Author Guidelines


Oceanography is an open-access journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles that chronicle all aspects of ocean science and its applications. The journal presents significant research, noteworthy achievements, exciting new technology, and articles that address public policy and education and how they are affected by science and technology. The overall goal of Oceanography is cross-disciplinary communication in the ocean sciences.

1. General Information
2. Manuscript Categories
3. Preparing Your Manuscript
4. Permissions/Agreements
5. Submitting Final Files
6. Downloadable Guides



INITIAL MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION. For all new manuscript submissions, please go to this link: and click on the red Submit Manuscript button at the top right. Authors will need to create a login if they have not previously used this web app.  Prior to submission, please be sure that you have created one file for peer review in MS Word or PDF format that contains all text, figures, and tables, and is numbered continuously. Please name your file “lastname-firstname.doc” or “lastname-firstname.pdf”. Any supporting information (including Supplementary Materials) should be provided in a separate file(s) for review purposes. Please email Oceanography Editor Dr. Ellen S. Kappel ([email protected]) with any questions. If a manuscript has been invited and is being submitted as part of a special issue section, please check with guest editors for that issue as to whether they are using the Oceanography manuscript online submission portal.

FLIPBOOK ENHANCEMENTS TO ARTICLES. An exciting enhancement now available to Oceanography authors is the ability to embed videos, animations, photo galleries, and audio files in the flipbook version of their articles. All enhancements must be directly associated with a figure in the article—the link to media is embedded within the figure. Any captions and credits should be provided at the time of submission of the media to Oceanography so that we can include them appropriately. See Flipbook Assets below for allowable formats and file sizes.


LANGUAGE STYLE. Submitted manuscripts should be of broad interest to our readership. The desired writing style is less technical and more compact than that typically used in scientific papers. Strive for clarity and simplicity. Target your manuscript to graduate students, professional oceanographers of all traditional disciplines, and other scientifically literate audiences. Avoid technical or mathematical jargon. 

PUBLICATION FEE. The fee for publishing Feature Articles that are not part of invited special issue sections is $2,000. The publication fee for Breaking Waves, Meeting Reports, Commentaries, Perspectives, Ocean Education, and Ocean Policy articles of up to six magazine pages in length is $1,000. The publication fee for short Rip Current news articles is $500. There is no charge for invited book reviews and The Oceanography Classroom columns. Payment information (credit card number or purchase order number) must be provided at the time the manuscript is accepted for publication. Authors can request a waiver from TOS (email to [email protected]) for all or part of the publication fee if they document their inability to cover the expense.

MANUSCRIPT REVIEW PROCESS. Unsolicited manuscripts will be reviewed for style, relevance to The Oceanography Society’s mission, content, and quality by the Editor or Associate Editors upon receipt. All manuscripts will be given unbiased consideration by the editors. In additon, all manuscripts are checked for plagiarism. If signifcant overlap with other published manuscripts is identified, the manuscript will either be desk rejected or the authors will be asked to correct the identified issues. If the manuscript passes initial internal review, a minimum of two external reviewers will be sought. Consistent with our effort to publish papers on rapidly advancing topics in oceanography, all submissions will move expeditiously through the peer-review and publishing process. Our goal is to publish papers no more than two issues (i.e., six months) after submission.

EARLY ONLINE RELEASES. Most Oceanography articles will be published as early online releases in a short time after authors have reviewed proofs and the articles are finalized. Invited articles that will appear in special issue sections may be exceptions to this general rule.

ONCE PUBLISHED. Low-resolution PDFs of each article will be available from the Oceanography Archive immediately upon issue publication. Upon request, TOS will provide a high-resolution PDF to first authors. In addition, authors may purchase additional copies of Oceanography. The manuscript proof email sent to lead authors includes information on ordering.

TOS POLICY ON PUBLICATION. As part of the "TOS Policy on Professional Integrity, Ethics, and Conduct, and Guidelines on Implementation,” Section 3 includes the TOS Policy on Publication. In this document, you can read about the obligations of editors, authors and contributors, and reviewers of manuscripts, among other important information. 


FEATURE ARTICLES. The purpose of the Feature Articles section is to provide an outlet for making significant advances in oceanography accessible to a broad readership. While these papers should be thought-provoking for professional oceanographers, they should also be written to engage the educated non-experts. Feature articles can include review papers that summarize the current state of knowledge of a particular topic, synthesis papers that discuss new findings and how they significantly revise our thinking about a topic, and more traditional scientific research papers from across the full spectrum of oceanography and marine technology. > Learn More

SPECIAL ISSUE ARTICLES. Oceanography regularly publishes special issues that are sponsored by outside organizations. Submission of special issue manuscripts is by invitation only. If you have any questions about your invited special issue manuscript, please contact one of the guest editors for that special issue.

