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Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines

Updated 2019-11


The Journal will consider 5 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 Research Papers. Short Communications should not exceed 10 typescript pages in length. They will also be subjected to the Journal´s peer-review system.

Genetic Resources Communications (GRC): These are to document the characterization and evaluation of large/comprehensive collections of germplasm of tropical and subtropical forage species and are accompanied by relevant data sets that are considered, in general, too extensive for publication in other paper categories such as Research Article. GRC papers contribute to safeguarding information which otherwise would not be easily accessible to the research community or even might become lost. Such papers are treated in the same way as research papers, so should be structured accordingly, and are peer-reviewed. They are not meant to consist merely of data sets with limited description but should contain all relevant methodological details as in a Research Article and culminate in clear conclusions and suggestions. Submissions for this paper category are welcome, even when they present data collected years ago.

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 and user’s notice.

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.

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 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 of 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 must 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, in an editable form (such as their original spreadsheets), 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.

Where available, provide a stable internet link such as a doi number, or a link to an institutional repository. 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 a URL shortener service, e.g., or (in the example case, e.g. 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. doi: 10.1079/9780851993515.0000

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, ACT, Australia. p. 143‒151.

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, Qld, Australia.

Internet ‒ electronic journals

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

Internet ‒ other sources

When the link to an internet source does not seem to be stable, add ‘accessed (date)’ to the URL.

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. CSIRO, DPI&F (Qld), CIAT and ILRI, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.

Note: The Journal discourages citing references from journals or publishers that the scientific community considers as predatory.



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 and animals, e.g. Cratylia argentea, Bos indicus.

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.

Note: 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’ (= amount of a component per unit weight) 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


Correlation coefficient


Degrees of freedom


Least significant difference




Standard error


Variance ratio


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, Open Access Policy and Copyright and User's 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

Copyright and Users’ Notice

As an author publishing an article in this Journal, you agree to have the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY) applied to your work (the Work).

This license allows you as a user of a published version of the Work and any other user to copy, redistribute, remix, transform, and build upon the Work, in any format or medium, for any purpose including commercial purpose, on a perpetual basis provided they credit the Work and the authors. Users must explain any changes that were made from the original and may not suggest the authors endorse the use. The resultant work must be made available under the same terms, and must include a link to the CC BY 4.0 International License.

The full legal code of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License can be found at

Proper attribution of a Work published in Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales can be as follows:

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

As an author agreeing to the use of the CC BY license to publish your Work, you should be mindful of the following:

  • If the Work contains any material such as photos, images, tables, figures, data, etc., that you do not own or control, you must obtain permission to use it and submit evidence of such permission to the Publisher. Further, the third party owner must approve the use of the CC BY license to her/his content as part of your Work.
  • If you use in your Work content previously published in another article or work by another publisher, make sure that you have the rights to re-use such content in the Work you intend to submit or have submitted to Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales, and that such content can be licensed under a CC BY license. If the previously used content was published under a CC BY license you could re-use such content. If the license applicable to the previously used content is more restrictive than CC BY, you must ascertain what rights you have under such license. Contact the former publisher to ask and to obtain the permissions, as necessary. In case you cannot ascertain your rights or do not have permission to use certain content, refrain from using it.

CIAT as the Publisher of Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales reserves the right to remove any content of an article submitted to the journal such as photos, images, figures, tables, illustrations, data, audio and video files, and the like, whether before or after publication, as well as the full article, if there is a reason to believe that the content included in your submission lacks permission from the owner of the content.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Our Open Access Policy implies immediate, irrevocable and free of charge online access to anyone subject to proper attribution and appropriate licenses.

In terms of licenses and agreements, authors of manuscripts accepted for publishing must have read and, by submitting a manuscript, accept the Publishing Agreement allowing CIAT, the Publisher of Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales, exclusive rights to publish and use the author(s)’ contribution. Acceptance of the mentioned publishing agreement is a requirement before final acceptance of the peer-reviewed manuscript and its actual publication.

As an open access journal, CIAT applies the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY) to any of the types of article ('Work') published in Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales. This license allows readers to copy, distribute, adapt, or reuse articles in whole or in part, for free and for any purpose, including commercial purposes. Anyone can reuse the work as long as they cite properly the author(s) and the source of the published work. Authors of an accepted manuscript for publishing by Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales, agree with the use of the CC BY license if their contribution is published by this journal. For additional information, kindly read our Copyright and Users’ Notice.


