Recommendations for reviewers

Recommendations for reviewers

Our revision procedures check the correspondence between the results, discussion and conclusions, but the journal assumes the good faith of its authors and cannot accept any responsibility in cases of fraud or a lack of rigour on the part of contributors.

Reviewer comments should provide constructive and adequately formulated recommendations for the authors so that these can be used to improve the manuscript, if necessary. Reviewer recommendations include minor and major revisions, or may even involve the rejection of the manuscript by the Executive Board.

The authors are anonymous to the reviewers and vice versa. An Annual Referee Index will be published in the last issue of each year, listing the names of the referees in the previous year who agree to have their names published.

Content Recommendations

Manuscripts can focus on any of the topics represented by the SECS and especially on innovative topics and those of growing interest, and/or on other sciences that are directly or indirectly related to soil.

The electronic format allows the publication of all the text using the same script and also permits extensive explanations of the content of the work presented. Contributions may be of different types:

  • Special articles
    These works adopt a conceptual or philosophical approach and represent the author´s work on current issues relating to soils. They generally take a broad perspective that can combine scientific, political, legislative and regulatory requirements. Their length should not exceed 3000 words.

  • Original research articles
    These works can cover any of the areas represented by the SECS and especially innovative topics on emerging issues, and/or on related sciences that directly or indirectly refer to soil. Manuscripts should be up to 10 000 words long (including the abstract and references) and occupy about 25 pages (Times New Roman 11-point double-spaced, including figures and tables), but shorter works (fewer than 6000 words or 15 pages) are also appreciated and will be more likely to be accepted for publication.

  • Short Communications
    Short Communications must contain important research developments, innovations or new applications. They should generally not exceed 1600 words, should include a summary of two hundred words at most, and should only contain one picture or table and a few references (fewer than 12).

  • Comments & Letters to the Editor
    Comments and Letters to the Editor may contain explanations, opinions or criticisms about a specific published contribution. They must be submitted as a formal review within one year of the publication of the work in SJSS and the author(s) of the original article shall have the right to reply in the same issue. Letters should not exceed 1600 words and the Editorial Board will set limits on the number of contributions relating to a particular topic or sent by a given person or group. The decision to publish a letter will be taken by the Editor-In-Chief, who may consult the Scientific Committee, if appropriate. Comments and letters should be sent directly to the Editorial Board:

Writing recommendations

Most articles should be organized with the following sections: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, and References. Exceptions to this rule can only be made in cases in which the content or nature of the article in question requires another type of structure.

  • Title
    The title should be concise and appropriately informative; it should also contain keywords that will facilitate retrieval by modern search techniques. The title should accurately identify and describe the most important content of the manuscript and must not exceed 12 words. The title should be centred and written in lower case letters, with the first word and any proper names in capital letters.

  • Headings
    Main headings should be written in bold, Roman style, capital letters. Minor headings should be written in italics and not in bold format.

    All manuscripts should be written in Times New Roman script with font size 11. Lines should be doubled-space with line numbering in the left-hand margin. This should also apply to any tables, figures and figure captions that appear after the text. All pages should be consecutively numbered and have 2.5-cm margins (left-right-up-down).

  • Abstract
    Each manuscript should contain an abstract in English followed by abstracts in Spanish and Portuguese. The length of the abstract is limited to 1000 words and fewer (around 500 words) would be preferable. The abstract should concisely summarize the basic content of the paper without presenting extensive experimental details. It should specifically describe why and how the study was conducted, the main results obtained, and their importance. Acronyms and references should be avoided in the abstract. The abstract should be complete and understandable without reference to the text, allowing direct accessing by abstracting services. The abstract must also incorporate a classification of the study in accordance with the descriptors.

  • Keywords
    Up to 6 keywords that are not used in either the title or the abstract may be listed beneath the abstract in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Two or three word key sentences are also permitted.

  • Introduction
    The introduction should explain the objective of the study as well as providing sufficient background information to allow the reader to understand and evaluate the results of the study without needing to refer to previous publications on the topic. This section should not be too long.

  • Materials and methods
    The electronic format of this journal allows the inclusion of a detailed description of the methodology used in the study as this could be useful for other authors. The Materials and methods section should include sufficient technical information to allow the experiments described to be replicated.

  • Results
    In the Results section, authors should only include the data and results obtained from the experimental procedures.

  • Discussion
    The Discussion section should provide an interpretation of the results in relation to previously published work and to the experimental system used.

  • Conclusions
    The Conclusions section should reflect any novel implications of the research in question.

  • References
    Authors should make sure that all of the citations in the text correspond to references included in the Reference section at the end of the paper, and vice versa. Authors should avoid using too many references. Only literature that is currently available through libraries or databases should be cited.

    The references cited in the text (in-cites) should be listed including the surname of the first author followed by the year of publication and arranged chronologically. In the main text, the names of two coauthors should be linked by "and"; if there are three or more co-authors, the first author´s surname should be followed by "et al." Lower case letters (a, b, c, etc.) should only be used when citing several references by a given author from the same year. In the main text, do not include a comma between the author´s surname and the year of publication. Use a semicolon between authors listed in the same reference. Citation style should follow the author-year type CSA system.