Guidance for Authors

Guidance for Authors wishing to contribute to Ocean Challenge

Ocean Challenge is the journal of the UK Challenger Society for Marine Science, whose members include marine scientists from all disciplines – from marine geologists to modellers, and from biogeochemists to benthic biologists. It may also be read by policy makers, teachers, engineers, those in industry, and other interested ‘scientifically literate’ laypersons. For this reason, contributions for Ocean Challenge must be written so as to be accessible to as wide a readership as possible, with specialist jargon either avoided or explained. Articles will be reviewed for content, interest and contribution to debate on marine science and policy. Please see below for guidance about length, illustrations etc.

Ocean Challenge aims to spread information about, and improve understanding of, all aspects of marine science and technology. Because Ocean Challenge aims to communicate with as wide a readership as possible, the Editors are happy to work with authors to ensure that articles are as clear as possible.

We particularly welcome articles with a European dimension, for example articles addressing Europe-wide problems, or articles about specific regional issues that have implications for European waters generally. We are particularly keen to include articles reporting research undertaken through international co-operation, and encourage international co-authorship.

Submitting your contribution

Contributions may be sent as electronic files or as typescript. If you are sending electronic files, please employ as little formatting as possible. Do not try to match the appearance of the printed journal – we use a desk-top publishing system that will style the text as necessary. For short contributions, text may be sent as part of an email message.

Illustrations should be sent as individual files, and not embedded in the text.

Scans of photographs should be of as high a resolution as possible. Photos that look good ‘on screen’ will not necessarily look good when printed.

Copy may be sent to the editor, Angela Colling, electronically at:

Postal address
Aurora Lodge,
The Level,

Guidance for contributors to Ocean Challenge

The aim of Ocean Challenge is to communicate.

  • We assume that all readers are interested in the science of the ocean.
  • We cannot assume that they are experts in all disciplines of marine science.

There are broadly four types of contributions:

Short news items

Ocean Challenge is always pleased to receive news of events, projects and initiatives relating to marine science. ‘Letters to the Editor‘ are also very welcome, either on a topic covered in a previous issue of Ocean Challenge, or on any subject of interest to Ocean Challenge readers.

  • Long news items 500–2000 words, preferrably with illustration(s).
  • Meeting reports 500–2000 words, preferrably with illustration(s).
  • Feature articles 3000–5000 words, generally 3–6 figures.
  • Book reviews 750–1000 words (see also below).

Feature articles

These have the following format:

A fairly short introduction.
This is not an abstract as such – its role is to engage the reader’s attention, and convey what the article is about. In the case of articles for the Special European Issue, which is intended to be sent to policy makers, politicians and administrators (as well as the usual readership), this is where any messages should be highlighted; alternatively, it should be made clear that useful points will be explained the article itself.

The aim of the European issue is to inform and so influence general policy relating to marine science, and articles have more power when they refer to the specific rather than the abstract or the general. The text should be well structured to enable the reader to follow the argument, but please avoid using lists of abstract ‘bullet points‘. These do not convey much to someone who is not already aware of the points being made.

Figures have a formal caption and a margin caption. Authors are encouraged to provide margin captions, but these are often added at a later stage, depending on the layout.

Ocean Challenge does not have references
Articles may have a Further Reading list at the end. If possible, the Further Reading list should refer to publications that are easily obtainable, and are not too obscure or specialist; they should be useful for someone whose interest has been stimulated by the article and would like to know more.

Authors should always bear in mind the Ocean Challenge readership.

We aim to be a version of New Scientist for Marine Science.

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