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Note: Your use of and interaction with the Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales website(s) constitutes your unconditional acceptance of the practices described in this privacy policy, as they may be modified from time to time. If you do not agree with and accept all of the practices described in this privacy policy, do not use the Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales website(s) and do not provide or submit any personally-identifying information. By providing personal information to us, you consent to our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information in accordance with this privacy policy.


As an international organization with headquarters in Colombia, CIAT as the publisher accepts and complies with the personal data protection norms contained in the Colombian Law 1581 of 2012 and Decree 1377 of 2013 by guaranteeing the protection of personal information provided by you and making every reasonable effort to handle collected information appropriately. All information collected will be handled with care in accordance with CIAT’s standards for integrity, transparency and equity. The information collected through any of the following means will be subject to this policy: the web pages and content on the Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales website(s), and the tools, software, submission systems, web forms, registration system, and any other means through which we interact with you.

Type of collected information

Personal Information: In our interaction with you, during the submission process of your manuscripts and during other instances, we may request personal information from you, such as your name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, email address, telephone number, and ORCID ID. Your provision of such information is strictly voluntary.

Technical Information: Through your interactions with the journal site, we may collect, have access to, store and use your computer’s IP address, the URL/domain name of any referring website, the time and date of your visit to the journal site, to enable us to understand how people interact with the journal site, to analyze data for trends and statistics, to help diagnose and solve issues with the site and our technologies, products, and services, and to optimize the performance of the journal site. Additionally, we use the following types of cookies: (1) Analytics cookies that anonymously remember your computer or mobile device when you visit our website; they keep track of browsing patterns and help us to build up a profile of how our readers use the website. (2) Service cookies that help us to make our website work as efficiently as possible; remember your registration and login details, and remember your settings preferences.

Use of Information

CIAT may use your personal information for the following purposes: Technical assistance in case that you require and notify via email when a new issue of the Journal is launched, and periodical newsletters of relevant information of forages research around the world. The information is mainly stored on or by our computers, computer networks, servers, tools, and systems.

CIAT may disclose your personal information as reasonably necessary to its employees and to third parties under contract with us such as vendors, volunteers, independent contractors, and consultants, web and technical support providers, other publishers and/or content hosting providers under contract with us, third parties authorized by you to receive such information, and as may be required or permitted by law. We may also share information regarding you and your manuscript or other research content as reasonably necessary with parties such as external editors, reviewers, community journal staff, and curators.

CIAT reserves the right to disclose personal information in the case of a government authorities’ request, national or international, where it is necessary or appropriate to investigate illegal or fraudulent facts. To establish or defend the rights of CIAT against fraud, legal action or in compliance with law; or if CIAT deems it necessary to investigate or act against fraud or illegal reports on this site.

No Sale or Leasing of Personal Information

Except as described in this privacy policy, CIAT will not disclose your personal information to third parties without your consent. We will not sell or lease your personal information to any third party. We may disclose aggregate demographic and statistical information with our business partners; this information is not specific to the identification of you as an individual.

No Responsibility for Third Party Websites

If you are linked or directed to, or click on, a third party website while visiting or interacting with the Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales website, CIAT assumes no responsibility for the information you may provide to that party or on/at that website, or for how that party may use or disclose any information you may provide to them.

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As holder of the personal data you can exercise at any time the following actions according to law: access to your personal data to know the details of treatment of them, updating them, rectification in the event of being inaccurate, incorrect or outdated and cancellation or deletion when it is considered not required for any of the purposes indicated in this privacy policy, or are being used for purposes not consented.

If you need access to the personal data you provided or exercise any of the rights provided by law, send an application to, or to the physical address:

Km 17 Recta Cali-Palmira, A.A. 6713, Cali, Colombia
Phone: +57 (2)445 0100
Fax: +57 (2)445 0073

CIAT will attend your claim within fifteen (15) days from the day after the day of receipt. If during this period, CIAT requests from you more information to execute your wish and no response is received after one (1) month, the claim will be deemed withdrawn. The request for deletion of the information and the revocation of the authorization will not proceed when you as holder have a legal or contractual duty to remain in the database.

Consent to Receive Email Communications

Except in countries or jurisdictions where it is not be permitted by law, we may from time to time send you email communications regarding our work or services in response to your use of the journal site. By providing your email address, you consent to receive such communications, but may opt out of receiving such communications by contacting us at

If you wish to discuss what personal information we may have pertaining to you, or the handling or potential disclosure of the same, you may contact us at and we will promptly address your inquiry.