Agronomy — Instructions for Authors

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Please use the MS Word template or LaTeX template to prepare your paper.

Please use a template file to prepare your paper.

Submission of Manuscripts

  • Submission: Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form.
  • Accepted File Formats:
    • MS Word: Manuscript prepared in MS Word must be converted into a single file before submission. When preparing manuscripts in MS Word, the Agronomy Microsoft Word template files must be used. Please do not insert any graphics (schemes, figures, etc.) into a movable frame which can superimpose the text and make the layout very difficult.
    • LaTeX: ensure to send a copy of your manuscript as a PDF file also, if you decided to use LaTeX. When preparing manuscripts in LaTeX, please use the MDPI LaTeX template files.
  • Coverletter: Check in your cover letter whether you supplied at least 5 referees. Check if the English corrections are done before submission.

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Manuscript Preparation

  • Paper Format: A4 paper format, the printing area is 17.5 cm x 26.2 cm. The margins should be 1.75 cm on each side of the paper (top, bottom, left, and right sides).
  • Formatting / Style: The paper style of Agronomy should be followed. You may download a template file from the Agronomy homepage to prepare your paper. The full titles and the cited papers must be given. Reference numbers should be placed in square brackets [ ], and placed before the punctuation; for example [4] or [1-3], and all the references should be listed separately and as the last section at the end of the manuscript.
  • Reference Formatting: See the Reference Preparation Guide. References should be numbered according to the order in which they appear in the text.
  • Reference Preparation: References should preferably be prepared with EndNote ®, ReferenceManager or a similar bibliography software package. If references are prepared manually they must be checked for integrity and correctness (you may use ISI Web of Knowledge, PubMed/MEDLINE or Google Scholar). The Editorial Office will charge additional CHF 10 per citation for which extensive corrections must be made.
  • Authors List and Affiliation Format: Authors' full first and last names must be given. Abbreviated middle name can be added. For papers written by various contributors a corresponding author must be designated. The PubMed/MEDLINE format is used for affiliations: complete address information including city, zip code, state/province, country, and email address should be added. All authors who contributed significantly to the manuscript (including writing a section) should be listed on the first page of the manuscript, below the title of the article. Other parties, who provided only minor contributions, should be listed under Acknowledgments only. A minor contribution might be a discussion with the author, reading through the draft of the manuscript, or performing English corrections.
  • Abstract and Keywords: The abstract should be prepared as one paragraph (about 200 words). A list of three to ten keywords must be given, and placed after the Abstract.
  • Figures, Schemes and Tables: Authors are encouraged to prepare figures and schemes in color. Full color graphics will be published free of charge. Figure and schemes must be numbered (Figure 1, Scheme I, Figure 2, Scheme II, etc.) and a explanatory title must be added. Tables should be inserted into the main text, and numbers and titles for all tables supplied. All table columns should have an explanatory heading. Please supply legends for all figures, schemes and tables. The legends should be prepared as a separate paragraph of the main text and placed in the main text before a table, a figure or a scheme.
  • Abstract/Table of Contents Graphic: Authors are encouraged to provide a graphical representation of the paper (in either JPEG, GIF, PNG or PDF format) to be used as a graphic of the paper, along with the abstract, on the Table of Contents. The graphic should not exceed 500 pixels width/height. As an example, authors may review the abstract graphic of following papers:
    - http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/9/1/490
    - http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/14/1/378
  • Electronic Supplementary Information (ESI): Conference slides, video sequences, software, etc., can be included with the submission and published as supplementary material. Please read the information about Supplementary Material Depositbeneath.

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Qualification for Authorship

Authorship must include and be strictly limited to researchers who have substantially contributed to the reported work. To qualify for authorship, a researcher should have made a substantial contribution to the design of the study, or to the production, analysis or interpretation of the results. Authors should also have been involved in the preparation and have approved the submitted manuscript. Those who contributed to the work but do not qualify for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgments. According to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) standard, to which this journal adheres, "all authors should agree to be listed and should approve the submitted and accepted versions of the publication. Any change to the author list should be approved by all authors including any who have been removed from the list. The corresponding author should act as a point of contact between the editor and the other authors and should keep co-authors informed and involve them in major decisions about the publication (e.g. answering reviewers’ comments)." [1]

  1. Wager, E.; Kleinert, S. Responsible research publication: international standards for authors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010. In Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment; Mayer, T., Steneck, N., eds.; Imperial College Press / World Scientific Publishing: Singapore; Chapter 50, pp. 309-16.

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Research Involving Plants

Experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild) including collection of plant material, must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines. We recommend that authors comply with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

For each submitted manuscript supporting genetic information and origin must be provided. For research manuscripts involving rare and non-model plants (other than, e.g., Arabidopsis thaliana, Nicotiana benthamiana, Oriza sativa, or many other typical model plants), voucher specimens must be deposited in an accessible herbarium or museum. Vouchers may be requested for review by future investigators to verify the identity of the material used in the study (especially if taxonomic rearrangements occur in the future). They should include details of the populations sampled on the site of collection (GPS coordinates), date of collection, and document the part(s) used in the study where appropriate. For rare, threatened or endangered species this can be waived but it is necessary for the author to describe this in the cover letter.

