Author guidelines

This page explains how to prepare your manuscript for submission to the journal Oikos, a Nordic Society Oikos publication. Before submitting, please make sure that your article fits within the journal’s aims and scope.


Oikos is published by the Nordic Society Oikos (NSO). The NSO editorial and publishing policies regarding conflict of interest, authorship, roles of editors, copyright and licensing and open access conditions are compiled in the ethics and policies page. Please carefully read this information before submitting.

To make science more just, we ask our authors to declare whether the conduct of their study considers equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) when they submit their papers. An EDI statement for the NSO journals can be found here.

There are no charges for publishing in the NSO journals. However, all open access publications have article publication charges.

Papers submitted to NSO journals are evaluated using double-blind peer review. This has implications for manuscript formatting (see quick checklist below). Further information about double blind review can be found here.

Article types

RESEARCH PAPERS report original research in all fields of ecology and should aim at a readership from a wide range of ecological disciplines. 

FORUM PAPERS are the home for synthesis and review. The format can be short notes or more substantial reviews to bring fields together, to transgress existing boundaries by synthesizing larger fields or seemingly disparate areas, and to offer new ways of interpreting existing data. Forum articles must strive for conceptual unification and serve as a point of departure for future work rather than just summarizing existing bodies of theory and data. It is an arena for challenging current thinking on ecological issues by revising established concepts and insights from critical experiments or for developing new theory to promote novel research. Purely speculative pieces are discouraged. Where uncertainties, problems, or debates in current theory are identified, authors are strongly encouraged to, wherever possible, highlight productive and positive lines of research that may resolve the issue. In particular, we encourage collaboration in debates to promote more effective synthesis and balance. 

A successful Forum paper includes novelty, an appeal to our general readership and is a topic that stands to generate synthesis in the field. Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to read the editorial on why many Forum manuscripts are unsuccessful.

META-ANALYSES. Synthesis is a critical component of modern ecology and involves big data in many forms. We welcome meta-analyses and systematic reviews provided quantitative analyses are included either of the literature or of the evidence reported within studies. Novelty, future research, and analysis of gaps are strongly encouraged versus summary. Transparent reporting of the synthesis process is required.

IGNITE PAPERS are short contributions involving very specific and clear results from empirical (observational or experimental) or theoretical research. These results should be considered as timely to address critical ecological research topics and ignite further and critical research to address them. Results that focus on novel patterns and processes in nature at intermediate and large scales without having a strong explanatory basis for its origin are also of interest. In these cases, authors need to provide a strong justification for why they believe the pattern or process needs to be further investigated and which lines of research are necessary to uncover their causes. Ignite papers should have a maximum of 2000 words (not including abstract, reference list and figure/table legends) and 3 elements to summarize results in the form of figures or tables. As much as possible, Ignite papers will be reviewed by members of the editorial board to reduce review time. pedro [dot] peres-neto [at] concordia [dot] ca (Contact the Ignite Editor), Pedro Peres-Neto, for more details.

DIALOGUE PAPERS are intended to promote ecological synthesis via critical thinking and the expression of contrasting viewpoints on historical or current critically important ecological topics. They have a concise format. Topics are chosen to foster the articulation of constructive debate in the form of, alternative, conflicting or opposed viewpoints among contributors. Dialogues may act as a source for synthesis and insights for future research on the topic. 

Dialogues are comprised of three sections:

  1. overture where each contributor explores stimulating views on the topic, including points of tension, disparity in viewpoints and insights that can either promote coherence or insights on why discord is likely to remain (max. 300 words per contributor). In the overture, contributions are made without knowledge of the other contributors and what their views are. In most cases, each text appears separately in alphabetical order based on the first name of the author, promoting a convivial context for debate; this will also be the final authorship order;
  2. in the dialogue section, all contributors receive the contributions of the other reviewers and anonymity is lifted. Contributors then have the opportunity to elaborate further on their views or the views of the other contributors.  Each text appears in the same order as the overture;
  3. the epilogue section is meant to emerge as one voice where all contributors participate to promote a synthesis and insights for future research on the topic (max 1000 words). 

