All manuscripts should be submitted via ScholarOne Manuscripts.
- Publishing Policies
- Peer review
- Licence to publish
- Open access
- Journal editorial policy
- Submission procedure
- Checklist for preparation of manuscripts
- General presentation
- Additional keywords
- Footnotes in text
- Conflicts of Interest
- Reference titles
- Citation of references (examples)
- Use of referencing software
- Concentration of ionic species
- Exchangeable ions and ion exchange capacity
- Electrical conductivity
- Enzyme nomenclature
- Mathematical formulae
- Chemical nomenclature
- Microbiological nomenclature
- Crop variety pedigrees
- Soil classification nomenclature
- Statistical evaluation of results
- Line drawings
Soil Research insists on high standards of ethical behaviour throughout the publication process. Our journal editors work within the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Further information on our policies can be found at http://www.publish.csiro.au/sr/PublishingPolicies.
Soil Research is a peer-reviewed journal that uses a single-blind peer-review. The Editors-in-Chief are responsible to maintain high-quality peer-review of papers submitted to the journal and work together with the Associate Editors to ensure a thorough and fair peer-review and the highest scientific publishing standards. All submissions undergo preliminary assessment by an Editor-in-Chief, who may reject a paper before peer review when it is outside the journal’s scope or is of insufficient quality. Associate Editors select reviewers and after at least two review reports are received, they make the decision whether to accept/reject or send a manuscript for revision. The final decision is made by the Associate Editor.
The conditions around authorship for Soil Research should follow the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), for more information see http://www.publish.csiro.au/sr/PublishingPolicies.
Journal editorial policy
The journal aims to rapidly publish high-quality, novel research about fundamental and applied aspects of soil science. As well as welcoming submissions in traditional aspects of soil biology, soil physics and soil chemistry across terrestrial ecosystems, the journal will consider manuscripts dealing with wider interactions of soils with the environment.
Submission of a paper is taken to mean that the results have not been published and are not being considered for publication elsewhere. Abstracts or posters from conferences, where the full data set is not presented and interpretation of results is not extensively developed, would not normally be regarded as publications but should be acknowledged in the submitted manuscript. Please contact the Editor-in-Chief if you are unsure.
We also consider critical review articles that indicate fruitful areas of further research and are original and innovative. Reviews should not exceed 20 printed pages in length (50 pages A4 double spaced type). This should include figures and tables positioned on separate pages at the end of the manuscript, with captions on a separate page. If new experimental data are included in the review, sufficient detail about methods should be included.
Letters to the Editor-in-Chief are invited on subjects directly related to the Journal and to Soil Science more broadly, including emerging topics, education, and policy. Letters about a specific paper should be submitted as a formal comment within one year of publication of the paper, and the author(s) of the paper will have a right of reply in the same issue. Letters should not exceed 2 pages, and limits will be set for numbers of contributions relating to a particular topic or submitted from an individual or group. The decision to publish a letter rests with the Editor-in-Chief. Letters should be submitted directly to the Editor.
CSIRO Publishing requires that all authors of a multi-authored paper agree to its submission. This journal will use its best endeavours to ensure that work published is that of the named authors except where acknowledged and, through its reviewing procedures, that any published results and conclusions are consistent with the primary data. It takes no responsibility for fraud or inaccuracy on the part of the contributors. Authors of multi-authored papers may wish to assign relative values to their contributions, or to indicate that two or more authors contributed equally to a paper. This can be done in a note at the end of the address field on the paper.
PDFs of published papers are now provided free of charge to corresponding authors. Reprints are still available for purchase; an order form for reprints will be supplied with the page proofs. There are no page charges. Original illustrations will be returned after publication if this is requested at the time of submission.
To submit your paper, please use our online journal management system ScholarOne Manuscripts, which can be reached directly through this link or from the link on the journal´s homepage. If a first-time user, register via the ´Register here´ link, or use your existing username and password to log in. Then click on the ´Author Centre´ link and proceed.
A covering letter must accompany the submission and should include the name, address, fax and telephone numbers, and email address of the corresponding author. The letter should also contain a statement justifying why the work should be considered for publication in the journal, and that the manuscript has not been published or simultaneously submitted for publication elsewhere. Suggestions of possible referees are welcome.
If you encounter any difficulties, or you have any queries, please contact:
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- Manuscripts should be double-spaced and lines numbered throughout, including references, figure captions, and tables.
- Main headings (Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, Conflicts of Interest, References) are set in bold roman (not italic) type. Minor headings are set in light italic type.
