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Author Guidelines

Instructions for Authors

By submitting original research works for publication, the authors accept the conditions of the journal regarding the ownership of authors' rights. The editor does not acknowledge this responsibility. Authors are expected to transfer publication rights for their articles to the SJSS.This Journal does not charge APCs or submission charges.

Authors are encouraged to read and follow the instructions for publication (which lay out the structure and style of the manuscript) as doing this will help to reduce the time required between the submission and publication of their articles. Manuscripts that are too long or that are not correctly presented will have fewer possibilities of being published.

The submission of a manuscript for publication implies that the results have not been previously published, nor have they been submitted for publication elsewhere. This applies to both original research work and also to abstracts and posters presented at congresses and/or other scientific meetings. In the latter case, if all the research data have not been presented and/or if the results have not been fully interpreted, this would not normally be considered as a publication. Even so, the Executive Board must be informed of these circumstances when the manuscript is submitted for consideration.

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 up to 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:

  • Commissioned reviews
    On some occasions, the journal?s Scientific Committee may ask scientists of international renown to submit critical reviews about issues that could offer interesting potential for future research, either on account of their originality or innovation. These manuscripts should be no more than 12,000 words long (including abstracts and references) and should not occupy more than about 30 pages (Times New Roman, 11 p, double-spaced, including figures and tables). The SJSS will only publish one, or a maximum of two, of such review articles each year. If an author is interested in prepare an article of this type, he/she can discuss his/her proposal with the Scientific Committee of the SJSS. Any such proposals should be sent to

All manuscripts must be submitted to the SJSS electronically, via the official web page. To do this, authors will have to fill in the electronic registration form. They are strongly recommended to submit their work in Word file (compatible with Windows XP and/or Macintosh), or OpenOffice format.

The SJSS uses a double blind review system. The authors are anonymous to the reviewers and vice versa. Authors' names should therefore not appear in any part of the manuscript; if they do, they will be removed prior to the revision process. If authors' names are added to or deleted from a manuscript between the time of submission and publication, the lead author should communicate this to the author being added or deleted and also notify the Executive Board of the journal, in writing.

When papers are submitted for publication, it is understood that the results presented have not been previously published and are not currently being considered for publication elsewhere.

Universia and the SECS reserve the right to edit the manuscripts in order to make them conform to the stylistic conventions set out in these Instructions or to emphasize particularly significant parts of the text without changing the original meaning. In such cases the author(s) will be informed before any changes are made.

The manuscripts must be written preferably in English. Authors who are unsure of correct English usage should have their manuscripts checked by someone proficient in the English language before submitting them. Always use a direct, clear, and concise style, avoiding subjectivity, unnecessary rhetoric and very long and/or complex sentences. Manuscripts may be rejected by the editors without being reviewed, on the basis of poor English or failure to conform to the standards set out in these Instructions.

Creating the Manuscript:
  • 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.

  • Information about the author(s)
    Information about the author(s) must be included in the digital submission form, but cannot appear in the main manuscript in order to ensure a fair, anonymous review. If this information is included in the main manuscript, it will be removed before the review process. The submission form should include the name of each author, the address(es) of the institution(s) at which the work was performed, and each author's affiliation and complete address; professional titles should be avoided. Place an (@) after the name of the author to whom any inquires regarding the paper should be directed. The source(s) of any financial support for the work in question may also be indicated either in this section or in the Acknowledgements section. The usual format for acknowledging financial support is as follows: "This work was supported by grant (number) from the (name)".

  • Acknowledgements
    If applicable.

  • Abstract
    Each manuscript should contain an abstract in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The length of the abstract is limited to 1000 words. Fewer (preferably around 500 words) are preferred. 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 comma separated that are not used in the title may be listed beneath the abstract in English,Spanish and Portuguese. Two or three word key sentences are also permitted.

  • Organization of the text
    Most articles should be organized with the following sections: Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, and References. Exceptions to this rule should only be made in cases in which the content or nature of the article in question require another type of structure. 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 tables, figures and figure captions that appear after the text. All pages should be consecutively numbered and have 2.5-cm margins.
    • 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. The text should not be too extensive.

