Frequently Asked Questions

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

No. The Instructions to Authors manual is now out-of-date. Please use the our document templates for working examples and additional guidance.

The manual was written as a detailed reference for professional editors and print shops (year 2006 era printing and software standards), and to satisfy our initial agreements with NPS publication policy regulatory offices during the early stages of creating these report series.

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. Learn More »
  • 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. Learn More »
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.
On the front and back cover pages of NRR and NRDS templates, where it says
"Natural Resource Stewardship and Science" in the page-top 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?

The location of the publisher is shown on the cover pages. Not the location of the authors, editors, etc. (which are always added to page ii of all published reports).

This is the standard practice used across most private, university, and government publication entities.

For example, a book published by the New York City office of the John Wiley & Sons Publishing company, will always use New York, NY as the publisher's location on all book covers published by that office, regardless of the location of the authors, editors, printing houses, etc.

The Natural Resource Stewardship and Science office in Fort Collins, Colorado is the physical location of the publisher's office. This is the office that:

  • Performs and approves the final policy and layout reviews for each report.
  • Assigns unique report numbers for all published reports.
  • Maintains all database and related digital archive records pertaining to each published report (per funding oversight policy regulations).
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.
Can I publish an unpublished report in the NRR or NRDS series?

Publishing an unpublished report is always possible, but not always recommended.

It is often better to maintain the original unpublished report, as is, whenever:

  • The current version of the unpublished report has been distributed to the public for a number of years.
  • The unpublished report has been cited as a reference in other documents.

We suggest that you publish the report anytime:

  • The report has not been distributed to the public in any way.
  • Updates or changes have been made to the report (we suggest that you also leave the old report alone, and maintain it as a separate document for future reference).

If you decide to publish an older unpublished report, we will work with you to convert your old reports to meet current NPS publication policy as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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: December 16, 2014 Contact Webmaster