Procedures for Submitting New Reports

Last Updated: October 01, 2017

We accept submissions only from NPS offices. Reports from external contributors are welcome, but must be submitted through a sponsoring NPS office.

Rigorous format requirements for series reports are necessary to ensure consistent presentation, compliance with NPS graphic identity standards, correct export into PDF format, and the application of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requirements.

Because of these requirements we provide report templates for each report series. Please follow the guidance outlined here as well as the specific formatting instructions embedded in the report templates. Reports not adhering to these instructions may be returned to the author or submitter for correction.

  1. Decide if the manuscript is better suited for the NRR or NRDS series.
  2. Prepare and format the manuscript. Formatting recommendations:

MS Word Option 1

Prepare the manuscript and associated tables, figures, photos, appendixes, and other content. Concentrate on document language and content and not on the specifics or problems of format and layout (e.g., page numbers on and near landscape pages; precise placement of graphics and tables; dynamic report elements such as lists of contents or footnotes).

Download the current version of the MS Word report template to use for final formatting. Please use a current template: versions are revised periodically to correct new software bugs or to accommodate updates.

Copy and paste your report content into the template, following the guidance and font styles provided in the instructions.

Note: This option may work best if there are multiple authors working in different locations and with different software versions.

MS Word Option 2

Download the current version of the MS Word report template and prepare your manuscript directly in the template file. Again, please use a current template: versions are revised periodically to correct new software bugs or to accommodate updates.

Note: This option may work best if there is a single author or limited number of contributors.

Additional Format Recommendations for MS Word

For either option in MS Word, we strongly suggest that all final edits be done on a single computer.

To meet Section 508 requirements we also require that Word documents use a single-column layout and simple placement of elements such as images, graphics, and tables.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign templates are also available for download. InDesign offers more formatting flexibility and layout features than Word. If your report will be published in Adobe InDesign, please work with your NPS layout specialist on the preferred way to proceed. We recommend that these reports be prepared by a person with specific experience publishing NRR and NRDS documents using InDesign.

For Either MS Word or Adobe InDesign:

Please contact us if you expect to print more than 50 hard copies of your report, or if you expect your report will have high public visibility or distribution. In these cases certain additional formatting and NPS graphic identity standards may need to be applied.

  1. For NRRs (which require peer review), complete the peer review process and any ensuing manuscript changes.
  2. Go to and complete the online Manuscript Submittal Form (MSF) (NPS-only). Multiple users can fill out the same online MSF.
    1. Each report will have a unique online MSF web address.
    2. Authors or editors can begin and save a draft of the online MSF.
    3. Just send a copy of the unique web address to other NPS employees that may need to fill out parts of the form (peer review mangers, program managers, etc.).
  3. Publication series staff will review the manuscript to ensure compliance with format standards. Some formatting modifications may be made and if so, the modified manuscript will be returned, with a description of all changes, to the submitter for approval.
  4. Publication series staff will complete the final section of the online MSF and will send the submitters further instructions for uploading the final PDF version of the report to the IRMA Data Store (online digital library). Publication is complete

Natural Resource Publication Series staff will archive copies of the Manuscript Submittal Form. The peer review manager is responsible for maintaining all records associated with the peer review process, including correspondence, comments, and responses.

Edits to published NRR and NRDS reports are restricted after reports have been made available to the public in any way (e.g., physical copies sent, digital copies distributed by email, report posted for download on any public-facing website, including the NPS Data Store). Learn More »

Last Updated: October 01, 2017 Contact Webmaster