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Journal of Paleolimnology publishes original papers that deal with the reconstruction and interpretation of lake histories. Paleoenvironmental studies of river, wetland, peatland, and estuary systems also are eligible for publication.  The journal is international in scope.  There is no page charge.  Authors may deposit long tables, species lists, protocols, and additional figures in the Publisher's Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM) system, which is directly linked online to the published article.  Alternatively, any official repository may be used (e.g., World Data Center-A for Paleoclimatology at NOAA/NGDC).  Manuscript submission assumes that all co-authors are aware of the contents of the paper and agree to its publication, and that the paper has not been submitted elsewhere for publication.  Manuscripts containing significant repetition of material that is already published or submitted elsewhere may be rejected at any stage in the JOPL editorial process.  Please consult the editors in advance if there is concern about repeated material. 

All Journal submissions must be in English.

There are 4 categories of published contributions:

1. Research Papers, 5-15 printed pages long, including tables, figures, and references to the literature.

2. Short Notes, 2-4 pages long.  These include technical notes that describe new equipment or procedures, comments on recently published papers, or computer applications to paleolimnology, such as new software packages. An abstract and key words are required, but no summary is needed.

3. Review Papers.  Because these  manuscripts can be long, prospective authors should consult the editors before preparing and submitting review articles.  Frey-Deevey Invited Reviews represent a separate category of invited review papers.

4. Rapid Communications.  This category provides a vehicle for rapid publication (<6 months) of short, timely, high-impact manuscripts of broad interest to paleolimnologists.  Authors submitting Rapid Communications should provide a brief justification in a cover letter about why the submission requires accelerated handling.  Rapid Communications must be ≤10 published pages.  Please consult the editors for guidelines to estimate length.  These submissions undergo accelerated review and authors must undertake revisions in <2 weeks. 

Length requirements for Research Papers 

Research Papers are limited to 15 published pages and will not be considered if they exceed this length.  Please follow length guidelines.  Concise, well-organized submissions are strongly encouraged.

Abstracts are limited to 350 words.  The Reference section is limited to 60 citations.  The title page, Abstract, and References will fill ~3 published pages, leaving ~12 pages for the main body of the paper, i.e., the Introduction to Conclusions sections. 

 Please estimate the allowable number of words in the Introduction to Conclusions sections in the following manner.:

 1)      If no tables or figures are included, 9,000 words are permitted. 

2)      For each Figure and Table, please subtract 375 words to determine the number of words permitted.  For example, although a submission with no tables or figures is allowed 9,000 words, a submission with 5 figures and 2 tables is allowed 9,000 - (7 x 375) = 6,375 words in the Introduction through Conclusions sections.  Figure legends and Acknowledgements are exempt from the word limit.  Please use the Word Count feature in your word-processing application to estimate the length of the Introduction through Conclusions.  If your submission contains too many figures or tables to accommodate your text, please submit some tables and figures as Electronic Supplementary Material.  If your figures or tables are numerous or excessively long, the editors may request that you submit them as Electronic Supplementary Material.

 Special issues

The journal publishes special or dedicated issues on special topics, or proceedings of workshops or conferences. These issues are often guest-edited.  Please contact the editors if you are interested in developing a special issue.

 Editorial policy

Manuscripts are first checked for content, writing quality, presentation, and style. Substandard manuscripts are returned to authors without review, but can be re-submitted after necessary corrections are made.

Manuscripts that conform to journal requirements are sent to external referees by the JOPL associate editors. The chief editors examine the recommendations of reviewers and associate editors, and use these reports to decide whether the manuscript is accepted, requires revision, or is rejected.  Authors should suggest potential referees when submitting a manuscript, but the editors are not bound by the suggestions.

 Preparing the manuscript

Manuscripts should conform to standard rules of English grammar and style.  Either British or American spellings may be used, but spelling must be consistent throughout the manuscript.

Conciseness is encouraged and improves readability. Wordiness, ambiguity, vagueness, run-on sentences and passive voice should be avoided. Please note correct use of periods and commas for presentation of numbers and dates.  For example, ten thousand is written 10,000, whereas ten to three significant digits is written 10.000.  Latin and Greek words or expressions are italicized.

The manuscript contents should be well organized. Page 1 shows the title of the contribution, name(s) of the author(s), address(es) or affiliation(s), including e-mails, and up to six key words. Key words should be in roman font with the first letter of each key word phrase capitalized. The abstract should appear on page 2. The body of the text should begin on page 3. Footnotes are not permitted.  Please avoid sentence fragments and phrases joined by semicolons, and do not use extended bulleted lists as that reduces column width.  

