Instructions for Authors


After carefully reviewing the guidelines below, authors are invited to submit manuscripts online at Polar Research's website. Step-by-step instructions are available during the submission process. The Editorial Office may be contacted for guidance: 

Track the progress of submissions by logging into Polar Research’s website. See the register/login links at the top right corner of this site. 


Polar Research charges publication fees for accepted articles exceeding five pages typeset in the journal's design. The first five typeset pages are free; each additional typeset page incurs a charge of €158/$180 per page, excl. VAT. There is no cost for supplementary material, which is edited prior to posting but is not typeset.

To get a rough idea of how many words and graphics fit into five pages, please see the samples below or look at PDFs of recent articles published in the journal.

Words and characters for an article of 5 typeset pages
Sample: Ca. 3500 words or 22500 characters (including spaces), two figures and one table.

Words and characters for an article of 12 typeset pages 
Sample 1: Ca. 6700 words or 43500 characters (including spaces), six figures and two tables.

Sample 2: Ca. 7500 words or 44500 characters (including spaces), eight figures and no tables. 


The Norwegian Polar Institute is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web pages.

All submissions are screened for plagiarism before publication, but authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting



Submission of a manuscript implies that the work has not been published before, it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and its submission has been approved by all co-authors. Any special circumstances should be explained in the cover letter submitted with the online submission.

Authors are responsible for disclosing financial support from industry or other support that might bias the interpretation of the results.

The submitting author, also known as the contact author, will be the principal contact for editorial correspondence throughout the peer review and proofreading process, if applicable. The submitting author is responsible for securing the initial approval of the submission by the co-authors and for ensuring that co-authors are informed of the manuscript’s progress following submission.  


The journal is published electronically. If there is a need for printed editions of a special issue, this should be discussed with the editor well in advance.  

Manuscripts that do not conform to the guidelines given here may be returned to authors before being reviewed.

Types of articles 
Original primary research papers comprise the mainstay of Polar Research. Review articles, brief research notes, letters to the editor, perspective pieces and book reviews are also included. 

Perspective pieces are sometimes reviewed, depending on the topic. In contrast to research or review articles, perspective articles do not need to include new data or an exhaustive literature review, but they do need to make a new argument, connect dots that haven't been connected in print before (at least not in a widely accessible publication) or present a novel idea, and this fresh perspective must be of interest to the international polar research community. The facts presented must be sound and the discussion and conclusions that follow from them must be well-grounded.

Letters to the editor (which comment on an article in Polar Research) and book reviews are evaluated internally and are not generally sent out for external review.

If a submission is intended for a special issue, this should be mentioned in the cover letter.  

Suggest reviewers
Authors may suggest reviewers in their cover letters. Suggested reviewers should not share an institutional affiliation with any of the authors. They should not have co-authored articles with any of the authors or have any other close professional or personal association with them.

Each of the manuscript’s authors should meet all three of the following criteria: (1) has made a substantial contribution to the design of the study, the collection of the data, or the analysis or interpretation of the data; (2) has drafted the manuscript or helped revise it, shaping its intellectual content; (3) has approved of the submitted manuscript. Each author should be able to take public responsibility for a portion of the paper’s content, and should be able to identify the co-authors who are responsible for the remaining material.

Contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help or writing assistance and a department chairperson who provided only general support. Financial and material support should be acknowledged in a section called Funding, which follows the Acknowledgements.  

Preprint policy
Polar Research permits the submission of manuscripts that have been posted on preprint servers. However, we request that authors do not update the posted article to include changes made in response to the reviewers’ comments. Authors should disclose that the article has been posted on a preprint server in the Disclosure Statement section near the end of the paper.

How to structure a paper: 

With some exceptions, full-length research papers should be organized as described below. Research notes (for example, a report of an observation of unusual animal behaviour) may benefit from a condensed, streamlined format rather than the conventional introduction-methods-results-discussion-conclusion structure. Review papers are also not required to follow the conventional research article format but should be structured in a way suited to the material being presented.

TITLE. The title should be concise.

AUTHOR NAMES AND ADDRESSES. A complete postal address must be provided for the contact author. Addresses for the remaining authors should include department (if relevant), institution (if relevant), city and country. A single address is preferable for each author rather than multiple addresses: choose the main one. The aim is not to impress readers with prestigious affiliations but rather to provide information so that readers can contact authors. It is optional to include Orcid ID numbers.

