Information For Authors

Interested in submitting to this journal? We publish:

  • Section A. Research articles. High quality peer-reviewed papers in basic and applied research, conforming to accepted scientific paper format and standards, and based on primary research findings, including testing of hypotheses and taxonomical revisions.
  • Section B. Research reports. High quality peer-reviewed papers, generally shorter or less formal than Section A, including short notes, field observations, syntheses and reviews, scientific documentation and checklists.
  • Section C. Open articles. Contributions not based on formal research results but nevertheless pertinent to Namibian environmental science, including opinion pieces, discussion papers, meta-data publications, non-ephemeral announcements, book reviews, correspondence, corrigenda and similar.
  • Section D. Memoirs. Peer-reviewed monographic contributions and comprehensive subject treatments (> 100 pages), including collections of related shorter papers like conference proceedings. Because of the workload implications, prospective submitters should consult the editor beforehand.

Authors need to register with the journal prior to submitting or, if already registered, can simply log in and begin the five-step process.

The Author Guidelines section below provides information on how your submission should be structured and formatted. For further guidance on how to structure your manuscript please refer to papers which we have already published in the relevant section.

There is no charge for publishing in Namibian Journal of Environment.

If you have queries, please contact the Editor: editor@nje.org.na.

Author Guidelines

Note that to be able to submit a manuscript you first need to register on the site.

Document date: 22 March 2021.

This is a living document. It may get updated at short notice every time some new weirdness gets submitted to the journal. Please delete it after your paper is published and download a fresh copy the next time you wish to publish with us.

Purpose: Everything below is intended to maintain the quality, consistency and standard of the journal, or simplify review, editing and publication, or both. As such, these instructions are not negotiable. Grossly or persistently non-compliant manuscripts will not be considered.

Format: Submit your paper as a normal editable word processing document. If you use Open/LibreOffice or MS Word/Office you are good. If you use something else, save your work as OpenDocument Text (*.odt), Microsoft Document Format (*.doc, *.docx), or Rich Text Format (*.rtf). PDFs are not acceptable.

Submit your paper via the NJE web site. If you have not before, you will be required to register and log in. This is an essential initial step; do not attempt to submit manuscripts directly to the Editor. [Note: if your paper is intended to be part of the proceedings of a conference or workshop, do NOT submit it on the NJE web site. Return it to the external editor of the proceedings, i.e. the person who provided you with these instructions.]

The web site will not accept single documents larger than 15 Mb. If yours is, use your word processor to reduce image sizes, and submit accessory files separately instead of embedding them. If a monograph, submit chapters separately.

Anonymising manuscripts for review purposes: Please submit two documents for each paper.

  • The first document should contain only the title, names of authors and their contact details, and the Acknowledgements section. This stays with us for record purposes. Please indicate whom is to be the corresponding author, to whom all editorial correspondence will be sent and who is responsible for liaison with co-authors. Please also provide an alternative, e.g gmail, address for the corresponding author, so that we can still reach you even if your institutional email bounces.
  • The second document should contain your entire manuscript, including title, but with the names of authors and their contact details removed, as well as the text of your Acknowledgements section removed. Make sure there is no other identifying information in the manuscript. This version will be sent to reviewers.

General: Keep it simple, keep it plain. Do not include any fancy formatting or embellishments. Do not try to imitate the look of the journal. Number all pages, but without using elaborate headers or footers. Use only one column and set the line spacing to 1.5 throughout the document. Do not include line numbers. For anything not specified below, stay with whatever your software’s default is.

Language: Make sure your entire document has its language set to English (UK), or if available, English (South Africa) or English (Namibia). English (US) is not acceptable. Be aware that different parts of the same document can end up having different language settings when different sections are contributed by different authors. Make them all the same.

Grammar: Most Namibians do not speak our national language properly, much less write it at a standard suitable for scientific publication. Unless you are highly proficient in English, get help before you submit your paper. There is no shame in this. Make use of the facilities provided by the language departments at your university and have them check your grammar before submitting. If you have a native English speaking friend or colleague who is also an experienced scientist, ask them. Please take this very seriously, because we do. Regardless of the scientific merit of your paper, if the language is poor it will not be considered.

Spelling: Before submitting, run whatever spell checking your software provides, again making sure your document’s language is set to English (UK).

Publication structure: Structure your paper using conventional section headings. Use the following as a guideline, noting that not all would be appropriate or applicable to all papers, and some papers may require additional sections:

