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The SWS Research Brief

A Nontechnical Publication of the Society of Wetland Scientists

SWS Research Briefs transmit scientific information about wetlands to managers, students, media, policymakers and the general public in a format that is understandable, accessible and identifiable as a SWS publication. SWS Research Briefs embrace the concept that scientists can make their research findings more understandable and accessible to the non-scientific public and easily translate wetland science.


SWS Research Briefs are a one to four page non-technical summary of a paper published in Wetlands or of a special topic relevant to wetlands. The SWS Research Brief is a stand-alone document containing text, photographs, diagrams, and other information available on the SWS website.

Types of SWS Research Briefs

A SWS Research Brief may be developed in three ways:

  1. An individual brief based on a research paper published in Wetlands.
  2. A group research brief developed from a group of papers published in Wetlands on a specific topic. Authors may represent different viewpoints or different aspects of the topic.
  3. A special brief prepared by recognized experts focused on an important topic that summarizes information from a variety of technical sources.

Instructions for Authors

SWS Research Briefs must be prepared in English and should be written for a general audience. The information provided in the brief should accurately reflect the findings of the technical paper or synthesis of information from multiple technical sources. Author(s) will submit the SWS Research Brief via an electronic template. The template (PC or Mac) is already formatted and contains placeholders for text, tables, and images. Authors drag and drop their material into the provided placeholders. Preparation with the template will require Microsoft Publisher 2007 or higher (free in MS Office) or Pages for Mac users. Authors must be able to use one of these applications and follow the guidelines for preparation of the brief.

Submission and Review Process

Detailed guidelines for preparation and submission of a SWS Research Brief will be sent to the author upon request to Karen McKee, SWS Research Brief Coordinator. Authors will use the electronic template to create the submission, which will be emailed to the Coordinator.

Prior to acceptance and publication, the submission will be reviewed by two qualified peers and the SWS Research Brief Coordinator. The main objectives of the review are to determine if the document: (1) accurately conveys the findings of the technical paper or topic in a way that is interesting and understandable by a non-technical audience and (2) conforms to the SWS Research Brief format.

If accepted, the Research Brief will be converted to a high-resolution pdf file and posted on the SWS Website for viewing or downloading by users.

Author benefits

There are several benefits of authoring a SWS Research Brief.

  • Promotes the author's technical work and directs readers to the article published in Wetlands or to other journal articles written by the author
  • Enables the author to reach a broader audience of scientists, consultants, resource managers, policy-makers, science teachers, news media, funding agencies and the general public due to the briefs being discoverable by search engines and freely accessible
  • Increases visibility and hones communication skills of students and young scientists


All questions should be directed to the SWS Research Brief Coordinator.

View current SWS Research Briefs.