MSR System: Instructions for Authors

Note: Before you begin, you should be sure you are using version 4.0 or higher of Netscape or Internet Explorer. If you have an earlier version, you can download a free upgrade using the icons found at the bottom of the login screen.


Step by step procedures
  1. Prepare your manuscript
  2. Log in
  3. Enter Author Submission Center
  4. Choose new or existing manuscript
  5. Enter information
  6. Upload manuscript
File types saved
General guidelines
Guidelines for Macintosh users

Step by step procedures

Step 1: Prepare Your Manuscript

Detailed instructions for manuscript preparation are available here. Once prepared, your manuscript will typically be uploaded in several separate files. Those files may include the following types:

Text files
Your manuscript should be prepared using a word processing program and saved as a .doc, .pdf, .rtf or .ps file. Any of these file types will be converted to .pdf format automatically.

Image files
Figures should be saved in .jpg, .gif, .tif or .eps image format. Formats other than .jpg are automatically converted to .jpg for purposes of review.

Tables may be uploaded as text files or as images.

Other file types
These will include any other files you might want reviewed as part of your manuscript. Examples of other files types include Excel spreadsheets, LaTeX files, and QuickTime or other movie formats. The MSR system will not convert these to .pdf format. The journal staff, editors and reviewers will only be able to view these unconverted files if they have the appropriate software on their computers.

Please note that supplemental files should be used only when absolutely necessary. Your cover letter should include a strong argument for the need to incorporate such supplemental materials in your manuscript.

Your complete submission should include the following:

  1. Cover letter (a text file). The cover letter can be pasted into a form during submission, or can be uploaded as a separate file.
  2. Main document (a text file), including the following sections:
    1. Title page
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. Abstract. During submission, you will need to provide an ASCII-only version of your manuscript abstract. That version will be used for web display. You may also submit a more complete abstract embedded in your main document, that can include non-ASCII characters.
    4. Introduction
    5. Materials and procedures
    6. Assessment
    7. Discussion
    8. Comments and recommendations
    9. References
    10. Figure legends, if figures are uploaded separately
  3. Figures (image files). You may upload each figure as a separate image file, or you may choose to embed figures within the text of your manuscript. Embedded figures should appear in the order cited and as close as possible to the text where they are cited. Figure legends should appear beneath embedded figures, not at the end of the text.
  4. Tables (image or text files). Tables may appear within the main text document (preferred), or may be uploaded as separate files. If embedded, they should appear in the order cited and as close as possible to the text where they were cited.
  5. Multimedia files and other appendices (various file formats).

Step 2: Log In

The Manuscript Central login page gives you five options:

  1. Log in with your known User ID and Password
  2. Check to see if you have an existing account
  3. Create a new account
  4. View instructions for new users
  5. Download the latest versions of Netscape, Internet Explorer, or Adobe Acrobat Reader

Step 3: Enter the Author Submission Center

After logging in, most users will see two options leading to the Author Submission Center and to the Reviewer Center. Choose Submission Center to begin a new submission, check a previous submission, continue a submission begun earlier, or submit a revised manuscript.

Step 4: Inside the Author Submission Center

At the bottom of the Submission Center page, you will see a listing of any manuscripts submitted or in progress. Existing manuscripts are found in one of three areas:

  1. Manuscripts to be Revised
  2. Partially Submitted Manuscripts
  3. Submitted Manuscripts

Click on the title of any partially submitted manuscript to resume the submission process. The system "remembers" your last activity and will take you to the next uncompleted step in the process.

For new manuscripts, choose the “Submit First Draft of New Manuscript” link at the top of the page. This creates a blank workspace for a new manuscript, and takes you to the first step in the submission process for that manuscript.