BREAKING WAVES. The purpose of the Breaking Waves section is to provide an outlet for short (~3,500 words) peer-reviewed papers that describe novel approaches to multidisciplinary problems in oceanography. These provocative papers will present findings that are synthetic by design and have the potential to move the field of oceanography forward or in new directions. > Learn More

MEETING/WORKSHOP/CONFERENCE REPORTS. We welcome short (up to 3,500 words) articles that describe the goals, activities, and accomplishments of meetings/workshops/conferences in all aspects of ocean science. Articles should not include agendas, programs, and attendance, but rather focus on consensus products and recommendations for future work. > Learn More

OCEAN EDUCATION. Ocean Education is a place to learn about the ocean; its interactions with the lower atmosphere, biogeochemistry, and sea ice; and its role in the climate system. These peer-reviewed articles should inspire teachers in higher education to try new active, student-centered instruction (ranging from short activities to curricula) and provide ideas/materials to do so. Articles should include a description of the activity (location of activity, education level targeted, number of participants), an evaluation and critical discussion, and recommendations for other instructors based on the lessons learned. Atudent perspectives and/or sustainability aspects are encouraged. > Learn More

OCEAN POLICY. We seek provocative articles that start a community discussion on future directions of ocean science. > Learn More

COMMENTARIES AND PERSPECTIVES. Commentaries present analyses of issue of interest to Oceanography readers, written by experts in the field. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome. Perspectives articles should add a dimension to a newly published Oceanography Feature Article and not just a summary of that article’s content. Perspectives are usually invited. > Learn More

DIY OCEANOGRAPHY. In this Oceanography section, contributing authors share all of the relevant information on a homemade sensor, instrument, or software tool(s) so that others can build, or build upon, it. These short articles also showcase how this technology was used successfully in the field. > Learn More

PRODUCT REVIEWS. Reviews are solicited for marine-related scientific materials (e.g., books, video, software, databases, equipment) and marine-related published materials with a broad appeal (e.g., novels, biographies, historical anecdotes). > Learn More

RIP CURRENT – NEWS IN OCEANOGRAPHY. We seek short (~1,500 words) articles that describe newsworthy items in the field of oceanography. > Learn More

THE OCEANOGRAPHY CLASSROOM. A recurring column in Oceanography magazine provides guidance and insights into teaching undergraduate and graduate classes in the ocean sciences. The columns can be opinion pieces or convey general ideas in education applied to oceanography. > Learn More

CAREER PROFILES. This recurring column highlights marine scientists who have pursued successful and fulfilling careers outside of academia. These profiles are intended to advise ocean sciences graduate students about all marine science career options, not just teaching and/or research in a university setting. > Learn More


In addition to meeting the requirements outlined below, all authors are expected to adhere to The Oceanography Society’s Policy on Professional Integrity, Ethics, and Conduct when submitting a manuscript.

When submitting your manuscript, please be sure to include:

ARTICLE TYPE. Oceanography publishes many different types of articles. Please specify a category for your article. See the above section on Manuscript Categories and our Manuscript Guide for details.

SUGGESTED REVIEWERS. Please provide three or more suggested reviewers who do not have any real or perceived conflicts of interest, including personal or competitive relationships.

TITLE PAGE. Your title page should include the title; authors and associated job titles, organizational affiliations, state/province, and country; and ORCID numbers. Please include contact information for the corresponding author, including email and mailing address.

ABSTRACT. Your abstract should not exceed 200 words.

TEXT. Please ensure that your manuscript contains continuous line numbering throughout. Line spacing should be 1.5–2. Manuscripts should be prepared according Oceanography’s language style, follow Oceanography’s style conventions provided in our Style Guide, and meet the word count limitations provided in our Manuscript Guide (if your manuscript is associated with a special issue, the guest editors may provide a word count that differs from the one in our Manuscript Guide).

FIGURES/TABLES. Figures and tables must have captions and must be called out in the text. See our Manuscript Guide to determine how many tables and figures your article may include (if your manuscript is associated with a special issue, the guest editors may provide a figure/table count that differs from the one in our Manuscript Guide). Authors are responsible for obtaining copyright permissions, if required.

