Reference: OCEANDEPTINST 1530.1B, Sept 2002

Rev. 5/5/2010, PLG

 

Oceanography Department Paper Guidelines


Main Topics

TITLE PAGE-- Word template for independent research course cover page.

ABSTRACT PAGE

Sections of the Text

REFERENCES CITED

References Checklist

Figures and Tables

ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS

Layout Checklist:

Sample Layout

 Index to other topics:

Citations in text

Footnotes

Hanging Indent

Latin species names:

Personal communication


The Oceanography Department Paper Guidelines have been adapted from the "Suggestions to Authors" of the U.S. Geological Survey. For information beyond what is covered in this document, refer to that publication.  Nimitz Library has several copies; with call letters QE/48.85/.S84/1991.  The Geological Survey performs geologic mapping, biological research, hydrological studies, and makes civil maps in the United States.  

Hansen, W.R., 1991, Suggestions to authors of the reports of the United States Geological Survey (7th ed.): U.S. Geological Survey, 289 p.

The following sections are particularly relevant (fairly large PDF files):


TITLE PAGE

The title of the paper must reflect the specific topic investigated. It must be informative and short. The title page is the cover for the paper. Develop the title page as follows, using all capitals for all text on this page :

 

TITLE OF THE PAPER

AUTHOR

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

DATE

 

Word template for the cover page for an independent research course.


ABSTRACT PAGE

Center the title, your name, and the word "abstract" (all capitals) on the top of the page. Double space the text of the abstract. Do not start the paper on this page. The abstract will be page #1.

 

TITLE OF THE PAPER

AUTHOR NAME

ABSTRACT

Prepare an abstract of no more than 200 words (1/2 to 3/4 of a page) on a separate page by itself. An abstract is a miniature scientific paper that allows the reader to get a quick sense of what the longer paper is about. The abstract should not use the first person, and keep the use of the passive voice to the absolute minimum.  The following scientific societies say this about the abstract:

AGU-American Geophysical Union (Journal of Geophysical Research, vol.103, no.B3, 1998)

The abstract should be a single paragraph (xxx words or fewer) stating the nature of the investigation and summarizing its important conclusions. Listing the contents in terms such as "this paper describes" or "the paper presents" should be avoided.  Use of the passive voice often indicates that the author is merely describing the procedure rather than presenting conclusions.  The abstract should be suitable for separate publication and be adequate for indexing.

GSA-Geological Society of America (their WWW site)

The abstract should present information and results in capsule form and should be brief and objective, containing within a xxx word maximum the content and conclusions of the paper. The topic sentence should give the overall scope and should be followed by emphasis on new information. Omit references, criticisms, drawings, and diagrams.

USGS-United States Geological Survey (their Suggestions to Authors)

The abstract is a digest of the report.... The abstract should specify the problem or project and briefly state the conclusions or results. It should be informative rather than descriptive, "*** are discussed", "*** was investigated", "conclusions are given" are inappropriate phrases for an abstract. State what the paper tells, not what it is about. The final abstract can only be written after the manuscript is complete. Production of a good abstract--one which summarizes all the important content of the report and nothing else--deserves more care and more rewriting and polishing than any other part of the author's job.

Poor abstract:

Revised abstract


Sections of the Text

1. Center the section title in all capitals. Start the Introduction on a new page, but run the other sections,  except for the references cited, continuously.

2. The number of sections and their titles will vary. Most papers will be summaries of library research, and will attempt to present what we know about some limited topic. You can choose to write either a literature review paper or an experimental paper.

3. While a longer paper might require two levels for section headings, almost all papers in the Oceanography Department will only require one.

A literature review paper will consist of about 4 or 5 sections. These will include:

INTRODUCTION

SECTION TITLE 1 (see below)

SECTION TITLE 2 (see below)

CONCLUSION

REFERENCES CITED

Examples of the sections for typical SO231 papers might include:

An experimental paper contains the following seven sections:

INTRODUCTION

MATERIALS AND METHODS

RESULTS

DISCUSSION

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

REFERENCES CITED

 The link above contains additional details about an experimental paper.


REFERENCES CITED

Check list for references:

Follow the following format for the reference list:

  1. Author (last name, initials; or corporate author if no individual can be found; or the name of the periodical in no other author is available), followed by a comma; place an "and" before the final author; periods after the initials; 
  2. Year of publication, followed by a comma; if the same author/authors have multiple papers in the same year, they are listed as 1975a, 1975b, etc., both in the references list and the parenthetical citations; 
  3. Title, followed by a colon; only the first word and any proper nouns will be capitalized;
  4. Then.