Figures and boxes can be considered in any section. Dialogues can be suggested by the readership at large but they are entirely commissioned by the editor of the section. It should usually include between 4 and 6 contributors. Space is limited for this section as we plan to publish about 4 Dialogues per year. Dialogues will be reviewed by members of the editorial board to expedite review time. pedro [dot] peres-neto [at] concordia [dot] ca (Contact the Dialogues Editor), Pedro Peres-Neto, for more details.

Speculations and alternative viewpoints sections in Oikos articles
Speculation in scientific articles is frequently discouraged, even though it can lead to new hypotheses and interesting debate. Too often, as well, co-authors seek a consensus or commonality regarding the interpretation and conclusions of their collaborative papers. By minimizing these areas of conflict and uncertainty, the scientific publication process may actually inhibit the development of novel ideas and encourage conformity. We at Oikos wish to take a different approach. We henceforth encourage authors of all our articles except Dialogue papers to contribute two non-compulsory brief (maximum of 200 words each) additional sections to their articles: Speculations and Alternative Viewpoints.  Authors can choose to contribute one or both sections, which will appear after the Discussion. These two sections can be included after the manuscript undergoes peer review and associate editors may comment on the format of the text in the final version before final acceptance for publication.    

Speculations – The goal of the Speculations section is to elicit a lively discussion. It can include any types of opinion about results and conclusions without strong evidence or consider views about how the work may be perceived by others in the field. Oikos wants to give authors the opportunity to share their “outside the box” thoughts and potentially novel ideas to be explored as a result of their paper.

Alternative viewpoints – The Alternative Viewpoints section serves as a forum to describe potential differences of opinion among authors in respect to particular interpretations, conclusions and/or implications of the work. The Alternative Viewpoints is not meant to generate conflict among authors, but rather to provide a forum in which authors expose their differences in points of view in judicious but provocative and productive ways. 

Both sections are flexible in style and authors are encouraged to be imaginative about what they want to convey to the readership, and how. 

We provide a published example on “alternative viewpoints” but decided not to provide specific examples of speculations to avoid generating creative constraints. A great example of “alternative viewpoints” comes from Abrams and Ginzburg (2000): “If we both agree that functional responses in nature are unlikely to be either purely prey or purely ratio dependent, why is there a controversy? There are two topics about which we disagree. The first is the appropriate mathematical representation when reproduction is not continuous and when significant prey depletion can occur between reproductive events. Abrams feels that this calls for the use of methods that represent the functional response on a continuous basis and reproduction on a discrete basis; for example, as is done in the Nicholson–Bailey host–parasitoid model. Ginzburg thinks that the predator reproductive period is the minimal indivisible unit of time over which both functional and numerical responses should be measured, because capturing interaction is the goal of the model.”

Abrams, P.A and Ginzburg, L.R. 2000. The nature of predation: prey dependent, ratio dependent or neither? – TREE 15: 337–341. 

Formatting your manuscript – INITIAL SUBMISSION

To make the submission process easier, we differentiate between initial and revised submissions.

All manuscripts must be submitted through the ScholarOne submission system. For initial submissions, we do not require journal-specific formatting and manuscripts can be submitted in any file format. LaTeX users do not have to translate their manuscripts into MSWord, but may upload them as PDF files. Please read the information below regarding formatting of initial submissions and the different parts of the manuscript.


Quick checklist for initial submissions

  • Submit the manuscript in separate files: title page file, blinded main text file and supporting information (optional).
  • The title page file should contain: title, author list and affiliations.
  • The main text file should contain: abstract, keywords, introduction, material and methods, results, discussion, references, figures and tables with captions. Make sure that no author information is present in the main text file, since we are using double-blind peer review. Format the main text as a single column, double line spaced text with page- and line-numbers.
  • Figure files may be uploaded as separate files or as part of the main text file.
  • The supporting information file(s) should contain important, ancillary information, which is relevant to the main article. It may comprise additional tables, data sets, figures, movie files, audio clips, 3D structures, and other related nonessential multimedia files.
  • In the PDF generated by the ScholarOne submission system, check that equations, text and all files are correct and complete before submission.


For the initial submission please also have the following statements and information ready: Significance statement, Data archiving statement, Conflict of interest statement, Ethics statement (if applicable), Funding statement (if applicable) and Acknowledgements (if applicable). A short description of each statement can be found below.

Note that all NSO journals mandate CRediT (Contribution Roles Taxonomy), where the contributions of each author to the manuscript, is indicated. For initial submissions CRediT information is not required, but in revised submissions it must be provided. The CRediT statement is automatically generated for accepted manuscripts and replaces any author contribution section provided in the manuscript file.

For corrections to the authorship, please refer to the NSO publishing policies.

The corresponding author must provide an ORCID ID at the time of submission by entering it in the user profile of the ScholarOne submission system. We strongly encourage that also co-authors link their ORCiD IDs to their profiles in the ScholarOne system.

When the submission is complete, you will receive a confirmation email with a manuscript ID. Please refer to this ID in all correspondence with the Editorial Office.


Format and style
File format                     Submit the manuscript file in DOC, DOCX, RTF, ODT or PDF format.                                              Your file should not be locked or protected.

                                       If you have written your manuscript in LaTeX, please submit a PDF                                                 version that can be used for reviewing.

Length                           Depending on article type, manuscripts may be limited in length and                                             be subject to restrictions on word count and number of figures.                                                     Please check the article type section for more information. In general,                                           we encourage you to present and discuss your findings concisely.

Headings                       Limit manuscript sections and sub-sections to 3 heading levels. Make                                           sure headinglevels are clearly indicated in the manuscript text.

Layout and spacing      The main manuscript text should be single-column, double-spaced.

Page/line numbers       Include page numbers and line numbers in the manuscript file. Use                                               continuous line numbers (do not restart the numbering on each page).

Footnotes                     Footnotes are not permitted. If your manuscript contains footnotes,                                              move the information into the main text or the reference list, depending                                        on the content.

Language                     Manuscripts should be in British or American English. Be consistent                                              throughout the manuscript. Linguistic usage should be correct. Avoid                                            the use of the passive voice.

Nomenclature              Use the correct and established nomenclature wherever possible.

                                      Units                             Use SI units as far as possible.

                                      Species names            Write in italics (e.g., Scrophularia umbrosa). Write                                                                              out in full the genus and species at the first                                                                                        mention of an organism in a paper. After first                                                                                    mention, the first letter of the genus name                                                                                        followed by the full species name may be used                                                                                (e.g., S. umbrosa). For animals, please refer to                                                                                  the International Code of Zoological                                                                                                    Nomenclature. Binomial scientific plant names                                                                                  must be used in accordance with the current                                                                                    International Code for Nomenclature of algae,                                                                                  fungi and plants.

Citations                     Cite only essential sources of a theory or opinion. We encourage you to                                        cite the original research rather than a review.


Parts of the submission

Title page file
In the title page file include the title, authors and their affiliations.

  • Title: the title should be brief, concise, informative and comprehensible to a broad scientific audience. Where possible, it should be a statement of the main result or conclusion presented in the manuscript. When formulating a title, you should bear in mind both human readers and search engines. Including keywords in your title, for example, can help readers discover your article online. Do not include specialist abbreviations or authorities for taxonomic names in your title. The title should contain words useful for indexing and information retrieval.
  • Author list and affiliation: during initial submission, enter author names on the title page file of the manuscript. You will also add author details to the submission system. Write author names in the following order: first name, middle name (or initials, if used), last name (surname, family name).