- Check that all references mentioned in the text are in the References, and vice versa.
- List references in the text in chronological order, separated by semi-colons. List references in the References list in alphabetical order. In the text, do not use a comma between the author´s name and the date.
- Give full journal and book titles in the References list.
- Use arabic numerals in the text, but in table headings, spell out numbers less than ten. Type a space between a numeral and its unit.
- Prepare figures with symbols and letters appropriate for the reduction intended. Use Helvetica or another sans-serif font in figures.
- Check that stippling and/or symbols in figures are legible at the size likely to be used in the published article.
- Tables should be self-explanatory. Use headings, headnotes and footnotes.
- Place tables and figures at the end of the manuscript, each on a separate page, and place the figure captions on a separate page.
- Indicate approximate positions of figures and tables on the manuscript.
- Check that figures and tables are numbered in the order in which they are discussed in the text.
- Suggest a running head for the paper of not more than 50 characters (including spaces).
- Include addresses for all authors and an email address for the corresponding author.
The work should be presented in concise and clear English. The Introduction should not exceed what is necessary to indicate the reason for the work and its essential background. Sufficient experimental detail should be given to enable the work to be repeated. The Discussion should explain the significance of the results in the context of existing knowledge on the topic. An internal institutional review of content and English prior to submission is strongly recommended.
Supplementary material of a detailed nature that may be useful to other workers but is not essential to the printed paper may be lodged with the Production Editor, provided that it is submitted with the manuscript for inspection by the referees. Such material will be made available on request and a note to this effect should be included in the paper.
Manuscripts must be double-spaced throughout and printed on one side of good quality paper. Make the left-hand margin at least 3 cm wide, with lines numbered in the left-hand margin. Place tables, figures, and captions to figures after the text, and number all pages of the manuscript consecutively. Refer to each figure and table in the text.
Summary Text for the Table of Contents. This is a three-sentence paragraph of 50 to 80 words written for interested non-experts, such as journalists, teachers, government workers, etc. The text should be free from scientific jargon, and written at the level of an article in a science magazine. Your first sentence should engage the reader, convincing them that this is an important area. The second sentence should introduce the problem addressed in the paper, and state your main discovery. The final sentence should describe how the results fit into the bigger picture (i.e. implications or impact of the discovery).
We advise authors to read recent issues of the journal to note details of headings, tables, illustrations, style, and layout. Observance of these and the following details will shorten the time between submission and publication. Poorly prepared and unnecessarily lengthy manuscripts have less chance of being accepted.
This should be concise and appropriately informative and should contain keywords necessary to facilitate retrieval by modern searching techniques. An abridged title suitable for use as a running head at the top of the printed page and not exceeding 50 letter spaces should also be supplied.
If the paper is one of a numbered series, a reference to the previous part should be given as a footnote on the first page. If a part not yet published needs to be consulted for a proper understanding of the paper, a copy of that manuscript should be supplied to assist the referees.
The Abstract (preferably less than 200 words) should state concisely the scope of the work and give the principal findings. It should be complete enough for direct use by abstracting services. Acronyms and references should be avoided in the Abstract.
Up to 6 keywords not used in the title may be listed beneath the abstract to assist searching techniques.
Footnotes within the text should be used only when essential. They should be placed within horizontal rules immediately under the lines to which they refer.
Conflicts of Interest
A ´Conflicts of Interest´ section should be included at the end of the manuscript. It should identify any financial or non-financial (political, personal, professional) interests/relationships that may be interpreted to have influenced the manuscript. If there is no conflict of interest, please include the statement "The authors declare no conflicts of interest".
No editorial responsibility can be taken for the accuracy of the references; authors are requested to check these with special care. References are cited chronologically in the text by author and date and are not numbered. All references in the text must be listed at the end of the paper, arranged alphabetically; all entries in this list must correspond to references in the text. In the text the names of two coauthors are linked by ´and´; for three or more the first author´s name is followed by ´et al.´.
Reference titles must be included for all references, and titles of books and journals given in full. Papers that have not been accepted for publication may not be included in the list of references and must be cited either as ´unpublished data´ or as ´personal communication´; the use of such citations is discouraged.
- Journal article
Woelkerling WJ, Irvine LM, Harvey AS (1993) Growth-forms in non-geniculate coralline red algae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta). Australian Systematic Botany 6, 277-293.
- Chapter in a book
Andrew CS (1978) Mineral characterisation of tropical forage legumes. In ´Mineral nutrition of legumes in tropical and subtropical soils´. (Eds CS Andrew, EJ Kamprath) pp. 93-111. (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne)
- Whole book
Simmonds DH (1989) ´Wheat and wheat quality in Australia.´ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne)
Chippendale GM, Wolf L (1981) The natural distribution of Eucalyptus in Australia. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Special Publication No. 6, Canberra.
- Web pages
Referencing from web pages is acceptable and should give the author´s names, year of publication and title as for a report, followed by the URL, and access date.
Authors are requested to use the International System of Units (Système International d´Unités) for exact measurements of physical quantities and where appropriate elsewhere. For complex groupings of units use the form such as kg/ha. year. Tables of SI units are available from the Editor-in-Chief on request.
Concentration of ionic species
When a known ionic charge concentration is referred to, units of moles of charge per m3 (molc/m3) or moles of charge per L (molc/L) should be used. Inclusion of (+) or (-) is not needed; it should be apparent from the context in which the usits are used.
Exchangeable ions and ion exchange capacity
The units of moles of charge per kg (molc/kg) or centimoles of charge per kg (cmolc/kg) should be used. The latter has the advantage of being numerically identical to the non-SI, but still widely recognised, milliequivalents per 100 g. Inclusion of (+) or (-) is not needed; it should be apparent from the context in which the usits are used.
The recommended unit is dS/m, but mS/cm is acceptable.
The names of enzymes should conform to the Recommendations of the Nomenclature Committee of the IUB on the Nomenclature and Classification of Enzymes as published in `Enzyme nomenclature 1984´ (Academic Press, Inc., New York, 1984). If there is good reason to use a name other than the recommended name, at the first mention of the alternative name in the text it should be identified by the recommended name and EC number. The Editor-in-Chief should be advised of the reasons for using the alternative name.
Mathematical formulae should be carefully typed with symbols in correct alignment and adequately spaced. Judicious use should be made of the solidus to avoid 2-line mathematical expressions wherever possible and especially in the running text. Each long formula should be displayed on a separate line with at least 2 lines of space above and below. Equations must be in editable electronic format, i.e. not inserted as ´pictures´.
The nomenclature of compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, steroids, vitamins, etc. should follow the recommendations of the IUPAC-IUB Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature. Other biologically active compounds, such as metabolic inhibitors, plant growth regulators, buffers, etc., should be referred to once by their correct chemical name (which is in accordance with IUPAC rules of Chemical Nomenclature) and then by their most widely accepted common name. For pesticides, the latest issue of ´Pesticides - synonyms and chemical names´ (Australian Government Publishing Service) should be followed. Where there is no common name, trade names or letter abbreviations of the chemical may be used.
The names of bacteria should conform to those used in ´Approved list of bacterial names´ (American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, 1980). Fungal nomenclature should conform to the International Code for Botanical Nomenclature. The names used for viruses should be those approved by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) and published in the fourth report of the ICTV ´Classification and nomenclature of viruses´, Intervirology, 1982, 17 (1-3), 1-199. Synonyms may be added in parentheses when the name is first mentioned. Approved generic (or group) and family names should also be used.
Crop variety pedigrees
The Purdy system (Crop Science, 1968, 8, 405-406) should be followed.
Soil classification nomenclature
Owing to the international scope, as well as local classification, authors should also use internationally recognised nomenclature such as Soil Taxonomy, FAO Unesco, or the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB). For local soil classification the Australian Soil Classification (ASC) (Isbell and NCST 2016) or the New Zealand Soil Classification (Hewitt 1993) would normally be used. The relevant hierarchical level to be used in any of the above schemes will depend on the nature of the scientific study being reported. It would also be appropriate for Australian and New Zealand authors to base their soil morphological descriptions on either The National Committee on Soil and Terrain (2009) (Australian Soil and Land Survey Field Handbook) or Milne et al. 1995 (Soil description handbook).
- Hewitt AE (1993) ´New Zealand soil classification.´ Landcare Research Science Series No. 1. 131 pp. (Manaaki-Whenua Press: Lincoln, NZ)
- Isbell RF and National Committee on Soil and Terrain (2016) ´The Australian soil classification.´ 2nd edn (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne) http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/7428.htm
- The National Committee on Soil and Terrain (2009) ‘Australian Soil and Land Survey Field Handbook’. 3rd edn (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne) http://www.publish.csiro.au/book/5230/
- Milne JDG, Clayden B, Singleton PL, Wilson AD (1995) ´Soil description handbook.´ Revised edn (Manaaki-Whenua Press: Lincoln, NZ)
Statistical evaluation of results
The design and conduct of experiments must be sufficiently explained that readers can judge for themselves the validity of the results. Details of treatments such as genotype, soil properties, and levels of factors must be matched by adequate description of the field and controlled environment conditions, including the number of sites and years over which the validity of the conclusions is established. Authors should describe how measurements were made and indicate how treatments were assigned to units or blocks, and the number of replicates. When common experimental designs such as randomised block or split-plot designs are used a reference is not necessary, but it is appropriate to cite a reference for little-used methods or designs, in which case the use of these methods should be justified.
