National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series Review and Publication Process

The sections below provide details on the National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series publication process following manuscript submission.

Content Review

Each report submitted to the National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series is reviewed to determine whether the report content is appropriate for the series. Additionally, reports submitted to the series that are considered Fundamental Research Communications (FRC) must be reviewed by one or more internal reviewers following the FRC review guidelines set forth by NOAA and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). In some cases, additional peer review may be warranted; peer review is typically performed by one to three individuals who are considered to be experts in their field and were not involved in the development of the report. All 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. ONMS compiles the edits and comments from all of the reviewers and forwards them to the author.


The authors edit the report based on reviewer comments. Once completed, the corresponding author must return two versions of the report to ONMS. The first should include all of the reviewers’ comments along with the author’s edits made in track changes mode. If the author does not agree with a comment made by a reviewer and feels that no change is necessary, a statement must be included in the comment bubble noting the disagreement. The second version of the report should have all the changes accepted—essentially a "cleaned up" version of the report that addresses all reviewer comments and meets the formatting guidelines.

Best Practices and Section 508 Review

Once the report is revised, it will be finalized and cleared for publication by ONMS. It is the responsibility of report authors to ensure report content adheres to the ONMS style guide and meets Section 508 guidelines prior to report submission (see the Manuscript Submission page for a brief checklist of key criteria reports must meet). Each report will be copy edited and checked for common 508 compliance issues (e.g., figure accessibility, alt text). Once the corresponding author resolves copy edits, the report will be formatted into an accessible pdf. At this stage, the corresponding author will also be asked to provide additional information about the report (e.g., shortened abstract, intended audience) to facilitate advance notice to NOAA regarding the report’s upcoming publication.


Following clearance, the report will be published on the National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series website. A copy of the report will also be submitted to the NOAA Institutional Repository. ONMS staff will coordinate the web request for publication and submission to the NOAA Institutional Repository on behalf of authors.

Press Release

If the content of the report is deemed newsworthy, ONMS will draft and circulate a press release and may also post information through social media outlets. The corresponding author may be asked for additional information to facilitate this process.