    • Material and methods
      The electronic format of this journal allows the inclusion of a detailed description of the methodology used in the study; 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. Site locations must be indicated either with geographical or UTM coordinates.

    • 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. It should not contain extensive repetition of the Results section or a reiteration of the Introduction.

    • Conclusions (optional)
      The Conclusions should reflect novel implications of the research in question.

    • References
      1. References cited in the text
        The editors cannot assume responsibility for the accuracy of the references. Authors are requested to check their references with special care. All citations in the text must 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 can include permanent web (URL) listings.

        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.

        (Antelo 2003)
        (Antelo 2004; Novoa 2005)
        (Antelo y Novoa 2006); (Antelo and Novoa 2006)
        (Antelo et al. 2007)

        When citing a paper currently in press, the author(s) should also send a scanned copy of the paper in question to the Executive Board. These papers must be cited in the text as "in press" and listed in the Reference section, including the name of the journal and the foreseen date of publication. Papers that have not been accepted for publication should not be included in the list of references and must be cited in the main text either as "unpublished data" or as "personal communication".

        (Antelo, en prensa); (Antelo, in press)
        (Antelo, com. person.); (Antelo, pers. comm.)

      2. Reference listed in the Reference section
        The Reference section must include all of the references cited in the text. Citations must be arranged in alphabetical order and the references listed should not be numbered. Reference titles must be included for all references, and the titles of books and journals must be given in full. Unpublished works should not be included in the Reference section and must be cited in the main text as either "unpublished data" or "personal communication". The use of such citations should, in any case, be discouraged.

        CSE style (Author-year type) will be followed for all citations. This has been chosen on account of its simplicity and easy application; examples can be found in referencing software such as RefWorks and Reference Manager. It should be noted that it does not use: full stops after initials, commas after names, "and" in reference lists (although it is used in the main text when there are two authors), or brackets for references to years.
        • All single-author articles should precede multiple-author articles for which the same person is the senior author.
        • Two or more articles by the same author(s) should be listed chronologically; two or more publications from the same year should be indicated by the letters a, b, c, etc.
        • Do not use "et al." in the Reference section. Instead, all authors must be indicated.
        • The editors cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of the references. Authors are requested to check these with special care.

        Follow the styles shown in the following examples for print references.
        • Book with author
          The basic format is: Author(s). Year. Title. Place of publication: Publisher.

          Melchias G. 2001. Biodiversity and conservation. Enfield (NH): Science.

          Ennos R, Sheffield E. 2000. Plant and soil life. Boston: Blackwell.

          Mai J, Paxinos G, Assheuer J. 2004. Atlas of Austrian Geology. 2nd ed. New York: Dekker.

        • Book chapters or articles in published books
          Begin with the author's last name, year, and the title of the book chapter or article. Then, "In" and the editor(s)'s surname followed by a comma and the word "editor" or "editors". Continue with the book's title, place of publication, and publisher in basic format. End with the page numbers preceded by "p".

          Underwood AJ, Chapman MG. 2000. Intertidal ecosystems. In: Levin SA, editor. Encyclopedia of biodiversity. Vol. 3. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 485-499.

          For online books, it is necessary to indicate the web pages at the end of the reference and to include the word "Internet" in square brackets after the title.

          Wilson DE, Reeder DM, editors. 2005. Mammal species of the world [Internet]. Washington (DC): Smithsonian Institution Press; 3rd ed. Baltimore (MD): Johns Hopkins University Press; c2005 [cited 2007 Oct 14]; [about 200 screens]. Available from:

        • Journal Article
          Begin with the first name and initial of the author(s), year and title of the article, followed by the title of the journal (abbreviate), volume number, issue number (only if appropriate2, and in brackets), first page and last page separated by a hyphen.

          Gulbins E, Lang F. 2001. Pathogens, host-cell invasion and disease. Am Sci. 89(5):406-413.

          Abbreviate journal names according to ISI references, which are available at:

          For online journal articles, begin with the surname and initial of the author(s), year and title of the article, followed by the title of the journal and the word "Internet" in square brackets. The publication or copyright date should be provided, as should the date(s) of any modification(s), if appropriate, which should appear in square brackets; the date of access should be followed by a semicolon. Then, include the volume, issue, and page number(s). If the article does not have numbered pages, include the estimated number of pages, screens, paragraphs, lines or bytes in square brackets. Finish with "Available from:" and the URL.

          Isaacs FJ, Blake WJ, Collins JJ. 2005. Signal processing in single cells. Science [Internet]. Mar 25 [cited 2009 Jun 17]; 307(5717): 1886-1888. Available from:

        • Congress and Symposium Proceedings
          Begin with the author(s), year and title of the publication, followed by "In:", editor(s), and the name of the conference if this is not included in the title of the publication. Continue with the date(s) and location of the conference, information on the publication and page number(s).

          Pendleton L. 2004. The cost of beach water monitoring errors in southern California. In: Proceedings of the 2004 National Beaches Conference; 2004 Oct 13-15; San Diego, CA. Washington (DC): Environmental Protection Agency (US); 2005 Mar. p. 104-110.

          Pendleton L. 2004. The cost of beach water monitoring errors in southern California [conference presentation on the Internet]. In: Proceedings of the 2004 National Beaches Conference [Internet]; 2004 Oct 13-15; San Diego, CA. Washington (DC): Environmental Protection Agency (US); 2005 Mar [cited 2005 Jun 30]. p. 104-110. Available from:

        • Online web pages
          The procedure is basically the same as for books: indicate the author(s)'s surname, the year of publication, title of the work, URL, update date (if relevant), and access date. Do not put a full stop at the end of an URL unless it ends with a slash.

          References to the portal to a web site should begin with the author, whether an individual person or an organisation. It is necessary to include the title of the portal (if this is different from the name of the author), followed by the word "Internet", in inverted commas. It is necessary to include the place of publication, the publisher (or sponsor of the space), and the date of publication. Then indicate the date of copyright (the year preceded by "c") if the date of publication is not accessible, or if the two dates are different: 2010, c2009. Add the date of modification or of the latest update and the date of access in square brackets: [modified 2009 Mar 14; cited 2010 Feb 3]. Finish with "Available from:" and the URL.

          American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy [Internet]. Milwaukee (WI): The Society; c2000-2010 [modified 2010 Jan 8; cited 2010 Jan 16]. Available from:

          In the case of references to a specific chapter or section of an online book, it is necessary to start the reference with the author, year and title of the part in question, followed by the word "In:" and then the author, publisher, title and other information relating to the publication of the whole book. It is necessary to finish with information providing access to the specific section.

          Olson S. The path to a PhD. In: Jarmul D, editor. Beyond bio 101: the transformation of undergraduate biology education [Internet]. Chevy Chase (MD): Howard Hughes Medical Institute; c2001 [cited 2009 Nov 19]; [about 2 screens]. Available from:

  • Numbers and Units
    Use Arabic numerals and International System of Units for exact measurements of physical quantities and where otherwise appropriate. Arabic numerals should also be used for numbers followed by units of measure, leaving a space between the number and the unit (e.g. 24 cm) and between the unit and the percentage sign (e.g. 15%). In articles written in Spanish or Portuguese, decimals must be separated using commas and using decimal points in those written in English. Arabic numerals should be used to refer to years, without any spaces or full stops (e.g. 2010); Arabic numerals should be used with spaces for numbers with more than three digits, such as thousands (e.g. 1 350 Mg m-3); and Roman numerals should be used with small capitals to refer to centuries. From zero to nine, numbers should be written in letters. Data should be expressed using the International System of Units (SI).

  • Abbreviations
    Some terms can be written in full the first time that they appear in the text and followed by their corresponding abbreviated forms in brackets; thereafter, their abbreviated term can be used.

  • Scientific and technical names
    National soil classification systems may be used, but they should be referred to using an internationally recognized nomenclature such as those used by: Soil Taxonomy, FAO, Unesco, or the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) and indicating the year of publication in each case.

    If appropriate, authors should indicate geographic names or UTM or geographic coordinates in order to facilitate the indexation of the publication in international databases. The name of the variety should always be indicated for agricultural varieties.

    Vegetable and animal species should be designated with their common names, with their full scientific names in italics and the corresponding Roman script letter (e.g. Lactuca sativa, L.). Chemical compounds should be referred to by their most widely accepted common names.

  • Tables
    Each table must appear in the appropriate place within the manuscript.

    Tables should be self-explanatory and easy to understand without needing to refer to the main text. Use headings (with fewer than 50 characters, including spaces) and footnotes. Avoid duplicating information presented in other parts of the main text or in the figures. The tables should be as simple as possible. Limit the number of columns and rows in order to avoid excessively large tables and problems of legibility. Use the same font size as in the main text. Headnotes must use symbols other than *, **, and ***, as these should only be used to refer to statistical significance at 0.05, 0.01, and 0.001, respectively.

    Tables must be numbered using Arabic numerals and each table must be accompanied by a title which must appear at the top of the table and must not be followed by a full stop. Each table must be referred to in the text. Vertical lines must not be used.

  • Illustrations
    Figures (drawings or graphics) should be original and not duplicate information given in the tables. Colours, line widths, and font sizes should be suitable for easy reading.

    Each figure must be numbered with a correlative Arabic numeral and must have an explicatory legend beneath the figure with a full stop at the end of the legend. Any figures used should be referred to in the text. Authors should indicate the approximate position that each figure must occupy within the main text.

    Black and white images are accepted, as are coloured ones, at no expense to the author(s). Figures can occupy one column, two columns or a whole page. In the case of these being accompanied by text or symbols, these should be large enough to be readable.

    *.tif, *.bmp, *.gif, *.eps, and *jpg files (any photographs must have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi) are appropriate, but MSWord and WordPerfect files can also be accepted if they have the same resolution.

  • Footnotes
    Only use footnotes when they are absolutely necessary.

  • Videos, images, and soundtracks
    Appropriate files may be included if they constitute an absolutely necessary part of the contribution. The same criteria will be followed for databases, programmes, spectra, or spreadsheets.

  • Statistical evaluation
    The way in which experiments were designed and carried out must be explained sufficiently well to allow readers to judge the validity of the results obtained for themselves. The statistical analysis applied should be suitable for the experimental design and the conclusions must be in accordance with the results obtained. The author(s) should describe how the measurements were made and indicate how treatments were assigned to units or blocks and how many replicates were undertaken. Wherever possible, any implicit assumptions in analyses should be checked and explained. When common experimental designs are used, no such references are necessary. The degree of precision achieved should be reported with reference to the standard error of the treatment mean or to a coefficient of variation. When presenting statistical significance, use *, **, and *** after the mean value to indicate levels of statistical significance at 0.05, 0.01, and 0.001, respectively.

Privacy Statement


Upon submitting an article for assessment and subsequent publication in the online journal Spanish Journal of Soil Science, hereinafter, SJSS or the journal, the AUTHOR freely transfers the non-exclusive rights of public communication, reproduction, distribution, and other rights necessary for the dissemination of the article in the journal to Universia Holding, S.L., (hereinafter UNIVERSIA) and Georgetown University, for the duration of said rights, worldwide and in any language. Moreover, the AUTHOR is hereby informed and is aware that UNIVERSIA includes the journal ?and thus, his/her article? in the databases and scientific information systems (REDALYC - Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y el Caribe, España y Portugal-, SCIELO, ABI/INFORM of Proquest LLC, etc.) currently in existence or which may exist in the future (hereinafter, the databases), in the conditions specified by the latter at any time, which implies that, at a minimum, the holders of these databases will be able to conduct the following actions with regard to the article:

  1. To reproduce, transmit, or distribute the article, in whole or in part, in any material or digital form, currently in existence or which may exist in the future, including electronic transmission in order to search, display, or print;
  2. To reproduce and distribute the article, in whole or in part, in printed format.
  3. To translate portions of the article.
  4. To extract figures, tables, images and other graphic elements, to capture subtitles and metadata related to the article in order to search, display, or print.
  5. To authorise agents or distributors to transmit, distribute, or reproduce the article.
  6. To prepare bibliographic citations, abstracts, and indices, and to capture references related to certain parts of the article.
  7. To scan and/or save the article's images and text.