Main text file
The first page should contain the title and the abstract (if required for the article category). The abstract should summarise the main results of the work. It should contain no more than 300 words and should not contain references or unexplained abbreviations or acronyms. Begin the introduction on page two. Use headings to split the main text into different sections (usually introduction, material and methods, results and discussion, references, but other headings and sub-headings can be used if they suit your article). Abbreviations should be written out in full on first use. Avoid right margin justification and hyphenation. Add continuous page- and line-numbers to the text.


Illustrations and tables
At initial submission, figures, photographs and drawings can be provided within the manuscript or as separate files. For revised manuscripts, illustrations should be uploaded as separate files. The file size limit is 50 MB. Larger files (for example higher resolution) can be provided after acceptance.

All figures and tables should be numbered and referred to in the text by their number. Figure and table captions should be provided within the manuscript, and should be brief and informative, and include any relevant copyright information if taken from a published source.


Supporting information (optional)
Supplementary material, i.e. images, tables, data or source code that are not part of the manuscript, can be uploaded and published as supporting information on the journal website. This material will not be edited, but published as received. Keep in mind that you have to upload the data you used for your study to a public repository such as e.g. Dryad ( Read more about this on the ethics and policies page.

A '.docx' template for the Supporting information can be found here. Please note the following:

  • There is no cost for publishing supporting information.
  • Supporting information will not be edited, checked or controlled at all by the journal.
  • Refer to the supporting information as “Supporting information” in the main text of the manuscript.
  • Do not refer to subsections or specific details in the supporting information file(s). Any reference of that kind will be removed.
  • Submit supporting information as separate file(s) and not as part of the main text.
  • The number of references included in the supporting information should be kept to an absolute minimum as these are not recognised by many indexing services.
  • Maximum file size for a supporting information file is 50 MB. Authors with supporting information files of a larger size (in particular, movies) should contact the journal managing editor for further assistance.
  • When submitting a revised manuscript, you must provide a final version of the supporting information. You will not be able to change/add/update or delete the supporting information once your manuscript has been accepted.


Significance statement 
Authors must provide a statement outlining why Oikos is the best outlet for publication. This should include a description of why the submitted work makes a significant contribution to the research field(s) that fall within the scope of the journal and why it is of general interest to the readership. Authors must provide a clear statement of how the manuscript builds on previous work both by themselves or your coauthors cited in this manuscript and other published work.


Data archiving statement 
For articles published in Oikos, it is required that authors deposit data supporting their accepted papers in public archives of their choice (see section on Data sharing and repositories below). Authors must confirm that they deposit their data in a public repository and indicate the repository of their choice.


Conflict of interest statement 
Oikos requires that all authors disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise, that might be perceived as influencing an author’s objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest. For more information, please read our ethics and policies page.


Ethics statement 
Please provide an ethics statement with relevant fieldwork details (approvals, licences, permissions) to be included in the published article. The details of any museum specimens used (e.g. the specimen numbers and the institutions holding these) must be provided either in the manuscript or the supplementary files. For more information about preparing this section please visit our ethics and policies page.


Funding statement 
If applicable, please provide a ‘funding statement’ that can be included in the published article. List the sources of funding for each author. Here you may also list service providers that did provide facilities or equipment.


Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria may be listed in the Acknowledgements. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the acknowledgements agrees to be named.


If you are submitting a revised manuscript, you must provide publication-ready source files. We require that your manuscript meets our formatting guidelines prior to acceptance. Additional instructions for submitting source files appear below. The main text file should include track-changes and you may upload an additional “clean version” without track-changes, as “additional file for review but not for publication”.


Additional formatting for revised submissions

Reference format                     References can be in any format, but must be complete. See                                                        reference formatting examples and additional instructions below.

 Illustrations                              The preferred file formats are vector-images, EPS, TIFF or PDF.                                                      Rasterised (pixelated) files are ok as long as the specifications                                                        below are followed.

                                                  Width: 945 (single column), 1476 (1.5 column) or 1961 (double                                                          column) pixels (at 300 dpi). Resolution: 300-600 dpi. Size: <50                                                      MB (for exceptions on file size, see below).

