ISSN 0187-5779
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When there is more than one author, the manuscript must be accompanied by a letter addressed to the editor in which the authors of the document manifest that they agree with the content and with their level of authorship as expressed in the manuscript. The letter should also include the names of three possible reviewers, experts in the field, who do not belong to the same institution as the authors.

Submission of electronic version for publication should be sent to:

Submission of a printed manuscript, in addition to the electronic version, is optional. It should be send to the following address:

Editorial Office of Terra Latinoamericana
Sociedad Mexicana de la Ciencia del Suelo, A. C.
Apartado Postal 45
56 230 Chapingo, Edo. de Mexico, Mexico.
Phone and Fax: +52 (595) 95 2 17 21

After the contribution has been received, authors will be assigned a registration number, which should be used in all correspondence thereafter. Work published or in process of review in other journals will not be accepted.


The Journal Terra Latinoamericana welcomes papers in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English, that present original research findings related to Soil Science, Water Management, and Environmental Sciences. The contributions may be Scientific Papers, Research Notes, and Critical Reviews. The Journal also publishes Letters to the Editor and Book Reviews.

Scientific Papers must be generated from original research in which the scientific method was implemented to accept or reject a given hypothesis.

Research Notes are based on experimental work that presents new methodological aspects or important results that the author wants to publish before the research project is completed.

Critical Reviews are articles in which the author reports the State of the Art of a given topic of interest to the scientific community, based on the published literature, and establishing conclusions regarding the analysis of the published data.

In the Letter to the Editor section, Terra Latinoamericana will publish those that are considered of interest and present opinions or comments on a topic. This section's objective is to foment discussion on topics published in this journal or those of interest for the scientific community.

Book reviews is a section that aims to announce and preview books that may be of interest to soil scientists.

Manuscripts sent must take into account these instructions and will be reviewed by the editorial committee or by a peer reviewer they appoint.


The scientific articles and research notes must consist of the following sections:

1) Title, title in Spanish; 2) Author(s); 3) Institution(s) and affiliation address of the authors; 4) Summary; 5) Index words; 6) Summary in Spanish; 7) Palabras clave; 8) Introduction; 9) Materials and Methods;

10) Results and Discussion; 11) Conclusions; and 12) References.

The Editorial Committee may accept some modifications to this structure if they are appropriate to the content of the article.

Critical reviews must contain the following sections: 1) Title, title in Spanish; 2) Author(s); 3) Institutions where the work was done and affiliation addresses of the authors; 4) Summary; 5) Index words; 6) Summary in Spanish; 7) Palabras clave; 8) Introduction; 9) Development of the subject, with the subtitles esteemed convenient; 10) Discussion if pertinent; 11) Conclusiones; and 12) References.

The letters to the Editor and book reviews do not need a defined format, but must not be more than two pages double spaced, letter Times New Roman 11.

The manuscripts should be provided with a title page, containing the title, author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s) and including a complete address for correspondence (e-mail); telephone and fax number of the corresponding author with whom the journal will maintain contact.

Manuscripts should be double spaced with at least 2.5 cm margins on all sides. The pages, including those with tables and figures, should be numbered progressively and may not exceed 20 typewritten pages for a scientific article and 8 for a research note, including tables and figures. In an article, the tables and figures must be inserted into the text.

The tables and figures should have only the essential information and should not repeat data presented in any other way. The International System of Units (SI) is required. Follow Chemical Abstracts and its indexes for chemical names. Give cation exchange capacity in cmolc kg-1. Instead of ppm, use mg kg-1 or mg L-1. Use kg ha-1 or Mg ha-1. For time units use min, h, d, month (abbreviate to three letters, i.e. Jan, Feb). A zero must always precede a decimal point, e.g. 0.24. All abbreviations must be explained at first mention in the text. The use of asterisks is reserved to indicate statistical significance *(P < 0.05), **(P < 0.01), and ***(P < 0.001).

A space is left between the number and the unit (5 m, 42 °C). No space will be left between the number and the unit when it deals with percentages, angles and measures of longitude and latitude (45°, 15%, 30° 15' 5'' N). Spaces will be used to devide long numbers in groups of three, at the left and at the right side of the decimal point (143 570 and 21.345 678). Numbers with four digits must be written without space and without comma. Nouns and measure units must not be mixed (correct: the water content is 23 mL kg-1; not correct: the content is 23 mL H2O kg-1). Rounding figures follows three simple rules: 1) When the first two digits to be dismissed are less than 50, the previous digit does not change, e. g. 2.34489 will be rounded to 2.34. 2) When the first two digits to be dismissed are greater than 50, 1 is added to the number if it is odd and the number does not change when it is even, e. g. 3.3350 and 3.3450 must be rounded to 3.34. When there is only one number and it is less than 10, it must be written with words (e. g. four ecotypes, six regions, nine sites, but 16 trees, 128 countries). However, if this number is acompanied by an SI unit it must be expressed with a number (2 mL, 8 ug, 10 h). The manuscript, figures and tables must also be sent with an electronic version in Word for Windows. Figures must be presented in a format that allows modifications in size of axis numbers, line thickness, and text of legends.

The manuscript must be written in Times New Roman (including numbers on the axes, content and figure legends).

Formatting for publication

TITLE. The title must be centered in boldface uppercase letters Times New Roman 14. Under the title in English write a title in Spanish; lowercase, except the first letter of each content word, centered, boldface, Times New Roman 12.

For the headline (cornice) of the pages a short title of 60 letters or less must be provided.

Authors. The names of the authors should be written in bold lowercase letters, centered, separated by a comma, at one space after the title in Spanish, Times New Roman 12.

Institution(s) sponsors and authors' addresses. The objective of this section is to give credit to the institution that sponsored the work so that the readers may contact the authors; address and e-mail of the corresponding author must be specified. If there are coauthors, include only the name and work address. This identification is written in lowercase, except acronyms, below the authors' names and in Times New Roman 9. Footnotes. These may be used when it is necessary to identify additional information; they will be numbered progressively through the text. They should be used only when absolutely indispensable.

HEADINGS. The headings show diverse orders and the position of a section within the paper. First-order headings: Centered, boldface type and uppercase Times New Roman 14 type. Reserved for the main title of the paper.

Second-order headings: Centered, boldface type and uppercase. Times New Roman 11. Used for the different parts of the manuscript i.e. Summary, Introduction, etc. Third-order headings: Against left margin, bold face type and first letter of each content word in uppercase. Fourth-order headings: In the paragraph. Lowercase except the first letter, boldface type; no numbering. Fifth-order headings: In the paragraph. Lowercase except the first letter; no numbering.

Scientific Papers and Research Notes should be divided into the following sections:

SUMMARY in English and Spanish should not exceed 300 words for scientific papers and 150 words for research notes. The summary must synthesize the most important aspects of the work: justification, importance, experimental method (when relevant) and conclusions. Index words must not repeat words written in the title. One space below the summary, left margin. The term "Index words" will be written in italics and bold type. The index words also in italics. Include up to five. Example:

Index words: agrochemicals, toxicity, environment. RESUMEN. In Spanish. Follow the same rules as for the English Summary.

Palabras clave. In Spanish. Follow the same rules as those for Index words.

INTRODUCTION. This section should set the work in context, presenting essential background and including a concise statement of the objectives. Must not be more than three pages double spaced.

MATERIALS AND METHODS. Should indicate relevant details of the experimental methods and design, techniques, and statistical methods used in the study, so that the results can be judged for validity. Previous experiments may serve as a basis for the design of future experiments. In case of chemical substances, the name of manufacturer must be indicated (e. g. Pfizer, Roche, etc.). Special attention to the description of the experimental method used to reach the objectives should be given. It is highly recommended that the soil type and characteristics in which the experiment was conducted be described.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION. Indicate numerical results in tables or figures, which should not be repeated in the text. All statements should be based on proof and not supposition, and should be supported by statistical analysis. The level of significance should be indicated in the text and tables. Discussion should briefly relate the author's results to other work on the subject and give the author's conclusion. CONCLUSIONS. The first conclusions presented must correspond with the expressed objectives.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. May be included at the end of the text after Conclusions and before References.

REFERENCES. The list of references (Times New Roman 9) should be provided at the end of the text and typed in double space throughout (include only work cited in the text), listing in alphabetical order; surname of first author and initials, initials and surname of following authors, year of publication, title of the paper, abbreviated name of the journal, volume, and first and last page, e.g.:

Articles in seried journals:

Contreras-Hinojosa, J. R., V. Volke-Haller, J. L. Oropeza-Mota, C. Rodríguez-Franco, T. Martínez-Saldaña y A. Martínez-Garza. 2003. Encalado y fertilización fosfatada en el cultivo de papa en un Andosol de la Sierra Veracruzana. Terra 21: 417-426.

