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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.
  • 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).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  • The authors are willing to pay the subscription as per the guidelines given under Author Subscriptions, which is found in About the Journal.
  • We will forward the signed declaration by author(s)/sponsoring institutions in the format given at Declaration by author(s)/sponsoring institutions.

Author Guidelines


Regular papers: Original research papers reporting the results of innovative research. The material should not have been previously published elsewhere.

Review articles: Review articles are welcome but should be topical and not just an overview of the literature. Before submission, please contact the editor.

Short communications: A concise, but complete, description of an investigation of limited scope.

Book Reviews: Book Reviews will be included in the journal on a range of relevant books, which are not more than two-years old. The editors will usually solicit book reviews, but suggestions for appropriate books for review may be sent to the Editorial Office.

Critical comments: on a recently published article or other topical themes, which may of interest to our readership.


Prepare the manuscript in an acceptable style and format. Manuscripts should be written in clear and simple language [‘British’ English]. Technical jargons and fuzzy generalizations should be avoided. Furthermore, to avoid unnecessary errors, run the ‘spellchecker’ function of the word processor. Use numbered lines, with wide margins (approximately 3-cm-wide) and double spacing throughout, including abstracts, footnotes and references. Every page of the manuscript, including the title page, references, tables, etc. should be numbered. However, in the text no reference should be made to page numbers; if necessary, one may refer to sections. Underline words that should be in italics, and do not underline any other words. Avoid excessive use of italics to emphasize part of the text.

Manuscripts in general should be organized in the following order:

• Title [clear, descriptive and not too long; suggested maximum of 12 to 15 words. Avoid low-impact expressions such as ‘effect of . . .’ and ‘study of . . .’]

• Name(s) of author(s)

• Complete postal address(es) of affiliations

• Full telephone, Fax. no. and E-mail of the corresponding author

• Present address(es) of author(s) if applicable

• Abstract [Clear, descriptive and not be longer than 200 words (without paragraphs). The abstract should indicate the objective of the study, experimental details and the significant results obtained. Quantitative data should be given, but for key results only and, not in detail].

• Key words [i.e., indexing terms, normally 3 to 6 items]

• Introduction [present a brief discussion of the most relevant and recent work to justify your study (for experimental papers), but not an elaborate literature review. Mention the study objectives clearly as the final part of this section.]

• Materials and Methods [Explain how the study was done, so that the reader may be able to repeat it independently, but care should be taken not to trivialize this part. It is perhaps not necessary to include a statement in this section to the effect that – the study was conducted in a particular department of a certain university – if that information is already provided in the author by-line or in the section labelled as ‘acknowledgements’. Nevertheless, mention any additional information that may be required by the reader to have a proper assessment of the experimental site.]

• Results/Discussion [All results need not be presented—only important ones need to be. Furthermore, voluminous data gathered from location-specific trials presented as long tables or complicated figures do not constitute a good paper. In order to be acceptable, the paper should report how the data are interpreted to explain the scientific reasons for the observed behaviour and the lessons of wider applicability that can be learned from the data. Also, facts should not be mixed with speculations or opinions.]

• Conclusions

• Acknowledgements and any additional information concerning research grants, etc.

• References

• Figure captions [Each figure and table should be accompanied by an explanatory legend. The figure legends should be grouped and placed on a separate page]

• Tables/figures [Figures and tables should be placed at the end of the manuscript following the Reference section. Each figure and table should be numbered in Arabic numerals and mentioned in the text. The approximate position of figures and tables should be indicated in the margin of the manuscript.]

In the case of short communications, bulk of the text should be organized in a continuous form without separate sections such as Introduction, Materials and methods, Results and Discussion. It should, however, include a short Abstract and a list of Keywords at the beginning of the communication, and Acknowledgements (if any) and References at the end. These components are to be prepared in the same format as used for full-length research papers.

While typing the manuscript, titles and subtitles should not be run within the text. They should be typed on a separate line, without indentation. Use lower-case letter type. Single-digit numbers should be written in words in the text, except for statistical/mathematical expressions. Units and their abbreviations should be those approved by ISO (International Standard 1000:92). In principle, SI units should be used (other equivalent units may, however, be given in parentheses, wherever necessary). Abbreviate units of measure when used with numerals.


