Conservation Series Frequently Asked Questions
Purpose of the National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series
The National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series is a publication series hosted by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. It provides a forum to publish reports that focus on the complex issues facing the National Marine Sanctuary System.
Because there are considerable differences among ecosystems, resource types, and pressures on resources across the National Marine Sanctuary System, each site has tailored approaches to management, including conservation, education, research, monitoring, and enforcement. But, all sites can improve management through lessons learned by other sanctuaries and their partners. The National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series reflects and supports this integration by providing a forum for publications on the diverse issues affecting the sanctuaries.
Report authors may be affiliated with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries or other NOAA offices, other federal agencies, universities and academia, and private entities. Authors typically have a scientific background, but some may have education or policy backgrounds.
Value of Publishing in the Conservation Series
The scope of the National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series is broader than traditional peer-reviewed journal publications, and allows for variation in report topic, length, and level of detail. As a NOAA publication, every Conservation Series report is fully open access (free of charge) and available to view or download from the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries web page. Each report is also submitted to the NOAA Institutional Repository for long-term archiving and availability.
Topics Addressed in Reports
Reports in the National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series focus on topics relevant to national marine sanctuary management. Reports vary in scope, but may present the results of research and monitoring projects (focused on natural sciences, social sciences, and maritime heritage); new tools, strategies, or best practices for resource management; or descriptions of sanctuary programs, workshops, or other efforts. If you are interested in publishing in the National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series but are unsure if your report is appropriate for the series, please reach out to ONMSConsSeries@noaa.gov.
All reports are freely available to the general public via the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries website and the NOAA Institutional Repository. Many of the reports in the National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series are of particular interest to resource managers at national marine sanctuaries or other marine protected areas; scientists, researchers, and academics; federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies; and other partner organizations. Reports may also be shared with constituent groups, congressional offices, or other policymakers. In some cases, press releases or social media may be used to highlight the publication of National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series reports.
Report Length Guidelines
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries encourages conciseness to effectively communicate sanctuary science to partners and the public. The National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series can typically accommodate reports approximately 50 pages or fewer in length. In rare cases, the Conservation Series may publish reports that exceed 50 pages in length, contingent upon approval from the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. If you anticipate submitting a report longer than 50 pages, please contact ONMSConsSeries@noaa.gov as early as possible.
Report Content Review
Each report submitted to the National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series is reviewed by an assigned review coordinator in the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. This coordinator has the option of requesting additional review by one to three individuals considered experts in their field, who were not involved in the development of the report. This is most common for reports that contain significant scientific content and are thus considered Fundamental Research Communications (FRC). Reviewers are given one month to review the report and are expected to submit comments and edits based on the quality, completeness, and accuracy of the document. The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries compiles the edits and comments from the reviewers and forwards them to the author. For reports deemed to constitute FRC, a Designated Review Coordinator will conduct or lead the review following existing guidelines, determine suitability for publication, and prepare the required final clearance documents. Please reach out to ONMSConsSeries@noaa.gov with any questions regarding the review process.
Report Style and Accessibility
It is the responsibility of report authors to ensure submitted reports meet style and accessibility guidelines. Every National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series report must be compiled and submitted in the most up-to-date Conservation Series template. Reports should be prepared following the guidance in the template and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries style guide for long-form reports. As NOAA-published documents, each report must strictly adhere to Section 508 accessibility guidelines. See Manuscript Preparation Instructions for more information.