Instructions for Authors


Authors are invited to submit manuscripts online at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin website. Please carefully review the guidelines below, before submission. Step-by-step instructions are available during the submission process. The editor may be contacted for guidance at

Authors can track the progress of submissions by logging in the journal website. See the register/login links at the top right corner of this site.


All papers are anonymously peer-reviewed and subject to editing after consultation with the author.

  • Please refer to the submissions section and our Author Guidelines for helpful information on content, style, format, and the submission process.
  • To contact the Editor, please email

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin (ISSN 1535–2242) is published twice per year.


The Bulletin charges article processing fees for articles accepted for publication. Pages are charged at $60 USD per page. There is no cost for supplementary material, which is edited prior to posting but is not typeset. NWRA members are eligible for a 20% discount on article processing fees (APF). Fees are not charged for supplementary materials, which are reviewed and edited, but not typeset.

Fee waivers will be considered upon request. Please discuss any requests to waive page charges with the Managing Editor before the accepted manuscript is sent to the copy editor, preferably at the time of submission through the “note to editor” comment box.

For a rough estimate of how many words and graphics fit into five typeset 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
    Example: Ca. 3500 words or 22500 characters (including spaces), two figures or photos and one table.
  • Words and characters for an article of 12 typeset pages
    Example 1: Ca. 6700 words or 43500 characters (including spaces), six figures or photos and two tables.
    Example 2: Ca. 7500 words or 44500 characters (including spaces), eight figures or photos and no tables.


Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin considers a complete or partial fee waiver on a case-by-case basis for individual authors or author groups with limited financial means or where the fee would impose a high burden resulting in withdrawal of submission. Home-based rehabilitators or those from economically marginalized or low-income areas will receive priority for consideration. Authors or author groups from universities or large rehabilitation centers in high-income economies will likely not be approved for a fee waiver.

  • NWRA members receive a 20% discount on publishing fees
  • Inability to pay the publication fee will not influence editorial decisions.

Please submit your waiver request at the time of submission in the “note to editor” box or email them directly to If emailed directly, please include the following information in the request:

  • Manuscript title
  • Names and titles of all authors
  • Organizational affiliations of all authors
  • Type of waiver requested: Partial or full
  • Reason for waiver application

Requests for waivers for manuscripts that are already under peer review or have been typeset will not be granted


Thank you for your interest in submitting a paper to the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association for publication. These guidelines illustrate the format NWRA requires authors to use in preparing manuscripts. Following the Author Guidelines simplifies the process for not only you, the author, but also for reviewers and editors. Please read through these guidelines to ensure you understand and follow the requirements. Do not hesitate to contact the editor ( if you need assistance.

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. If a manuscript is under concurrent consideration by another publication, please notify the editor. All manuscripts submitted are anonymously reviewed by at least one reviewer, often two reviewers, and manuscripts are returned to authors as needed for suggested revisions. Because writing abilities may vary or an individual may be new to publication, the editor is quite willing to work with authors in preparing manuscripts for publication.

Authors are responsible for disclosing financial support from grants, universities, industry or other support. The submitting author (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 any co-authors and for ensuring that co-authors are informed of the manuscript’s progress following submission.


The journal is published electronically.

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

Suggest Reviewers

Authors may suggest reviewers in their submission. 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.


General Format

Submissions should be single-spaced, 12-point font. Single-space lines within a paragraph; double-space between paragraphs and major sections; left justify (do not use full justification) all text in manuscript; and avoid using multiple pre-set tabs. Use only a single space after punctuation, including a single space after the sentence ending period and a colon.

Style of Papers

Manuscripts of theoretical science must be written in the scientific style and include the following major subdivisions: abstract, key words, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, acknowledgments, and references.

Non-scientific style

Research Notes and Case Reports. These are brief accounts detailing treatments, reporting cases, illustrating techniques, and presenting valid research data or observations. They may be divided into some or all of the sections listed above in the overall style of manuscripts section. Case reports should include signalment and history, examination findings, diagnostic work-up and findings, treatment plan, outcomes, a full discussion of the case, references and any acknowledgements. Images should be included whenever possible. Video or other media may be included in the supplementary materials.

Applied science. These papers are not written in the scientific style and include an abstract, keywords, introduction, subject/content text, summary, and references. In addition, most rehabilitation papers should include natural history, intake procedures, diet, housing, release criteria, and techniques. Avoid use of the first person (I, me, etc.) and substitute with words like ‘the author,’ as well as avoiding use of other individuals by name within the text, except when noting personal communication as a reference. Images should be included whenever possible. Pertinent video or other media may be included in the supplementary materials.

Scientific style format


Introduction. State the topic(s) or problem(s) briefly, describe what is known about the topic or problem, and the reason for presenting findings.

Materials and Methods. Describe general materials and methods once. Materials and methods for a particular experiment should be deferred to the appropriate place. Be clear and explicit about relevant details.

Results. Present the results or findings in a logical rather than a chronological order. Use subheadings for clarity.

Discussion and/or Conclusion. If no discussion is needed, do not discuss. If discussion is required, cover the implications of the findings or relate them to major problems or areas in the field. Offer suggestions or conclusions if appropriate.


Title. The title should be brief, accurate, and clear, and should contain key words. If an organism is mentioned in the title, both the common name and the scientific name (in italics) are given.

Author names and addresses. All authors should be listed with affiliation, city, and state/province as applicable, and country. Post-graduate academic degrees (not Dr. John Public), where applicable (John Public PhD, DVM, etc., without insertion of periods) should also be listed. An e-mail address is included for the corresponding author only.

Biography. Please include a short biography, two or three lines of text, for all authors. The biography should include current job/position/organization or experience pertinent to the paper, and if applicable, relationship to NWRA (Board member, committee member, Symposium presenter, etc.).

Abstract. Include an abstract briefly describing the paper topic and content. 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 if it is a research paper, and what the most important results were and what they mean.

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 content 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 including larger issues or phenomena as keywords, such as wildlife rehabilitation 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 e.g., ml 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 paper addresses the need and briefly describe what will follow in the paper.

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. 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 add value to the paper.

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.

Recommended reading. If the author has additional sources of related literature that are not directly cited in the paper but would be of use to the reader, they should be listed under the heading Recommended Reading, immediately following the References. Recommended Reading references listed follow the same format used in the reference list.

References and citations. This is the second most important source of information a paper provides to readers. Complete literature citations (including page numbers if applicable) make information more accessible to the reader.

References cited in the text are shown by giving both the author’s last name(s) and the year of publication in parentheses (example below). 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. References listed are in alphabetical and chronological order.

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

Example of references listed within text

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

(Jones 1988) (Smith and Jones 2002) (Kalien et al. 1970)

Semicolon between multiple references (Smith 2005; Jones 1988; Smith and Jones 2002)

Personal communication. Unpublished work or personal communications received by an author should be noted in the text in parentheses as a personal communication and should include the source’s name, professional affiliation, city, and state/province. Quotation marks usually are not necessary. Personal communications should not be included in the reference list.


  • John Smith (Wild Bird Rescue, , City, ST, personal communication) feels this enclosure construction and size is inadequate for pre-release conditioning.
  • This enclosure construction and size are inadequate for pre-release conditioning. (John Smith, Wild Bird Rescue, Inc., City, ST, personal communication).

Each reference should be as complete as possible; superfluous information will be weeded out during editing. Include DOI numbers where available. Complete reference list format may be found at the end of these guidelines.

Examples of style for reference list


  • Costain, D.C. 1978. Dynamics of a Population of Belding’s Ground Squirrels in Oregon. MS thesis. Oregon State University: Corvallis, OR.


  • Day, R.A. 1988. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 3rd edition. Oryx Press: Phoenix, AZ.

Journal article

  • Myers, P. and Young, J. 2018. Post-Release Activity and Habitat Selection of Rehabilitated Black Bears. Human-Wildlife Interactions. 12, 322–337. doi: 10.26077/jnft-5796.

Articles from edited publications

  • McKeever, S. 1966. Reproduction in Citellus beldingi and Citellus lateralis in Northeastern California. Comparative Biology of Reproduction in Mammals (I. W. Rolands, editor). Symposia of the Zoological Society of London. Academic Press: London, England. 15: 365–385.
  • Boyer, T.H., and D.M. Boyer. 1996. Turtles, Tortoises, and Terrapins. Pp. 61–77 in Reptile Medicine and Surgery (D.R. Mader, editor). W.B. Saunders Company: Philadelphia, PA.
  • Note: provide the volume number followed by a colon (:), one space, then page numbers; if there is no volume, provide the page numbers (Pp. xx–xx), followed by the word ‘in,’ followed by the publication title.

Electronic/web-based material

  • No full web addresses in text; treat as a book/paper reference (AVMA 2010) with listing in References and full web access shown there. Website references are enclosed in less than/more than (< >) arrowheads, without spaces: <>.

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

Include DOI numbers where available.

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 will 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 figures and tables should not consist entirely of uppercase letters, e.g., 'Annual mortality rate’ is preferred over 'Annual Mortality Rate' or 'ANNUAL MORTALITY RATE. 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, the Bulletin editors 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.