The experimental design dictates the proper method of statistical analysis and the basis of assessing the precision of treatment means. The precision achieved should be reported by a standard error of the treatment mean or a coefficient of variation. Wherever possible the assumptions implicit in the analysis should be checked. Treatment comparisons such as the least significant difference (l.s.d.) may be made when the variance ratio (F value) is significant, but authors must be aware of the limitations to the use of multiple comparisons. Where treatments have logical structure, as in factorial designs, orthogonal contrasts among treatments should be made. Brief analysis of variance (ANOVA) tables with mean squares and degrees of freedom may be published where, in designs with logical treatment structure, as in factorial designs for instance, they are an efficient way to summarise the relative importance of the various effects. Ultimately, the statistical analyses should highlight the scientific principles embodied in the results.
All tables should be constructed using the Table option in Word or using Excel, and each value should have its own cell. Tables must be numbered with arabic numerals and each must be accompanied by a title. A headnote containing material relevant to the whole table should start on a new line as it will be set in a different fount. Tables should be arranged with regard to the dimensions of the printed page (12.5 by 20 cm) and the number of columns kept to a minimum.
Excessive subdivision of column headings is undesirable and long headings should be avoided by the use of explanatory notes which should be incorporated into the headnote. The first letter only of headings to rows and vertical columns should be capitalized. The symbol for the unit of measurement should be placed in parentheses beneath the column heading. Prefixes for units should be chosen to avoid an excessive number of digits in the body of the table or a scaling factor should be added to the heading. Horizontal rules should be inserted only above and below column headings and at the foot of the table. Vertical rules must not be used. Each table must be referred to in the text. Only in exceptional circumstances will the presentation of essentially the same data in both tabular and graphical form be permitted; where adequate, the graphical form should be used. Short tables can frequently be incorporated into the text as a sentence or as a brief untitled tabulation. Footnotes in tables should be reserved for specific items in columns.
Line diagrams and photographs must be prepared using either a draw or a chart/graph program such as Illustrator, Excel, Sigmaplot, Harvard Graphics, or Cricket Graph and files should be saved in one of the following formats: encapsulated PostScript (EPS) (preferred), Illustrator (preferred), Excel (provided the Excel files have been saved with the chart encapsulated), or as pictures in a Word file.
Lettering should be in sans-serif type (Helvetica preferred) with the first letter of the first word and any proper names capitalized. The x-height of inscriptions after reduction should be 1.2 - 1.3 mm (capitals 2 mm). Thus for the preferred reductions of graphs to 30, 40, or 50% of original linear dimensions, the initial x-height of lettering should be 4, 3, or 2.5mm, respectively. Symbols and grid marks should be the same respective sizes, and curves and axes should then be either 0.8, 0.7, or 0.6 mm thick, respectively. Proportionately smaller sizes of type, symbols, grid marks and curve thicknesses should be used for lesser reductions (the thickness of all lines on line diagrams must be no less than 1 pt). The following symbols should be used: .
Grid marks should point inwards; legends to axes should state the quantity being measured and be followed by the appropriate SI units in parentheses.
Photographs must be of the highest quality with a full range of tones and of good contrast. Photographs must be trimmed squarely to exclude features not relevant to the paper and be separated from neighbouring photographs by uniform spaces that will be 2 mm wide after reduction. Lettering should be in a sans-serif type and contrast with its background: thus white lettering should be used on darker backgrounds. The size of lettering should be such that the final height after reduction is 1.5-2 mm. A scale bar must be inserted on each photomicrograph and electron micrograph. Important features to which attention has been drawn in the text should be indicated.
Suitable electronic formats for photographs are TIFF and EPS at a required resolution of 300 d.p.i. Colour photographs are accepted; however, the journal does not cover the cost of their printing. Please specify to the Editor if you wish to publish photographs in colour. Electronic files of colour figures or photographs should be saved in CMYK colour rather than in RGB colour as this is required for our printing purposes. Authors should note that the colour may change when converted to CMYK from RGB colour.