                                                  For fonts in the figures use only common sans-serif fonts, such                                                      as Geneva, Helvetica, or Arial. Letters, numbers and symbols                                                          must appear clearly but not oversized.

Read the full details of the formatting requirements in the below sections on this page.


Reference formatting
► Because all references will be linked electronically to the papers they cite, it is important references are complete. Before you submit your manuscript check that all references in the text are listed in the list of references and that all references listed are cited in the text.

In-text citations
References should be listed chronologically: (Smith 1999, Dunn 2000, Nilsson et al. 2017). Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be listed as 2004a, 2004b, etc. Do not use reference numbering in revised submissions.

Reference list
The reference list can be in any format provided that it is complete and references are listed alphabetically on authors' names and chronologically per author. Please list all author names of an article; do not abbreviate with et al.

All references must be complete, containing author names, year of publication, title, journal title using standard abbreviation, volume, first and last page numbers or article number. For references to in-press articles include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number. For references such as theses, software packages and repository data files see the table below.

Source                                  Format

Masters/PhD theses            Langefors, Å. 1999. Genetic variation in Mhc Class II B in Atlantic                                                    salmon: evolutionary and ecological perspectives. – PhD thesis,                                                    Lund University, Sweden.

Software packages              Simpkins, C., Hanss, S., Hesselbarth, M., Spangenberg, M.                                                              and Salecker, J. 2021. spectre: predict regional community                                                              composition. – <>.

Repository data files            Bergeron, J. A. C., Pinzon, J., Odsen, S., Bartels, S.                                                                            Mcdonald, S. E. and Spence, J. R. 2017. Data from: Ecosystem                                                        memory of wildfires affects resilience of boreal mixedwood                                                            biodiversity after retention harvest. – Dryad Digital                                                                          Repository, < >.

Reference lists not conforming to these requirements will be returned for revision.


Tables and legends of illustrations should be written double-spaced on separate sheets. Do not incorporate the legend in the figure itself. Tables and illustration legends should be comprehensible without reference to the text. Do not use italic lettering. 

Be consistent throughout the figure with colours, line weights, and styles. Panels within the figure should be designated with lower case letters in parentheses (e.g. (a), (b), (c)...).

The ScholarOne submission system does not accept individual image file > 50 MB. However, larger files (e.g. high-resolution photographs of plant specimens) can be provided after acceptance. Please contact the managing editor (ecography[at] for instructions.

Colour figures are most welcome and will be published free of charge. However, we urge all authors to create figures that are accessible for all types of colour vision. When creating a figure use the following set of simple rules: 1) use a colour-blind safe palette (e.g. avoid using red and green together), 2) use high contrast, 3) in fluorescent red-green images, replace red with magenta, 4) check your figure using one of the many free tools that allow you to see how it looks for the colour blind, 5) consider alternative ways that do not rely on colour to visualize your data. For example, you might want to use monochromatic figures, or different shapes, positions and line types instead. You can make use of R-script colour palettes and Python colour blindness palettes. More information about how to make figures that are colour blindness friendly can be found here.

Data sharing and repositories

As part of the NSO publishing policy, authors of Oikos are required to deposit the data supporting the results in the paper in an appropriate publicly accessible archive, such as e.g. Dryad, TreeBase, figshare, or other archive that guarantees preservation and provides a permanent identifier of the data (such as e.g. DOI-number or Genbank accession number). The permanent DOI-number from the archive identifier should be provided by the authors or the archive, after acceptance of the paper. Data should normally be made publicly available at the time of publication, but may be postponed for up to one year if the technology of the archive allows for it. Longer embargoes may be granted in exceptional cases after correspondence with the editorial office. Derived, summary data may also be archived. DNA sequences published in the NSO journals should be deposited in the EMBL/GenBank/DDJB Nucleotide Sequence Databases. An accession number for each sequence must be included in the manuscript. The ScholarOne submission system is integrated with Dryad and the journal will cover the data processing charge if the authors decide to deposit the data files there.

A list of example repositories can be found here.

Licence to publish and open access

All authors are required to grant the NSO a license to publish. Please read the NSO publishing policies before submission.

Authors may choose to publish under the terms of the journal’s standard copyright agreement, or Open Access under the terms of a Creative Commons (CC-By) License.

General information regarding licensing and copyright is available here.

Note that certain funders may mandate that an article is published as an open access article under a cc-by license. The Wiley Author Compliance Tool provides assistance to authors in checking for any open-access mandates from their funder(s). More information on compliance with the open-access policies of specific funders can be found here.

Open access publication fee
Authors choosing to publish their article in an open-access format through the open access service will be charged an Article Publication Charge (APC). The APC for an Oikos standard article can be found here.

Manuscript referrals

Editors of Oikos have the option to offer the author a transfer to the NSO sister journals Nordic Journal of Botany and Journal of Avian Biology, and to the Wiley Open Access Journal Ecology and Evolution. NSO journals also participate in the Journal Transfer Networks provided by the publisher Wiley. Journal editors may recommend your manuscript to a more suitable Wiley journal via an expedited referral process.

Transfers are offered to facilitate rapid publication of good quality research that is unable to be accepted by the original journal. Manuscripts of authors who opt for a referral will be automatically transferred, along with any related reviews, for consideration by the editorial team of the receiving journal.

Post acceptance information

Production process

The decision to accept your manuscript for publication will be communicated by the EiC through email.

Manuscripts are edited to improve communication between author and reader. Electronic page proofs are sent to the corresponding author, showing the final layout of the article as it will appear in the published version. Proofs should be read carefully for typesetter's errors and the accuracy of author affiliations, tables, references, mathematical expressions, etc. No major alterations to content can be made at this stage.

Since all NSO journals aim to publish as rapidly as possible after acceptance, only a few days may be available for checking proofs. More time for proof-checking can be requested if authors are unavailable (e.g. field work, sick leave etc) and are unable to make alternative arrangements for their proofs to be checked quickly. Publication of an article will be delayed if proofs are not returned by the given deadline.

No offprints will be supplied. Instead corresponding authors will receive a locked PDF file to the use at their discretion.


License agreement

If a paper is accepted for publication, the author identified as the formal corresponding author will receive an email prompting them to log in to Author Services, where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be required to complete a copyright license agreement on behalf of all authors of the paper. Publication of an article will be delayed if the license agreement is not completed by the given deadline.


Promoting your paper on social media

Oikos is active on several social media channels and encourages authors of accepted papers to make contributions to blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in form of photos, infographics, a popular summary of the study and/or a short video. When sending material for cover or social media promotion, please make sure that the copyright is clear, i.e. either if you took the picture yourself or if you have permission from the photographer.

We encourage you to contribute to Twitter/Facebook, please send an email to the Managing Editor with a short text and a few pictures of for e.g. your study organism, from the field or a good image from your paper. You are welcome to submit infographics. All these will help to promote your paper. Tag us (Twitter: @Oikos_Journal and Facebook: oikosjournal) and we’ll share it! 

Blog posts
We encourage you to write a blog post, please send an email to the Managing Editor with popular scientific text along with some nice pictures of e.g. your study organism, or from the field or a good image from your paper, or any other relevant image that will attract attention to your paper. Please see examples here.

Blog posts are shared on both Twitter and Facebook.

To promote your study, we encourage you to send in short videos from fieldwork or a video abstract presenting your work. A video abstract can be anything from you looking into a webcam and talking about your paper, or talking and showing some photos/slides while talking.

The cover of each issue of Oikos has a photo or figure associated with one of the papers in that issue. We are therefore looking for color photos associated with your study, either your study organism or field site. Please also note that the cover photo must be sharp and of sufficient resolution (300 dpi at a full journal page).