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Author Guidelines

Indian Journal of Agronomy is published by the Indian Society of Agronomy quarterly in March, June, September and December and enjoys a handsome NAAS rating of 6.0 out of 10. The detailed guidelines for preparation of articles for the benefit of the authors are given below. These guidelines are also available on our society website. www.isa-india.in

1.    Aims and Scope

1.1. Indian Journal of Agronomy welcomes concise articles presenting original research data based on field experiments on all aspects of Agronomy in different field crops and related cropping systems.

1.2. The journal publishes only full length comprehensive articles based on new approaches/findings in English only.

1.3. Review articles are also considered but these are normally solicited by Editorial Board. However, the author(s) who wish to contribute a review on their own based on their standing in the relevant field may contact the Secretary or Chief Editor with a broad outline before submitting the manuscript. Manuscripts submitted without following above procedure will be summarily rejected.

1.4. The articles submitted for publication in the journal should contain data not older than 5 years on the date of receipt of article in the society office. The period shall be reckoned from the following 31 December and 31 July after the completion of the field experimentation for summer & rainy (kharif) and for winter (rabi) & spring seasons, respectively.

1.5. The articles submitted for publication should be exclusive for this journal and must not be submitted elsewhere during their consideration by the journal. These must not carry any material already published in the same or different forms.

1.6. The article should present a complete picture of the investigation made and should not be split into parts. However, in exceptional cases where a large volume of in-depth data are collected based on multi-season experimentation, the article can be split into a maximum of two parts, with the same main title and a different subtitle in short. In such articles, proper continuity should be maintained in presentation of information, and all these articles should be submitted together at the same time.

1.7. Each article should be written correctly, clearly, objectively and concisely. All the statements made in the manuscript should be clear, unambiguous, and to the point. Aim at short, meaningful sentences while maintaining continuity of expression.

1.8. There is no prescribed limit regarding the number of pages in case of full-length article, the completeness of the information is more important. However, the length of article should not be less than 3 full printed pages of the journal.

1.9. Articles should be suitably divided into the following sub-sections: ABSTRACT, INTRODUCTION, MATERIALS AND METHODS, RESULTS AND DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, and REFERENCES. Tables and figures should be appended separately at the end. The headings INTRODUCTION and CONCLUSION need not be mentioned in the text.

2.    Title page (Separate)

2.1. Title of article should be informative but concise, and should not contain abbreviations. It should indicate the content of the article essential for key word indexing and information retrieval. It should be set in small and bold letters, using one font size higher than the remaining text.

2.2. Start the title with key words – not with words such as ‘Effect of ….’ or ‘Influence of …..’. A good title briefly identifies the subject, indicates the purpose of study and introduces key terms and concepts.

2.3. The title should indicate the scientific name of the crops or organisms studied, wherever relevant. Authority for such a name need not be given in the title but should be given at first mention in the text.

2.4. A short title, not exceeding 6 words or 50 characters, should be given for running headlines. This should cover the main theme of the article.

2.5. Byline should contain, in addition to the names and initials of authors (in capital letters), the place where research was conducted (in italics), and not where the authors are currently working. Change of address for any author should be given as a footnote. Complete address including the name of laboratory / department, institution / university, city / town / district, state and PIN code should be furnished.

2.6. Email ID of the corresponding author should be given as footnote. It is a must for all articles that will be submitted from now onwards.

3.    ABSTRACT

3.1. Second page should start with title of the article and is to be followed by the abstract. Abstract placed at the beginning of the text should briefly indicate the experiment described, including brief objective (not the wording of the title as such), season or year and the place of study as appropriate, materials and methods, main results (preferably including some numerical values) and the most important conclusion/recommendation.

3.2. It should comprise brief and factual summary of salient points of the contents and conclusions of the investigation reported in the article and should refer to any new information therein.

3.3. At the first mention in the abstract, give the complete scientific name for plants and other organisms, full name of any abbreviation or symbol used.

3.4. It should not have reference to literature and tables/ figures. Do not deflect the reader with promises such as ‘will be discussed’ or ‘will be explained’.

3.5. It should be as concise as possible and limited to about 200 words.

3.6. Key words (6-8) should be given at the end of Abstract in alphabetical order (each key word to start with capital letter), separated by commas. These words indicate the most important materials, operations or ideas covered in the article.

3.7. It must be remembered that indexing journals place a great emphasis on the abstract in the selection of articles for abstracting. If properly prepared, they reproduce it verbatim.

4.    INTRODUCTION

4.1. The introductory part should be brief and to the point, limited to the statement of the problem that justifies the work or the hypothesis on which it is based, an explanation of the general approach and objectives of the study.

