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Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines


The Journal will consider 4 types of articles:

Research Papers: These should aim at developing concepts as well as presenting results. They must be as concise as possible and include only information essential to the understanding of the paper. The subject should be of interest to a reasonably wide readership. It is expected that typescripts submitted to the Journal have undergone an internal peer review at the author´s institution. The instructions detailed below refer mainly to this type of article.

Short Communications: These are suitable for recording the results of complete small-scale investigations or giving details of new models or hypotheses, innovative methods or techniques, and the like. Their structure and style of main sections need not conform to that of full-length papers. Short Communications should not exceed 10 typescript pages in length. They will also be subjected to the Journal´s peer-review system.

Farmer Contributions: These are most welcome and can be reports of relevant experiences and results obtained by practitioners (both individuals and communities), queries and suggestions for researchers and development workers and the like. They need not follow a particular style but should be of interest to a reasonably broad readership.

Review Articles: These will also be considered, but must be previously discussed with the Editor.

Papers are accepted for review by the Journal on the understanding that the material presented has not been and will not be published elsewhere, and has been approved by all authors as well as the organization sponsoring the research. With the acceptance of an article for publication, authors agree to the Journal´s copyright policy.

All submitted articles will be peer-reviewed by at least two ad hoc experts (members of the Editorial Board or external specialists) who will remain anonymous to the authors. The corresponding author will be informed of the Editor´s decision based on the outcome of the review and the Editor´s own evaluation. Editors will make every effort to expedite the review process.


The responsibility for preparing the paper rests with the author(s). The submission should be prepared in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, or RTF document file format. Research papers must not exceed 8,000 words inclusive of all parts of the paper, typed in double space, 12-point font throughout, and marked with consecutive line numbers, beginning with the cover page. Reference should be made to the latest issues of the Journal for guidance on layout and style of text, tables, and figures. Typescripts from non-native English speakers should have undergone an English language check before submission; if grammar and/or style is found unsatisfactory, a typescript can be rejected without further review at the discretion of the Editor.

Along with the typescript, a cover message should be submitted in which, besides providing any pertinent comment, authors are requested to (1) briefly describe how the paper submitted fits the Journal´s scope; (2) indicate why they consider their findings to be a substantial contribution to science; and (3) provide names and e-mail addresses of up to 4 potential reviewers with international expertise. For this cover message, a text box “Comments for the Editor” is provided in the online submission procedure; please regard the requested information as obligatory rather than optional.

Title page

The title should be kept as concise and informative as possible, followed by the name(s) of the author(s) and his/her/their affiliation(s), including the URLs of their institutions. The corresponding author should be indicated along with his/her postal and e-mail addresses. An abbreviated title for use as a page heading (“running title”) can be included.


Headings should be left-aligned with a capital used only in the first letter. Main headings in boldface and first-order subheadings in italic typeface on a separate line; second-order subheadings in italic typeface incorporated in the text.

In most papers, the main headings will be: Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion (with Conclusions), Acknowledgments, and References.


An abstract not exceeding 200 words should be presented after the title and authors' names. It should include the objectives, main findings, and conclusions of the work. Since an abstract in Spanish, along with its English version, will form part of the paper, please provide, if possible, a “Resumen” in that language (however, no mere computer translation but rather a text revised by a native Spanish speaker).


Authors should provide up to 6 keywords, avoiding words that are already in the title. [If you have doubts regarding appropriate terminology, we suggest you consult: “An international terminology for grazing lands and grazing animals” by Allen et al. 2010 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2494.2010.00780.x).]


This should explain briefly the nature of the investigation and the reasons for conducting it. The objectives must be spelt out clearly. A detailed literature review is not required but some key references are necessary.

Materials and Methods

A concise statement or tabular presentation of all treatments should be made near the beginning of this section. Include the name used for classification and the physical, chemical and biological (where appropriate) characteristics of the soil when defining a particular site. Well-recognized procedures need not be described but an appropriate reference should be given.


Data may be presented in the form of tables or figures, but not in both forms and definitely not repeated in detail in the text. Data, which are not relevant to the particular topic being presented in the paper, should not be included. Appropriate statistical analyses should be carried out on the data. Authors are encouraged to include good-quality color photographs if they are conducive to a better understanding of the research. Results should not be combined with Discussion.