Names of universities and other institutions, departments, laboratories and so on should be given in English. If there is a strong reason to use the non-English name—for example, a funding agency or employer requires it—the editor should be informed. Omit acronyms in addresses. An e-mail address is included for the corresponding author only.

ABSTRACT. The abstract explains the topic of the paper, the problem or question that the paper seeks to address, what methods were used in the study, what the most important results were and what they mean. A common error is to include too much background material in the abstract and not enough specific results. Avoid vague conclusions.

An abstract should stand on its own and be understandable independently of the main paper. Whereas complete articles are often read by specialists only, abstracts are read by a wide readership who should be able to grasp the motivation for the work, its main findings and why these are important.

The abstract should not exceed 250 words. A good abstract can be considerably shorter.

KEYWORDS. Choose up to six keywords/phrases. Do not borrow words from the title: keywords are meant to supplement information given in the title. Consider using larger issues or phenomena as keywords, such as climate change or biodiversity.

RUNNING HEAD. Provide a short version of the manuscript title. 

ABBREVIATIONS. Provide a list of abbreviations used in the manuscript, along with their explanations. This list will appear on the title page, to the right of the abstract. This replaces the spelling out of abbreviations in the main body of the paper and in the table/figure captions. However, in the abstract, which is often read as a stand-alone piece, abbreviations should be spelled out.

When a phrase or term only appears a few times in the paper, its abbreviation is usually not warranted. Authors should carefully consider whether use of an abbreviation serves to help readers (for example, by improving visual flow) or whether it adds clutter to the manuscript.

A few abbreviations do not need to be included in the list. These include DNA, GPS and abbreviations for common units of measurement, such as mm and g.

INTRODUCTION. This section states the motivation for the work. It should provide context to familiarize readers with the topic, point out knowledge gaps that need to be filled, explain how the study addresses the need and briefly describe what will follow in the paper. The Introduction should not refer to section numbers: sections are not numbered in Polar Research.

METHODS. This section describes the methods in enough detail to allow other scientists to reproduce the work presented in the paper. The Methods section can include subsections, such as a subsection describing the study area and subsections for the different analyses performed.    

If there is a great deal of detailed methodological information, the author should consider placing much of it in a supplementary file.

RESULTS and DISCUSSION. These sections report and interpret the findings, respectively. Depending on the nature of the work, the Results and Discussion may be effectively combined into one section because readers may not be able to make sense of the results without the interpretation. Usually, however, Results and Discussion are separated.

CONCLUSION. This section relates the findings to the motivation stated in the Introduction and takes the outcome of the work to a higher level of abstraction than the Discussion. The Conclusion should not recapitulate preceding sections of the paper, but should explain whether the need stated in the Introduction has been addressed and what the larger context of the findings is. 

Author should not be reluctant to write a short Conclusion. This section may comprise just a few sentences. If it merely reiterates what has already been stated in the paper, a lengthy Conclusion does not make a paper more impressive.

For more guidance on what goes into the various sections of a scientific paper, authors should consult the eBook English Communication for Scientists, edited by Jean-Luc Dumont (last updated 2014). The book can be accessed for free here:

For good writing advice, please see the free instructional videos by Dennis Eckmeier available at . Eckmeier’s videos about using strong verbs, editing for brevity, editing paragraphs and composing the abstract, introduction, methods, results and discussion sections are particularly recommended for both early-career and seasoned scientists.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. The various kinds of help received should be acknowledged in this section. Institutional names should be given in full unless the acronyms have already been explained in the paper.

Authors should consider thanking the reviewers if they provided especially constructive, detailed reports and if they evaluated several versions of the manuscripts.

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. If funding sources or other associations may be interpreted as a conflict of interest with respect to the research or the resulting article, this should be stated here. If there is no conflict, the following sentence should be included: “The authors report no conflict of interest”

FUNDING. This section acknowledges sources of financial support. Institutional names should be given in full (preferably in English) unless the acronyms have already been explained in the paper.

REFERENCES AND CITATIONS. All entries in the reference list are to be cited in the manuscript and all sources cited in the manuscript (except for personal communications and unpublished manuscripts) are to be listed in the references.

Citations are mentioned chronologically in the main body of the text, using this style:

…(Smith et al. 1968; Jones 1992a, 2001; Hansen & Smith 1999).

In the reference list sources are ordered alphabetically. Non-English letters (e.g., Ø, Å and Æ) are alphabetized like their nearest English equivalents (e.g., O, A and Ae).

Each reference should be as complete as possible; superfluous information will be weeded out during editing. 

Include DOI numbers where available.

Submitted manuscripts are not required to follow a specific reference style. However, upon acceptance, authors will be provided with detailed instructions regarding Polar Research’s reference style and will be required to revise their reference lists accordingly, before the manuscript is edited, copyedited and typeset. Authors who would like to apply Polar Research’s style to their Reference section before submission are invited to contact the Chief Editor for detailed instructions or apply the Polar Research citation style language that can be accessed here:

FIGURES. To facilitate the review process, the submission should include all the tables, figures, captions and supplementary material within the same Word document as the main text. Smaller file sizes for figures are preferable because this will help keep the document from becoming unwieldy. (If authors are concerned that the low-resolution versions of their figures that are included in the main Word document will be hard for reviewers to decipher, then authors should note this in their cover letters and/or in their figure captions and, during submission, they may upload higher-resolution or vector-based versions of their figures as individual files.) If the manuscript is accepted, high-resolution versions of the graphics may be requested for editing and publishing. 

In the manuscript, figures and tables should be referred to in the order in which they are numbered.

Very small and very large letters, numbers and other symbols should be avoided. Labels on maps, other figures and tables should not consist entirely of uppercase letters, e.g., 'Annual primary production' is preferred over 'Annual Primary Production' or 'ANNUAL PRIMARY PRODUCTION'. Fonts like Helvetica, Arial and Calibri are preferred in figures. Rounded parentheses ( ) rather than square brackets [ ] are preferred, e.g., ‘Length (mm)’ rather than ‘Length [mm].’ Parts of composite figures should be labelled (a), (b) and (c) rather than (A), (B) or (C) or A, B or C or [A], [B] or [C].

Acronyms and other abbreviations that appear in a figure or table must be included in the abbreviations list on the title page or explained in the caption.

To publish illustrations borrowed (and possibly modified) from other sources, Polar Research’s Editorial Office must receive formal permission from the copyright holder. This may be the author of the original work from which the figure is borrowed or it may be the publisher. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that all necessary permissions are sought and obtained.

SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL. For review purposes, Supplementary Material is provided at the end of the main document. If the paper is accepted and published, supplementary files are not typeset and are available to readers alongside the main article. They can include large quantities of text, graphs, photographs, videos, data tables and so on. If there are citations, the supplementary file must include a Reference section. References that are cited in the supplementary material but not in the main paper should not appear in the Reference section of the main paper.

FORMAT. Manuscripts should be double-spaced and lines numbered.

Polar Research can accommodate no more than three grades of subheadings. Subheading are not numbered in published Polar Research articles, but submissions may include the level of each heading in brackets to avoid confusion.

Polar Research does not include foot- or endnotes.

SPELLING. Polar Research generally treats recent editions of the Oxford Dictionary as its spelling authority.  When there are alternatives, the spelling indicated by this dictionary as the preferred British spelling should be selected. Some examples: organize rather than organise; behaviour rather than behavior; centre rather than center; palaeo- rather than paleo-.

SPECIES NAMES. Scientific names of species are italicized and in parentheses following the first mention of the common name of the species. Except where this might cause confusion, genus names should be abbreviated to the first initial when these are repeated within a few paragraphs. Common names of species should not be capitalized unless these are derived from personal or place names, such as Steller’s sea lion.

DATES. Dates should be given like this: 16 November 2006. In figures and tables, they may be abbreviated: 16/11/06. The 24-hour clock should be used for times, e.g., 16:30.

IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS. If applicable, fossil material that is illustrated or analysed in the manuscript should be given an identification number and kept in a public collection (such as a museum) and available for future scrutiny. Photographs of thin-sections, rocks and similar material in the manuscript should be identified with sample numbers and geographical coordinates.

POLISHING UP THE MANUSCRIPT. Authors for whom English is a second language should consider having their manuscripts professionally edited before submission. Services providers include Eloquenti, Write Scientific RightEditageManuscriptEditCambridge Proofreading, Quality Proofreading by PSUK, English Editing and Proofreading Services and Scribbr. The journal does not endorse any editing service providers. Other editing service providers can be found on the internet. All services are paid for and arranged by the author. Use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.