Please organize your manuscript as follows:

Introduction, (including site description and clear statement of objectives)

Materials and methods



Conclusions (optional)




Figure captions


*Results and Discussion sections should be presented separately 

 Headings and Sub-heading Hierarchy

Level one headers: typed in bold, lowercase except for first letter of first word, left justified, followed by one blank line

Level two headers: typed in normal font, lowercase except for first letter of first word, left justified, followed by one blank line

Level three headers: typed in italics, lowercase except for first letter of first word, left justified, followed by a blank line

Do NOT number headings and subheadings.  


The first line of text in each section is NOT indented. Every subsequent paragraph in a section or subsection should be indented, however, with a tab rather than with spaces.


Tables are numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals, and have a descriptive legend on top. The format of the legend is as follows: Table + number in bold. There is no end punctuation after the table number or at the end of the table description itself. Tables are presented individually on separate pages.


The publisher reproduces all figures, including photographs, digitally. All digital figures must be of high resolution and uploaded with the submission.  Authors are encouraged to paste smaller versions of their figures into the text to minimize the overall size of the PDF downloaded by reviewers and editors.  Larger, high-resolution versions of figures should be submitted with the manuscript, and can be downloaded as needed for examination.

Colour figures can be accepted for publication in the printed version of the journal if the author agrees to pay the cost. Please consult with the publishing editor for prices of colour figure reproduction. Colour figures are accepted for publication in the online version of the journal at no additional cost to the author.

Graphs and figures should be clear and of appropriate size for reproduction in the journal. If figures are substandard, a paper may be returned to its author(s) without review.

All figures and tables must be referred to in the text.


Many abbreviations for limnological variables are used regularly.  Some, like DO, BOD, TDS are widely recognized.  Nevertheless, the full name and the abbreviation must be presented when first used in the text. Novel abbreviations are discouraged because they cause confusion, and save little text space.


Use hyphens in the following manner.  Two words that comprise an adjectival phrase should be separated by a hyphen.  Note that "sampled in 10-cm sections" is clear, whereas "sampled in 10 cm sections" is potentially ambiguous.  Words that are hyphenated when used adjectivally, such as "water-level change", should not be hyphenated when they are not used adjectivally.  For example, "changes in water-level." is incorrect, whereas "changes in water level." is correct.

 Biological nomenclature

Authors must comply with the rules governing biological nomenclature, as expressed in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, and the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria.  Latin binomial names of plants and animals should be typed in italics. When a scientific name is used for the first time in an article, it should be stated in full, and the name of the describing authority should be given.

 Chemical nomenclature

The conventions of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and the recommendations of the IUPAC-IUB Combined Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature should be applied. 


The dating method must be clearly described.  For radiocarbon dates, the lab accession number and the associated error term should be included. It must be specified whether the date has been calibrated, and if so, what calibration model was used. For 210Pb dating, the model used must be specified (e.g., Constant Rate of Supply, CRS).  Extended extrapolations or interpolations of dates are strongly discouraged unless the approach is supported and assumptions are stated clearly. For instance, assumptions of constant sedimentation rate, especially over extended periods when there have been human or climate influences, are not justified.

 Quantities, units, symbols, and their abbreviations

Please use standard international units (the S.I. system).  


Equations should be numbered consecutively in brackets at the right hand margin.  

References to the literature 

Citation in the text

Do NOT use extraneous words or abbreviations in citations, such as "e.g.", "ca.", "cf.", "see", or wording other than the name and year system. Reference should NOT be made to particular pages, tables, or figures in other published works.  For two authors, use the word "and" between authors' names, and for more than two authors, use "et al.", which is not in italics.  Additional references in a citation should be separated with a semicolon.  If an author published several papers in the same year, they should appear as "Adam 1980a, 1980b" with the entire year shown for both.  Please cite references in the following manner:

Adam (1983)

(Adam 1983)

(Adam 1983; Eve 2000)

Adam and Eve (1982)

(Adam et al. 1982)

(Adam et al. 1982; Eve 2000)

Adam et al. (1982)

Initials of given names can be used in the case of personal communications (pers. commun.) or communications by letter (in litt.), which should not be repeated in the reference list.  

