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Instructions to Authors

coverArticles for Agronomy Journal (AJ) must be original reports of research not simultaneously submitted to or previously published in any other scientific or technical journal and must make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge or toward a better understanding of existing agronomic concepts. The study reported should be applicable to a sizable geographic area or an area of ecological or economic significance and of potential interest to a significant number of scientists.

Original research articles are grouped by subject matter into the following categories: Agronomic Application of Genetic Resources; Crop Ecology & Physiology; Crop Economics, Production & Management; Climatology & Water Management; Biometry, Modeling & Statistics; Soil Fertility & Crop Nutrition; Organic Agriculture & Agroecology; Soil Tillage, Conservation & Management; Agronomy, Soils & Environmental Quality; Urban Agriculture; Biofuels; and Pest Interactions in Agronomic Systems.

This "Instructions to Authors" is a summary of style and preparation guidelines. For a complete document on style, consult our Publications Handbook and Style Manual.

Membership is not a requirement for publishing in AJ. Consult the ASA–CSSA–SSSA style manual and recent issues of AJ for guidance. For questions not answered in the style manual, consult the Managing Editor.


After critical review and approval by the editorial board, AJ publishes articles reporting research findings in soil–plant relationships; crop science; soil science; biometry; crop, soil, pasture, and range management; crop, forage, and pasture production and utilization; turfgrass; agroclimatology; agronomic models; integrated pest management; integrated agricultural systems; and various aspects of entomology, weed science, animal science, plant pathology, and agricultural economics as applied to production agriculture.

Notes are published about apparatus, observations, and experimental techniques. Observations usually are limited to studies and reports of unrepeatable phenomena or other unique circumstances. Review and interpretation papers are also published, subject to standard review. Contributions to the Forum section deal with current agronomic issues and questions in brief, thought-provoking form. Such papers are reviewed by the Editor in consultation with the editorial board.

Statistical Methods

Report enough details of your experimental design so that the results can be judged for validity and so that previous experiments may serve as a basis for the design of future experiments.
Means separation procedures are frequently misused. Such misuse may result in incorrect scientific conclusions. Pairwise multiple comparison tests (LSD) should be used only when the treatment structure is not well understood (e.g., studies to compare cultivars).

Authors should be aware of the limitations of multiple comparison tests when little information exists on the structure of the treatments (Carmer and Walker, 1985; Chew, 1980; Little, 1978; Nelson and Rawlings, 1983; Petersen, 1977; see also Chew, 1976; Miller, 1981). When treatments have a logical structure, orthogonal contrasts among treatments should be used.

Validation of Field Results

Experiments that are sensitive to environmental interactions, such as crop performance, usually should be repeated over time or space or both.


Symposia Series

Manuscripts resulting from symposia having appropriate subject matter will be considered for publication as a compilation in a single issue of AJ. Sets of manuscripts considered may originate from ASA, CSSA, or SSSA sponsored symposia or from appropriate subject matter symposia sponsored by other organizations.

Symposia organizers desiring to publish a compilation of manuscripts in AJ must solicit the Editor with the following prospectus materials: (i) title, location, and date of the symposium; (ii) the organization affiliated with the symposium; (iii) names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of the solicitors; (iv) a short abstract (~250 words) outlining the overall purpose of the symposium and reasons justifying why the manuscripts should be published as a compilation; and (v) titles and abstracts, written according to the Publications Handbook and Style Manual, for each paper to be considered for publication. Prospectus materials may be submitted to the Editor during any time of the year. Symposia papers are subject to the usual page and production charges for the journal.


Manuscript Publication Charges

Membership in ASA is not a requirement for publication in AJ. 

Pages 1–7, $0
ASA Member: pages 8+, $100/page
Nonmember: pages 8+, $200/page
Tables/figures, $0

No manuscript publication fees are charged for invited reviews, comments, or letters to the editor.

Open Access charges are optional and are described below. The usual charge is $800 (CC BY-NC-ND) in addition to the usual publication charges.


Open Access Options

CC BY https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
In summary: You may share immediately with attribution. Open Access articles may be posted on an author’s personal website, funder and institutional repositories, and article sharing sites. The Open Access article processing charge for CC BY is $1300, with pages beyond 7 additional as above.

