Publishing Instructions for ODP Scientists

Terminology Guidelines

This section describes ODP style for terminology used in Proceedings manuscripts. The section on biological names details ODP's taxonomic conventions.

Core, Section, and Sample Designations

ODP identifies cores, sections, and samples by sequences of numerals:
For rock pieces:
For the core catcher (CC):
  • Whenever numerical identifiers are used in text, they are preceded by the item they are identifying. Examples: Leg 101; Hole 626A; Core 101-626A-2R; Section 101-626A-2R-1; Sample 101-626A-2R-1, 50-52 cm. Numerals alone should occur only in tables and charts.
  • In descriptive or repetitive text we do not require use of the complete core, section, or sample identifier where the context is clear and unambiguous. Give the complete identifier initially and then use an abbreviated form where the meaning is unmistakable. Example: "Messinian sediments were recovered from Sample 160-967A-13H-4, 109-111 cm, through 16X-1, 84-86 cm."
  • All ODP hole identifications include both the site designator and a qualifying letter. Example: Hole 642A was the first hole drilled at ODP Site 642. In DSDP usage, however, the first hole drilled at a site took only the site number. Example: Hole 436 was the first hole and 436A was the second hole drilled at DSDP Site 436.
  • The term "interval" can be used to specify a length in centimeters other than a sample interval, but, this term is informal and is not capitalized.

    Drill-Site Designations

  • Site is used when referring to information derived from, or associated with, several holes drilled while the ship was positioned over a single acoustic beacon. "Site" may also be used loosely in generalizations about an area, regardless of the number of holes drilled there. When referring to a site that has not been drilled yet, write "proposed" or "target" site.
  • Hole is used when referring to information derived from or associated with a particular drilled hole. We drill holes, not sites.

    Mineral Names

  • The procedure for naming new minerals is outlined by the Commission on New Mineral Names of the International Mineralogical Association. No new mineral names should be submitted for publication unless they have been approved by the commission.

    Paleontological Descriptions

    The Proceedings volumes are not primarily paleontological publications, and we discourage monographic treatment of any fossil group. We recognize, however, that the paleontological material derived from the Ocean Drilling Program is of immediate interest and that its publication in the Proceedings volumes is a means of dispersing this new knowledge. Writers should take all possible care in recording and presenting paleontological data, especially when naming and describing new species. Follow as closely as possible the procedures outlined in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (London, International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, 1964) and the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Regnum Veg., 1983). Recent ODP Proceedings should also prove helpful.

    See examples of formatting for taxonomic notes and appendixes.

  • Paleontological Style and Naming Conventions
  • Paleontological Systematic Descriptions
  • Paleontological Reference List Guidelines
  • Paleontological Terms and Usage

    Range Charts

  • Authors must prepare range charts electronically using word processing or spreadsheet software. (See Table and Range Chart Formatting Specifications for more information.) If ODP receives range charts in any other format, the range charts will either be sent back to the author to be reformatted or be scanned by the ODP Publication Services Department. Please note that the scanned product will only be as good as the original printout.
  • Depict preservation and abundance using a standard letter code or number; do not use symbols. For example:
    Preservation: Good (G), little fragmentation or etching of specimens; moderate (M), fragmentation and etching of specimens obvious; poor (P), most specimens broken and severely corroded.
    Abundance: Rare (R), <3%; few (F), 3%­15%; common (C), >15%­30%; abundant (A), >30%.
  • The methods section of the manuscript should state how abundance and preservation assignments were determined (e.g., whether estimates were made or specimens were counted, and if so, how many, etc.).
  • If many contiguous samples in a section are barren, state that fact in a footnote rather than producing charts in which large areas are blank.

    Stratigraphic Names

  • ODP follows the North American and International Stratigraphic Codes that draw a clear distinction between time terms on the one hand and time-rock and rock terms on the other.
  • Time terms: Geologic time should be thought of as pure time that can be measured by a clock or a calendar; therefore, the modifier "early" or "late" is appropriate. The adjectives "early," "middle," and "late" refer to geologic time.
    Example: "The eruptive phase occurred in the late Eocene."
  • Time-rock units: The sediments or rocks deposited during a defined interval of time are time-rock units (also called time-stratigraphic or, more appropriately, chronostratigraphic units). For these, the terms "lower" and "upper" are appropriate. The adjectives "lower," "middle," and "upper" refer to the stratigraphic section.
    Example: "Lower Miocene sediments were bioturbated."
    Time-rock units (with the modifiers "upper" and "lower") are used if you are referring to sediments, rocks, or fossils that you can hold in your hand or hit with your hammer (e.g., "this core/section/sample is upper Miocene").
  • If you refer directly to the "sediment," "core," "sample," or "section," use the modifier "upper" or "lower" (e.g., "upper Miocene sediments"). Of course, they were deposited during late Miocene time. So, if you use the words "age" or "in age" in your description, then only the modifier "early" or "late" can be correct ("these cores are late Miocene in age" or "these cores are of late Miocene age"). To look at it all another way, if you were late according to the clock for a science meeting, you would never tell your co-chief scientist, "Sorry to be upper for the meeting." Conversely, you would never say, "We stopped drilling in the late Paleocene."
    See also Capitalization in Usage and Writing Style Guidelines section.

    Undersea Names

  • Indiscriminate informal naming of undersea features should be avoided.
  • If you are considering naming a feature, check existing gazetteers first.
  • One of the most comprehensive is the Gazetteer of Undersea Features (U.S. Defense Mapping Agency, Washington).
  • You should also take into account the guidelines contained in Standardization of Undersea Feature Names, published by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the International Hydrographic Organization (IOC-IHO). This publication can be obtained free of charge from IHB, BP 445, MC 98011 Monaco Cedex.
  • Any proposed new names should be submitted for clearance to appropriate national authorities or to the IOC-IHO. For more information, see the internet pages for IOC ( [leaving ODP web pages]) and IHO ( [leaving ODP web pages]).

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    Modified on Friday, 13-Aug-2004 13:37:40 CDT.