SCIENCES of SOILS publishes articles in all fields of soil science; it is therefore important that articles are written in such a way that their approach and conclusions are also intelligible to the informed but non-specialist reader. The submission of a manuscript implies that it has been approved by all the named authors, and that all persons entitled to authorship have been named, and that it reports original and unpublished work, which is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Once the mansuscript has been accepted for publication the author(s) will be required to transfer the copyright of the article to SCIENCES of SOILS; it may not then be published elsewhere in the same form, in any language, without the consent of the editor. Authors will be required to sign an undertaking to this effect.
The main way in which authors can contribute to reducing the time between receipt and publication of a manuscript is to follow the requirements and suggestions in these Instructions for Authors, and to write in a concise style. However, sufficient information must always be included to permit repetition of the experimental work and to support the conclusions that are drawn. Manuscripts containing repetitive text or unnecessary figures or tables will always be returned for revision, with a consequent delay in publication.
Statistics on the number of readers of each article can easily be obtained, providing valuable feedback to authors, who can also enter into discussions on their articles with readers. Reprint requests are not necessary since individuals can download the article and print it out themselves, thus eliminating the task of conventional copying. In the future the journal will be archived to CD-ROM, providing a low cost searchable database, which will be available to libraries, abstract services and individuals who wish to subscribe.



English is recommended, because it is widely accepted as a scientific language and world-wide-understanding is guaranteed. Either the Concise Oxford Dictionary or Webster's New International Dictionary may be used as a standard for English spelling.
Submitting manuscripts in another language is possible, but may cause reviewing delays. Please contact the editor. Authors writing a manuscript in a language in which they are not accustomed to working should have it checked by a competent speaker before submission.

Cover File

Authors must provide a seperate cover file for each article, giving the following information:
  • Title
  • Author(s)
  • Address of each author (if different), giving complete postal and e-mail addresses
  • Number of tables and corresponding file names
  • Number of figures and corresponding file names
  • Number of photographs and corresponding file names
  • Name, postal and e-mail addresses of the author to whom the proof is to be sent
  • Special instructions, for example if the manuscript is one of a series of articles to be published in this journal

Formatting the text

Text format

There are several formats you can use to write your article in.

  1. Writing plain ASCII-text. This is the easiest way: No special text formatting program, operating system or hardware are required. You can even use an "old" XT, if you still have one. There should be no problems in using an ASCII-editor, because they are widely available and easy to use. They are built in features of every operating system.

  2. Writing with a word processing program. If you have written the text using a particular program, e.g. Word®, WordPerfect® or StarWriter®, convert the text to either ASCII or Microsoft's® rich-text format (RTF). Many word processors support one of these formats for export; if yours does not, please contact the editor to make alternative arrangements. Word (up to 7.0) and StarWriter (up to 3.1) files will be accepted without prior conversion. LATEX manuscripts will also be accepted.

  3. Writing in HTML-Code (final submission only). This guarantees the quickest publication because no adaptation by the publisher to WEB hypertext format will be necessary. If you are familiar with HTML please follow the conventions of HTML level 3/3.2. Most of today's WEB-browsers already provide these features.
    If you would like to become familiar with the specifiations of HTML you can obtain information from the W3-Comittee. Please note that several features, which are not included in the HTML conventions, are not supported by all WEB browsers (for example the Netscape® Frame-Tag). A SoS Style Guide is under construction. In case of doubt, please contact the editor

Please, do not exceed 60 characters per line (blanks included). If you are unable to prepare your manuscript in a format as named above, SCIENCES of SOILS can prepare the documents (including scanning images etc.) for a reasonable fee once the article is accepted for publication. For details send an e-mail to the editor:

Special Characters (HTML submission)

Special characters such as " ² " or " µ " must be encoded using the codes specified in ISO-8859-1 standard (Latin-1). A list containing the codes and a brief description can be obtained from Special Characters.

Figures and photographs

To prepare figures for SCIENCES of SOILS you have only to save them as a file instead of printing them. Nearly all graphics and statistics programs offer at least the Bitmap format (*.bmp). Use this format if your software does not provide GIF (Graphical Interchange Format) (*.gif) or JPEG Interchange Format (*.jpg), which should be preferred if available, because they are the standard graphics formats for all common WEB browsers.
In the case of photographs, or material which you cannot create on a computer, use a scanner to convert the drafts into binary form. If it is impossible to save the scanned drafts as Bitmap, GIF or JPEG files, then TIFF (Tagged Interchange File Format) (*.tif) will also be accepted.

All figure and photograph files should be numbered in the order of their appearence in the article: fig-1.gif, fig-2.bmp, photo-1.tif and so on. Please do not use other file names and do not include the corresponding captions in the graphics file (see below).
Please make sure that your figures and drafts are of good quality. Otherwise, important details may be lost when scanning or converting to GIF or JPEG.

A maximum size of 800*600 pixels is recommended for figures and photographs. A size of 300-400*200-300 pixels is ideally suited for illustrations in the text. Please use high color resolution only when necessary (e.g. for color photographs). 16 colours should be sufficient for figures in most cases.


