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Instructions for contributors
Polar Record
Aims and scope

Polar Record is an e-only international, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal published six times a year by Cambridge University Press. Polar Record publishes results from a wide variety of areas of polar research: original primary research papers and reviews in the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, life sciences, and polar technology are included, as are papers concerning current political, economic, legal, and environmental issues in the Arctic or Antarctic. Notes, commentaries, book reviews, letters to the editor, guest editorials, obituaries, and ‘In Brief’ items of general interest are also published.

Polar Record aims to provide rapid publication, with accepted papers being published in FirstView within a month after acceptance and then being allocated to the next available issue. The purpose of this guide is to introduce authors to the format and style used by Polar Record. Authors are urged to read these instructions carefully, because following the journal’s style will minimise the need for editorial change and extra communication with the authors, thus speeding up the final publication of submissions.


All authors who would like to submit contributions for publication in Polar Record should submit their manuscript and a covering letter using the online manuscript submission system at the following address:

Note: From January 18th 2016 all submissions to Polar Record must be submitted via the ScholarOne manuscript submission system.

Pre-submission enquiries, any further requests for information, and enquiries regarding Special Issues should be sent to the Editorial Office of the journal at

Submission implies that a similar manuscript has not been published nor is currently submitted for publication elsewhere. Authors of articles and notes published in the journal assign copyright to Cambridge University Press (with certain rights reserved) and will receive a copyright assignment form for signature on acceptance of their manuscript. The corresponding author will be supplied with a PDF of the final published article.

The covering letter accompanying the submission should include the address, telephone number, email address and fax number for the corresponding author, with the complete addresses of all co-authors, grouped by institution where possible. All articles and notes are subject to double-blind peer review, and contributors are invited to suggest up to five suitable peer reviewers, who may be used at the Editors’ discretion. Potential contributors who might wish for advice concerning publication in Polar Record are welcome to contact the Editors at any time.

Categories of papers

Polar Record accepts the following contributions:

Original research articles

This category is intended for full-scale studies of between 9,000 and 12,000 words in length.


Polar Record will publish scholarly, comprehensive reviews that summarise and critically evaluate research in the field, addressing and identifying future implications. Reviews may be invited by the Editors but may also be submitted. Authors wishing to submit papers in this category are advised to contact the Editors before doing so.


Papers in this section provide readers of Polar Record with focused, view-point coverage of topical issues which are of high current interest. Articles of this type will be invited but may also be submitted. Authors wishing to submit articles for this section are asked to consult with the Editors. Acceptance or rejection of the commentary is at the discretion of the Editors, and commentaries will be peer reviewed. Also, the Editors may request or allow a response to the commentary.

Book reviews

If you have a book you would like to see reviewed in Polar Record, in the first instance, please send the following information including the title, authors, publisher and blurb to the Book Reviews Editor, Yulia Zaika  for consideration, at:

Books should be posted to:

Book Reviews
Polar Record
Cambridge University Press
University Printing House
Shaftesbury Road
Cambridge CB2 8RU

However, please do not submit unsolicited book reviews to the journal.

Manuscript format

All electronic manuscripts should be presented on A4 with double spacing and wide margins. Double spacing should also be used for references, tables and captions. Each page should be numbered.

Each of the following sections of the manuscript should begin on a separate page:

- title page

- abstract

- main text

- references

- tables (each on a separate page)

- figure captions.

The title page should contain the full title of the paper, the authors listed in the order in which they are to appear in print and a complete address for each author, grouped by institution when possible Due to the requirements of the review process, authors’ names should not appear on any page of the manuscript other than the title page. Running heads, if used, should indicate only the title of the article.

Title and abstract

The title and the abstract of the article should be concise and should reflect the content of the paper accurately. The abstract should be of an appropriate length and should be able to stand alone as a summary of the paper, its arguments and its conclusions. Polar Record publishes papers from a variety of academic disciplines, and therefore it is particularly important to ensure that abstracts avoid disciplinary jargon.

Sectional headings

Papers should be divided into sections, described by short headings; secondary and tertiary sections may also be used, each with short headings. No further subdivisions may be used.


Polar Record will not normally accept footnotes, and they will be allowed only at the Editors’discretion. Places where they are considered essential should be marked in the text, and the footnotes listed at the end of the main text, before the references. Endnotes, similarly, are not used in Polar Record.


All figures (charts and photographs) should be submitted as .tif or .eps files, saved at a resolution of at least 300dpi. The figures should be saved at final size, with the size not exceeding 165 mm wide and 240 mm long.

Do not include any text that you do not want to appear on the final figure.

Line drawings must be made with strong black lines, with lettering of sufficient size to be legible.

Avoid gross disparities in sizes of lettering. Captions should be listed consecutively, double spaced, on a separate sheet.

Figures must be referred to in the text by their number (for example, ‘Fig. 1’); cardinal numbers are used when citing figures or tables.


Tables must be typed one per page, preferably in the same word-processing program as the main text of the paper. They should be capable of fitting onto a single page of the journal in portrait or landscape format. They must be numbered in Arabic numerals and referred to in the text by their number (for example, ‘see Table 2’).

Required Sections


You may acknowledge individuals or organisations that provided advice, support (non-financial).

Formal financial support and funding should be listed in the following section.

Financial support

Please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers. For example:

“This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)”

Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and space, and where research was funded by more than one agency the different agencies should be separated by a semi-colon, with “and” before the final funder. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors’ initials. For example:

“This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (A.B., grant number GGGG), (E.F., grant number HHHH)”

Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please provide the following statement: “This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”

Conflict of interest

As stated by ICMJE, public trust in the scientific process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how transparently conflicts of interest are handled during the planning, implementation, writing, peer review, editing, and publication of scientific work.

A conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest.

Please provide details of all known financial, professional and personal relationships with the potential to bias the work. Where no known conflicts of interest exist, please include the following statement: “None.”

Ethical standards

Where research involves human and/or animal experimentation, the following statements should be included (as applicable):

“The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional committees on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008.”

- and

“The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional guides on the care and use of laboratory animals.”

Manuscript style


All papers should be written consistently either in British or American English and spelling should generally follow The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English.

Abbreviations and acronyms

When used, the full wording must be used on the first mention, followed by the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses. Latin abbreviations should not be used, but should be replaced by the English equivalents. The abbreviation ‘Fig.’ is always used. Accepted abbreviations are used for units of measurement.


Arctic, Antarctic, sub-Arctic and sub-Antarctic are always capitalised, whether used as a noun or an adjective. Points of the compass are lower case, except as official political entities. Anglicised versions of Latin names do not begin with capitals, nor are they italicised. Capitalisation should also occur whenever a person is being referred to, for example, “Adelie penguin” but “gentoo penguin”.

Dates and times

Full dates are given in the text, using cardinal rather than ordinal numbers and omitting commas (for example, 23 November 1958). Abbreviated forms should be in European format (for example,23.11.1958) and may be used for dates in tables and figures.

Units of measurement

Each paper must be internally consistent, using metric units following the International System of Units.


Please note: Potential contributors to Polar Record are advised that careful attention to the references will greatly assist the Editors, and will speed up the processing of their manuscript. Poorly prepared references will be returned to authors and cause unavoidable delays in the processing of your manuscript.

The Polar Record Referencing Style Guide can be found here.

If you require any further assistance with the references please contact the Editors.

Open Access

Authors in Polar Record have the option to publish their paper under a fully Open Access agreement, upon payment of a one-off Article Processing Charge. In this case, the final published Version of Record will be made freely available to all in perpetuity under a creative commons licence, enabling its re-use and re-distribution. This Open Access option is only offered to authors upon acceptance of an article for publication.

Authors choosing the Open Access option are required to complete the Open Access Licence to Publish form. More information about Open Access in Polar Record, including the current Article Processing Charge, can be found on our website.

Author Language Services

Cambridge recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense