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Greg Middleton, Tim Moulds, Kevin Kiernan (editors, December 2016)

Aims and Scope of Helictite

Process of submission, review and publication

Copyright and permissions

Format of papers

Text format



Aims and Scope of Helictite

Contributions from all fields of study related to speleology and karst will be considered for publication. Fields include earth sciences, speleochemistry, hydrology, meteorology, conservation and management, biospeleology, history, major exploration (expedition) reports, equipment and techniques, surveying and cartography, photography and documentation.

Our main geographic focus is Australasia: Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and the Malay Archipelago, but we also invite studies from the Pacific and Indian Oceans and Antarctica.

Papers should not exceed 10,000 words, plus figures. Contributors intending to write at greater length or requiring any advice on details of preparation are invited to correspond with the Editors.

Short notes or 'Letters to the Editor', expressing a personal view or giving a preliminary report of interesting findings, are also welcomed. Discussions of published papers should be received within six months of the publication date, and will be passed on to the original author for response.

All submitted papers will be peer reviewed. The editors reserve the right to determine whether any particular contribution will be accepted for publication.

Process of submission, review and publication

1. Consultation with the editors in relation to a proposed contribution.

2. Submission of the manuscript, including graphics.

3. Peer Review. Decision upon tentative acceptance (possibly subject to minor corrections, major corrections or resubmission).

4. Revision by the author(s). Papers with major corrections or resubmitted papers may be subject to a second review.

5. Submission of the final version.

6. Layout, proof reading and publication on Helictite website.

7. Archiving to a permanent digital repository.

Copyright and permissions

The Editors and the Publisher of Helictite are not responsible for the scientific content or other statements provided by the authors of accepted papers.

The publishers of Helictite do not require a full copyright transfer from the author, although we do require your permission for the following use of submitted materials: 'Non-exclusive, online, printed and archival rights for publication in Helictite'. This means that the author(s) agree that Helictite (and ASF) can make electronic versions available on our web site, can provide printed copies 'on demand' for a fee, and can make backups to one or more archive sites.

All published papers will carry the following note: '© The Author[s], [year]. Journal compilation © Australian Speleological Federation Inc [year]'.

That means if someone wants to use graphics or a large amount of text they must obtain permission from the author, but if they want to reproduce one or more pages (or the complete paper) in the published format used by Helictite they have to get permission from both the authors and ASF.

It is the author's responsibility to clear any third party copyright or acknowledgement matters concerning text, tables, photos or figures used.

Authors should also ensure adequate attention to sensitive or legal issues such as land owner and land manager concerns or policies, and should avoid revealing detailed cave locations unless these are already widely known or there is adequate protection/management.

Format of papers

Authors' names should be given, in the preferred form, below the title. Postal address or institution name should also be provided for each author, together with e-mail address, at least for the lead author.

Papers should be preceded by a brief abstract summarising their content and highlighting their significant findings.

References should be used to indicate outside sources of information, using the 'Harvard system'. In-text citations should give the author's surname and publication date, with page number(s) if necessary, in brackets – (Jones 2011, p. 56). The reference list at the end should include all items cited, listed in order of authors' surnames and year of publication, giving sufficient detail for readers to be able to locate the original work. Full names of journals should be given, with volume and part numbers where applicable and page range. Book titles or chapters within books should be given in full, with publishers names, city of publication and page numbers or page range.

Where material is obtained from the WWW, the original published source should be cited if possible. Where the material is apparently only available on the web, the full URL should be given, along with the date it was accessed.

If in doubt, recent copies of Helictite should be consulted regarding content and format of references.

Text Format

Material should be submitted digitally. A transfer site such as Dropbox should be used where individual files exceed 5 MB. Use of compression programs should be avoided.

Microsoft Word or other RTF files are preferred, with minimal formatting and a single font, preferably Times. Bold may be used for headings or emphasis and italics should be used for publication titles, scientific names, etc. but paragraph formatting should not be used. Tables and lists need to be formatted using appropriate tabs. Desired locations for tables (which must be numbered) should be indicated in the text.

Footnotes or endnotes should be kept to a minimum.


Maps and line diagrams should be provided as separate files, not pasted into text files. LZW-compressed TIF or PNG formats are preferred. Graphics may be in black & white, greyscale or colour. Text should be large enough to be readable even if reduced. Scale should only be shown in bar form (not expressed in words). It is preferred that individual graphics be designed to be published no larger than A4. If images are scanned from original artwork they should be at no less than 300 dpi.

All figures (including photographs) should be numbered and referred to by number at the appropriate place in the text (e.g. “Figure 2”). Captions should be provided for all figures at the end of the main text.

Photographs should be provided in JPG/JPEG format as separate files. Photographs should be attributed in their captions, unless by the sole author, or names may be included within images.


The S.I. system (Australian Standard AS 1000) should be used unless citing historical data, in which case the original units should be quoted and appropriately rounded metric equivalents added; 100 feet (30 m).

Copyright © Australian Speleological Federation Inc. 2007, 2022
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