Instructions to Authors

Instructions for Contributors to Ursus

Electronic submission only.  Manuscript submission, review, and editing are now done entirely electronically.  To submit a manuscript, visit, register with the system, and follow online instructions.  Authors with no access to the internet are encouraged to contact the Ursus Editor directly.


Ursus includes articles on all aspects of bear management and research worldwide.  Original manuscripts are welcome.  In addition to manuscripts reporting original research, submissions may be based on thoughtful review and synthesis of previously-reported information, innovative philosophies and opinions, and public policy or legal aspects of wildlife conservation.  Notes of general interest are also welcome and are published as “Short Communications.”  Manuscripts that do not fit a traditional research style are welcome and may be published under the heading “Perspectives, Essays, and Reviews.”

Many papers in Ursus are submitted as part of periodic conferences of the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA).  However, unsolicited manuscripts with no connection to conferences are welcome at any time.  There is no requirement that authors belong to the IBA.  Invited manuscripts will be clearly identified, but will still be subject to peer review.  All manuscripts must be in English.

In addition to manuscripts submitted independently, Ursus will entertain Special Sections on various topics of bear biology and management. Individuals considering developing a Special Section should submit a prospectus and cover letter to the editor for approval before proceeding.

Two referees, an Associate Editor, and the Editor judge each manuscript on data originality, ideas, interpretations, accuracy, conciseness, clarity, appropriate subject matter, and contribution to existing literature.  The Editor makes final decisions regarding manuscript suitability.  Failure to meet deadlines established by the Editor and Associate Editors may be cause for rejecting a manuscript; however, we occasionally allow delays when authors require them.

Prior publication (abstracts, certain materials of limited distribution, review manuscripts, and some general interest information excepted) or concurrent submission elsewhere precludes publication in Ursus, unless specifically agreed in advance.  Authors submitting manuscripts must alert the Editor to any other published or submitted materials that could constitute dual submission.

When submitted manuscripts are based on data collected by other investigators, the authors must clearly acknowledge, in the manuscript introduction and the transmittal letter, the source of the data, the method by which the data were obtained, and whether the Principal Investigator (PI) who collected the data was offered co-authorship.  When data were obtained through US Freedom of Information Act requests or similar legal actions and published without authorization or co-authorship of the PI who collected the data, the original PI may submit a manuscript describing his or her analysis of these data regardless of whether that analysis differs from that submitted by the unauthorized authors.  The Editor may reject manuscripts that, in his opinion, are based on data obtained in unethical ways.  Exceptions to all policies may be granted by the Editor.  Authors must obtain prior permission from the Editor for deviations from these guidelines.

Page Charges and Reprint Orders

The IBA, the parent organization of Ursus, is a non-profit, non-subsidized membership organization.  As such, it levies page charges for papers accepted for publication to assist financing of Ursus.  Page charges are US $36 per double-spaced original manuscript page, counting 1 page for each table and each figure.  (This is a revenue-neutral change from previous Ursus policy of charging $90/printed page and allows Ursus to bill authors earlier).  Invoices for page charges are sent to authors by the IBA Treasurer when accepted papers are transmitted to the Technical Editor.  An application (no fixed deadline) can be made to IBA for an in-kind publication grant to cover page charges for papers from projects where these charges cannot be met.  A letter to the IBA Treasurer outlining the request for an exemption from page charges should be made as early as possible.  Ursus now provides PDF files of final articles to authors, free of charge.

Please do not send sensitive payment information by email - the IBA cannot be responsible for the unauthorized access to, or use of your credit card or other financial information or any loss or damage as a result of using an unsecured source. Please send payment by First Class or Certified mail.


All manuscripts (except Short Communications) should have an abstract of no more than 300 words.  Short Communications should include an abstract of no more than 150 words.  The abstract should concisely state the goals, methods, principal results, and major conclusions of the article.  Incomplete and uninformative descriptions (e.g., “a new method of analysis was given”) should not be in the abstract.  Use only well recognized acronyms (e.g., GIS, DNA) and define them at first use.  Avoid detailing results of statistical tests in the Abstract.  Supply 8–12 key words for indexing:  vernacular and scientific names of principal organisms, geographic area, phenomena and entitles studied, and methods.  Place key words below the abstract. Abstracts in Spanish may be provided by the author when appropriate.  For abstracts in other non-English languages, please contact the Editor in advance.


Authors are encouraged to consult recent issues of Ursus for style and format. Upon acceptance, the final version of the manuscript incorporating Editor and referee comments should be provided electronically in MS Word format.  If graphics are embedded in Word files, also send original graphics files (.eps or .tif format are preferred unless .tif is derived from another source; Excel and Powerpoint graphics are also acceptable if high resolution).


Double space the entire manuscript (including Literature cited) with 3-cm (or 1 inch) margins.  Use Times New Roman 12-point font.  Do not hyphenate at the right margin; do not justify text.  In the top left corner of page 1, type the name, complete address, telephone and fax numbers, date, and e-mail address of the person who is to receive editorial correspondence (this section alone may be single-spaced).  Suggest a running head for the final printed version.  Make sure each page (except the first) is numbered.  If numbering lines, do not restart numbering with each page.


Please use the writing style found in recent issues of Ursus.  In general, follow the CBE Style Manual:  a guide for authors, editors, and publishers in the biological sciences, sixth edition, revised and expanded, 1995 (Council of Biology Editors, Inc., Bethesda, MD 20814, USA), except for specific style items that differ in recent issues of Ursus or The Journal of Wildlife Management.  For general guidance, see CBE chapters 3 and 4.  For spelling, see Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, unabridged.  For numbers, use digits except at the beginning of a sentence.  Use a percent sign (%) with digits.

