Frequently Asked Questions

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Should I publish in the national series, or in my regional series?

The vast majority of reports should be published in the national series.

As far as we know, none of the seven I&M Regional offices are currently maintaining their own report series at this time.

Do I need to download the Instructions to Authors Manual to write a report?

No. A vast majority of authors and editors do not need to download the manual. The document templates provide software-specific manuscript format examples and user guidance for most potential formatting issues. The manual was written as a detailed reference to help authors with things not specifically covered in the templates, for professional editors, and NPS publication policy experts.

What are the preferred file formats to send in for final review?

We accept both MS Word and Adobe Acrobat files. If the final draft was created using:

  • MS Word - the MS Word version of the final draft is preferred (vast majority of reports). This will save everyone involved time and effort during the final editing stages. Publishing in MS Word can be tricky, and we often need to see the actual MS Word file to figure out how to fix something.
  • Adobe InDesign - the PDF version is preferred. Adobe InDesign files are much more stable and predictable than MS Word files, and end-users tend to have expert-level experience using this proprietary software.
Is there additional guidance for managing the IRMA record for my NRPM report?

Yes. Click here to download the Suggested IRMA Procedures for Nationally Published NRTR, NRR, and NRDS Reports. This informal technical guide is also available for download in the left-hand navigation on this site. Topics covered in the guide include:

  • Suggested steps and procedures for uploading and managing the final report in IRMA.
  • A glossary of common terms and explanations of the related concepts used on the site.
  • Screen-shots of all major task, to better help the user navigate the upload and editing process
  • An overview of the implications and ramifications of reports marked as containing sensitive and/or proprietary information.
For the national series of NRR and NRTR, on the cover and back cover where it says
"Natural Resource Stewardship and Science" in the banner and has Fort Collins as the
address on the back, why can´t I substitute the name of my NPS unit (e.g., park or network
or NRSS Division) and use my unit´s address and website on the back?

No. The front and back cover need to have a consistent look, and show where the series is published. This is almost never the location of the author or editors.

For example, a book might say "John Wiley & Sons, New York" because that´s the publisher, and it will always list New York because that´s where the book is published, regardless of where the author lives, the editor's office is located, etc. This is very standard practice used across all private (all book companies, journals/periodicals, etc.), most federal and state government, and all university publication entities.

The national series are published by the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science office in Fort Collins, and copies of any report in the series will be available through the URL on the back cover. The title page and back of the title page will list the authors´ name and address and website and NPS unit, and will tell people where they can get copies of the report.

The banner on the front cover should read Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, without the name of a city. The back cover should include the address for the Fort Collins office where the series is published, and the NatureNet website (, although if another office or network insists on putting their office's name and address and website on the back cover, exceptions will be allowed.

If a report for work funded by the I&M program has already been published in a USGS or university numbered series, do we also need to put it in one of these NPS report series?

No. As long as the results appear in some other numbered series or publication outlet and get into a bibliography or catalog so that managers, planners, and scientists can find them 20 years from now, the results do not also need to be published in the NPS series.

We are confused about which report series to use for new reports. Why have the guidelines
for picking the a report series changed so much over the last few years?
  1. The original guidelines for NRTR reports were designed around the stricter scientific report format that was used in traditional biological science journals (following the basic format: Introduction, Methods, Results, etc.)
    • Authors from non-biological science disciplines often found it very difficult to force their report content into this format.
    • As a result, the rules for choosing between the NRTR and NRR series eventually became very difficult to explain and/or consistently enforce.
  2. The addition of the shorter, and less formal, Natural Resource Data Series in 2009, opened up additional publishing opportunities for authors.
  3. See the information on our main landing page for the current rules for choosing a report series.

See the About Our Report Series section for more detailed information and guidelines for choosing the correct report series.

Can I publish an old unpublished report or regional series report in the national NRTR,
NRR, or NRDS series?

Yes. You just need to:

  • Have the report meet modern NPS publication policies (follow our current document templates).
  • Give the new version of the report a new set of report numbers, IRMA record, etc.

We will work with you to convert your old reports to meet current NPS publication policy as quickly and efficiently as we can.

What do I do when I find mistakes that I want to fix in a published report that has already
been released to the public in any way (physical copies sent, digital copies distributed by
email, or made available for download on any public-facing website and/or IRMA)?

Edits to published NRTR, NRR, and NRDS reports are restricted, and especially 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 IRMA Data Store).

Click here to learn more about making updates to previously published reports.

Last Updated: September 27, 2013 Contact Webmaster