CC BY-NC-ND https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ 
In Summary: You may share immediately with attribution, but not for commercial or derivative purposes. Open Access articles may be posted on an author’s personal website, funder and institutional repositories, and article sharing sites. This license permits noncommercial copying and redistribution of articles with proper attribution, and prohibits distribution of derivative content. The Open Access article processing charge for CC BY-NC-ND is $800, with pages beyond 7 additional as above.



• Use a comma before the final item in a list of three or more items. For example: “Cores were inside plastic liners, capped, and stored on ice…”
• Define all abbreviations at first mention in the abstract or text and again in the tables and figures. Once an abbreviation is used, it should be used throughout the entire article, except at the beginning of a sentence.
• At first mention in the abstract, give the complete scientific name (with authority) for plants.
• Both the common and chemical name of pesticides must be given when first mentioned in the text. For example: “Atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine) was included…”
• Identify soils at the series and family level, or at least the Great Group, at first mention in the text. For soils outside the United States, give both the local identification and the U.S. equivalent. Up-to-date U.S. soil descriptions may be checked online (https://soilseries.sc.egov.usda.gov/).
• The scientific name must be shown for insects, pathogens, and animals at first listing in the text. The scientific names for larger animals (e.g., sheep) do not need to be given unless germane to the article and/or there may be confusion as to what animal is being discussed.
• SI units must be used in all manuscripts. Non-SI units may be added in parentheses.
• Spell out numbers one through nine, except when used with units. For decimal quantities <1, place a zero before the decimal point. Use commas for the decimal separator. The comma is not
necessary for four-digit numbers (e.g., 73,722, but 7372).
• Use the 24-h time system, with four digits for hours and minutes (e.g., 1430 h for 2:30 p.m.). Report dates with the day first, then the month, and the year last. Abbreviate months with more than four letters (e.g., 14 May 2005, 7 June 2007, 10 Aug. 2000, or 26 Sept. 2007).


Manuscript Preparation


International Submissions: Agronomy Journal recognizes that many submissions come from authors for whom English is a second language. If reviewers struggle with basic interpretation of your work, there is little chance of it being published. It is therefore imperative that your work be as grammatically and scientifically correct as possible, before being submitted. We also encourage you to have your work reviewed by a native English speaker ahead of time.

Manuscript Central: Complete manuscripts should be submitted as Microsoft Word files at Manuscript Central. New users will be asked to register at this site and will receive a User Name and Password.

Format: MS Word files may be submitted. File sizes are restricted to 15 MB. All sections of the manuscript should be double-spaced. Use the page-numbering and line-numbering functions in your original file to allow discussion of particular sections of the manuscript. TeX files are not accepted for review or production of accepted manuscripts.

Plagiarism: Authors, be aware that your papers may be screened for plagiarism. Our software product evaluates papers to find significant duplication. If there appears to be major repetition from other sources, we will forward those papers to the AJ Editor for further evaluation and action if warranted, and you may be informed as well.

Peer Review: All manuscripts submitted undergo peer review. Agronomy Journal has a double-blind review in that the reviewers do not know the author names and the authors do not know the reviewer names. Therefore, authors should prepare the manuscript with no author information (e.g., no byline, addresses/affiliations, acknowledgments, etc.; these items are entered into the Manuscript Central metadata at submission and are hidden from reviewers. They will be added to a manuscript at acceptance—see Final Accepted Manuscripts).

Take care to label tables and figures with reference to the paper’s title, not author names. Reviewers will be able to download any files that you upload to the system, but will not have access to the protected metadata that you enter into text boxes upon submission. Any identification in headers or footers should be similarly anonymous.

As a last consideration, authorship may be unintentionally revealed through such software features as document summaries. If this is a concern, consult your local software experts. When authors submit, they will be asked to enter author and contact information into the system database, and the Editor and Headquarters Staff will have access to this information so that they can contact the authors about the outcome of the review and will use this information for processing accepted files.

See the Editors and Reviewers information page and the Policy for Appeal of Manuscript Review for additional information on review policy.

Reviewers: Authors using Manuscript Central will be prompted to provide a list of potential reviewers. These reviewers must not have a conflict of interest involving the authors or paper, and the editorial board has the right to not use any reviewers suggested by authors.

Internal Reviews: If internal reviews are required at your research institution, these reviews must be completed prior to submission to the journal. If a manuscript is altered on the basis of an internal review after acceptance, publication will be delayed and the manuscript may be returned to the editorial board for an additional review.