Editors reserve the rights to reject any submission that does not meet these requirements.

An example of Ethical Statements:

Torenia fournieri plants were used in this study. White-flowered Crown White (CrW) and violet-flowered Crown Violet (CrV) cultivars selected from ‘Crown Mix’ (XXX Company, City, Country) were kindly provided by Dr. XXX (XXX Institute, City, Country).

Arabidopis mutant lines (SALKxxxx, SAILxxxx,…) were kindly provided by Dr. XXX , institute, city, country).

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Potential Conflicts of Interest

It is the authors' responsibility to identify and declare any personal circumstances or interests that may be perceived as inappropriately influencing the representation or interpretation of clinical research. If there is no conflict, please state here "The authors declare no conflict of interest." This should be conveyed in a separate "Conflicts of Interest" statement preceding the "Acknowledgments" and "References" sections at the end of the manuscript. Financial support for the study must be fully disclosed under "Acknowledgments" section.

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Peer-Review and Editorial Procedure

Initial Checks

All submitted manuscripts received by the Editorial Office will be checked by a professional in-house Managing Editor to determine whether it is properly prepared and whether the manuscript follows the ethical policies of the journal, including those for human and animal experimentation. Manuscripts that do not fit the journal or are not in line with our ethical policy may be rejected before peer-review. Manuscripts that are not properly prepared will be returned to the authors for revision and resubmission. The Managing Editor will consult the journals’ Editor-in-Chief, the Guest Editor or an Editorial Board member to determine whether the manuscript fits the scope of the journal and whether it is scientifically sound. No judgment on the significance or potential impact of the work will be made at this stage.

Peer-Review

Once a manuscript passes the initial checks, it will be assigned to at least two independent experts for peer-review. A single-blind peer-review process is applied, where authors' names are revealed to reviewers. In-house assistant editors generally invite experts recommended by the Editor-in-Chief or identified by literature searches. These experts may also include Editorial Board members and Guest Editors of the journal. Potential reviewers suggested by the authors may also be considered. Reviewers should not have published with any of the co-authors during the past five years and should not currently work or collaborate with one of the institutes of the co-authors of the submitted manuscript.

Editorial Decision and Revision

Based on the comments and advices of the peer-reviewers, an external editor – usually the Editor-in-Chief or a Guest Editor – will make a decision to accept, reject, or to ask authors to revise the manuscript.

For Minor Revisions the authors will have one week to resubmit their revised manuscript. For Major Revisions the authors will have two weeks to resubmit their revised manuscript. However, authors should contact the editorial office if extended revision time is anticipated.

Author Appeals

Authors may appeal a rejection by sending an e-mail to the Editorial Office of the journal. The appeal must provide a detailed justification, including point-by-point responses to the reviewers' and/or Editor's comments. The Managing Editor of the journal will forward the manuscript and relating information (including the identities of the referees) to an Editorial Board member who was not involved in the initial decision-making process. If no appropriate Editorial Board member is available, the editor will identify a suitable external scientist. The Editorial Board member will be asked to give an advisory recommendation on the manuscript and may recommend acceptance, further peer-review, or uphold the original rejection decision. A reject decision at this stage will be final and cannot be revoked.

Production and Publication

Once accepted, the manuscript will undergo professional copy-editing, English editing, proofreading by the authors, final corrections, pagination, and, publication on the www.mdpi.com website.

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Peer-Review / Referees

During the submission process, authors have the possibility to suggest potential reviewers with the appropriate expertise to review the manuscript. The editors will not necessarily approach these referees. Please provide detailed contact information (address, homepage, phone, e-mail address). The proposed referees should neither be current collaborators of the co-authors nor have published with any of the co-authors of the manuscript within the last five years. Proposed reviewers should be from different institutions to the authors. You may identify appropriate Editorial Board members of the journal as potential reviewers. You may also suggest reviewers from among the authors that you frequently cite in your paper.

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English Corrections

This journal is published in English. To facilitate proper peer-reviewing of your manuscript , it is essential that it is submitted in grammatically correct English. If you are not a native English speaker, we strongly recommend that you have your manuscript professionally edited before submission or read by a native English-speaking colleague. Professional editing will mean that reviewers and future readers are better able to read and assess the content of your manuscript. An additional fee of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged to authors if extensive English corrections must be done by the Editorial Office. For additional information see the English Editing Guidelines for Authors.

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Publication Ethics

Agronomy is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We fully adhere to its Code of Conduct and to its Best Practice Guidelines.

The editors of this journal take the responsibility to enforce a rigorous peer-review process together with strict ethical policies and standards to ensure to add high quality scientific works to the field of scholarly publication. Unfortunately, cases of plagiarism, data falsification, image manipulation, inappropriate authorship credit, and the like, do arise. The editors of Agronomy take such publishing ethics issues very seriously and are trained to proceed in such cases with a zero tolerance policy.