This is a consideration of the results in relation to the objectives outlined in the Introduction. Presentation of results should not be repeated nor new information introduced. The Discussion should indicate the author´s command of knowledge of the field under study, including that from other localities and countries. The Conclusions can be part of the Discussion or presented in a separate section; they should not summarize the research outcome but rather interpret its significance, especially any practical application, as well as further research which is needed.

Tables and Figures

Tables and figures (including photographs) should be incorporated in the text; the figures can be in any current format but in addition should also be uploaded separately, and in an editable form, as “Supplementary Files” (in order to have backups in case of eventual quality loss and/or to allow any adjustments to fit the Journal´s style). Avoid a landscape format unless this is essential.

Tables. The units should be given in the column or row headings immediately above the data. Footnotes should be used only when essential and referred to by a superscript numeral. Avoid very long or wide tables and also tables where the data could be described in the text.

Figures. Wherever possible, lettering between the axes should be avoided. Closed symbols (■, □, ●, ○, ▲) are preferred to open symbols (+, ×, ˗). Curves should not be drawn beyond experimental points. Where an axis scale does not begin at zero, draw it with an open section near the origin.


Responsibility for correct and complete citation of the references lies with the author(s). References should be made in the text by giving the author´s name with year of publication in parentheses:

  • one author: Smith (1999) or (Smith 1999)
  • two authors: Ladd and Jones (2010) or (Ladd and Jones 2010)
  • more than two authors: Jones et al. (2012) or (Jones et al. 2012)
  • multiple papers in one year: Smith (2009a; 2009b)
  • multiple references: Smith (2007; 2009)

All references cited in the text should be listed alphabetically by the author´s surname in the list of References, providing a DOI number (preferable) or URL where available. The following style is to be used:


Example 1:

Bystricky M; Schultze-Kraft R; Peters M. 2010. Studies on the pollination biology of the tropical forage legume shrub Cratylia argentea. Tropical Grasslands 44:246–252.

If a URL appears to be very long (as in the previous example), it will be reduced by the Journal´s editorial team by means of the Google URL Shortener (in the example case, to

Example 2:

Jones RM. 2014. The rise and fall of Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) ‒ what went wrong and some implications for legume breeding, evaluation and management. Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales 2:154-164. DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(2)154-164

Journal names should not be abbreviated. For papers accepted for publication but not yet published, add “in press” after the volume number.


Mannetje L't; Jones RM, eds. 2000. Field and laboratory methods for grassland and animal production research. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.

Where reference is made to particular page numbers in a book these should be listed after the name of the book.


Bai Changjun; Liu Guodao; Wang Dongjin. 2004. Selecting high yielding anthracnose resistant Stylosanthes in Hainan. In: Chakraborty S, ed. 2004. High-yielding anthracnose-resistant Stylosanthes for agricultural systems. ACIAR Monograph No. 111. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Canberra, Australia. p. 143‒151. (Available at:

Conference series

Spain J; Pereira JM; Gualdrón R. 1985. A flexible grazing management system proposed for the advanced evaluation of associations of tropical grasses and legumes. Proceedings of the XV International Grassland Congress, Kyoto, Japan, 24‒31 August 1985. p. 1153‒1155.


Edye LA. 1994. The development of Stylosanthes hamata and S. scabra cultivars for subtropical environments in south east Queensland. Final Report, MRC Project CS079. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Queensland Department of Primary Industries (DPI), St Lucia, Qld, Australia.


Araújo Filho JA. 2006. Aspectos zooecológicos e agropecuários do caprino e do ovino nas regiões semi-áridas. Documentos 61. Embrapa Caprinos, Sobral, CE, Brazil.


Rangel JHA. 2005. Agroecological studies of Desmanthus – a tropical forage legume. Ph.D. Thesis. James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. (Available at:

Internet ‒ electronic journals

Example 1:

Barona E; Ramanakutty N; Hyman G; Coomes OT. 2010. The role of pasture and soybean in deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon. Environmental Research Letters 5 (April–June 2010) 024002. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/2/024002

Example 2:

Heinritz SN; Hoedtke S; Martens SD; Peters M; Zeyner A. 2012. Evaluation of ten tropical legume forages for their potential as pig feed supplement. Livestock Research for Rural Development 24, article #7. (accessed 10 February 2016).

