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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Instructions to Authors




February 26 – March 1, 2018   Rohnert Park, California USA 


The objective of the Vertebrate Pest Conference and the resulting Proceedings is to help disseminate factual and ecologically sound information concerning human-wildlife conflicts and vertebrate pest damage and its control. The Conference continues to make significant contributions toward effectively understanding and resolving undesirable human-wildlife interactions and animal damage problems, promoting better management and control methodology, and minimizing adverse ecological effects. Vertebrate pest control uses applied ecology, with the goals of improving public health and conserving resources. The Conference is a forum for sharing knowledge and experiences among researchers, administrators, and practitioners in vertebrate pest control and wildlife damage management. It is organized by the California Vertebrate Pest Council, which also publishes the Conference Proceedings.

Manuscript Preparation

A manuscript for publication in the Proceedings is expected from every speaker and encouraged from every poster presenter.  Where a paper represents the work of more than one individual or where protocol demands, papers may be jointly authored. 


In the event that your presentation at the Conference covers a topic for which you have submitted (or intend to submit) a manuscript to a journal or a different conference’s proceedings, it is the author’s responsibility to provide us with a manuscript that is sufficiently unique that the similar publication will not prohibit your paper from being included here. Some journals allow publication of your paper if the proceedings has a print run of <500 copies, which will be the case for the 28th VPC Proceedings. An alternative, in the event your paper has already been published elsewhere, is for the author to secure written permission for the VPC to reprint your paper in our Proceedings. Please discuss such situations with the VPC Proceedings Coordinator in advance of the Conference.


The Conference Proceedings are widely used for information and reference in the United States and in many parts of the world. Therefore, we request that you carefully follow these guidelines in the preparation of your manuscript.


Due Date

Your manuscript in final form must be uploaded as instructed below no later than March 20, 2018. For the 28th Conference, we’re adopting a different strategy for publishing the Proceedings, and it is our intent to make all papers available open-access on the University of California eScholarship site within 12 months following the Conference. Papers submitted after the due date may not be included in the 28th Proceedings


Uploading Manuscript and Accompanying Files

To upload your manuscript file, as well as accompanying files (tables, figures, Author Agreement Form), go to the eScholarship site: and select the “Submit” button, then follow the prompts to create your personal eScholarship account and upload your files. Uploads should be completed not later than March 20, 2018


Manuscripts should be prepared using word processing software (Microsoft Word preferred). 

DO NOT insert or imbed figures or tables within the text of the manuscript. Rather, upload these as separate individual files (see below). A list of captions for figures and tables should be submitted as text on a separate page, following the last page of text of your manuscript (typically following “Literature Cited”).


Name all files with the first (“senior”) author’s last name. The manuscript itself, which includes the Literature Cited and List of Captions for Figures and/or Tables, should simply be the first author’s last name (e.g., Thompson.docx). Name the files containing individual figures or tables as follows, also using the first author’s last name (e.g., Thompson Figure 1.xlsx; Thompson Figure 2.jpg; Thompson Table 1.docx).



Each manuscript must begin with an abstract. The abstract should be a brief summary of the paper (350 words, maximum). It should give the reader the gist of the paper.  Avoid using species’ Latin names in the abstract, unless the species has no familiar common name. 

Key Words

Appropriate key words must be included with each manuscript. Key words should be selected that will allow for the general content of the paper to be identified, including Latin names as well as common names of species that are the main topic of the paper.  Place the list of key words in alphabetical order, typically not to exceed 10 words, after the abstract and before the body of the paper.  For suggested key words, see the publication “Key Word Standardization in Vertebrate Pest Control” (R. M. Timm, T. P. Salmon, and R. H. Schmidt.  1988.  In: Vertebrate Pest Control and Management Materials, ASTM STP 974, pp. 3-11), which can be viewed or printed from the Conference’s web site


The average manuscript has been about 12 double-spaced pages long (3,500 words).  We strive to limit the length of each manuscript to a maximum of 20 double‑spaced pages, including tables and figures, abstract, and references (maximum: 5,500 words, or approximately 275 words per page).  Manuscripts longer than this limit may be returned to authors for condensing, unless prior approval has been obtained.  (When tables or figures are included, the 5,500-word limit must be reduced commensurately.)


Style, Formats, and Fonts (see attached Sample)

For general style of manuscripts (e.g., capitalization, abbreviations, punctuation, tables, etc.), refer to previous VPC Proceedings. Preferred style items are as follows:

·         When a list of items appears in a sentence, use a comma following the next-to-last item (e.g., California, Nevada, and Arizona).

·         When expressing values exceeding one thousand as numerals, use a comma in the expression to set off the “thousands” digits (e.g., 1,250 rather than 1250), except when used to denote page numbers within citations in the Lit Cited section.

·         Do not use periods as punctuation after the abbreviations for length, area, weight, or time (i.e., g   kg   mi  yr  min  sec  lb)

·         When listing multiple points within the text that are numbered or lettered, numerals are preferred, followed by a single parenthesis: e.g., 1), 2), 3), etc.