Authors wishing to publish their papers in Agronomy are asked to abide to the following rules:

  • Any facts that might be perceived as a possible conflict of interest of the author(s) must be disclosed in the paper prior to submission.
  • Authors should accurately present their research findings and include an objective discussion of the significance of their findings.
  • Data and methods used in the research need to be presented in sufficient detail in the paper, so that other researchers can replicate the work.
  • Raw data should preferably be publicly deposited by the authors before submission of their manuscript. Authors need to at least have the raw data readily available for presentation to the referees and the editors of the journal, if requested. Authors need to ensure appropriate measures are taken so that raw data is retained in full for a reasonable time after publication.
  • Simultaneous submission of manuscripts to more than one journal is not tolerated.
  • Republishing content that is not novel is not tolerated (for example, an English translation of a paper that is already published in another language will not be accepted).
  • If errors and inaccuracies are found by the authors after publication of their paper, they need to be promptly communicated to the editors of this journal so that appropriate actions can be taken. Please refer to our policy regarding publication of publishing addenda and corrections.
  • Your manuscript should not contain any information that has already been published. If you include already published figures or images, please obtain the necessary permission from the copyright holder to publish under the CC-BY license.
  • Plagiarism, data fabrication and image manipulation are not tolerated.
    • Plagiarism is not acceptable in Agronomy submissions.

      Plagiarism includes copying text, ideas, images, or data from another source, even from your own publications, without giving any credit to the original source.

      Reuse of text that is copied from another source must be between quotes and the original source must be cited. If a study's design or the manuscript's structure or language has been inspired by previous works, these works must be explicitly cited.

      If plagiarism is detected during the peer review process, the manuscript may be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication, we may publish a correction or retract the paper.

    • Image files must not be manipulated or adjusted in any way that could lead to misinterpretation of the information provided by the original image.

      Irregular manipulation includes: 1) introduction, enhancement, moving, or removing features from the original image; 2) grouping of images that should obviously be presented separately (e.g., from different parts of the same gel, or from different gels); or 3) modifying the contrast, brightness or color balance to obscure, eliminate or enhance some information.

      If irregular image manipulation is identified and confirmed during the peer review process, we may reject the manuscript. If irregular image manipulation is identified and confirmed after publication, we may correct or retract the paper.

    Our in-house editors will investigate any allegations of publication misconduct and may contact the authors' institutions or funders if necessary. If evidence of misconduct is found, appropriate action will be taken to correct or retract the publication. Authors are expected to comply with the best ethical publication practices when publishing with MDPI.

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Supplementary Materials and Data Deposit

In order to maintain the integrity, transparency and reproducibility of research records, authors are strongly encouraged to make their experimental and research data openly available either by depositing into data repositories or by publishing the data and files as supplementary information in this journal. Additional data and files can be uploaded as "Supplementary Files" during the manuscript submission process. The supplementary files will also be available to the referees as part of the peer-review process, although referees are not specifically asked to review these files. Accepted file formats include (but are not limited to):

  • data tables and spreadsheets (text files, MS Excel, OpenOffice, CSV, XML, etc.)
  • text documents (text files, PDF, MS Word, OpenOffice, etc.; text documents will usually be converted to PDF files for publication)
  • images (JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, etc.)
  • videos (AVI, MPG, QuickTime, etc.)
  • executables (EXE, Java, etc.)
  • software source code

Citations and References in Supplementary files are permitted provided that they also appear in the main text and in the reference list.

Large data sets and files should be deposited to specialized service providers (such as Figshare) or institutional/subject repositories, preferably those that use the DataCite mechanism. For a list of specialized repositories for the deposit of scientific and experimental data, please consult databib.org or re3data.org. The data repository name, link to the data set (URL) and accession number, doi or handle number of the data set must be provided in the paper. The journal Data (ISSN 2306-5729) also accepts submissions of data set papers, and the publication of small data sets along with the paper, and/or software source codes is encouraged.

Guidelines for Deposition of Sequences and of Expression Data

New sequence information must be deposited to the appropriate database prior to submission of the manuscript. Accession numbers provided by the database should be included in the submitted manuscript. Manuscripts will not be published until the accession number is provided.

  • New nucleic acid sequences must be deposited in one of the following databases: GenBank, EMBL, or DDBJ. Sequences should be submitted to only one database.
  • New high throughput sequencing (HTS) datasets (RNA-seq, ChIP-Seq, degradome analysis, …) must be deposited either in the GEO database or in the NCBI’s Sequence Read Archive.
  • New microarray data must be deposited either in the GEO or the ArrayExpress databases.The "Minimal Information About a Microarray Experiment" (MIAME) guidelines published by the Microarray Gene Expression Data Society must be followed.
  • New protein sequences obtained by protein sequencing must be submitted to UniProt (submission tool SPIN).

All sequence names and the accession numbers provided by the databases should be provided in the Materials and Methods section of the article.

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