Tables. Tables follow after the figures. Fonts like Helvetica, Arial and Calibri are preferred in tables.

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 single-spaced and lines numbered.

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 formatted as: 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.

Polishing up the manuscript. Authors for whom English is a second language should consider having their manuscripts professionally edited before submission. Services providers include Cambridge Language Consultant, Write Scientific Right, Editage, ManuscriptEdit, Cambridge Proofreading LTD,, Regent Editing, Quality Proofreading by PSUK and English Editing and Proofreading Services. 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.



Hyphens and dashes

A hyphen is the shortest length dash-like symbol (-).
Hyphens are used as the standard format for hyphenated names and words (e.g., red-bellied woodpecker), in website addresses and similar.

An en dash is the middle length dash-like symbol (–).
An en dash should be used only between a range of numbers (e.g., 12–66).

An em dash is the longest length dash-like symbol (—).
Use em dashes for breaks and/or emphasis within text, not a series of hyphens or dashes: “..a word of caution—always approach the…”

Do not place spaces on either side of an en dash, slash, or em dash.


Italics are used for the following: Scientific name of species (genus and species only);  book, journal, or publication names/titles in references.

Use italics, not bold or underline, to place emphasis on a word or phrase.


When punctuating a series or listing a sequence of items, place a comma before ‘and’ and ‘or.’ (The list of species admitted includes turtles, salamanders, birds, and mammals. The animals were netted, marked, weighed, and released.)

Single vs. double quotation marks: use double quotations for a direct quote, such as conversation and for noting a special term, slang-like words, or similar. Single quotation marks should only be used when quoting something within a quotation.

Spaces: only one space after punctuation, including sentence end period and colon.

Do not use spaces before or after forward slash: ‘and/or’ not ‘and / or’

Quotation/inch marks: make sure quotation marks (“ ”) and inch (hatch) marks (") are used appropriately.

Scientific and common names

Use all lower-case letters unless a proper name is included in the common name of a species. Examples: great horned owl, Canada goose, white–tailed deer, moose, Wilson’s petrel, Swainson’s hawk.

Scientific nomenclature

Genus and species names are italicized, with the first letter of the genus name capitalized. Always provide the common name and scientific name (scientific enclosed in parentheses) of all wildlife mentioned in the paper’s title and text in first use. Example: black duck (Anas rubripes), eastern grey squirrel (Sciurius carolinensis), American robin (Turdus migratorius). Once the common and scientific name has been noted initially, it is appropriate to use only the common name thereafter. When referring repeatedly to a recurring genus and species, the first mention of an organism must be spelled out (for example, Escherichia coli). Any further mention of this organism may be presented as E. coli.

If an organism has been identified only to the level of genus, designate the genus (in italics) followed by either sp. (singular) or spp. (plural) without italics. Example: Three new nematodes, one Habronema sp. and two Triodontophorus spp., were identified.

Higher taxa, such as family, order, class, etc., are not italicized or underlined. However, the first letter of each word should be capitalized. Example: Aves = class, Anseriformes = order, and Anatidae = family. Example: The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus [genus and species]) is a member of the class Vertebrata, the order Mammalia, and the family Artiodactyla. Moose and elk are also members of this class, order, and family, but have different genus and species names.

Date, time, measurement and number use

Date and time

Use scientific format and spell out dates: 22 January 2004, not January 22, 2004 or 1/22/04.

No apostrophe when plural (1990s, not 1990’s)

Times should be written using 24-hour clock (e.g., 21:30, not 9:30 pm)


Use a space between the number and its unit of measurement: 5 in or 5 m

If English measures are used, also give metric measurements and vice versa; usually give metric measurement first, English in ( ) second.

Do not use periods after abbreviated measurements

Example of dimensions: 37 x 24 x 20 in (93 x 60 x 45 cm) (length x width x height or depth)

Some standard conversions: 1/8=0.125; 1/4=0.25; 3/8=0.375; ½=0.5; 5/8=0.625; 3/4=0.75;


Always include a leading zero for quantities less than 1 (0.345, not .345)

Example formula representation: Bodyweight (g) x 15 ml/100 g = fluid quantity (ml)

Use only standard abbreviations for units of measure and do NOT use periods. (i.e., mg, g, kg, ml, cc, m, km, in, ft, C, F).

For temperature abbreviations (C or F), use capital letters as from proper nouns; most other unit abbreviations use small letters, exceptions: long ton LT, metric ton MT, kilowatt kW, etc.

