Submission Preparation ChecklistAs 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.
- The author has read and accepted the Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement, Open Access Policy and Copyright and User's Notice.
- The text adheres to the layout, style and bibliography requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
- The typescript has been language checked by a native English speaker (if applicable).
- Information required for the “Comments for the Editor” text box is provided.
Papers are accepted for review by the Journal on the understanding that the material presented has not been and will not be submitted or published elsewhere. Papers must have been approved by all authors as well as the organization sponsoring the research. Submissions presenting experimentation and research results that are similar to other published work and do not add any new or additional information on use of these species as forage will not be considered for publication in the Journal.
All submitted papers will first be assessed for completeness and adherence to author guidelines. Authors may receive requests to conform to the journal format and complete information at this stage. Manuscripts are double-blind peer reviewed which means that the reviewers don't know the identity of authors, and vice versa. Therefore, the main text file should not include any information that might identify the authors.
The Editors do an initial assessment of each submission based on the completeness of the manuscript, fit to the scope of the journal, quality of the described research and its importance and interest to the broad community of grassland and forage scientists. Manuscripts considered suitable will enter the review process and those considered unsuitable at this stage receive an editorial rejection. Research papers and short communications are then sent for biometrical review for experimental design and statistical analysis. Manuscripts which are based on short experimental periods, few replications or poor design will receive a rejection.
Peer review process
Manuscripts that pass this initial evaluation are normally sent to at least two experts for peer review (members of the Editorial Board or external specialists), who will remain anonymous to the authors. A list of experts who assisted with the peer review process during the year is posted on the web site at the end of the year. Once the reviews are returned, the Editor combines their recommendations into an overall evaluation based on the reviews and his/her own assessment of the manuscript. The corresponding author will be informed of the Editor´s decision based on the outcome of the review. Editors will make every effort to expedite the review process. However, recognizing that the Journal is an open access not-for-profit publication with no publication charge, the review and publication process may take several months to complete, dependent on availability of competent reviewers.
Preparation of typescripts
Typescripts should be prepared to fit within one of the 6 sections of the Journal (detailed above in focus and scope):
- Research Papers – report relevant results of experiments on forages and grasslands supported by the proper use of statistical principles and methods, in no more than 8000 words
- Short Communications – report relevant results of experiments on forages and grasslands supported by the proper use of statistical principles and methods from small-scale experiments or development of new technologies for forages and grasslands, in no more than 4000 words
- Genetic Resources Communications – report characterization of large numbers of accessions of forage germplasm, often accompanied by extensive data sets
- Farmer Contributions - report on experiences and results obtained by users that are of general wide interest up to 4000 words
- Review Articles – review topics of current and wide interest, by prior approval of editors
- Regional Contributions - report relevant results of experiments on forages and grasslands supported by the proper use of statistical principles and methods with a regional focus and interest, in no more than 8000 words
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. All papers must not exceed 8,000 words inclusive of all parts of the paper including tables, typed in double space, 12-point font throughout, except for Short Communications and Farmer Contributions which must not exceed 4,000 words. The Journal publishes review papers on subjects of current interest and wide relevance on topics agreed with the editors before preparation. Text of all papers should be 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.
Submission of all papers should be done through the Journal online platform. Information on the submission process is available at tropicalgrasslands.info/index.php/tgft/about/submissions
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.
Metadata should be completed for all authors at the time of submission. This must include: Full name, email, affiliation, and country, at least. If you and your authors have ORCID iD we strongly encourage to include it as well. Please note that this is the first filter of your submission, and it is mandatory to start the revision process.
Papers on topics of minimal relevance for the Journal readers, those with unsatisfactory grammar and/or style, not following the Journal format or with incomplete metadata can be rejected without further review at the discretion of the Editor.
The title should be kept as concise and informative as possible and presented in boldface type, followed by the name(s) of the author(s) in upper case and his/her/their affiliation(s) and ORCID identification(s), including the URLs of their institutions. The corresponding author should be indicated along with his/her e-mail address. An abbreviated title for use as a page heading (‘running title’) should be included.
Headings should be left-aligned with upper case used only in the first letter. Main headings should be in boldface, first-order subheadings in italic typeface on a separate line and second-order subheadings in italic typeface incorporated in the paragraph.
In most papers, the main headings will be: Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion (which may include Conclusions), Acknowledgments, and References.
An abstract not exceeding 250 words should be presented after the title and authors' names. It should include the objectives, main findings, and conclusions of the work. Since abstracts in Spanish and English will form part of the paper, please provide, if possible, a ‘Resumen’ in that language (however, not 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 context and 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
The Materials and Methods section should provide complete information to allow the experiment to be fully understood by the reader. Sufficient information on experimental design, treatments, replications, data analysis, equipment used and methods (with references) and timing of data collection should be provided in enough detail to allow the experiment to be repeated. A concise statement or tabular presentation of all treatments and experimental design 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 and climate 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 you have the proper permissions for use) if they are conducive to a better understanding of the research. Results must not be combined with Discussion other than in short communications.
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, and reference other important research that assists understanding of the research outputs. 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 correct place 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. Axes scales should be large enough to read.
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 with no full stop between the name and year:
one author: Smith (1999) or (Smith 1999)
two authors: Ladd and Jones (2010) or (Ladd and Jones 2010)
more than two authors without the use of italics for et al.: Jones et al. (2012) or (Jones et al. 2012)
multiple papers in one year should be identified by small letters after the 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 rather than from a research network. The following style is to be used:
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. http://www.tropicalgrasslands.info/public/journals/4/Historic/Tropical%20Grasslands%20Journal%20archive/PDFs/Vol_44%20(1_2_3_4)/Vol%2044%20(4)%20Bystricky%20et%20al%20246.pdf
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. Bit.ly or Ow.ly (in the example case, e.g. to bit.ly/2L7El7n).
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: 10.1079/9780851993 515.0000
Where reference is made to particular page numbers in a book, these should be listed after the name of the book.
For books without a doi, the ISBN/ISSN number should be included instead.
Chapters in books
Bai C; Liu G; Wang D. 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. https://www.aciar.gov.au/node/8471
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 southeast 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. goo.gl/qnDepE
Rangel JHA. 2005. Agroecological studies of Desmanthus – a tropical forage legume. Ph.D. Thesis. James Cook University, Townsville, Qld, Australia. eprints.jcu.edu.au/17512
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.
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. http://goo.gl/ACsYAR (accessed 10 February 2012).
Cook BG; Pengelly BC; Schultze-Kraft R; Taylor M; Burkart S; Cardoso Arango JA; González Guzmán JJ; Cox K; Jones C; Peters M. 2020. Tropical Forages: An interactive selection tool. 2nd and Revised Edn. International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya. www.tropicalforages.info
Note: The Journal discourages citing references from journals or publishers that the scientific community considers as predatory. Predatory journals are characterized by false or misleading information and deviation from best editorial and publication practices. We recommend that you only cite references from ISI indexed journals.
Conventions that must be followed in papers
GRIN Plant Taxonomy is used as the standard for the Journal for both scientific and common names. This can be consulted at https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.
Use of upper case
Use initial capitals (upper case) 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 e.g. Rhodes grass, Napier grass.
Use italics for scientific names of plants and animals, e.g. Cratylia argentea, Bos indicus. For titles in italics, scientific names are not italicized.
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. Use commas in large numbers e.g. 2,599.02
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 with a space between the number and unit, 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 common statistical terms may also be used without explanation:
Coefficient of variation
Degrees of freedom
Least significant difference