Revision of Manuscripts: Authors have four weeks to review and return their manuscript following reviewer and associate editor comments. Manuscripts may be released if revisions are not received, and the paper will have to be submitted as a new manuscript.

Supplemental Material: Supplemental material may be included with articles at the discretion of the journal editor and production editor. Authors are encouraged to submit material that contributes to the content and quality of the article. The material must be submitted along with the original manuscript for peer review. The production editor may limit the quantity of supplemental material posted per issue. Extra images, video, or large tables are examples of appropriate supplemental material. A supplement may consist of one or multiple files; pdf is recommended. If submitting videos please use the format .FLV (Flash Video) with 640 x 480 or 720 x 480 (widescreen) as the resolution. If you do not have this format available to you please contact the Managing Editor. The following are not allowed: executables (.exe) of any kind, java script, TeX, or PowerPoint. Additional figure and/or table charges will be applied for the supplemental material.



Format: Manuscripts submitted for review should be MS Word files. File sizes are restricted to 15 MB. All sections of the manuscript should be double-spaced. Use the page-numbering and line-numbering functions in your original file to allow discussion of particular sections of the manuscript. When your paper is accepted you will need to submit a set of final files for production. See Final Accepted Manuscript below for formatting requirements for those files.

Title: A short title, not exceeding 12 words, is required. It must accurately describe the manuscript contents.

Author-Paper Documentation: The submitting author should have sent each living co-author a draft copy of the manuscript and have obtained the co-author’s assent to co-authorship of it. In a footnote on the title page, include all authors' names and complete mailing addresses. Use an asterisk in the author byline to identify the corresponding author. Professional titles are not listed. Other information, such as grant funding, may be included here or placed in an acknowledgment. From time to time, author names are either added or deleted from a given manuscript between the time of submission and publication. In situations such as this the ethical and responsible manner of handling this type of change is for the lead author to advise the author being added or deleted of the addition or deletion and to notify, in writing, the Editor and Managing Editor of the journal.

Abbreviations: Include an "Abbreviations" footnote, which is an alphabetical list of abbreviations used in the article. Elemental abbreviations and variables from equations should not be included. Example: Abbreviations: LAI, leaf area index; PAR, photosynthetically available radiation; RUE, radiation use efficiency.

Abstract: An informative, self-explanatory abstract, not exceeding 250 words (150 words for notes), must be included. It should state specifically why and how the study was made, what the results were, and why they are important.

Core Ideas: Include 3 to 5 summary statements that convey the core findings of the article. These statements should emphasize the novel aspects and impacts of the research on scientific progress and environmental problem solving. Each statement must be 85 characters or less (spaces included). If the article is accepted, the core ideas may also be used for promoting and publicizing the research.

Tables: Use the "table" feature, not tabs or spaces to create your tables. Each table must be on a separate page and numbered consecutively. Do not duplicate matter presented in figures. Use the following symbols for footnotes in the order shown: †, ‡, §, ¶, #, ‡‡, ..., etc. The symbols *, **, and *** are used to show statistical significance at 0.05, 0.01, and 0.001 levels, respectively, and are not used for other footnotes.

Figures: Authors are responsible for obtaining all permissions for use of figures from other publishers; supply these releases at the time the accepted manuscript is forwarded for production. Authors are also responsible for obtaining permission from individuals whose images are included in photographs. Please note that ASA-CSSA-SSSA reserves the right to publish and republish any images you submit. Type figure captions in the word-processing file following the references. Authors can publish color photos, figures, and maps. Label all figure parts. Prepare graphs and charts that will read well both on screen and as a PDF file printed from an office-quality printer. The final journal will include a PDF version of each article that closely resembles a printed journal; thus, make the figure type large enough to be legible after reduction to a final width of 8.5 cm (1 column) or 18 cm (2 columns). Authors can test a figure's legibility by reducing it to this size on a copy machine. Use open style or block letters and heavy lines that don't disappear with reduction. Any legend for graph lines or symbols should appear in the figure itself rather than in the captions.

References: The author-year system is required; numbered references are not allowed. Single-authored articles should precede multiple-author articles for which the individual is senior author. Two or more articles by the same author(s) are listed chronologically; two or more in the same year are indicated by the letters a, b, c, etc. The reference list can include theses, dissertations, abstract publications, and accessible online material. Material such as personal communications or privileged data should be cited in the text in parentheses. For chapters from books, include author(s), year, chapter title, editor(s), book title, publisher's name and location, and pages. For proceedings references, include author(s), year, article title, editor(s), proceedings' title, location, date, publisher's name and location, and pages. Authors should make sure that all references cited in the text, tables, and figure captions are listed in the reference section and vice versa. Authors should also be sure that spellings of names and dates of the references listed match the citations.