  • Abstract. Compulsory for all papers. The abstract should be a short summary of the most important results of the paper. For short papers it can be a single sentence. If parts of your abstract exactly duplicate parts of the body of the paper, if you need more than one paragraph, or if your abstract is more than about half a page long, you are doing it wrong.
  • Introduction. Compulsory for all papers, although it can be very short for some. This is where you mention previous work on the same subject, and place yours in context.
  • Methodology, or Materials and methods. Optional, but essential in all cases where there might have been more than one way to gather the results you are reporting on, if you are developing or introducing new methods, and especially when the use of different methods could give different results or influence the degree of accuracy.
  • Results. The content is compulsory, but it can be called anything else depending on the subject. This is where you present and describe the data you gathered. Results might be spread across several different sections or subsections. If you find you have many pages of uninterrupted text, you need to create more subsections that will make it easier for readers to find information and follow your logic.
  • Analysis or Discussion or Summary or Conclusion or Recommendations. Most papers will have some version of this, sometimes split over more than one section and it can be called anything depending on the content. This is where you make sense of the data you presented under Results, say what it means, why is it important and what should happen with it next.
  • Acknowledgements. Not compulsory, but most workers will need to credit those who facilitated their work.
  • References. Compulsory
  • Appendices. Optional. Any essential but bulky information, data or calculations that only the most involved readers will ever need to see, or that is too large or awkward to include in the main body of text, can be relegated to one or more Appendices. Print-unfriendly items like gene sequences or Braun-Blanquet charts can also be made available as separate downloadable files alongside the published paper. If applicable, submit them as separate files alongside the main manuscript.

Figures: All photos, maps, drawings, graphs and charts should be numbered consecutively as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. Insert them in the appropriate place in the flow of the document, and refer to each Figure at least once in the text. Figures must have clear, descriptive captions located below the figure, and captions must be sufficiently detailed that the figure can “stand alone”, i.e. make sense to the reader without having to refer to the text.

Once a paper is accepted, you will be requested to submit all images as separate high resolution files, in *.jpg or *.png format. They should be at a standard, size and resolution (300 dpi recommended) which is suitable for publication, clear and of high quality. Where text is included the font should preferably be Times New Roman or a similar Roman font in a size of 8-10 pt when the figure is at the final size. Colour and line drawings should be scanned and saved at 300 dpi. If spreadsheet-based charts form part of the document, the spreadsheets will need to be submitted separately as *.xls or *.ods files; this is just for our use to simplify re-formatting of charts, your spreadsheets will not become publicly available. Although not needed at submission, consider these requirements before submission and make sure that you will be able to comply later.

Tables: Create tables as text in your word processor. Images of tables created in other software are not acceptable. Tables are numbered consecutively as Table 1, Table 2, etc. and table captions are placed above the table. As for figures, they need to be referred to in the text and the caption should be of sufficient detail to allow the table to stand alone.

Names of organisms: Authors may choose to use either scientific or common names for their study organisms, but should then retain the chosen format throughout. Where common names are used, the scientific name must be given (in brackets or between commas) in the title and at the first mention in the text, e.g. ‘lions, Panthera leo, …’ or ‘lions (Panthera leo)’. Likewise, where scientific names are used, a common name can be given in brackets or between commas, while for taxa that have no common names this can be replaced by an indication of the higher grouping they belong to. Common names are not compulsory in taxonomic papers or check-lists.

Scientific names of species should be typed in italics, in full the first time they are mentioned. Thereafter genera may be abbreviated with the first letter of the genus name, except when the paper treats more than one genus with the same initial letter, or when the genus name is used to start a sentence. It is not necessary to give authority names for any taxa, except in taxonomic papers, where authorities with dates are compulsory for genera and all lower categories. Categories above genus are not written in italics.

Common names of species are not written with capital letters, except when the name includes the name of a person or place, e.g. Anchieta’s python or Kaoko corkwood. For common names in languages other than English, type the name in italics and indicate which language is being used, e.g. omumborombonga (Otjiherero). Any non-English characters or symbols, particularly Khoisan language clicks, should be entered as proper Unicode characters, not vaguely similar keyboard shortcuts. Use Character Map (MS Windows) or gucharmap / kcharselect (Linux), or refer to this list of Unicode characters and these input guidelines.

Spelling of both common and scientific names should be checked very carefully by authors prior to submission, because spell checkers do not know these names and will usually suggest changes that are actually wrong. Any check-list or field guide for the group concerned, by a reputable institution or author, can be used as a baseline. You may also consider using the Namibia Biodiversity Database: a search on any correct species or common name will display that species, but if the name is misspelled the search will suggest possible correct names.

Conventions for special words:

  • Acronyms. The full form should be given in parentheses the first time it used in the text, thereafter the short form is sufficient.
  • Abbreviations. Except for entrenched language elements (like e.g., i.e., etc.), units of measurement and some genera (see below), write words out in full whenever possible. Newly created acronyms or abbreviations are acceptable only if they dramatically increase the paper’s readability, are defined at first use, and used consistently.
  • Ampersands. Do not use `&’, use ‘and’. The only acceptable use of the ampersand is in literature citations.
  • Numbers. Use a decimal point, not a comma. Separate thousands with a space. Use words for numbers from one to ten, figures for numbers 11 and more.
  • Units. Only metric units should be used.
    • Where a direct quote or a specimen label includes non-metric units, add a metric conversion in square brackets, e.g. ‘5 miles [8 km] north of Windhoek’. Keep the degree of accuracy of the conversion similar to that of the original.
    • Abbreviations of metric units, e.g. km, are not followed by a full stop.
    • There is a space between a number and a unit of measurement, e.g. 10 km, not 10km. There is no space between a number and a sign that is not a unit, e.g. 90°, 100%.
    • Degrees. Temperature degrees are units of measurement, while geographical or angular degrees are not. Temperature measurements therefore get a space, e.g. 36.7 °C (not 36.7° C), but ‘90° angle’ does not get a space.
    • Date and time. Dates are written in full, as day, month, year, e.g. 1 August 2010. Time is given in 24-hour format, e.g. 16h45.
    • Ranges. Indicate ranges with a hyphen and no spaces, e.g. ‘the years 1985-2001’.
    • Mathematical operators. With the exception of + and - when used as a qualifier to denote positive or negative, there are always spaces on both sides of all mathematical operators, e.g. 1 + 1 = 2, 100 × 100 m = 1 ha, n = 99, p < 0.01, but: 1985 ? 2001 = -16. Use Unicode (see above) for non-keyboard mathematical symbols.
    • Coordinates. Use decimal degrees (23.2075S,18.4338E) or degrees and decimal minutes (23°12.45’S, 18°26.03’E), except in taxonomic papers when directly quoting specimen labels using other notations.
    • The first word of a sentence is always written out in full, it may not be an abbreviation nor a number expressed in figures.
    • For any elements not specified above, the printing rules defined in section 7 of the ISO 80000-1:2009 standard apply.