4.2. It should set the work in present context, giving only essential background; a detailed review of literature is not necessary. However, to orient the readers, give a brief reference to previous concepts and research.

4.3. It should briefly state the currently available information on the subject, duly supported by recent and relevant literature, and identify the research gap that is expected to be bridged through this investigation.

4.4. When new references are available, do not use old references unless it is of historical importance or a landmark in that field.

4.5. Emphasis should be given among other things on citing the literature on work done under Indian conditions.

4.6. If the methods employed in the article are new, it must be indicated in the introduction section.

4.7. The word ‘Introduction’ should not be typed as a heading but the beginning of the main text may be indicated by putting a short line below the abstract in the middle of the page.

5.    MATERIALS AND METHODS

5.1. This part of the article should comprise the materials used in the investigation, methods of experiment and analysis adopted. It should be explanatory and have all the requisite information needed for understanding and assessing the results reported subsequently.

5.2. This part should begin with information relating to period/season/year and place of study, climate or weather conditions, soil type including physicochemical properties and others as relevant to the study. The geographical position of the experimental site may be identified with the help of coordinates (latitude and longitude) and altitude.

5.3. Treatment details along with techniques and experimental design, replications, plot size etc. should be clearly indicated. It should be doubly ensured that experiment was conducted in such a way that minimum error degrees of freedom are there. Whenever data are pooled, year x treatment interaction effects must be clearly given. Pooling of data must be avoided in dryland; rainfed experiments and fixed site experiments for entire period of experimentation. If asked, the authors must be able to give the homogeneity of error variance.

5.4. Use of symbols for treatments may be avoided, unless these are absolutely necessary. An abbreviation should be fully explained at its first mention.

5.5. This section should also specify the crop variety (within single inverted commas), methodology for application of treatments, common cultivation practices including sowing, fertilization, weed management, irrigation, plant protection measures, harvest etc. For cropping system experiments, it should be clearly stated that whether the study was carried out on fixed location for the experimental period or site is changed every year. In rainfed and dryland experiments, initial moisture status at sowing (or at different stages), rainfall distribution and evaporation (as a graph) should be given. If the treatments are based on moisture conservation practices (summer ploughing, manures, mulching, land configuration etc.), moisture conserved, extraction and utilization (efficiency) data must be given. In irrigation studies (based IW/CPE ratio), daily evaporation and rainfall data in the form of a graph along with the dates of irrigation mentioned year wise in the text are necessary. The nutrient composition of manures (N, P, K, Fe, Zn, organic carbon content etc.) should be given. For new herbicides, mode of action should be clearly stated.

5.6. A brief description of the specific observations recorded may also be made. Further, the procedure for calculation of not-so-common parameters should be explained along with suitable references.

5.7. Known methods of analysis may be just indicated, avoiding detailed description. However, any new technique developed and followed should be described in detail.

5.8. References for methods used in the study should be cited. If the techniques are widely familiar such as those of chemical and statistical analysis, use only their names in that case.

5.9. All statistical comparisons among treatments may be made at P=0.05 level of probability. Correlation and regression analysis should be given in appropriate cases. For working out optimum economic doses, control treatment is a must in the experiment.

6.    RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

6.1. Results may be reported and discussed together to avoid duplication. The information should be divided into suitable subheadings, indicated in italics.

6.2. This section should not be mere recital of the data presented in the tables and diagrams in terms of increases and decreases. Do not mention the data as such in the text, which can be seen from the tables. Instead interpret it suitably by indicating in terms of per cent / absolute changes or any other derivations.

6.3. While discussing the results, give particular attention to the problem, question or hypothesis presented in the introduction. Relate results to the objectives.

6.4. Explain the principles, relationships and generalizations that can be supported by the results.

6.5. In factorial experiments, interaction effects need greater emphasis. Much emphasis need not be paid to less important parameters.

6.6. Discussion should be strengthened by explaining treatment effects in terms of cause-and-effect relationship. Explain how the results relate to previous findings (supports or contradicts.

6.7. Scientific speculation is encouraged but, it should be reasonable and firmly founded in observations. When the results differ from previously available information, possible explanations should be given. Controversial issues should be discussed clearly and fairly.

6.8. The references quoted in the introduction for review and justification of the study should be suitably utilized for discussion of the results.

6.9. Discussion part in most articles in very weak. Statements like “The results are in agreement with ……”, ‘Similar results were reported by ……..’ are to be avoided.

7.    CONCLUSIONS

7.1. This section should clearly crystallize the summary of the results obtained along with their implications in solution of the practical problems and contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge.

7.2. Suggest areas for further investigation.

7.3. The word ‘Conclusions’ need not be typed as a heading and may be given as a last paragraph of the ‘Results and Discussion’. In no case, it should not be more than 5 sentences.

8.    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

8.1. The authors may place on record the help and cooperation or any financial help received from any source, person or organization for this study. This should be very brief, and can be omitted if necessary.

9.    REFERENCES

9.1. In general, not more than 10 references would be required.

9.2. There is no need to give references for standard procedures of soil and plant analysis, as well as for routine statistical analysis; only the methodology may be indicated.

9.3. All references quoted in the text must appear at the end of the article and vice-versa. The spellings of names and dates or years at the two places should be carefully checked.

9.4. The references should include names of all authors, years (not within brackets), full title of the article, full name of the journal (in italics) (no abbreviations), volume number (in bold), issue number, and pages. For book or monograph, the name of the publisher should also be given as well as its volume, edition and relevant pages.

9.5. The 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.

9.6. References from standard scientific journals should be preferred, while those concerning unpublished data are generally to be avoided or mentioned as ‘Personal communications’ in the text. These need not be given in the reference list. A few examples for correct citation of references in the list are given below:

9.6.1. Extended summaries
Pandey, J. 2002. Direct and residual effect of herbicides on weeds and productivity of rice (Oryza sativa)-wheat (Triticum aestivum) cropping system. In: Extended Summaries, Second International Agronomy Congress, 26-30 November 2002, New Delhi. pp. 1166-1167.

9.6.2. Proceedings
Ladha, J.K. 2004. Managing N for crop productivity and environmental quality. In: Proceedings of Second International Agronomy Congress on Balancing Food and Environmental Security: A Continuing Challenge. Singh, Panjab, Ahlawat, I.P.S. and Gautam, R.C. (Eds.). Indian Society of Agronomy, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. pp. 44-45.

9.6.3. Abstracts
Vairavan, K. 2009. Effect of pre and post emergence herbicide in pigeon pea. In: Abstracts, International Conference on Grain Legumes: Quality Improvement, Value Addition and Trade, 14-16 Februaruy, 2009, Indian Society of Pulses Research and Development, Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur. pp. 178.

9.6.4. Annual report
IARI. 2007. Integrated nutrient supply and management in pearlmillet-mustard cropping system. Annual Report, 2007-08. Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. p. 60.

9.6.5. Research articles
Joshi, N.L. 1999. Effect of component densities on the performance of pearlmillet-mungbean intercropping system under different rainfall situations in an arid environment. Annals of Arid Zone 38: 15-25.
Sharma, S. N. and Prasad, Rajendra. 2008. Effect of crop-residue management on the production and agronomic nitrogen efficiency in a rice-wheat cropping system. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 171 (2): 295-302.
Singh, Devendra., Pandey, Rakesh., Sharma, S.K. and Kumar, Vipin. 2008. Effect of crop geometry and planting methods on growth and yield of Bt and non-Bt cotton hybrids in cotton-wheat system under northwestern plain zones. Journal of Farming Systems Research and Development 14 (1): 46-49.

9.6.6. Book
Kumar, D. and Singh, N.B. (Eds). 2004. Cowpea in India. 281 pp. Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur.

9.6.7. Book chapter
Sekhon, H.S. and Singh, G. 2007. Irrigation management in chickpea. In: Chickpea Breeding and Management. (Yadav, S.S., Redden, R.R., Chen, W. and Sharma, B. Eds.). pp. 246-267, CABI, Wallingford, UK.

9.6.8. Thesis
Singh, Ramanjeet. 2008. ‘Effect of nitrogen management through organic and inorganic sources in sole and intercropped Bt cotton– wheat system’. Ph.D. Thesis, Division of Agronomy, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India. pp.99 + xi

10.    TABLES 3

10.1. Each table must be typed on a separate sheet (not to be included in the text) and numbered consecutively in the same order as they are mentioned in text.

10.2. The title should fully describe the contents of the table and explain any symbol or abbreviation used in it as a footnote, using asterisks or small letters viz. a, b, etc.

10.3. Tables should be self-explanatory, not very large (< 10 columns in portrait and <14 columns in land scape formats respectively) and may cover space up to 20-25% of the text.

10.4. Maximum size of table acceptable is that can be conveniently composed within one full printed page of the journal. The large sized tables should be suitably split into two or more small tables.

10.5. Standard abbreviations of units of different parameters should be added between parentheses.

10.6. The data in the tables should be corrected to minimum place of decimal so as to make it more meaningful.

10.7. Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Similarly, horizontal lines should be used only where these are necessary, not in the body of the article.

10.8. All the tables should be tagged with the main body of the text i.e. after references.

11.    FIGURES

11.1. Figures may be given in place of tables where a large number of values are presented that can be interpreted through figures. In no case the same data should be presented in both tables and figures.