All publications cited in the text should be presented in a list of references following the text of the manuscript. The manuscript should be carefully checked to ensure that the spelling of author's names and dates are exactly the same in the text as in the reference list. Avoid, as much as possible, references to publications that are more than 15 years old. In the text, the citations should be referred to by author's name and year of publication enclosed in parentheses, e.g., (Jose, 1998; Nair et al., 1999).

If reference is made in the text to a publication written by more than two authors the name of the first author should be used followed by “et al.” In the list of references, however, list names of first author and all co-authors should be mentioned. Refer to unpublished work only in the text, as personal communication, in this manner (S. Chinnamani, pers. comm., 2004). References cited together in the text should be arranged chronologically. The list of references should be arranged alphabetically on author's names, and chronologically per author.

If an author's name in the list is also mentioned with co-authors, the following order should be used: publications of the single author, arranged according to publication dates - publications of the same author with one co-author - publications of the author with more than one co-author. Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be listed as 1998a, 1998b, etc.

References should contain: author's name followed by author's initial(s), year, title of article (only first letter and proper nouns capitalized), journal (not underlined), volume number, and inclusive page numbers. Books must include the location and name of the publisher.

Use the following system for arranging references:

a. For periodicals: Shujauddin, N. and Kumar, B.M. 2003. Ailanthus triphysa at different densities and fertilizer regimes in Kerala, India: Biomass productivity, nutrient export and nutrient use efficiency. For. Ecol. Manag., 180: 135–151.

b. For edited symposia, special issues, etc. published in a periodical: Kumar, B.M. and Nair, P.K.R. 2004. The enigma of tropical homegardens. In: Nair, P.K.R, Rao, M.R., and Buck, L.E. (eds), New Vistas in Agroforestry: A Compendium for the 1st World Congress of Agroforestry 2004, Agroforest Syst., 61: 135–152.

c. For books Bohn, H., McNeal, B. and O’Connor, G. 1979. Soil Chemistry. John Wiley & Sons. New York, Chichester, Brisbane and Toronto, 329p.

d. For multi-author books Wiersum, K.F. 2006. Diversity and change in homegarden cultivation in Indonesia. In: Kumar B.M. and Nair P.K.R. (eds), Tropical homegardens: A time-tested example of sustainable agroforestry, Springer Science, Dordrecht. pp 13 – 24.

Abbreviate the titles of periodicals mentioned in the list of references according to the international List of Periodical Title Word Abbreviations.

In the case of publications in any language other than English, the original title is to be retained. However, the titles of publications in non-Latin alphabets should be transliterated, and a notation such as "(in Russian)" or "(in Greek, with English abstract)" should be added. Work accepted for publication but not yet published should be referred to as "in press". References concerning unpublished data and "personal communications" should not be cited in the reference list but may be mentioned in the text. Prospective authors are advised to consult a recent issue of Journal of Tropical Agriculture and become acquainted with the journal’s style and conventions.


Authors should take notice of the limitations set by the size and layout of the journal. Large tables should be avoided. If many data are to be presented, an attempt should be made to divide them over two or more tables. Tables should be numbered according to their sequence in the text. The text should include references to all tables. Each table should be on a separate page of the manuscript. Tables should never be embedded in the text, but appended at the end of the text (after references) in the order in which it is referred to in the text. Each table should have a brief and self-explanatory title. Column headings should be brief, but sufficiently explanatory. Standard abbreviations of units of measurement should be added between parentheses. Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Leave some extra space between the columns instead. Any explanation essential to the understanding of the table should be given as a footnote at the bottom of the table. Such explanatory footnotes, identified by superscript letters, should be placed immediately below the table. Do not give units, scales, or magnifications in captions; instead, incorporate them directly into the figure/table at the appropriate places.


Two copies of the black & white original photographs (glossy print, very sharp and with good contrast) should be supplied. Colour photographs are usually not acceptable. Do not mount photographs unless they form part of a composite figure. If there is more than one photograph on a single theme, they may be assembled on a sheet of white board (plate) with appropriate labelling as A, B, C etc. The caption for individual photographs and title of the illustration (plate) may be typed in a separate sheet of paper.

Magnification should be indicated. Where necessary, insert a scale bar in the illustration (not below it), as opposed to giving a magnification factor in the legend. Electronic figures In addition to hard-copy printouts of figures, authors are requested to supply the electronic versions of figures in either Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) or TIFF format. Figures should be saved in separate files without their captions, which should be included with the text of the article. Lines should not be thinner than 0.25pts and in-fill patterns and screens should have a density of at least 10%. Use standard fonts such as Times Roman and Helvetica.

