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Author Guidelines


Manuscripts should be prepared electronically in MS Word.

Manuscripts must be written in English (U.K.). Authors who are not very proficient in English are strongly advised to have their manuscript proof-read by someone who is proficient in English prior to submission.
Use of local names of things should be avoided. But if any must be used, it should be typed in italics and enclosed in inverted commas. A brief explanation of what the term stands for should be given in parentheses at first mention.

Paper size, margin, length of manuscript:
Manuscripts should be double-spaced on one side of A4 paper with a 2.5 cm margin on all sides. The length of the manuscript should not exceed 5000 words, excluding references, figures and tables.

Organisation of manuscript:
The arrangement of the various components of the manuscript should follow this order:
Title (should be clear, informative, not too long, capitalize first word and proper names only, no full stop, Times New Roman size 14, bold type)
Name(s) of author(s) (first name, initials, surname, Times New Roman size 12, not bold)
Full address(es) of author(s), including organisational affiliation(s), telephone, email and fax number (if available) of the corresponding author (provide all as footnotes)
Abstract (should be clear, descriptive, no formulae, no common names of biota, no trade names of pesticides, no acronyms, not exceeding 250 words, single paragraph)
Key Words (3 – 6 items)
Materials and Methods
Figure captions (listed on a separate page, indicated as Figure instead of Fig.).
Figures (includes all illustrations such as maps, graphs, photographs, line drawings, etc., should be placed on separate pages, one figure per page, numbered in sequence by first appearance in the text)
Note: Illustrations (photographs, line drawings, etc.) should be included only if they clarify the text.

Length of paper, font, line spacing, margins, paragraph style:
Full length research papers should not exceed 5000 words (excluding abstract, list of references, figures and tables), Times New Roman size 12 only, double line spacing within paragraph (except in tables), single column, justify.
Bold and capitalize main titles (i.e. Abstract, Key Words, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgments, References), do not number them.
Space before and after a main title in the body of the manuscript should be 12 points.
Space before and after a paragraph to separate one paragraph from others.
Author(s) may use subtitles for sub-components under a main title within the main body of the manuscript (use sentence case, bold type, no underlining).
Author(s) may use second-level subtitles under first-level subtitles (use sentence case, italics, do not bold or underline).
Author(s) may use third-level or fourth-level subtitles (sentence case, may use letters or numerals to number subtitles, use italics, do not bold or underline).
No space after subtitles (indent the first line of each paragraph).
Do not indent main titles or subtitles.
Avoid using long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid beginning a paragraph with words like: And, But.

Short communications:
This applies to research that can be covered in short research note format.
Should not exceed 2000 words (excluding abstract, list of references, figures and tables).
A short abstract summarising the main findings is required (not exceeding 100 words, single paragraph).
Key words (3-6) are required.
The body of the text may be in continuous form, or organised under a selection of main titles (see ‘organisation of manuscript’).
A list of references is required.
Should adhere to other general formatting as outlined in this guide.

International System of Units (SI):
Use SI units (i.e. modern metric system).
Use standard abbreviations for units that follow numerical values (e.g. 25 cm, instead of 25 centimetres), unless otherwise considered more appropriate.
With the exception of angles and hyphenated use, always leave a space between a numerical value and the unit symbol following it. Examples of correct use:
(100 g, not 100g); (37 °C, not 37°C); (‘a 10-m tall tree’, not ‘a 10m tall tree or a 10 m tall tree’); (an angle of 12°, not an angle of 12 °)

Should be numbered according to sequence of appearance in the paper, have a clear descriptive caption directly above the table, do not embed in text, place one table per page.
Indicate approximate positions in the text.
Use brief but informative column headings. Standard abbreviations of units of measurements should be included in parentheses.
Do not use bold type for titles or other contents.
Line spacing: single.
Avoid large tables (split them into few smaller tables, if possible).
Use horizontal borders to demarcate heading rows and to underline the last row of data entry.
Use tabs to align contents into columns, leave sufficient space between columns.
Do not draw tables with grid lines (whether vertical or horizontal, visible or suppressed).
If needed, short explanatory notes may be included directly below a table.

Should have a clear descriptive caption placed directly below the graph.
Do not embed in the text, save on separate page (see instruction for figures under ‘organisation of manuscript).
When prepared in applications such as Excel, they should be exported and saved as MS Word document.
No grid lines (but will be allowed in exceptional cases).
Photographs, maps, scanned items:
Authors are strongly advised to use either high resolution black and white illustrations, or very high resolution colour illustrations which will retain clarity when converted to black and white. Poor quality illustrations will be rejected.
Save pictures in JPEG/TIFF format (do not embed in main body of manuscript).
Photographs, scanned pictures, maps, and similar items should be submitted as a separate file (but do indicate their approximate locations in the manuscript).

Lettering in/on illustrations
Lettering on diagrams, photographs, graphs, etc. should be sufficiently large and bold to permit legible reproduction when the illustration is reduced to a size suitable for inclusion in the journal. (Test the legibility of your illustration by reducing the size by 50%.)

Should be clear, descriptive, and not too long.
Capitalise first word and proper names only, write scientific names in full.

Should be formatted as follows:
Table 1. Relative abundance of flowers in two varieties of tomato following treatment with hormones.
Figure 1. Size of banana fruits at eight weeks after de-suckering.
All illustrations (diagrams, graphs, photographs, line drawings, etc.) should be referred to as figures. They should be numbered consecutively (according to order of appearance in the paper).
Capitalise the first letter when referring to a table or figure within the text, regardless of its position in the sentence.
Examples: Table 1 shows that ......; This trend is clearly shown in Figure 10.
** All figures and tables must be referred to in the text.


Names of organisms:
With the exception of common domestic animals and crops, the preferred scientific name of organisms (according to the International Codes of Nomenclature) should be given in full at the first mention of the English common name. Thereafter, the common name may be used, provided there is no ambiguity. Common names should be avoided in titles and abstracts (but English common names of crops may be used, provided there is no ambiguity).

Names of pesticides:
The internationally recognised common names (names of active ingredients) of pesticides and other chemicals should be used. Commercial (trade, brand) names may be used in inverted commas (but the internationally accepted common name should still be provided at first mention). Example:
Glyphosate is the common name (or active ingredient) in Roundup, and Roundup is the commercial (or trade) name of a herbicide.
Common names should be presented in lower case letters, except at the beginning of a sentence. The trade name, if used, should always start with a capital letter, and should be enclosed in inverted commas. Examples:
The use of glyphosate is widespread in .....; Glyphosate is widely used .....
‘Roundup’ was applied.... ; The application of ‘Roundup’ resulted in ......
**Chemical names may also be used where appropriate.

Wherever possible each formula should be typewritten (not scanned), with adequate space around the formula. (Consider placing the formula inside a borderless textbox to avoid shifting of items during subsequent formatting of the paper.)
If several equations are used in the manuscript, number them consecutively on the right-hand side in parentheses.
Superscripts and subscripts should be very clear, ensure that numerals and letters are distinguishable (e.g. between zero and letter O).
At first use, provide the meaning of all symbols in the equation immediately after the equation.
In general, use internationally accepted symbols and avoid ambiguity.

Reference to numbers in text:
In general, do not write the numbers zero to nine in numerals within sentences, except in special cases (e.g. when followed by units of measurement, in ranges). Numbers from ten onwards may be written in numerals within sentences, but numerals should not be used to begin a sentence.

Referencing within text:

Use only surnames of authors (in initials) when citing references.
References should be cited as follows:
...the data (Greenland & Craswell, 1989 ) showed... ; or ….Greenland & Craswell (1989) showed…..
If a reference quoted in the text has more than two authors, it should be quoted as follows:
….. the data (Greenland et al., 1980) …… ; or ….. Greenland et al. (1989) showed…..

Referencing from a book should be as follows:

McKeen (2002, pp. 18-20) stated that….. ; McKeen (2002, p. 20) stated that…..
Where it is certain that the author cannot be identified, use ‘Anonymous’ or ‘Anon.’ in place of author name.
Example: Anon. (2003) reported that …; or Anonymous (2003) reported that ……
**Choose and use one format only.
References cited together in the text should be arranged chronologically. Example:
...requires two inches of rainfall annually (May, 1989; Glen, 2000; Duke, 2001).
Where an author has more than one publication in the same year, letters of the alphabet (a, b, etc.) should be assigned to each publication in the order of first appearance within the text. Examples:
Lindsay (1972a) found that...., but it tends to decrease with age (Lindsay, 1972b).
Lindsay (1972a, b) found that....
**These publications must carry these assigned letters in the list of references.
When the date of publication is not indicated, cite as follows:
Jones (n.d.) found that ……..
If the author of a publication is a recognised corporate body (e.g. an international organisation, company, government department), the name of the body should be written in full at first mention, with the standard abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter, the abbreviation may be used in the rest of the text. Example:
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) (2000) has declared .... (at first citing).
The FAO (2000) noted that ...... (subsequent citing).
** It is preferable that the full corporate name is used in the list of references.

List of references:

Only publications cited in the paper should be listed.
All publications cited in the body of the text should be included in the list of references.
Surnames and initials of authors should be provided (do not use et al.)
It is the responsibility of the author(s) to ensure that author name(s) and year of publication are correct, both within the body of the text and in the list of references.
All references should be listed at the end of the paper in ascending alphabetical order (A-Z), according to the last name of the author.
Publications for the same author(s) should be arranged chronologically.
** You can use the ‘sort’ function of your word processor to arrange the references.
Use italics for titles of books, journals, newspapers, newsletters, and theses (dissertations).
References from periodicals should include the last name(s) of the author(s) followed by the initials (all uppercase letters), year of publication, title of paper, full name of the periodical (in italics), volume number (in bold type) and page numbers. Example:
LINDSAY, W. L. 1972. Zinc in soils and plant nutrition. Advances in Soil Management, 24:147-186.
When present, the issue/part number should be written in parenthesis after the journal volume. Example:
LINDSAY, W. L. 1972. Zinc in soils and plant nutrition. Advances in Soil Management, 24 (2):147-186.
References to books should include the last name(s) of author(s) followed by initials (all uppercase letters), year of publication, title of book, edition, publisher and location, number of pages. Example:
MAJOR, R. & GREEN, V. S. 1980. Growing Rice in the Savannas. 2nd edition. Marquee Publishers, Brenton, 250 pp.
Where a reference involves only a chapter in a book whose various chapters are authored by different persons, the reference should be listed as follows:
LAL, R., KANG, B., MOORMAN, F. R., ANTHONY JOU, S. R. & MOONMAW, J. C. 1975. Soil Management Problems and Possible Solutions in W. Nigeria. In: Bornemisza, E. & Alvarado, A. (Eds.), Soil Management in Tropical America. North Carolina State University, USA, pp. 372-408.
References to online publications (articles, ejournals, ebooks):
BROWN, K.C. 2008. Growing button mushroom. Urban Agriculture Newsletter, [Online]. 42 (6). Available at: [Accessed 20 Jan. 2010].
MVUNGI, J. B. & MATHI, C. J. 2000. A new incubation technique for small-scale poultry farms. Poultry Digest, [Online] 2 Feb., 13 (2):1-6. Available at: [Accessed 12 Feb. 2009].
PASCAL, W. 2002. The third degree. [e-book] Herman: Zorrow Press. Available at: Municipal Library/Digital Library/e-books /E-books [Accessed 6 March 2009].
**Note: Underline URLs. Do not use URLs in the body of the text (unless for a special reason).
Newspaper articles should be listed as follows:
TUNAKI, M. M. 2003. Pollution scandal: top officers implicated. The Sentry, 2 Aug., p.1.
List a conference paper as follows: Name(s) of author(s) and year. Title of paper. In: (name of the editor or organisation). Full title of conference (italics). Location, date. Publisher, place of publication. Example:
SUZUKI, S. H. 2008. The impact of deforestation on rural water supply in Naiger. In: 10th International Conference on Climate Change. Hankok, Neverland, 1-5 Nov. 2008. Global Concern, New Ville.
Annual reports: Provide name of corporate author, year of publication. Title of annual report (italics), place of publication: Publisher. Example:
EXTENSION DIVISION 2008. Strategic developments - annual report 2007-2008. Sebania Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, 63 pp.
Work that has already been accepted for publication in a periodical should be listed as ‘in press’ (provide the name of the periodical and volume number).
Unpublished work (including research data, internal reports) and personal communications should not be listed under references, but may be mentioned in the text; give as much details as appropriate.
Master’s and doctoral theses that have been approved by the relevant educational institution may be included in the list of references. Example:
SULIFOA, J. B. 2007. Evaluation of Some Management Strategies against Lepidopterous Pests of Head Cabbage in Samoa. M.Sc. Alafua: University of the South Pacific.

Spelling & grammar checker:

Authors are strongly advised to use their word processor’s spelling and grammar checking function (set to U.K. English) to check their manuscript prior to submission.
Be consistent in style (for example, use either organisation or organization throughout your paper).
The responsibility of proof-reading a paper rests with the author(s).


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 submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format.
  3. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  4. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  5. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

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