Step 5: Entering Information

During the submission process, a series of screens ask you to enter each piece of information associated with your manuscript. Some of this information may be included in the body of your manuscript, but needs to be entered in a particular format in order to make the system searchable by these fields. Information to be entered separately includes:

  1. Authors' names, addresses
  2. Manuscript title
  3. Abstract (ASCII characters only)
  4. Keywords
  5. Suggested reviewers to include and exclude
  6. Comments to the Editor-in-Chief, i.e. your cover letter

Press “Save and Continue” at the bottom of each screen in order to save all of your work. If you press the "Back" or "Forward" button on your browser your work will not be saved.

Step 6: Upload Your Manuscript

To upload your files:

  1. Click on the "Browse" button and locate the document you want to upload.
  2. Select the document's designation from the pull-down menu. For Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, the choices of designation include Manuscript Body, Figures, Tables, Multimedia Files, and Other File Types.
  3. For revised manuscripts, you may also upload a file containing your Response to Previous Reviews. If you prefer, you may enter this information in the comments to the Editor-in-Chief (above).
  4. You will also be asked whether each document you upload should be considered for review, and the default is set to "Yes." Please be advised that, if you select "No," the editorial staff will still be able to view that document and make it available to an editor or reviewer if necessary.
  5. When the upload of each file is completed, you will see a confirmation window asking you to write a brief description of that document. For your main document, you can use language such as "Article Text" or "Main Document." For your figures, please indicate which figure, such as "Figure 1" or "Fig. 1." For any other supporting documents, please indicate clearly what the document is as well as its format (MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, etc.).

File types saved

There are two types of documents that will be saved with your submission:

  1. Files for Review. These will be the files viewable to the editor and reviewers of your manuscript. The system will automatically convert your text documents (anything in .doc format or .rtf) into Portable Document Format (.pdf) and make that newly converted document accessible for review. PDF files are readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader, available for download from the main login screen of Manuscript Central. The system will also convert any .jpg, .gif, .tif and .eps image files into a smaller .jpg image for the purpose of review. The smaller version of your image will include in the filename "_sm.jpg." The system will also save under "Files for Review" any documents which are uploaded in formats that cannot be converted.
  2. Files for Production. These are all your originally uploaded files, except those files you designated for review that cannot be converted by the system. Note that if your manuscript is accepted, you will need to supply high-quality versions of your figures as separate files, before it can go to production services.

General guidelines

  1. The system will not automatically convert presentations created in Microsoft PowerPoint into images viewable on a web browser. You will need to convert each PowerPoint slide into a .tif, .jpg, or .gif, saved separately.
  2. When inserting figures into your text documents, please make sure they are readable. Many figures contain miniscule characters such as numbers on a chart or graph. If these characters are not easily readable in your text document, they will most likely be illegible in the .pdf created by the system. Certain image formats such as .jpg and .gif do not have high resolutions. It will often work better to save and insert your figures as .tif files, instead of lower-resolution .jpg or .gif formats.
  3. Please use simple filenames when saving all your documents and avoid special characters such as [brackets], (parentheses), punctuation marks (?, !), and symbols such as @, #, &, $, and %.
  4. Avoid spaces in your filenames: instead of "Figure 1 Author.gif," save your file as "Figure1.gif."

Guidelines for Macintosh users

  1. In addition to using simple, short filenames when saving your documents, you must type the extension at the end of the file name you choose. The file extensions are as follows:
    .doc - Microsoft Word documents
    .rtf - Rich Text Format
    .jpg - Joint Photographic Group format (known on an Apple as JPEG)
    .gif - Graphic Interchange Format
    .tif - Tagged Image File format. These are known on Mac systems as TIFF files. Please do NOT include the second "F" in the file extension.
    .ppt - PowerPoint presentation
    .xls - Microsoft Excel spreadsheet
    .pdf - Portable Document Format
    .eps - Encapsulated PostScript
    .mov (or .qt) - QuickTime movie
    .mpg - MPEG movie
  2. In order to view manuscripts for review, you must install Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download from the login screen of Manuscript Central. There are several Macintosh computer formats to choose from. If you are not sure which one to use, you may want to ask your system administrator before downloading.
  3. After downloading and installing the program, users of both Netscape and Internet Explorer will have to configure their browsers to use Acrobat to read PDF Files.