11.2. Originals of the figures should be no larger than twice the final size, of good quality and printed clearly in black on plain white paper (not in colour). The figures may be sized to fit within the columns of the journal (8 cm width for single column or 17 cm for columns i.e. full page).

11.3. Lines should be bold enough to allow the figure to be reduced to either single or double column width in the journal.

11.4. Vertical axes should be labelled vertically. Extremely small font and great variation in text sizes within figures should be avoided. The aim should be that on printing the words and figures, including caption, come to 9 pt type size.

11.5. Laser print outs of line diagrams are acceptable, while dot matrix print outs will be rejected. If required the authors will be asked to submit soft copy of diagrams of accepted articles for final print in journal.

11.6. Black and white photographs are also accepted if these are necessary to improve the presentation and quality of the article.

12.    SOME USEFUL HINTS

12.1. All scientific or technical names as well as all data and facts must be rechecked carefully before submitting the manuscript.

12.2. Dates and years may be mentioned as 28 May 2007, 28 May to 7 June, and 28-30 May instead of May 28, 2007, 28 May-7 June, and 28 to 30 May, respectively.

12.3. Avoid numerals and abbreviations at the beginning of a sentence; spell out or change the word order if necessary.

12.4. A comma may be used for data in thousands or more such as 10,000 or 2,30,000 etc. Alternatively, these data can also be presented as 10.0 or 230.0 if a common expression such as ‘ x103’ is used in tables or figures. Avoid expressing data in ‘lakhs’, instead use ‘thousand’ or ‘million’.

12.5. Only standard abbreviations should be used and these should invariably be explained at first mention. Avoid use of self-made abbreviations such as Rhizo., Azo., buta, isop. etc. for Rhizobium, Azotobacter, butachlor, isoproturon, respectively.

12.6. For names of plant protection chemicals, the first letter of the name need not be capitalized for scientific names but should be capitalized for trade names. All the names should be checked very carefully.

12.7. Use of unnecessary abbreviations and treatment symbols such as T1, T2 etc. under Materials and Methods or tables without actually using these under Results and Discussion should be avoided.

12.8. All weights and measurements must be in SI or metric units. Use kg/ha, or t/ha (if more than 999 kg/ha), but not q/ha. Similarly, prefer use of g/ha, mg/kg, mg/l, mg/g, ml/l etc. rather than % or ppm. Do not follow the style kg ha−1 or t ha−1.

12.9. Use % after numbers, not per-cent, e.g. 7%. In a series or range of measurements, mention the units only at end, e.g. use 30, 100, 170 and 300C; 20 or 30% more instead of 30C, 100C, 170C and 300 °C; 20% or 30% more.

12.10. Numeral should be used whenever it is followed by a unit measure or its abbreviations e.g. 1 g, 3 m, 5 h, 6 months etc. Otherwise, words should be used for numbers one to nine, and numerals for larger ones except in a series of numbers when numerals should be used for all in the series.

12.11. For the composition of fertilizers, manures, crops or soil, the elemental forms (K, P, Mg etc.) should be used and not the oxides.

12.12. Application rates of fertilizer nutrients should not be mentioned in proportion such as: N : P2O5 : K2O 120 : 60 : 40 kg/ha. It can be given as 120 25 - 27 kg N-P-K/ha.

12.13. Variety may be mentioned within single quotes such as ‘Pusa Basmati’, ‘Pusa Vishal’ etc.

12.14. Statistical analysis of data in the standard experimental design should be sound and complete in itself with both SEm± and CD (P=0.05) values given for comparison of treatment means in tables and figures.

13.    REVIEW PROCESS

All the articles received for publication in Indian Journal of Agronomy at the end of the month are given an identification number. All these articles are initially screened by the chief editor solely or with the help of secretary and members of Editorial Board. If the article is found to be in order as per the ‘Guidelines’ and there is adequate original information, it is sent to an expert for peer review. On the contrary, the articles that are weak or are not conforming to ‘Guidelines’ are rejected as such or returned to the author for revision. After the article has been examined by the reviewer, it is also suitably edited by a member of Editorial Board. Both the reviewer and editorial board comments along with the manuscript are passed on to authors, who after attending the suggestions resubmits it. The thoroughly revised article will be checked by editorial board and will be placed before Chief Editor for a final decision. All the authors of accepted article must be a members of society. If any of the author(s) is not a member, the article will be kept in pending for want of membership or published after deleting the name’s of non-member(s). The articles accepted for publication by Chief Editor are checked by a professional editor for english language, uniformity and any other ambiguity before sending to the press for composing. Proofs are mailed to the corresponding author and are also gone through by the professional editor/member of Editorial board. The Society does not levy printing charges from the authors of articles in Indian Journal of Agronomy, and no reprints are supplied with or without payment.

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