The following resolutions are optimal: black-and-white line figures – 600 to 1200 dpi; line figures with some grey or coloured lines – 600 dpi; photographs – 300 dpi. Please try to provide artwork that approximately fits within the typeset area of the journal. Hard-copy figures If no electronic versions of figures are available, submit only high-quality artwork that can be reproduced as is, i.e., without any part having to be redrawn or re-typeset. The letter size of any text in the figures must be large enough to allow for reduction. Figures that are to be printed in black-and-white should not be submitted in colour. On the reverse side of each figure, the name of the (first) author and the figure number should be written in pencil; the top of the figure should be clearly indicated. Figure title and labels need not be given in the original drawing; but may be typed separately.


Leave ample space around the formulae. Subscripts and superscripts should be clear. Greek letters and other non-Latin or handwritten symbols should be explained in the margin where they are first used. Take special care to show clearly the difference between zero (0) and the letter ‘O’, and between one (1) and the letter ‘l’. Give the meaning of all symbols immediately after the equation in which they are first used. For simple fractions use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line.

Equations should be numbered serially at the right-hand side in parentheses. In general, only equations explicitly referred to in the text need be numbered.

The use of fractional powers instead of root signs is recommended. Also, powers of e are often more conveniently denoted by exp. Abbreviations, symbols, and units Only SI units and standard abbreviations should be used. If a non-standard abbreviation or a non-SI unit is to be used extensively, it should be defined at the beginning of the text. In a table, if information is not available for a particular row/cell, indicate it by n/a or nil, but not by 0.

For plants and other living organisms, the current scientific name, including the authority name, should be given when they are mentioned for the first time in the Abstract and in the main body of the text.

Additionally, the following taxonomical abbreviations may be used: cv. = cultivar, sp. = species (singular), spp. species (plural), syn. = synonym, var. = variety.

Acknowledgements and Copyright Acknowledgements of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section before the References.

An author, when quoting from someone else’s work or when considering reproducing an illustration or table from a book or journal article, should make sure that he is not infringing a copyright. Material in unpublished letters and manuscripts is also protected and must not be published unless permission has been obtained. A suitable acknowledgment of any borrowed material must always be made.



Important general instructions Please make sure that you send the latest version of your manuscript, as one file (with tables and figures at the of the text. MS Word native format is the recommended software. In general, use as few formatting codes as possible. For safety, always retain a backup copy of your file(s).

Authors are expected to maintain high standards of scientific ethics and integrity. When a paper is submitted to Journal of Tropical Agriculture, it is assumed that the work has not been published elsewhere, nor is it being submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere. The concurrence of all authors and the institution that sponsored the research programme is necessary. Format for this can be found at Declaration by author(s)/sponsoring institutions. Address of the corresponding author along with phone, fax and e-mail ids should be included on the cover page. Changes in the current address of the corresponding author, if any, must be promptly notified to the editorial office. Authors and co-authors (except for invited articles) should be subscribers of the journal. Furthermore, the principal/corresponding author is expected to arrange payment of subscription by all co-authors while forwarding the revised version of the article.

Please upload your manuscript preferably as a SINGLE FILE containing all figures and tables placed at the end of the text, i.e., after the Reference section. Also, upload the file only ONCE to the system. When you have successfully uploaded your manuscript, please print the “Declaration to be of the authors and the sponsoring institution” (given below), fill it out and return it by fax or mail to the address stated on the form.

Returning Authors please use the provided username and password and log in as 'Author' to track your manuscript or to submit a NEW manuscript (Do not register again as you will then be unable to track your manuscript). The submission file (after revision) can be uploaded by logging in as author: from the Active Submissions page, choose the submission title in question, and then click on the submission's "Review" page. At the bottom of that page, the author will find an Editor Decision section, where a revised submission file can be uploaded. Please email the editor after uploading the revision. Also, DO NOT upload the revised manuscript as a new submission.

Journal subscription

It is obligatory that all authors and co-authors whose paper has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Tropical Agriculture should pay current subscription. The corresponding authors should arrange subscription payments by all co-authors (see Author Subscriptions). Author enquiries for matters relating to the submission of articles please contact the Editor, Journal of Tropical Agriculture, Department of Agronomy, College of Horticulture, KAU PO, Thrissur 680 656, Kerala, India (Phone: +91 487 2438325, Fax: +91 487 237 1040, email:


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