Internet ‒ other sources

Example 1:

White D; Holmann F; Fujisaka S; Reátegui K; Lascano C. 1999. Does intensification of pasture technologies affect forest cover in tropical Latin America? Inverting the question. Revised draft (03 February 2000) of paper presented at a CIFOR Conference on Agricultural Technology Intensification and Deforestation, Costa Rica, 11–13 March 1999. (accessed 10 February 2012).

Example 2:

Cook BG; Pengelly BC; Brown SD; Donnelly JL; Eagles DA; Franco MA; Hanson J; Mullen BF; Partridge IJ; Peters M; Schultze-Kraft R. 2005. Tropical forages: An interactive selection tool. [CD-ROM], CSIRO, DPI&F (Qld.), CIAT and ILRI, Brisbane, Australia.



Use initial capitals for proper names and adjectives derived from them – months, plant families, cultivar names, generic names, references to specific tables, figures and experiments, and for common names of plants only when they incorporate a proper name.

Use italics for scientific names of plants, e.g. Cratylia argentea.

Hyphens and dashes

Use hyphens in compound numbers and fractions (one-third) and in compound modifiers (6-weekly cuts); use dashes (elongated hyphens) in ranges (23–26%).


Use numerals for all measurements in the text (except at the commencement of a sentence or when one numeral qualifies another, e.g. 2 plots, two 0.5 m2 quadrats) and as superscripts for footnotes.


Dates should be given in the form “20 August 2012”. In tables they can be abbreviated to the form ‘Aug 20’ or “20.8.12”. Use the 24-hour clock for reporting times of the day.


All numerical data must be presented in the International System (SI) units except for those units noted below. Abbreviations should be used without a full stop, e.g. day = d, minute = min, hour = h, year = yr, gram = g, liter = L, degree Celsius = °C.

Exceptions. Concentrations in SI units are expressed in terms of the unit of mass or volume as the numerator and denominator, e.g. g/kg. However, it is acceptable to express concentrations of macronutrients as a percentage and micronutrients as ppm. Avoid referring to a “concentration” as “content”. Digestibilities can be expressed as a percentage or fraction.

Units should be expressed using a slash (/), e.g. “kg/ha” rather than “kg ha-1”. The descriptor should be included within the unit, e.g. use “kg P/ha” rather than “kg/ha P”.


Abbreviations may be used for the more common physical quantities, provided they are given in full when first mentioned in the paper, e.g. “dry matter (DM)”.

The conventional symbols for statistical significance – NS for non-significant, * for P<0.05 (5%), ** for P<0.01 (1%) and *** for P<0.001 (0.1%) – can be used in tables without explanation but in the text should be given in the form “(P<0.05)”. The following statistical terms may also be used without explanation:

Coefficient of variation CV
Correlation coefficient r
Degrees of freedom d.f.
Least significant difference LSD
Probability P
Standard error s.e.
Variance ratio F

Chemical symbols

For fertilizers, N, P, and K may be used without definition. For other elements, the name should be given at the first mention followed by the symbol in brackets. Fertilizer composition should be given as N:P:K and not as N:P2O5:K2O. Ionic charge is indicated by superscripts following the symbol, e.g. Ca2+, and numbers of atoms in molecules by superscripts preceding the symbols, e.g. 15N.

Scientific names

Scientific plant species names used should be those currently accepted by one of the major taxonomic databases, such as GRIN Taxonomy for Plants or The Plant List. Where the scientific name is repeated, the generic name may be abbreviated to its initial letter. The authority for the name is not included, unless it is relevant to the content of the paper.


Download Author Guidelines


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The author has read and accepted the Publication ethics and malpractice statement and Copyright notice.
  2. The text adheres to the layout, style and bibliography requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  3. The typescript has been language checked by a native English speaker (if applicable).
  4. Information required for the “Comments for the Editor” text box is provided.

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) retains copyright of articles with the work simultaneously licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Accordingly, users/readers are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit) and to remix (to adapt) the work under the conditions of Attribution, Noncommercial, and Share Alike (see

The authors agree to the terms of this Copyright Notice, which will apply to this submission if and when it is published by this journal (comments to the editor can be added below).


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ISSN: 2346-3775