REFERENCES. All references included in the bibliography must be cited in the main text. References should be formatted according to Oceanography’s Style Guide. The Oceanography reference style is also available for download for use in EndNote. All articles cited must be available publicly online or in print before a paper can be accepted; there should be no “submitted” or “in prep” references. Exceptions are considered by the editor.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. Your acknowledgments section should include the following items:
• All funding information from each author pertaining to this work
• Any conflicts of interest for any author that are not apparent from their affiliations or funding
• Any additional information on author contributions

SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS. Additional figures and data tables will be accepted if directly relevant to the article but cannot be accommodated in the print version. Audio and video clips and animations that are called out in the article and that enhance understanding of the article are also acceptable supplementary materials. Supplementary materials should be submitted as part of the article for peer review.



Authors are responsible for obtaining copyright permissions, if necessary, from other publishers for the figures/images they submit to Oceanography. The websites of most publishing companies and journals have instructions on how to obtain copyright permission.

Please send a copy of the letter(s) granting permission via email or regular mail to:

  Vicky Cullen
Oceanography Assistant Editor
PO Box 687
West Falmouth, MA 02574 USA
[email protected]


Upon submission of your manuscript to Oceanography, all authors must sign and return the appropriate agreement. Authors can sign and send forms individually.

There are two different types of agreements:
• The certification form to be signed by US government employees only
• The license to publish form to be signed by all others

Send agreements via email or regular mail to:

  Vicky Cullen
Oceanography Assistant Editor
PO Box 687
West Falmouth, MA 02574 USA
[email protected]

If you have any questions regarding the agreements, contact the Assistant Editor.


Oceanography makes articles available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). For additional information on content usage, please go to the Permissions page.


Upon acceptance of a manuscript for publication, you will need to submit the final text and individual graphics files in publishing-compatible electronic formats.


Arrangements for file transfer will be made with the author. The use of Dropbox, Google Drive, SugarSync, or other forms of file sharing is preferred. Posting large files to the author’s institutional ftp site is also acceptable.



Text (including references and captions) should be submitted in .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf format. If you are a LaTeX user, please submit your article in .pdf format. Tables and graphics must be submitted as separate files as indicated below.


Table files should contain only the body of the table. Accepted file formats include .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, and .csv. 

Tables should be set up to fit within a standard 8.5 x 11 inch printed page in portrait layout (we do not print tables in landscape layout) and the text font size should be no smaller than 7 pts at final print size.


Each figure must be submitted as a separate file. Acceptable file formats include the following:

   • eps
     - Fonts must be embedded or changed to outlines
     - Any embedded rasterized artwork must be at least 300 dpi resolution at print size

   • pdf
     - Fonts must be embedded
     - Any embedded rasterized artwork must be at least 300 dpi resolution at print size

   • tiff, jpg, or png
     - At least 300 dpi resolution at print size

NOTE. Figures should be set up to fit within a standard 8.5 x 11 inch printed page in portrait layout (we do not print figures in landscape layout) and the font sizes of labels within the figures should be no smaller than 7 pts at final print size.


Additional assets may be embedded in the flipbook version of the issue. Acceptable assets include the following:

   • Videos
     - We recommend that videos not exceed a few minutes in length
     - Videos must be provided to Oceanography in a format compatible with YouTube
     - Videos will be uploaded to The Oceanography Society’s YouTube channel and linked to a figure in the flipbook
     - If the movie exists on another institution’s YouTube or Vimeo channel, and that link is stable, we can instead use that link

   • Animated GIFS
     - GIFS must be no larger than 5 MB

   • Audio
     - Audio files must be in MP3 format and no larger than 100 MB

   • Photo Galleries
     - Photos for a photo gallery must be in jpg or png format and no larger than 5 MB per photo

If there is a problem with any file, we will contact you for a revised file. The Editor reserves the right to reject poor-quality graphics. Graphics embedded in Microsoft Word are not acceptable.


When naming a file, use the lead author’s last name and then some short descriptive information. For example:

• lastname-firstname.docx

• lastname-t1.docx
• lastname-t2.xlsx

• lastname-f1.tif
• lastname-f2.eps

Use lower case letters when naming files and always include the file extension (for example, .eps, .tif, .docx).


MANUSCRIPT GUIDE. Decide what article type best suits your submission and get guidance on text, figure, and table limitations.

STYLE GUIDE. Get guidance on Oceanography’s style as you prepare your text, captions, and references.