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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.

Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines (Updated 2023-07)

The Journal publishes, in English or Spanish, Research Papers, Regional Communications and Short Communications on research and development, as well as Genetic Resources Communications, contributions from practitioners (Farmer Contributions) and Review Articles, related to pastures and tropical forages in the tropics and subtropics. The journal is open to publish articles covering the agronomy, management and other relevant topics on temperate forage species only if the research reported was carried out in tropical or subtropical environments. The focus of the Journal is more on sown ('improved') tropical pastures and other relevant forage species, than on rangeland-specific aspects of natural grasslands.


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 by the same authors or that do not add any new or additional information on use of these species as forage will not be considered for publication in the Journal.

With the submission of a paper for publication, the authors agree that they adhere to and accept the Journal´s copyright and user’s notice and ethics and malpractice notice.

Publication process

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, regional and short communications are then sent for review by a statistician for experimental design and statistical analysis. Manuscripts which are based on results from short experimental periods, few replications or poor design may be declined.

Peer review process

Manuscripts that pass this initial evaluation are normally sent to at least two experts for peer review (either 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 website 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 statistically significant results of experiments on forages and grasslands up to 8,000 words
  • Short Communications – report statistically significant results of small-scale experiments or development of new technologies for forages and grasslands up to 4,000 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 4,000 words
  • Review Articles – review topics of current and wide interest, by prior approval of editors up to 10,000 words
  • Regional Communications - report statistically significant results of experiments of regional focus and interest up to 8,000 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. Papers must not exceed the number of words inclusive of all parts of the paper including tables. Papers should be typed in double space, 12-point font throughout. 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 to be published in English or Spanish by non-native speakers should have undergone a language check by native English or Spanish speakers before submission.

Submission of all papers should be done through the Journal online platform. Information on the submission process is available at

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 includes full names, addresses and contact emails for all authors. If the author and co-authors have an ORCID iD, we recommend that you include that as well. Metadata should be carefully completed and checked at the time of submission because the new journal platform software does not allow authors to make corrections once metadata is submitted.

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.

Manuscript content

Title page

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 text.

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 briefly explain 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 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 authors´ 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 in relation to the objectives stated in the introduction, focusing especially on any practical application, as well as pointing out if the results indicate areas where further research 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 as well as 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)

Chinese authors should be referred by their full names with family name first followed by given names.  For example: Liu Guodao and Kerridge (1997) or Liu Guodao et al. (1997)

All references cited in the text should be listed alphabetically by all author´s surnames in the list of References. References with all the same authors should be listed chronologically.

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:


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: 10.1079/9780851993 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 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 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. 


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. 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

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 points/dots for decimal points in numbers e.g. 67.89. Use commas in large numbers e.g. 2,599.


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


Correlation coefficient


Degrees of freedom


Least significant difference




Standard error


Variance ratio


Research Papers

Farmer Contributions

Privacy Statement

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.

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Phone: +57 (2)445 0100
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