Ursus allows latitude for formatting manuscripts to most effectively convey information.  Generally, authors should provide an introduction (without a heading) that provides the background for the study.  Typically, Methods, Results, and Discussion sections are included in manuscripts that provide analyses of scientific studies, but these categories are not necessarily appropriate for some papers.  A Management implications section may be included when appropriate, but is not mandatory.  An Acknowledgments and a Literature cited section follow.  Contact the Editor if you have questions.  Modeling manuscript preparation after articles in a recent issue of Ursus is encouraged.

Use no more than 10 words.  Use vernacular names of organisms.  Include a running head (short title) no more than 45 characters long above the title.  Do not use ALL CAPS in title (use sentence case instead).

Scientific Names
Do not use in the title or for names of domesticated animals or cultivated plants.  In the abstract and text, accompany the first mention of a vernacular name with its scientific name.  Format scientific names in italics.  Reserve use of subspecies names for situations in which the subspecies is an important part of the information conveyed.

Measurement Units
Use metric units.  For conversions of trade terms and other terms that may be ambiguous, show English equivalents in parentheses.

In text the sequence of references named consecutively is by date, secondarily alphabetically.  Show page numbers for quotations, paraphrases, and for citations in books or bulletins unless reference is to the entire publication.  Cite unpublished reports only if essential.  Citations for unpublished reports should usually be included in the text.

Literature Cited
Do not use any abbreviations in Literature cited.  Use capital letters for authors’ initials, directly followed by periods; do not use Small Caps (that is taken care of later in the process).  Show issue number or month for journals only if pagination is not consecutive throughout the volume.  Format using hanging indent.  Article and journal titles of non-English citations should be in the original language if that can be printed in standard Roman typographic characters; an English translation of the article and journal title should be added if possible.  All non-English citations need to cite the language of publication in parenthesis at the end of the citation.

Tables and Figures
Tables and figures should be separated from the main text, each on a separate page.  Each must be self-explanatory and referenced in text.  Preparation for column width (67 mm) is preferred over that for page width (138 mm). Avoid repeating information among tables, figures, and text.

Start each table on a separate page and continue long tables on 1 or more pages.  Generally, tables should be double spaced throughout with margins of at least 3 cm (or 1 inch) and no vertical lines.  Avoid unusual abbreviations.  Identify footnotes by Roman letters or asterisks for probabilities.  Percents shown for cursory comparison should have only 1 or 2 significant digits.  Do not show percents based on small samples (n < 26).  Decimal justify numbers. Use North American style for numbers (e.g., one-half as 0.5, not as 0,5; one-thousand as 1,000, not 1000).

For electronic copy, Microsoft Excel is preferred; tables can be produced in Excel, then pasted into Word.  If Microsoft Word is used, please use the Table Editor; do not use tabs.

Figures should be high quality.  Figures will be reduced to 67 mm wide unless they are much wider than high or exceptionally detailed.  Best scale is 1.5 times the reduced size.  Lettering style and size when reduced should be the same in all figures.  Lettering on figures should be in lower case with the first word in upper case, and should be in Arial font.  To guard against loss, photographs or offset prints of drawings are preferred over originals.  Final electronic files should be submitted with the revised manuscript that incorporates referee comments.

The minimum acceptable resolution is 200 dpi at the desired final size in the paged article.  Authors are encouraged to check figure resolution with the free service of Allen Press, Verifig, at, use password ‘figcheck’. Additional information on preferred file types and resolution for figures to be published in Ursus can be found in the Guide to Digital Art Specifications.

Color is not encouraged, but can be included when necessary.  Because the cost of color production is much higher than for black and white, Ursus must deviate from its normal page charge policy (see above):  page charges cannot be waived for an article including color graphics.

Supplemental Material

Data (including tables and figures) and supporting information should be submitted as supplementary material if they are essential to the scientific integrity of the paper, but are so large or extensive as to detract from the overall presentation.  Supplementary material is subject to the same peer review and editorial standards as primary manuscripts.
Supplementary material files are submitted along with the primary manuscript files and are available to the peer reviewers. However, when published, they are not copyedited or typeset and do not appear directly in the final published article. Instead, hyperlinks to the files are provided in the pdf of the published paper, allowing the reader immediate online access to them. The files will be available in the same form as provided by the authors, so they should be publication-ready upon submission.  The general format should follow that of primary manuscripts.
Supplementary material should fall into one of the following categories: Figures, Tables, Text, Audio, or Video. Supplementary material typically should be referred to in the manuscript with a leading capital S (e.g., Figure S4 for the fourth supplementary figure). During the online submission process, authors will provide titles (required) and captions (optional) for each file. Except in rare cases, files should be smaller than 10 MB in size because of difficulties some users may experience in loading or downloading larger files.

Transmittal Letter

State your intent to submit the manuscript exclusively for publication in Ursus.  Explain any similarities between information in the manuscript and that in other publications or concurrent manuscripts by the same authors and furnish a copy of such publications or manuscripts.  Authors should also include names, addresses, telephone number, and email addresses of 3 people who might serve as objective referees for the manuscript or have particular knowledge of the subject.  Send manuscripts to  

Policy on Reviewing Proofs

It is the responsibility of the primary author of each paper to review the copy-edited manuscript and page proofs carefully for accuracy of citations, formulae, etc., and to check for omissions in the text.  It is imperative that the author review proof promptly and thoroughly.  It is in the author’s power to save himself or herself and IBA the embarrassment of having to explain mistakes that could have been avoided.  Extensive author-induced revisions will be charged to the author, at the discretion of the Editor.  Most revisions should be made prior to manuscript layout.


Inquires are welcome and should be addressed to Ursus Editor, Jerry Belant.