There are no underlining, italics, or quotation marks used, except for an in in papers in an edited volume, and if the punctuation occurs in the title of the paper (as for instance in a species name).


SAMPLE REFERENCES

JOURNAL ARTICLE WITH SINGLE AUTHOR

Guth, P.L., 1981, Tertiary extension north of the Las Vegas Valley shear zone, Sheep and Desert Ranges, Clark County, Nevada: Geological Society of America Bulletin, vol.92, no.10, p.763-771.

JOURNAL ARTICLE WITH MULTIPLE AUTHORS

(6 or fewer authors, list them all)

(more than 6 authors, list the first and the number of others)

Guth, P.L., Hodges, K.V., and Willemin, J.E., 1982, Limitations on the role of pore pressure in gravity gliding: Geological Society of America Bulletin, vol.93, no.7, p.606-612.

JOURNAL ARTICLE WITH NO PAGES NUMBERS AND DOI

Falorni, G., Teles, V., Vivoni, E.R., Bras,  R.L., and  Amaratunga , K.S., 2005, Analysis and characterization of the vertical accuracy of digital elevation models from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission: Journal of Geophysical Research—Earth Surface, vol. 110 (F2) doi:10.1029/2003JF000113.

BOOK

Folsome, C.E., 1979, The origin of life: San Francisco, W.H. Freeman and Co., 168 p.

COMPENDIUM, or OTHER EDITED VOLUME

Guth, P.L., 1998, Military geology in war and peace: An introduction: in Underwood, J.R., Jr., and Guth, P.L., eds., Military geology in war and peace: Geological Society of America Reviews in Engineering Geology, vol. XIII, p.1-4.

CONFERENCE REPORT/PROCEEDINGS

Guth, P.L., 1991, Combining imagery and digital elevation models on a personal computer: in Thematic Conference on Geologic Remote Sensing, 8th, Denver, Colorado, 1991, Proceedings: Ann Arbor, Mich., Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, vol.2, p.921-929.

REPORTS

Dantzler, H.L., and Scheerer, D.J.,1992,  An oceanographic expert system for tactical oceanography: The Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Lab., STC-92-152,  38 p.

WWW Pages

Since WWW page address may be case sensitive, copy them exactly from your browser (cut and paste works well).  If you cannot determine the authors of the page, list it as Anon(ymous) and you may need to differentiate them with lower case letters.  WWW pages should not be a major source for your paper unless you have permission from your instructor; there is not necessarily any quality control on WWW publishing, and you can find pages that are deliberately wrong.

Anon., 2010,  Oceanography department paper guidelines: http://www.usna.edu/Users/oceano/pguth/website/capstone.htm, accessed 5 May 2010.

Guth, P.L., 2010,  Professor Peter L. Guth home page:  http://www.usna.edu/Users/oceano/pguth/website/plghome.htm, accessed 5 May 2010.

U.S. National Oceanographic Data Center, 2010, Global Temperature–Salinity Profile Programme:  http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/GTSPP/, accessed 5 May 2010.


CITING REFERENCES IN THE TEXT

There are two types of references in the text. If Smith (1976) said something, it is a direct reference. If you just assert a fact, then it is an indirect reference (Jones, 1923). Note that when the reference is at the end of a sentence, the period comes after the closing parentheses. If the same author/authors have multiple papers in the same year, they are listed as 1975a, 1975b, etc., both in the references list and the parenthetical citations.  Pages numbers are not necessary if the reference is only a few pages long and there is no direct quotation; if needed, use (Smith, 1972, p. 65). Follow these examples:

Some other formats use the Latin "et al." in place of "and others".  When "et al." is used, there is a period after the "al." because this is an abbreviation of "et alius", which mean "and others".

For an unpublished personal communication, cite it as (H.K. Jones, oral commun., 1985) or (H.K. Jones, written commun., 1985) .  You can include the person's affiliation after their name.  In this case there is nothing in the References Cited section.

For additional guidance see the Suggestions to Authors of the USGS.


FOOTNOTES

Never use footnotes in a scientific paper unless it is absolutely necessary to define or explain. Mostly, the definition and/or the explanation is best placed in the main text prose using citations where necessary. For this paper do not use footnotes without specific permission of your instructor.


DIRECT QUOTATIONS

Minimize the use of direct quotations. They are rarely used in scientific papers. Paraphrase, and if the quotation is short (a few words) just use it and cite the source.  This will probably be easier since you do not have to figure out how to transition into the quotation.


Figures & Tables