Tables should be typed as plain ASCII text. The use of graphics programs and "table editors" should be avoided. Blanks within columns should be created with tabs or semicolons. If you are familiar with writing HTML, please construct your tables according to HTML 3.
Excel and Excel-compatible tables can be submitted without prior conversion.

Mathematics and Formulae

Inline equations and formulae should be typed as text. Please use graphics programs only for complex equations. Equation editors should be avoided, unless the created formulae are saved as a graphics file. As soon as the specification of HTML allows the writing of full-featured formulae this will be supported by the journal.
If you are familiar with writing HTML, please write chemical notations and equations according to HTML 3. If you are unfamiliar with writing HTML, enclose numbers and characters in <SUP> </SUP> to create superscripts, as in Ca +2, and <SUB> </SUB> to create subscripts, as in H2O.

Please use only SI-units.

Text Structure - Article File

The text should consist of the following structural elements :

The Title should be short, specific and informative and the first words of the title should be useful for indexing. Please avoid non-specific phrases such as "A study of", "The effects of" or "...especially regarding...". Please do not give the title numbered subtitles or a series number.

Please list each author with her/his complete name followed by the address (if different). Give complete postal and e-mail addresses. Name the corresponding author and give her/his postal and e-mail addresses as if different from that given in the author(s) list.

The Summary should be brief, factual and self-contained. It should always be in English.

The Keyword List may be presented in short phrases, like " Extraction of copper; inhibition of several enzymes,....". Plese avoid non-specific phrases and try to reduce the keyword phrases to 5 words each. Only use keywords that are also used in the article. The keywords should always be in English.

The Introduction should give the reasons for doing the work. A detailed review of the literature is not necessary, as this is a specialist journal.

Materials and Methods
The Methods section should give only a brief description, referring to the related literature. A full technical report should only be given when new methods are introduced.

The Results need only report the experiments documentated by the tables, figures and photographs. Please avoid referring to manuscripts that may be published later.

The Discussion section should not recapitulate the results. It should relate the author's experiment(s) to other work on the subject and draw conclusions.

Results and Discussion may be combined.

If Acknowledgements are necessary, please avoid grant numbers or institutional journal publication numbers.

References should be kept to a minimum. They should be given in alphabetical order in the form:
Item number [in square brackets], surname of author(s) followed by initials, year of publication (in brackets), colon, title of article, full stop, title of journal, volume, comma, number of first page, dashed line, number of last page, full stop.
Please refer to articles already published in this journal. References to articles in WEB journals should give the journal's name and the article's URL, e.g.
The Journal (Vol. No.) -
References in the text should consist of the item number as given in the references section [enclosed in square brackets]. Where more than one article by the senior author has appeared in the same year, the references should be distinguished in the References section by letters of the alphabet following the citation of the year (e.g. 1993a, 1993b). Please do not give references to unpublished work unless the article has already been accepted for publication, when it should be referred to as in press for paper journals and under preparation for online journals.

Footnotes should be marked in the text using numbers enclosed in hyphens and brackets (e.g.: (-1-) for footnote number 1). The footnotes should be saved at the end of the article file using the same numbering. Please try to keep footnotes to a minimum.

Captions of Figures and Photographs
The captions should refer to the figures and photographs submitted and begin with Fig 1:, Fig 2:, Photo 1: and so on. The figures and photographs will be inserted into the text by the publisher.

Please separate individual parts of this text structure from each other by 5 blank lines, and from their related text by 1 blank line.

Submitting articles to SCIENCES of SOILS

Please identify articles in all correspondence by giving all authors' names in the same sequence as in the cover file. The submission should contain the following files (and file names).
  • Cover file ("cover.txt")
  • Keyword file ("keyword.txt")
  • Abstract file ("abstract.txt")
  • Article text file ("article.txt") including
    • Title and Author(s)
    • Introduction
    • Material and Methods
    • Results
    • Discussion or
    • Combined Results and Discussion
    • Footnotes
  • Acknowledgments ("thanks.txt")
  • References file ("ref.txt")
  • Table file(s) (one file per table) ("tab-x.txt")
  • Figure file(s) (one file per figure) ("fig-x.gif")
  • Photograph file(s) (one file per photograph) ("photo-x.gif")
".Txt" stands for files written as ASCII text. For files written in HTML, please change ".txt" to ".htm" or ".html". Please use the ".rtf" file extension for files saved in rich text format. For LATEX-files please use ".tex".


  • Compress all files listed above and give the compressed file the senior author's name. Zip (*.zip) and Gzip (*.gz, *.tgz) are recommended, but other formats are possible - please contact the editor;
  • attach this file (encoded as MIME or UUENCODE) to an e-mail containing the title, author(s), e-mail addresses in the body-text;
  • send it to with the keywords SoS - Article in the subject field.

Submission on 3.5" IBM-compatible formatted floppy disks containing all the files is also possible. Please mail the disks to: Dr. Thomas Hintze, Kurfürstenstr. 13, D-54295 Trier, Germany.

If you do not have a program to compress or uncompress files you can easily obtain such one from almost every FTP-server. In Unix environments they are built-in features.

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Last updated: April 14th 1997
ISSN 1432-9492

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