If a number is spelled out, spell out the unit of measurement. If abbreviation is used for unit of measure, the quantity should be represented by an Arabic numeral.

Do not add an s to an abbreviation to show a plural (i.e., 3 lb for a dollar, not 3 lbs for a dollar).

The single hatch mark ' (not the same as a quotation mark) can stand for foot or a geographical minute. The double hatch mark " can stand for inch or geographical second (a second of longitude or latitude). So 5'6" would mean five feet, six inches; 42°24'54" N would mean 42 degrees, 24 minutes, 54 seconds North

Since the metric system uses standard prefixes (centi, milli, kilo,etc.) most metric abbreviations can be determined easily; for example, cl would be centiliter.

The Greek letter µ (mu) is often used to show the prefix micro, especially in scientific publications. For example, µg would be the same as mcg, and µl would be microliter. When by itself, µ stands for micron. mµ means millimicron, and µµ means micromicron (a millionth of a micron).

To abbreviate most square and cubic units where used as length, width, and depth type measurements, add the exponent 2 for square and exponent 3 for cubic. For example, m2 means square meter, and mm3 means cubic millimeter. When using this notation, use it consistently: Use cm2 rather than cc for cubic centimeter. In contrast, square or cubic units used with medical terms would be noted as cc. Such as a 3 cc syringe.

Standard scientific notation: word per is represented by a virgule (slash) km/h = kilometers per hour.

Place a hyphen between an Arabic numeral and unit of measure when the unit modifies a noun (3 ml of vaccine were given; a 3-ml dose of vaccine was administered).


Use the Arabic numerals 1 through 9 only when the numbers are associated with a scientific unit of measurement (3 ml, 5 g, 9 cc). Use Arabic numerals (10, 12, 23, etc.) for all numbers 10 and over, unless first word of sentence when number is spelled. Spell out numbers less than 10 in all other cases (three owls, five cages, nine patients). Spell out numbers less than 10 when used with units of time (three days, five months, seven weeks). In a series with numbers both less than and greater than 10, use numerals for all (3 birds and 45 mammals were admitted).

Use ‘to’ between numbers (1 to 9) in text; use en dash if numbers are within parentheses (1–9) or with page numbers (Pp. 150–154).

Temperature format: 100° to 102°F or (100°–102°F). Give Celsius in parenthesis (or vice versa).

Physical quantities are written in Arabic numerals: distance, length, area, volume, mass, pressure, dates, page numbers, figures, or table numbers.

Use decimal numbers instead of fractions (0.5 ml instead of .5 or ½ mil).

Spell out ‘percent’ when used in text; use the % sign within parenthetical numbers: Total response was 22 percent of surveys mailed or 43 (22%) responded.


Provide full product name and name, city, and state of manufacturer. Use the standard two-letter code for US states. Trademark or registered symbols must be shown in the first instance of use; it does not need to be repeated after the initial use. Also note if product line, manufacturer name, or similar product information is trademarked or registered and insert where applicable. Examples: Clavamox® (Pfizer Animal Health, New York, NY), Tegaderm™ (3M Health Care, St. Paul, MN). Mazuri® Exotic Canine Diet (PMI Nutrition®, Henderson, CO).

Trademark and registered symbols are superscripted (e.g., Clavamox® , Tegaderm™)

Generic drug or chemical names (e.g., amoxicillin or sodium hypochlorite [bleach]), do not require manufacturer/city/state

Brand names (Amoxi–Drops, Clorox) require manufacturer/city/state; abbreviate state name with standard two–letter abbreviation


Avoid use of first or second person and pronouns (I, me, he, she, they, etc.) within the text.

Use phrases such as ‘follow the guidelines’ instead of ‘you should follow the guidelines’ and ‘the author feels’ instead of ‘I feel.’

Do not use contractions. Spell out the words (will not, not won’t; they are, not they’re, etc.)

If a note is inserted in text, capitalize first letter only, and do not italicize text of note. Words note, editor’s note, etc., are bold and italicized. (Author’s note: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.) or (Editor’s note: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.).

Releasable and nonreleaseable: use ‘non’ before releaseable, which means not, rather than ‘un,’ which means to reverse

Use the terms ‘wildlife rehabilitation’ and ‘wildlife rehabilitator’ instead of ‘rehabilitation’ and ‘rehabilitator’ in paper titles and the first time these terms are used in the text. Never use the non-word ‘rehabber’ or similar shortened versions of these words.

For more details on general style (including tables and figures), consult a recent volume of the NWRA Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin or check The Chicago Manual of Style (The University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL), available in most libraries or for purchase online and in bookstores.