·         For consistency, use “pers. commun.” for personal communication


The manuscript page size should be either 8½ × 11 inches (“Letter”) or A4. Text should be double‑spaced, with 1-inch (2.6-cm) margins left and right, top and bottom, with no headers or footers, and no page numbers. The corresponding author’s name, organization, mailing address, telephone number, and email address should appear at the top left side of page 1. Use the line numbering option in “Page Layout” starting with the manuscript’s title. Use the font Times New Roman (or equivalent TrueType font) in size 12, except as noted below for tables. Insert 1 space (not 2 spaces) following the period ending each sentence.


Because all papers will be electronically reformatted into a two-column format, it is important that you prepare your final manuscript to be as simple and clean as possible. Please use the simplest page formats possible. New sections (with headings) should be separated by a single line space, and the first line of each paragraph of text should be indented 0.2 inch (use the “Paragraph – Indentation” commands in Microsoft Word).  Latin names of species should be italicized.  If subscripts or superscripts are appropriate within the text, these also should be used. Vernacular names of animals should be accompanied by their scientific (Latin) names the first time mentioned within the body of the text. Spell out the words “Figure” and “Table” rather than using the abbreviations “Fig.” and “Tab.”.

References in Text

Cite references within the text whenever applicable, giving the name of the authors(s) and the year of publication in parentheses, without use of a comma between the author’s name and the year (e.g., Williams 1987).  If there is more than one publication by the same sole author or same senior author during a single year, designate them (for example) as “Williams 2017a” and “Williams 2017b”. To cite both together, use the format “Williams 2017a,b”.  Use a comma (not a semicolon) to separate citations, as follows: (Smith 1999, Williams 2017a). When a citation consists of three or more authors, cite using the first author’s last name followed by “et al.”.  Do not italicize the phrase “et al.”.



Section headings within the text of the manuscript (except headings for “Abstract” and “Key Words”) should conform to the following example:



First Subheading in Title Case, Bold

Second Subheading in Title Case, Bold Italicized


Page Numbering

Do not number pages in the manuscript, either within the page text or in headers or footers.  Turn off any automatic page numbering functions.


Tables must be uploaded as separate files from the text of the manuscript. Simple tables created in Microsoft Word are preferable. Do not insert additional empty rows to create space between rows with text.  Instead, format the height/width of each row and column to allow for proper spacing. For text within tables, use Arial font in size 11 or size 10. Table headings can be in Arial bold font, if appropriate. When tables contain data in columns, numerals should be right-justified (rather than centered) so that numerals or decimals are aligned vertically. Do not include or imbed tables within the body of the manuscript.


Because all papers will be re-formatted for printing in a two‑column format, tables will need to be sized to fit either a single column (3 3/8 inches wide) or two columns (7 inches wide) and should not exceed 9 inches in length. Avoid long and complex tables. Each table should be referenced at some point within the text (e.g., Table 1). However, a good table should be understandable without reference to the text. A caption for each table should be submitted on the separate page at the end of the manuscript that contains all figure and table captions. 


Figures must be uploaded as separate files from the text of the manuscript.  Do not include or imbed graphs and figures within the body of the manuscript text. Because all papers will be re-formatted for printing in a two-column format, most figures will be re-sized to fit a single column (3 3/8 inches wide). Ensure that all figures have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. It is critical that you make sure that your figures are designed so that when reduced to fit a single column, important data or captions will not be lost or impossible to read due to reduction in size. Since most figures have to be reduced to fit within the column format, it is important to avoid complex figures. Each figure should be referenced at some point within the text (e.g., Figure 1). However, a good figure should be understandable without reference to the text. Captions for each figure should be submitted on the separate page at the end of the manuscript that contains all figure and table captions. 


Usually, figures will have to be re-sized by the layout staff. Therefore, we prefer that figures such as graphs (bar graphs, line graphs, etc.) be created in Microsoft Excel or other compatible software, enabling the editors to make adjustments to size, shading, and text labels within graphs as necessary. In the printed Proceedings, figures are reproduced in high-contrast black and white. Although use of color for graphs and figures has become popular, we cannot reproduce colors within the printed Proceedings. If bar graphs or other parts of figures require differential shading, we recommend distinct hatching patterns based on black & white patterns, rather than shades of gray (which often do not reproduce distinctly). Figures created in Microsoft Excel should be submitted electronically as Excel (.xlsx) files. Such files should contain the raw information used in creating the figure, so that the font size of data labels, etc., can be manipulated by the Editor.


If figures are not computer-created but instead are original line drawings, they should be submitted as .jpg images (preferred); alternatively, submit them as hard copy, in black ink on white paper. Be aware that the original figure will typically have to be reduced to a maximum width of 3 3/8 inches, and any labels or other content must remain legible following this size reduction.



Photographs often do not reproduce well in the Proceedings, and their use as figures is discouraged. Photos will be accepted only if they add significantly to the paper.  Photographs that help demonstrate specific control procedures or tech­niques may be an asset to the paper, but photographs of habitat or examples of damage are usually not acceptable. Submit photos in .jpg or .tiff formats; these should be uploaded as separate files and labeled according to their figure number. Recognize that such photos will be reproduced in the Proceedings as black & white figures, and therefore you should print them in black & white to make sure the images you wish to covey to the reader are understandable without the use of color. Submit text for captions (legends) for photos on the page at the end of the manuscript that contains captions for all figures and tables.


Literature Cited

Each citation listed should be referenced somewhere within the text of the manuscript, or within accompanying tables or figures. Citations should be in alphabetical order by the author’s surname(s). Within the alphabetical order, sequence is chronological from oldest to newest.


In your manuscript, citations should be double-spaced and formatted with a hanging indent of 0.2 inch.  Authors’ names should be in “Title Case” (not in ALL CAPITALS) (see examples below and attached manuscript sample).


Beginning with the 28th Proceedings, we are adopting the citation style used by the Journal of Wildlife Management. Examples of the most common types of literature citations are as follows:

Journal article

Note: Issue numbers are included only if the pages of each issue are numbered separately.

Bélisle, M., and A. Desrochers. 2002. Gap-crossing decisions by forest birds: an empirical basis for parameterizing spatially-explicit, individual-based models. Landscape Ecology 17:219–231.

Cox, W. A., F. R. Thompson III, B. Root, and J. Faaborg. 2012. Declining brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) populations are associated with landscape-specific reductions in brood parasitism and increases in songbird productivity. PLoS ONE 7(10):e47591.



Note: If the state appears in the publisher or agency name, do not repeat it after the city.

Kleinbaum, D. G., L. L. Kupper, A. Nizam, and K. E. Muller. 2008. Applied regression analysis and other multivariable methods. Fourth edition. Duxbury, Belmont, California, USA.

Miller, K. V., and L. Marchinton. 1995. Quality whitetails: the why and how of quality deer management. Stackpole, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA.


Edited Book

Temple, S. A., editor. 1978. Endangered birds: management techniques for preserving threatened species. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, USA.


Chapter in Edited Book

Zeleny, L. 1978. Nesting box programs for bluebirds and other passerines. Pages 55–60 in S. A. Temple, editor. Endangered birds: management techniques for preserving threatened species. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, USA.


Newspaper, newsletter, and magazine articles

Associated Press. 1997. Feathers could fly over dove hunting. Columbus Dispatch. 28 December 1997; section E:15.

Eisler, P. 1996. Voters to get a shot at hunting laws. USA Today. 25 April 1996; section A:4.

Hogan, M. 1997. Political season as important as hunting season. Safari Times 9(8):18.

Jones-Jolma, D. 1993. The fight to reform trapping in Arizona. Animals’ Agenda. March–April:20–24.

Paper in a numbered Proceedings volume

Palmer, T. K. 1976. Pest bird control in cattle feedlots: the integrated system approach. Proceedings of Vertebrate Pest Conference 7:17–21.


Agency or Government Publication

Anderson, D. R. 1975. Population ecology of the mallard: V. Temporal and geographic estimates of survival, recovery, and harvest rates. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Resource Publication 125, Washington, D.C., USA.


Thesis or Dissertation

Breitwisch, R. J. 1977. The ecology and behavior of the red-bellied woodpecker, Centurus carolinus (Linnaeus; Aves: Picidae), in south Florida. Thesis, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA.

Tacha, T. C. 1981. Behavior and taxonomy of sandhill cranes from mid-continental North America. Dissertation, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA.

Web page

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA]. 2005. National Weather Service internet services team. Monthly precipitation for Reno, Nevada. . Accessed 23 Aug 2005.


For more detailed guidelines on style of other types of references, see:


Journal of Wildlife Management and Wildlife Society Bulletin - Author Guidelines

February 2016,



Peer Editing

All papers contained within the Proceedings of the 28th Vertebrate Pest Conference will be peer edited. Papers will be evaluated by the Proceedings Editors and by selected other academicians and resource professionals from within the Vertebrate Pest Council. This process of peer editing, while not as rigorous as peer review typically practiced by scientific journals, permits review of manuscript content and expedites timely publication of the information presented at the Conference. Editorial liberties will be taken in instances where improved clarity is needed or where style is incorrect. In the case of most manuscripts, the authors will not be contacted during the peer editing process. Unfortunately, time does not permit circulation of galley proofs for authors’ review. Manuscripts improperly prepared or formatted, or which need significant improvement to meet the Proceedings’ standards for scientific merit and clarity of expression, will be returned to the authors.



The 28th Proceedings will be available open access as individual papers in PDF format on the University of California’s eScholarship portal, once publication is completed. A printed version of the 28th Proceedings will also be available for purchase via print-on-demand, with details to be announced on the Conference website: