Instructions to authors

Submission Instructions and Guidelines for Authors

Editorial policy is flexible as regards the nature of the papers considered for publication. The journal offers broad coverage of the subject area, including:

  • biology and ecology of the Irish flora and fauna;
  • ecophysiology;
  • global change;
  • molecular divergence and gene flow;
  • pollution and environmental quality;
  • environmental management;
  • palaeoecology, palaeoclimatology;
  • hydrology, bacteriology, geomorphology, hydrobiology and environmental history.

Submissions on other relevant topics are also welcome, and papers of a cross-disciplinary nature are encouraged. The journal publishes:

  • Full papers (not normally exceeding 10,000 words);
  • Short communications (not normally exceeding 3000 words);
  • Forum papers (2000–3000 words) presenting new ideas, opinions or responses to published material;
  • Review papers (not normally exceeding 10,000 words) on topical subjects of general interest;
  • Special issues (not normally exceeding 70 printed pages) of papers on a particular theme.

Proposals for review papers, forum papers or special issues should be put to the editors before submission of typescripts. Papers are accepted on the understanding that their contents have not been published, or submitted for publication, elsewhere.

Papers may be submitted by members or non-members of the Academy. Papers should be submitted by email to

Full research papers should normally be structured as follows:

  1. Title page to include title; name(s) of author(s) and affiliation(s); up to six key words; name, postal address, e-mail address if available, telephone and fax numbers of corresponding author. Hyperlinks to personal or institutional websites can be included.
  2. Abstract (not exceeding 200 words) to provide a concise statement of the scope and principal findings of the work.
  3. Introduction to contain a clear outline of the rationale for the work and to describe the essential background information.
  4. Materials and methods to provide concise and sufficient information to allow the work to be repeated. Taxonomic affiliation and authority should be given at the first mention of a species in the text.
  5. Results to be concise, to avoid repetition of data presented in tables and figures but not to include material appropriate to the discussion.
  6. Discussion to highlight the significance of the results (rather than repeating them) and place them in the context of other work.
  7. Acknowledgements (optional)

On separate sheets

8. References listed in alphabetical order, based on the following examples (but indicating page and date spans with an en-dash, not a hyphen).

  • Bagenal, T.B.  1974  The ageing of fish. Surrey. Unwin Brothers.
  • Foss, P.J., Doyle, G.J. and Nelson, E.C.  1987  The distribution of Erica erigena R. Ross in Ireland. Watsonia 16, 311-27.
  • Moss, R. and Watson, A.  1985  The adaptive value of spacing behaviour in population cycles of red grouse and other animals. In R.M. Sibly and R.H. Smith (eds), Behavioural ecology, 275-94. Oxford. Blackwell Scientific Publications.
  • Sousa, W.P.  1984  The role of disturbance in natural communities. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 15, 353-91.

Multiple publications by an author in the same year should be distinguished alphabetically, e.g. (Bagenal 1974a).

Hyperlinks to papers in the reference list can be included.

9. Tables headed by descriptive legends that make their general meaning understandable without reference to the text.

Figure and plate legends.

10. Illustrations. Line drawings should be submitted as high resolution jpegs or tiffs ( a minimum of 300dpi at the size of reproduction). Colour reproduction will be possible, but the cost may be borne by the author(s).
Figures and plates should be numbered in separate sequences. Authors are asked to ensure that their illustrations, when reduced, will readily fit the page layout of the journal.

The format of other contributions will vary. Short communications will not normally exceed four printed pages, opinion articles should be no more than five printed pages and letters to the editors should not exceed two printed pages. Authors are recommended to approach the editors before submitting review papers and opinion articles.

Each paper will normally be reviewed by two referees, who will be requested to assess the scientific merit of the work and, if appropriate, suggest ways in which it may be improved. Ethical considerations may be taken into account and the editors' decision on acceptance of papers is final. The review procedure will not normally take more than ten weeks.

Acceptance of papers in Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy is on the understanding that they have not been published, submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere, and that they will, if accepted, become the copyright of the journal.

Proofs will be sent to authors for checking and must be returned to the Academy within seven days of receipt.

Subventions to defray publication costs should be sought by authors in a position to obtain them. The Academy gratefully acknowledges subventions from the following institutions towards the publication costs of papers by members of their staff: National University of Ireland, Cork; National University of Ireland, Dublin; National University of Ireland, Galway; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Trinity College, Dublin.

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