These instructions are a guide to the format and style for manuscripts submitted to The Compass. Additional questions regarding manuscripts can be directed to the National Editor.


  • Submitted an electronic copy in Microsoft Word to the National Editor (see address at the end of this instruction sheet) as either an e-mail attachment or on a CD.
  • Download, sign, and submit a Permissions Form granting us permission to publish your work.
  • Double-space throughout, with no extra spaces to separate sections.
  • Use a 1-inch margin and a 12-point Verdana font.
  • Indent the start of a new paragraph.
  • Do not right justify.
  • Do not use footnotes.
  • The genus/species of organisms need to be placed in italics, e.g. Nautilus pompilius.
  • Use the metric system.



Headings are of three types: MAJOR HEADINGS are bold-typed in the center using upper case letters. Minor Headings are also bold-typed in the center using both upper and lower case letters. Topical Headings are indented at the beginning of a paragraph, bold-typed, in italics, and followed by a period (.).

Order of Text

TITLE, author(s), and author’s affiliation and address appear at the tope page of the first page. An abstract follows with ABSTRACT centered above. The abstract is not to exceed 250 words. Recommend authors review Scrutiny of an Abstract and available on-line at www.aapg.org/bulletin/abstract_scrutiny.pdf.

The body of the text follows and should include such major headings as INTRODUCTION, RESULTS, DISCUSSION, and SUMMARY. Minor headings could include Purpose, Laboratory Technique, Previous Investigations, and Field Evidence, as appropriate. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS and REFERENCES CITED follow the main text.


Citations in the text take the general form of:

“…as Rodgers (1957) demonstrated…” or “…is well documented (Dunbar and Rogers, 1957; Tevesz, et al., 1980).

In the REFERENCES CITED section the complete citation appear in alphabetical order. Typical examples are:


Landes, K.K., 1966. A scrutiny of the abstract, II. Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, v. 50(9), p. 1992.

Dunbar, C.O. and Rodgers, J., 1957. Principles of Stratigraphy, John Wiley & Co., New York.

Rodgers, J., 1959. The meaning of correlation. American Journal of Science, v. 257(10), p. 684-691.

Tevesz, M.J., Soster, F.M., and McCall, P.L., 1980. The effects of size- selective feeding by oligochaetes on the physical properties of river sediments. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 50(2), p. 561-568.

It is important to note the following:

  • Titles of books and journals are in italics.
  • Titles of journals are spelled out; no abbreviations.
  • Add a space between each citation.
  • For citations within the text with more than two authors only first author’s last name is listed followed by et al.(in italics).

For edited volumes, the format would appear as follows:

Norman, D.B., 1990. A review of Vectisaurus valdensis, with comments on the family Iguanodontidae, in, Carpenter, K. and Currie, P.J., editors, Dinosaur Systematics Approaches and Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, New York.


Illustrations submitted with articles may be digital scans of maps and line drawings or digital photographs (color or black/white). Drafted figures can be up to 6.5 x 8.5 inches, keeping in mind a caption must be included at the bottom of the illustration.

Refer to figures in the text as “….Figure 1 illustrates…” or “…(Fig. 1)…” Type all figure captions on a separate page and submit electronically as a separate files titled with the figure number. Figures will be placed within the text as close as possible to the original text figure reference.


Tables are to be submitted as Microsoft EXCEL files and must conform to the 6.5 x 8.5 inch format. EXCEL files should be submitted as separate electronic files titled with the table number. The format for captions is Table 1. Parameters for heavy metals in streams. Reference to tables within the text is done as follows: …(Table 1).


The editor of The Compass will review or have reviewed papers submitted for publication. It is understood that it is the author’s responsibility to revise an accepted manuscript to standards. Submitted manuscripts not following the above guidelines may be returned to the author without a review.


Forward your written questions and inquiries to Dr. Larry Davis, National Editor of The Compass, Department of Biology, College of St. Benedict/St.John’s University, Collegeville, MN 56321 or contact by e-mail at ldavis@csbsju.edu.