References: Authors should use citation management software to insert citations, format and manage them and generate a list of references. Manuscripts with manually created references are editing and reviewing nightmares and such anachronisms will not be considered. We recommend and support Zotero, a free open-source industry-standard citation manager with plug-ins for all major word processors, but you may use whatever else you already use, or choose from the wide variety of available citation managers. As long as the output conforms to NJE citation style, we do not care what you use.

In your chosen manager, select the style for 'Namibian Journal of Environment' if available, alternatively, download and then import the NJE citation style format file. In Zotero this is done by going to Edit, Preferences, Cite, Styles, clicking on '+' and navigating to the file. (Endnote users: this does not work because of your proprietary style format. Please use a broadly similar Endnote journal style, like that for Mammal Review, and fine tune it by hand.)

The NJE style format should take care of everything else, but in case this information is needed for fine tuning, final reference formatting should resemble the following (items in square brackets are optional):

  • Book: Author AB[, Author C, Author DEF] (Year) Title of book, [Edition]. [Volume]. Publisher, Place. [Online: URL]
  • Book section: Author AB (Year) Chapter title. In: Editor AB (ed) Book title, [Edition]. [Volume:] Pages. Publisher, Place. [Online: URL]
  • Journal article: Author AB (Year) Article title. Journal title Volume[(part)]: Pages. [Online: DOI/URL]
  • Report (unpublished): Author AB (Year) Report title. Unpublished report: [Institution/company], [Place]. pp. Number of pages. [Online: URL]
  • Thesis: Author AB (Year) Thesis title. Degree, University, [Place]. [pp. Number of pages]. [Online: URL]
  • Web page: [Author (Year)] Web page title. Online: URL. [Accessed: date].

Even a functional style sheet will display incorrect or incomplete references if it is fed incorrect information. It is the author's responsibility to ensure that references conform to the style above. In case not, the usual causes are a reference that is assigned to an inappropriate item type (e.g. a journal article that has been entered as a thesis), or the minimum information required (i.e. the items that are not in square brackets above) has not been entered, or they have been assigned to inappropriate data items. The correct data items that should be filled in to achieve the results above, are:

  • Book: Title. Author(s). [Volume]. [Edition]. Place. Publisher. Date. [URL].
  • Book section: Section/chapter Title. Section Author(s). Book Editor(s). Book Title. [Volume]. [Edition]. Place. Publisher. Date. Pages. [URL].
  • Journal Article: Article Title. Author(s). Publication/journal. Volume. [Issue/part/section]. Pages. Date. [DOI/URL].
  • Report (unpublished): Report Title. Author(s). [Place]. [Institution/company]. Date. Pages. [URL].
  • Thesis: Thesis Title. Author. Thesis Type. University. [Place]. Date. [Pages]. [URL].
  • Web page: Page Title. [Author]. [Date]. URL. Date accessed.

In-text citation: Reference must be made to the source of any information that was not recorded during the course of the research undertaken. The style format default is to put this at the end of a phrase or sentence, e.g. `Snakes have legs (Jones 2017) but maybe not (Shikongo et al. 2005, Smith 1914a, 1914b)’. If the citation instead needs to be part of the sentence e.g. ‘Jones (2017) found that…’, insert the citation as usual and use the Edit function of your citation manager to change the default. Verbal and other informal communications resemble citations e.g. ‘Jones (pers. com. 2017) said ...’ or ‘(Jones pers. com. 2017)’ but they are not citations. They are inserted manually, they are not included in reference lists, and instead the person cited and their affiliation is included in the Acknowledgements section.

Taxonomy: Papers should comply with the provisions of the appropriate codes of nomenclature. If Zoobank registration is required, put a place holder at the appropriate place in the text. Once the paper has been accepted for publication we will ask you to obtain and provide the required identifiers for both the overall publication and each nomenclatural act in it.

Enquiries: The Editor can be reached at: editor@nje.org.na. [In the case of conference proceedings, do not contact the NJE Editor, but the external editor of the proceedings instead.]