Aims and Scope

Limnology and Oceanography Letters (L&O Letters)  is a platform for communication of the most innovative and trend-setting research in the aquatic sciences. Manuscripts should present high impact, cutting-edge results, discoveries or conceptual developments in any area of limnology and oceanography or its integration. Manuscripts will be selected based on their broad interest to the field, the strength of their empirical and conceptual foundations; their insightful, succinct and elegant conclusions; and their potential to advance knowledge in the aquatic sciences. Submissions must be short-format articles that are concise, highly focused analyses, with few display items.

Article Types

L&O Letters will publish three types of articles—Letters, Current Evidence, and Essays. All articles should be written to be understandable to the full range of aquatic scientists. Letters should be original research that can include any approach (e.g., theoretical, empirical, experimental, modeling). Systems of study can include any aquatic system and scales of study can range from molecules to global cycles. Studies that integrate across disciplinary perspectives, boundaries, scales of space or time, or aquatic system types are strongly encouraged, but not required. Articles that include applications of science to management or policy that are broadly applicable to other aquatic systems are also welcome.


Short-format articles that present original innovative research advancing knowledge in an area of aquatic science. Authors must articulate how knowledge is advanced and the potential influence of their work and they must write clearly and concisely for a broad aquatic science audience.

- 3,000 words maximum (includes introduction, methods, results, and discussion; excluding abstract, significance statement and all other text) and 3-5 visuals (tables, figures, or boxes); 30 cited references (authors may petition to have more citations at the time of submission)

- Letters should include: Significance statement, abstract, introduction, results, discussion, and references

Current Evidence

A concise synthesis of the current status of a subject in the aquatic sciences that is topical, in need of evaluation or assessment, or is an emerging issue that has not been fully explored. The emphasis is should be on current understanding and identification of knowledge gaps rather than a lengthy historical review. Syntheses across the aquatic sciences are strongly encouraged, although not required. For controversial topics, emphasis should be placed on unbiased presentation of evidence for and against differing viewpoints. The intent of these articles is to articulate clearly the current knowledge of a topic, the current uncertainties and the needed research. Papers that relate to policy-relevant scientific topics are welcome.

- 5,000-7000 words, although shorter are allowed (includes main-body text only; excluding abstract, significance statement, acknowledgements, and references) and 3-6 visuals (tables, figures or boxes), 50 cited references (authors may petition to have more citations at the time of submission)]

- Current Evidence articles should be written as a review-type article with sub-headings related to major categories of topics to be covered in the article. Authors are encouraged to include a section about future directions or research gaps.

- Current Evidence articles should include: Significance statement, abstract, introduction, sub-sections (with author-defined sub-titles), and references. Articles using the traditional format used in the Letters articles are not allowed in this category.


Essays should include ideas, concepts, hypotheses, or opinions to stimulate discussion, debate or research. Essays can be written as opinion pieces that are well-reasoned with well-supported arguments and ideas, but where extensive citations are not needed or available. Essays should be written in clear and general language that are understandable to a broad audience.

- 2,500 words maximum (includes main-body text only; excluding significance statement, acknowledgements, and references) and 1-3 visuals (figures, tables, or boxes), 20 cited references (authors may petition to have more citations at the time of submission)

- Essays should include: Significance statement, text (sub-headings are optional), references. Note that essays do not include an abstract.