Nomenclature: Both the accepted common name and the chemical name of pesticides must be given upon first mention in the manuscript. Use chemical symbols for elements and ions, except at the beginning of a sentence or in a title or heading. The Latin binomial or trinomial and authority must be included with the common name for all plants, insects, pathogens, and animals at first mention. When referring to soils, give at least the subgroup in accord with the U.S. system of soil taxonomy. Ideally, both the series and complete family name should be given.

SI Units: The International System of Units (SI) must be used. Corresponding English or metric units may be included in parentheses after the SI value.


Official Sources

Spelling: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary.

Soil: For soil series names use this resource: https://soilseries.sc.egov.usda.gov/. Amendments to the U.S. system of soil taxonomy (Soil Survey Staff, 1975) have been issued in the National Soil Survey Handbook (NRCS, 1982-1996) and in Keys to Soil Taxonomy (Soil Survey Staff, 1996). Updated versions of these and other resources are available at http://soils.usda.gov/. The Glossary of Soil Science Terms (SSSA, 2001) is available online (https://www.soils.org/publications/soils-glossary). It contains definitions of more than 1800 terms, a procedural guide for tillage terminology, an outline of the U.S. soil classification system, and the designations for soil horizons and layers.

Glossary/Scientific Names of Plants: The Glossary of Crop Science Terms is available online (https://www.crops.org/publications/crops-glossary). A Checklist of Names for 3000 vascular plants of Economic Importance (USDA Agric. Handb. 505, see also the USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network database, http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/searchgrin.html).

Chemical Names of Pesticides: Farm Chemicals Handbook (Meister Publishing, revised yearly).

Fungal Nomenclature: Fungi on Plants and Plant Products in the United States (APS Press).

Journal Abbreviations: Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (American Chemical Society, revised yearly).

Final Accepted Manuscript

Sending the Final Manuscript: When your paper is accepted, the following are needed for production:

Word File for Editing (MS Word). TeX files are not accepted because they are not compatible with our copyediting and typesetting system. Use keyboard formatting if possible (i.e., bold, super-/subscripts, simple variables, Greek font, etc.) and use MathType or the Word equation editor for display equations. If you have equations, they must be composed using the Microsoft Equation 3.0 editor found under INSERT OBJECT, or with another MathML format such as MathType. Do not use INSERT EQUATION, which creates images (when converted) that cannot be used for typesetting. Regrettably, we will need to return any files created with Microsoft Word that contain equations  created with INSERT EQUATION to the authors for resetting.

Figure Files. Files accepted are pdf, TIF, or EPS. Be sure to check the quality of the file before you send it. A single pdf file with all figures is acceptable. If sending TIF or EPS files, please send one for each figure, joining multi-panel figures into one image. EPS files often do not work if the fonts have not been converted to graphics. Name files with the manuscript number, figure number, and file type extension. Artwork files should adhere to the following resolution settings: 300 dpi for line art; 150 for photos. Color should be RGB rather than CMYK. Do not include figure legends or other extraneous text in a graphic file. Please do not submit graphics as PowerPoint or Excel.




ASA, CSSA, and SSSA. 2004. Publications handbook and style manual. https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/style. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, WI.

Carmer, S.G., and W.M. Walker. 1985. Pairwise multiple comparisons of treatment means in agronomic research. J. Agron. Educ. 14:19–26.

Chew, V. 1976. Comparing treatment means: A compendium. Hort-Science 11:348–357.

Chew, V. 1980. Testing differences among means: Correct interpretation and some alternatives. HortScience 15:467–470.

Little, T.M. 1978. If Galileo published in HortScience. HortScience 13:504–506.

Miller, R.G., Jr. 1981. Simultaneous statistical inference. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Nelson, L.A., and J.O. Rawlings. 1983. Ten common misuses of statistics in agronomic research and reporting. J. Agron. Educ. 12:100–105.

Petersen, R.G. 1977. Use and misuse of multiple comparison procedures. Agron. J. 69:205–208.


Updated 5/4/2017