The AUTHOR guarantees that the article is unpublished and that it has not been sent to another publication simultaneously, that the exclusive rights have not been granted previously, and that publication in the journal does not violate or infringe upon the rights of third parties. In addition, the AUTHOR is responsible to Universia Holding, S.L., and Georgetown University for the authorship and originality of the article submitted for publication, as well as any damages to said entities that may arise as a result of actions, claims, or conflicts prompted by falsehoods, inaccuracies, or breach of these guarantees on the part of the AUTHOR.

The transfer of rights and the assumption of guarantees and liabilities on the part of the AUTHOR shall be governed by Spanish law. The parties will be subject to the jurisdiction and authority of Madrid's Courts and Tribunals (Province of Madrid, Spain) for all disputes and controversies that may arise therefrom. In the event of a dispute concerning the use of the article by the databases, the rules established in transferring the journal to the databases will apply.

Also, in connection with the publication of the article on the Internet, The author agrees, expressly UNIVERSIA, to publish your article in SJSS under the terms and conditions of the License Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) Creative Commons, which are detailed in the following link:


With this notice, UNIVERSIA HOLDING, S.L., located at Avda. de Cantabria s/n - Edif. Arrecife, planta 00. 28660 Boadilla del Monte ? Madrid, with an email address of (hereinafter UNIVERSIA), informs authors who submit articles for publication in the journal Spanish Journal of Soil Science (hereinafter, "authors" and SJSS, respectively) of the personal data protection policy (hereinafter, "Personal Data") in order that said authors are fully aware of their obligations regarding the Personal Data required by UNIVERSIA when submitting an article for publication in SJSS, and the treatment thereof.

Nevertheless, the provision of the data requested in order to submit an article and the completion of the requirements in the corresponding form are mandatory to finalise the article?s publication process. UNIVERSIA reserves the right to amend this policy to reflect new legislation, jurisprudence, or industry practices.

The Personal Data collected will be automatically processed and incorporated into the corresponding digital file. Pursuant to applicable regulation, this file is registered in the General Data Protection Registry.

The author ensures that the Personal Data provided to UNIVERSIA is accurate and is responsible for communicating any changes to the same.

The automated collection and processing of Personal Data is intended to manage the editing and publication of the authors? articles in the journal SJSS, as well as to send technical, operational, and commercial information about products and services that may be of interest to the author. The automated collection and processing of Personal Data is also intended to send survey forms, to which the author is not obligated to respond.

UNIVERSIA is expressly authorised to use such data to market and promote its products and services, as well as the products and services of third parties, who shall under no circumstances have access to the data provided by the author for the purposes indicated. UNIVERSIA is expressly authorised to send marketing and publicity messages about UNIVERSIA or third-party products, services, or activities, including emails, under the terms established by art. 21 of Law 34/2002 on information society services, and services that concern academic activities, such as conferences, courses, seminars, etc., or products, services, or activities that involve research, technology, telecommunications, career opportunities and job hunting, culture, study and training support, work/project development, and leisure.

The author's permission to use his/her data for marketing and promotional purposes, and to send own or third-party marketing and publicity materials, including emails, collected in accordance with the provisions in the preceding paragraph, is directly related to the creation and maintenance of the contractual relationship established with the author upon having submitted an article for publication in SJSS.

UNIVERSIA has adopted the legally required levels of security to protect Personal Data and installs the additional technical means and measures at its disposal to prevent loss, misuse, alteration, unauthorised access, and theft of the Personal Data provided to UNIVERSIA.

Nevertheless, authors should be aware that Internet security measures are not infallible.

Authors are legally entitled to exercise their rights to access, cancellation, rectification, and opposition, by contacting UNIVERSIA in writing, accompanied by proof of identification and return address, at UNIVERSIA HOLDING, S.L., located in Ciudad Grupo Santander. Avda. de Cantabria s/n - Edif. Arrecife, planta 00. 28660 Boadilla del Monte ? Madrid. Likewise, if necessary, authors may request information about how to exercise their rights by emailing UNIVERSIA at: