Use the following guidelines for figures:
• Embed all fonts if the file type allows for it.
• Create color figures at a resolution of 300 dpi.
• Create grayscale figures at 500 dpi.
• Set labels and text on figures in Helvetica or Arial font.
• Assemble each figure into one file that prints onto one 8.5" x 11" page with 0.5 inch margins.
• Do not include separate panels on multiple pages.
• Micrographs should be provided with a scale bar, if appropriate, instead of magnification.
• Any references cited within a figure must also be cited within the figure legend.
• Name figure files by first author name and figure number, e.g., Bran1.tif, Bran2.tif, etc.
• For digital images, use one of the following formats: TIFF (.tif), Portable Document File (.pdf), or JPEG (.jpg) (at maximum quality. To use other file formats, contact the editor directly.

Organization of Manuscripts for Short Communications

Manuscripts for Short Communications should be formatted similarly to those for Research Articles, except that they do not need to include most section headings. The Abstract, Acknowledgements, and Literature Cited sections and headings should be retained, but other headers are not required. A Title Page should be prepared as described for Research Articles. The Acknowledgments section, if included, and Literature Cited sections should follow the main body of text. Authors should attempt to follow the standard format of Research Articles (without headings), so information in Short Communications can be readily located. Figures and tables are appropriate. Due to the descriptive nature of some Short Communications, text describing the methods may be kept brief.

Organization of Manuscripts for Novel Hypotheses, Reviews, and Perspectives

Manuscripts for Novel Hypotheses, Reviews, and Perspectives should include separate sections and headers for the Abstract, Introduction, Conclusions, Acknowledgements, and Literature Cited, and a Title Page, as described for Research Articles. Additional, topic-specific headers should be used to present information in an organized, contextual manner. The Conclusions section may contain speculation regarding the future of the discussed topic. Figures and tables are appropriate. If figures or tables make use of peer-reviewed, published research, they should include appropriate citations. If figures and Tables are not original, please remember that the author(s) must obtain copyright permissions to display items previously published in any form.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor should be less than 900 words. They may present new data. The editor may send Letters to the Editor for external review. Prior to publication, a letter will be sent to the corresponding author of the pertinent manuscript so that they may submit a response. The response will be shared with the corresponding author of the Letter to the Editor. If the corresponding author of the Letter to the Editor wishes to proceed with publication, both the Letter to the Editor and the response of the corresponding author of the pertinent manuscript will be published.


The corresponding author should provide the editor with proof of permission to include any work cited as personal communication. This may be in the form of an email communication, letter, or other appropriate form of permission. For figures that have been reprinted from an outside source, please provide proof of permission for their use.

Submission of Revised Manuscripts

The sections described above should be resubmitted, with changes to the manuscript highlighted using the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word. An additional section, Response to Reviewers, should be inserted following the title page and contain a detailed point-by-point response to the comments of the reviewers and/or editor. Reviewers will see this response if the manuscript is sent for re-review. A revised cover letter should be submitted and should briefly summarize how the revised manuscript addresses the comments of the reviewers and/or the editor, and present any rebuttal of the reviewers’ comments. The cover letter will remain confidential to the editor.

Production and Proofs

After final acceptance, the manuscript will be copy edited and a *.pdf version of the manuscript returned to the corresponding author for proofreading. Upon its return to the editor, it will be published online. Errors can be corrected following on-line publication by contacting the editor directly.