Information for Authors

The Journal of Cave and Karst Studies is a multidisciplinary journal devoted to cave and karst research. The Journal is seeking original, unpublished manuscripts concerning the scientific study of caves or other karst features. Authors do not need to be members of the National Speleological Society, but preference is given to manuscripts of importance to North American speleology.

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Languages - Content - Abstracts - Style - References - Submission - Page Fees - Discussions - Measurements - Figures - Color Figure Costs - Tables - Copyright - Process - Electronic Files

LANGUAGES: The Journal of Cave and Karst Studies uses American-style English as its standard language and spelling style, with the exception of allowing a second abstract in another language when room allows. In the case of proper names, the Journal tries to accommodate other spellings and punctuation styles. In cases where the Editor-in-Chief finds it appropriate to use non-English words outside of proper names (generally where no equivalent English word exists), the Journal italicizes them. However, the common abbreviations i.e., e.g., et al., and etc. should appear in roman text. Authors are encouraged to write for our combined professional and amateur readerships.

CONTENT: Each paper will contain a title with the authors' names and addresses, an abstract, and the text of the paper, including a summary or conclusions section. Acknowledgments and references follow the text.

ABSTRACTS: An abstract stating the essential points and results must accompany all articles. An abstract is a summary, not a promise of what topics are covered in the paper.

STYLE: The Journal consults The Chicago Manual of Style on most general style issues.

REFERENCES: In the text, references to previously published work should be followed by the relevant author's name and date (and page number, when appropriate) in parentheses. All cited references are alphabetical at the end of the manuscript with senior author's last name first, followed by date of publication, title, publisher, volume, and page numbers. Geological Society of America format should be used (see Please do not abbreviate periodical titles. Web references are acceptable when deemed appropriate. The references should follow the style of: Author (or publisher), year, Web page title: Publisher (if a specific author is available), full URL (i.e., and date when the web site was accessed in brackets; for example [accessed July 16, 2002]. If there is a specific author given, use their name and list the responsible organization as publisher. Because of the ephemeral nature of websites, please provide the specific date. Citations within the text should read: (Author, Year).

A quick guide to common types of citations and their proper formatting for JCKS has been prepared and is available by clicking the following link: GSA_References_Styles.docx

SUBMISSION: Effective February 8th 2011, all manuscripts are to be submitted via the new JCKS PeerTrack site. The URL of this new system is

At your first visit, you will be prompted to establish a login and password, after which you will enter information about your manuscript (e.g., authors and addresses, manuscript title, abstract, etc.). You will then enter your manuscript, tables, and figure files separately or all together as part of the manuscript.

Manuscript files can be uploaded as DOC, WPD, RTF, TXT, or LaTeX.
Template files are available for download below under the heading Electronic Files.

Table files may be uploaded as DOC, WPD, RTF, TXT, or LaTeX files

Figure files may be uploaded as TIFF, AI, EPS, or CDR files.

Alternatively, authors may submit manuscripts as PDF or HTML files, but if the manuscript is accepted for publication the manuscript will need to be submitted as one of the accepted file types listed above. Authors may be required to provide supporting data in a fundamental format, such as ASCII for text data or comma-delimited ASCII for tabular data.

PAGE FEES: Manuscripts should not exceed 10 printed pages in length. Manuscripts of up to 6,000 words and containing no more than 10 figures and 5 tables will not be charged page fees. Effective March 1, 2010, longer manuscripts will be assessed fees based on the following schedule: $50 per each additional figure or table and $50 per each block of additional words in 500 word increments (rounded up).

DISCUSSIONS: Critical discussions of papers previously published in the Journal are welcome. Authors will be given an opportunity to reply. Discussions and replies must be limited to a maximum of 1000 words and discussions will be subject to review before publication. Discussions must be within 6 months after the original article appears.

MEASUREMENTS: All measurements will be in Systeme Internationale (metric) except when quoting historical references. Other units will be allowed where necessary if placed in parentheses and following the SI units.

FIGURES: Figures and lettering must be neat and legible. Figure captions should be in a separate file and not within the figure. Figures should be numbered in sequence and referred to in the text by inserting (Fig. x). Most figures will be reduced, hence the lettering should be large. Photographs must be sharp and high contrast. The Journal is printed at high resolution. All figures should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Color will only be printed at author's expense. An example black and while figure is available by clicking here.

COLOR FIGURE COSTS: Click here to get current costs for color figures.

TABLES: Click here to get guidelines for table layout.

COPYRIGHT AND AUTHOR'S RESPONSIBILITIES: It is the author's responsibility to clear any copyright or acknowledgment matters concerning text, tables, or figures used. Authors should also ensure adequate attention to sensitive or legal issues such as land owner and land manager concerns or policies.

PROCESS: All submitted manuscripts are sent out to at least two experts in the field. Reviewed manuscripts are then returned to the author for consideration of the referees' remarks and revision, where appropriate. Revised manuscripts are returned to the appropriate Associate Editor who then recommends acceptance or rejection. The Editor-in-Chief makes final decisions regarding publication. Upon acceptance, the senior author will be sent one set of PDF proofs for review. Examine the current issue for more information of the format used.

ELECTRONIC FILES AND FILE TEMPLATES: The Journal is printed at high resolution. Illustrations must be a minimum of 300 dpi for acceptance.

For your convenience the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies has prepared these document template files for you to use to create your submission files, using these templates will help you to avoid any problems during the PDF conversion process that is performed on all files submitted to the JCKS PeerTrack site.

Microsoft Word Templates and Examples
For manuscripts submitted as Microsoft Word files (.doc or .docx) please use the following files:
MS Word .docx template file: JCKS_Style_Guide_Final.docx
MS Word reference formatting examples: GSA_References_Styles.docx
Figures should be submitted as separate files and not as pdfs.

LaTeX Templates and Examples
For manuscripts submitted as LaTeX files please use the following files to construct your template:
Example LaTeX file: JCKS_Paper_Tempate.tex (To build this example you will need to download the JCKS_References.bib, Lost.pdf and jcks1col.sty files listed below)
LaTeX file template: Blank_JCKS_Template.tex
BibTeX/Bibliography example file: JCKS_References.bib
BibTeX/Bibliography style definition file: Jcks.bst
PDF figure example: Lost.pdf (This file is necessary to build the LaTeX example, but authors should submit seperate figure files in a format other than pdf.)
(Figures may be omitted entirely from your LaTeX manuscript for submission.)
LaTeX Style File for single column documents: jcks1col.sty
LaTeX Style File for two column documents: jcks2col.sty