Author Guidelines

PLEASE NOTE: All electronic submissions should be submitted to the editor at

Aims and Scope: Blue Jay is the quarterly journal of Nature Saskatchewan and publishes articles on the natural history of the prairie provinces and adjacent regions. Submission of Articles, Notes, Photo Notes, Letters, and Book Reviews on the natural history, ecology, and conservation of all flora and fauna in the prairie provinces is encouraged. Similar to other journals, all scientific submissions are reviewed by the editors and at least one other person competent in the subject area, and manuscripts are accepted for publication only after approval by the reviewers and editors. In contrast to other scientific journals, the editors of Blue Jay are willing in most cases to work with authors to make manuscripts publishable, thereby facilitating publication by non-professional scientists. Blue Jay also publishes poetry and artwork relevant to prairie natural history. All members of Nature Saskatchewan are encouraged to write for Blue Jay, and submissions from non-members are equally welcome.

Only manuscripts prepared using a computer and Microsoft Word are acceptable. The editor may make exceptions to this rule to accommodate those who do not have access to computer equipment. However, because all documents must be put into electronic form before being sent to the printer, electronic submission (preferably by E-mail) is essentially a must.

These guidelines are intended to help writers in the preparation of manuscripts as well as to streamline and ease the task of editing. Manuscripts that do not follow these guidelines will still be considered for publication, although extensive modifications will need to be made by the author, as needed, during the review process. Authors should strive to submit complete manuscripts that have been carefully constructed and proofread.

PLEASE NOTE: Before submitting a manuscript to Blue Jay, all authors, new and experienced, are asked to read these guidelines from beginning to end, paying special attention to the sections on tables and figures (2.6 & 2.7), references (2.8), how to submit photographs (4.1), and how to make electronic submissions (1.2 & 5). 

1 - Preparation of Manuscripts
1.1 - Writing Style: The writing style should be suitable for other naturalists and scientists, but also accessible to the general public. This does not mean that content must be limited to simple subjects, but rather that the writing should be clear and devoid of jargon and unnecessary technical terms. Scientific articles also should be written in an easily-readable style.
1.2 - Word Processors and Computers: Use 12-point, Times New Roman font, one-inch margins and left justification. Limit formatting commands to bold and italics. Please Do Not use features such as hanging indents, customized tab settings, columns, or tables. These create extra work during editing.
1.3 - Typewritten and Handwritten submissions: Please do not submit these unless you have no access to a computer or word processor. Double space the entire manuscript. Double underline words that are to appear in italics.
1.4 - Scientific Names: For all species, both the common and scientific (Latin) names.  Names of people should be included in the text of an article or note only when central to the topic being discussed.
1.6 - Numbers: Numbers from one to nine (inclusive) are written as words; however, numerals (digits) are always used with standard units of measure, including dates, times, page numbers, distances, etc. (e.g. 2 km, 8mm). Numerals are used for all numbers 10 or larger. Do not begin a sentence with a numeral; reword the sentence, write out the number in words, or end the preceding sentence with a semi-colon. Use words to shorten very large numbers (e.g. 1.6 million).
1.7 - Time: Time should be expressed using the 24-hour clock, given as four digits, two each for hours and for minutes, separated by a colon and followed by ‘h’ for hours, (e.g. 08:30 h, 20:30h).
1.8 - Distance: Measures of distance should be given in the metric system. There is no period following the abbreviated symbols in the metric system, e.g., “kilometre” is designated as “km”, “metre” as “m”, “centimetre” as “cm”, etc.  If there is uncertainty about aspects of format and style, consult a recent issue of Blue Jay for similar types of articles, or contact the editors.

2 - Format
2.1 - Titles: Titles of articles are in UPPER CASE and begin at the left hand margin at the top of the first page. For book reviews, the title of the review is the title of the book being reviewed. It is followed by a complete reference citation for the book (see section 2.8 below), including the current retail price in hard and/or soft cover, and the ISBN number.
2.2 – Authors’ Names: Names are written in standard upper and lowercase and begin at the left hand margin following the title, and they are separated by commas. Names are followed by each author’s address(es).
2.3 – Authors’ Addresses: The complete postal address of each author is given in standard upper and lower case with two-letter abbreviations for provinces and states. The postal (zip) code follows the province/state. The corresponding author’s E-mail address follows the postal code in the format “”.
2.4 - Paragraphs: Double-space between paragraphs, without indentation of the first word.
2.5 - Sub-headings: Sub-headings and other subdivisions of the text should be used only when necessary and should be kept to a minimum. The standard format for a sub-heading is upper and lower case in bold-face type (e.g. Standard Sub-heading).
2.6 - Tables: Tables are numbered consecutively in the order in which they are cited in the text, and are cited in the text by number (e.g. Table 2). Table titles should be in upper and lower case (e.g., Table 1. Bird numbers). Tables should not be integrated into the text of the manuscript.  Instead, each table should be on a separate page placed at the end of the file after the list of references. Use the simplest possible table creation options in your word processor or spreadsheet
2.7 - Figures: Figures include all photographs, graphs, maps and drawings. They are numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in the text and are cited in the text by number (e.g., Fig. 1). Each figure with its corresponding legend should be submitted on a separate page at the end of the text file, and also separately in a graphic file format such as “.jpg” or “.tif”.  Electronic graphics should have a resolution of at least 300 DPI. Photographs should be submitted
at the highest possible resolution.
2.8 - References: The references are numbered and are cited in the text as a superscript placed at the end of the sentence to which they refer and after the period that ends the sentence (e.g., ...were described previously.2 ). When more than one reference is cited, superscripts are separated by commas (e.g., ... were described previously.1,2,5-7,9). Please note that the reference number follows the period that ends the sentence. References are listed at the end of the text in numerical order according to the sequence in which they appear in the text.  The list of references follows the last paragraph of the text, or the Acknowledgements section if there is one. No sub-heading such as “References” or “Literature Cited” is used. Titles of journals and magazines (but not of books) are italicized. Titles of journals and magazines should be written out in full, and not abbreviated.  Examples of the format used for the most common types of references are given below.


  1. Kaufman K (1996) Lives of North American Birds. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA.

Journal or Magazine Articles:

  1. Kydd TE, Barnum PT, Virchow R (1986) Additional observations of the Barred Owl in Alberta. Blue Jay 44:41-43. Book Chapters:
  2. Heiser CB (1995) The ethnobotany of domesticated plants. In: Shultes RE, von Reis S (eds) Ethnobotany, Evolution of a Discipline. Dioscorides Press, Portland, Oregon. p. 200-203.

It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that the citations in the list of references are accurate and complete in all details. Inaccurate citations are a disservice to readers, so PLEASE make sure that each citation is sufficiently complete that readers could find each reference in an appropriate library or book outlet.

3 - Photographs and Artwork
Photographs, drawings and other artwork related to the natural history of the prairie provinces and adjacent regions are always welcome submissions, regardless of whether they are associated with an article. Blue Jay maintains a file of such illustrations and uses them whenever there is an  opportunity to do so. The name of the photographer or artist should be included along with a caption. See guidelines below for submission of photographs and artwork. Photographs and artwork submitted will become part of Blue Jay’s permanent collection.

4 - How to make submissions to Blue Jay
Only manuscripts created using a computer and word processor should be submitted to Blue Jay, other than in rare circumstances where no access to such equipment is possible. Accompany each submission with a short e-mail message giving a name, postal address, telephone number, and email address of the person to be contacted about the article.
- In the rare case that a manuscript is hand-written or prepared on a typewriter, two copies of high quality should be mailed directly to the editor. Authors should themselves retain one complete copy of the manuscript. Photographs and other illustrations do not need to be submitted in duplicate.
4.1 - Photographs: Electronic submissions are preferred. Please send photographs as e-mail attachments or on CD. All photographs should be submitted at the highest-possible resolution, at least 300 DPI. Captions for photographs that are not submitted as figures in a manuscript should be included with the photographs (e.g., in an e-mail message, if submitting photographs electronically by e-mail, or with the submitted CD).
4.2 - Drawings and other Artwork: These should be submitted following all the above guidelines for photographs. Valuable artwork should not be submitted in the original. Instead, a high-quality photocopy, photograph or electronic image should be submitted.

5 - Electronic submissions
Manuscripts submitted in electronic form must be submitted in Microsoft Word; E-mail is preferred, but CDs are also acceptable. 
E-mail. The manuscript should be sent as an attached file. Do not use HTML format when  sending manuscripts by e-mail. The editor’s e-mail address is  Illustrations and figures not sent electronically should be mailed to the editors and clearly identified by title and author(s) as belonging to the manuscript. If there is any question about how to send a document by e-mail, please contact the editors for advice.
CD: CDs can be sent to the editor by regular mail.

Further Information, contact the editor, Annie McLeod, at:

3017 Hill Avenue
Regina, SK S4S 0W2

Copyright Notice

The Open Access articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work and authors are properly credited; and if you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.  A written permission of Nature Saskatchewan must be obtained for commercial use.

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