Citation in the list of references

The list of references must be headed 'References'. All publications cited in the text must be listed alphabetically by the surname of first authors.  If an author has published both alone and with co-author(s), the papers published alone appear first, followed by the ones with one co-author alphabetically after the name of the co-authors (not chronologically), followed by the ones with two co-authors, etc.

Initials of first names of authors should follow surnames, and NO periods are used after the initials.  For example:

Adam GC, Brown BE, Jones CD (1985) Natural selection. Hydrobiologia 150: 301-314

Publications are always cited in their original language, except if a non-Latin alphabet is used, in which case a Latin letter-by-letter transliteration is preferred.  An English translation of the title may be added with the original language indicated between square brackets at the end of the reference.

Only publications that are formally accepted should be cited, and "submitted" references are not cited.  Unpublished internal reports are not acceptable in reference lists, unless they are available for general distribution and accessible to the scientific community.

Avoid the use of 'Anonymous'. If no author is ascertainable, list the reference by the name of sponsoring body or name of editor. 

Journal citations and abbreviations

Journal of Paleolimnology uses the periodical abbreviations used by BIOSIS, Index Medicus/Medline/PubMed or Chemical Abstracts. A detailed listing of many of the commonly cited journals and their abbreviations can be found in this MS Excel document Abbreviations for Journals. Only the first letter of each word in the title in the abbreviation is capitalized, and abbreviated words in the title are not followed by a period; e.g., Geological Society of America Bulletin = Geol Soc Am Bull; Journal of Paleolimnology = J Paleolimnol; Limnology and Oceanography = Limnol Oceanogr; Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoecology = Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol; Single word journal titles are not abbreviated; e.g., Geology; Paleoceanography; Science.

Issue numbers should be added only between brackets if every  issue starts with page one. Volume numbers are expressed by Arabic numerals in all cases.

 Edited symposia, special volumes or issues, etc., published in a periodical

Use: Author(s) (Year of publication) Title of paper. In: Editor(s) Title of special volume. Periodical (abbreviated as per list above), volume number:pp


Use: Author(s) (Year) Title. Publisher, City

 Chapter in a Multi-author books

Use: Author(s) of chapter (Year) Title of chapter. In: Editor(s) Title of book. Publisher, City, pp


Dean W (2001) A 1500-year record of climatic and environmental change in Elk Lake, Clearwater County, Minnesota II: geochemistry, mineralogy and stable isotopes. J Paleolimnol 27: 301-319

Jones BF, Bowser CJ (1978) The mineralogy and related chemistry of lake sediments. In: Lerman A. (ed) Lakes: Chemistry, Geology, Physics. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp 179-235

Timms BV (1992) Lake Geomorphology. Gleneagles Publishing, Adelaide, Australia

Tipping E, Woof C, Cooke D (1981) Iron oxide from a seasonally anoxic lake. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 45: 1419-1441

Whitlock C, Bartlein PJ, Watts WA (1993) Vegetation history of Elk Lake. In: Bradbury JP, Dean WE (eds) Elk Lake, Minnesota: Evidence for Rapid Climate Change in the North-Central United States. Geol Soc Am, Boulder, Colorado, USA, Special Paper 276, pp 251-274


Manuscripts should be submitted to Journal of Paleolimnology using the web-based submission system available at:  Authors should include their e-mail addresses.  Questions regarding any problems with manuscript submission should be directed to Ms Ayrene Dialago at

 Proof corrections

Corrections in the text other than typesetting errors must be kept to a minimum. Authors will be charged for excessive corrections. Corrected proofs should be returned within two working days.


Fifty offprints are offered to the author free of charge.  More copies can be obtained at the rate indicated on the order form accompanying the first proof. 

 Contact Information

Correspondence concerning editorial matters should be directed to the editors, and administrative matters to the one of the editorial team in Dordrecht:  


Mark Brenner                                             Thomas J. Whitmore

Department of Geological Sciences             Department of Environmental Sciences

University of Florida                                   University of South Florida

Gainesville, FL 32611                                 St. Petersburg, FL  33701

e-mail:                              e-mail:

Tamara Welschot, Senior Publishing Editor, Paleo-Environmental Sciences

Van Godewijckstraat 30, P.O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 78 6576 145 Fax: +31 78 6576388



Ms Judith Terpos, Senior Assistant to Publishing Editor

Van Godewijckstraat 30, P.O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands

Tel: +31 78 6576 144 Fax: +31 78 6576388     e-mail:


Ms Ayrene Dialago,  web-based submissions



G.V. Anitha, Springer Production Editor

e-mail :


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Please send comments or questions to: John Smol