Instructions to Authors | NSE
Scope of Contributions
Prior Publication. Manuscripts published in Natural Sciences Education must be original reports. They may not have been published previously or simultaneously submitted to another scientific or technical journal.
Changes in Author Byline. From time to time, authors are added or deleted from a manuscript between the time of submission and publication. In situations such as this the ethical and responsible way to handle this type of change is for the lead author to advise the author being added or deleted of the change and to notify, in writing, the Editor and Managing Editor of the journal.
Submit Online: Complete manuscripts should be submitted as Microsoft Word (preferred) or PDF files at Manuscript Central. Instructions for submissions are available at that site. New users will be asked to register at this site and will receive a User Name and Password.
Format: MS Word or PDF files may be submitted for review. MS Word is preferred. File sizes are restricted to 10 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.
Reviewers: Authors 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.
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. The following are not allowed: executables (.exe) of any kind, java script, or TeX. If you have specific file requirements not addressed here, please contact the managing editor for assistance.
Format: The Publications Handbook & Style Manual is the official guide for preparing and editing papers. Manuscripts submitted for review should be MS Word or PDF files. File sizes are restricted to 10 MB. There is no page limit or word limit. All sections of the manuscript should be double-spaced. Include page numbers and line numbers. Do not use word processing features such as automated bulleting and numbering, head and subhead formatting, internal linking, or styles. Avoid using more than one font and font size. Limited use of italics, bold, superscripts, and subscripts is acceptable.
The file should contain the following elements:
• Title page
• Core ideas
• Abbreviations list
• References list
• Figure captions
• Figures (figures may be submitted separately as high-resolution image files in the following acceptable formats: EPS, TIF, PDF, or JPEG)
Note: When your paper is accepted you will need to submit final files for production.
Title: A short title, not exceeding 12 words, is required. It must accurately describe the manuscript contents.
Author Affiliations: On the title page include all authors' names and complete mailing addresses. Use an asterisk in the author byline to identify the corresponding author and supply the email address of the corresponding author. Professional titles are not listed. Other information, such as grant funding, may be included here or placed in an acknowledgment. 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. From time to time, authors 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 List: An abbreviations list is a key to abbreviations that are used repeatedly throughout the manuscript. The list should be arranged alphabetically and should not include SI units or elemental abbreviations.
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.
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.
Math: Use keyboard formatting where possible (i.e., bold, super-/subscripts, simple variables, Greek font, etc.) and use MathType or the Word equation editor for display equations. Notice for Word 2007 users: 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 Word 2007 that contain equations created with INSERT EQUATION to the authors for resetting.
Tables: Tables must be numbered consecutively. Submit tables in a word-processing format, not as graphics. 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.
Figure Captions: If the manuscript has figures, insert the text for the captions in the file following the references list. Spell out abbreviations on first mention in figure captions, even if they have already been defined in the text. (The reader should be able to understand the figure content without referring back to the text).
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 photocopier. 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. 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.
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, pages, editor(s), book title, and publisher's name and location. For proceedings references, include author(s), year, article title, pages, editor(s), proceedings' title, location, date, and publisher's name and location. 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 text. 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.
Case Studies, Slide Sets, and Software Articles: If you are writing a case study, slide set article, or software article, please see our Publication Policies about these types of articles. This will provide authors with instructions on how to set up these types of manuscripts.
Common Style Pointers
• Use a comma before the final item in a list of three or more items. For example: “Students collect the data, summarize the results, and write a report...”
• 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. For example: “Mapping data are presented for three of the barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) traits...”
• 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.
• 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).
• Both the common and chemical name of pesticides must be given when first mentioned. For example: “Atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine) was used...”
• Manufacturer information must be included after first mention of a commercially available product. For example: “Samples were analyzed with a graphite furnace (HGA 600; PerkinElmer, Wellesley, MA)...”
• Software and software manuals must include a references list entry. For example: “SAS Institute. 1990. SAS user’s guide: Statistics. SAS Inst., Cary, NC.”
• SI units must be used in all manuscripts. Non-SI units may be added in parentheses.
Some Examples of References
Price, A.R., and M.C. Curran. 2015. Black-eyed gills. Nat. Sci. Educ. 44:143–148. doi:10.4195/nse2015.0005
Online-only journal article
Khan, M.A., K.M. Olsen, V. Sovero, M.M. Kushad, and S.S. Korban. 2014. Fruit quality traits have played critical roles in domestication of the apple. Plant Gen. 7. doi:10.3835/plantgenome2014.04.0018.
Other online sources
University of Minnesota. 1998. Golf facilities and turf systems..http://www.crk.umn.edu/academics/golf/Careers (accessed 25 Nov. 2012). Univ. of Minnesota, Crookston, MN.
Spelling: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary.
Soil: For soil series names see Soil Series of the United States, Including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USDA-SCS Misc. Publ. 1483, http://ortho.ftw.nrcs.usda.gov/cgi-bin/osd/osdname.cgi. 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 https://soilseries.sc.egov.usda.gov/. The Glossary of Soil Science Terms is available both in hard copy (SSSA, 2001) and on the SSSA Web page (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.
Scientific Names of Plants: 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).
Manuscript Publication Charges
Membership in ASA is not a requirement for publication in NSE.
There are no publication charges, no charges for tables and figures, and no charges for color. There is no page limit or word limit.Open Access charges are optional and are described below. The usual charge is $800 (CC BY-NC-NC) in addition to the usual publication charges.
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.