Articles in a collective non-periodical publication, with or without editor:

a) with editor

Turrent F., A. 1984. Los agrosistemas del trópico. pp. 315-328. In: E. Hernández X. (ed.). Los sistemas agrícolas de México. Colegio de Postgraduados. Chapingo, México.

b) without editor

Cortés F., J. I. 1984. El manejo de los frutales en zonas frías. pp. 181-192. In: La fruta y su perspectiva en México. CONAFRUT. Secretaría de Agricultura y Recursos Hidráulicos. México, D. F.

Non-periodical serial technical bulletins or other publications:

Hartemink, A. E. 2001. Publish or perish (6) - Soil science for pleasure. Bull. 100: 50-56. International Union of Soil Science. Viena, Austria.


Martínez G., A. 1995. Diseños experimentales. Métodos y elementos de teoría. Trillas. México, D. F.

Marschner, H. 1995. Mineral nutrition of higher plants. Academic Press. London, UK.

Avoid using references to support statements that are common knowledge for the scientific community. Avoid theses, proceedings of congresses, and lecture notes. Cite principally scientific articles and books.

DOI. If your article counts with DOI (Digital Object Identifier), write it after the complete reference. Here is an example:

Álvarez, J. V., L. M. Aguilar, B. P. Arraiza, and C. B. León. 2009. Biodegradation of paper waste under controlled composting conditions. Waste Management 29: 1514-1519. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2008.11.025. (available online since January 9, 2009).

Other aspects of the manuscript

For plants, insects and pathogens give the Latin binomial name (in italics) at first mention and do not include them in the title, but in the summary, following the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria, International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants.

Concerning the care and considerations which must be taken into account in the elaboration of figures, tables, maps, etc., tables and figures are used to substitute text, and so must be clear, simple and concise. Therefore, it is necessary to select only the data that will be used to emphasize some aspect or explain others. The data must be ordered in such way that they can be interpreted easily.

Tables. These must be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals, in the same order as they are mentioned in the text. Tables are always printed in small letter type (Times New Roman 9) and descriptive headings should be provided. All column headings should begin with an uppercase letter. Table notes should be referred to by superscript: †, ‡, §, ¶ #, ††, ‡‡, ....†††. The asterisks are reserved for indicating statistical significance: * Significant at the 0.05 probability level; ** Significant at the 0.01 probability level; *** Significant at the 0.001 probability level. When preparing tables, consider that they could be printed in one column (85 mm) or two columns (180 mm). Tables must have three horizontal solid lines: one at the beginning of the table, the second at the beginning of the field and the last at the end of the table. No vertical lines are allowed.

Units must be placed under the second horizontal line. No parentheses are used, as shown in Table 1. In other cases, as in Table 2, their use is convenient. Use the word processors' table feature. Do not create tables by using the space bar or tab key. The tables must not be more than one letter-size page. All tables must present statistical parameters for the appropriate comparisons.

It is recommended, if relevant, that the coefficient of variation, standard deviation and, in the case of mean separation, the minimum significant difference be included.

Figures and maps. These can be photographs, graphs, charts or diagrams and must not exceed one letter-size page with the specified margins (including the respective subtitles). They must be included in the text. Figures should not give information already given in tables. Originals provided of figures must be of good quality, clearly drawn or printed in black on white. Numbering or lettering should not be on the originals but on the copies. Vertical axes should be labeled vertically. Keep in mind that the final reduced size is 9 point type for numbers on the axis scale, 10 to 11 points for the axis labels, and 7 to 8 points for inside legends. A typewritten, double-spaced list of legends of all figures must be supplied. Each legend should contain sufficient explanation to be meaningful without cross-referencing; provide a key to all the symbols on it. The preferred symbols are , Standard Errors of the means are strongly recommended to be included in the figures. To avoid losing quality of the figures, it is required that these remain bound to the program used for their design. For example, Figure 1 was transferred to this document using special pasting of the MS Word edit command ("Graphic of Microsoft Office Excel Object"), so that the figure may be edited. Figure 2 was copied as object or image (copied and pasted in the usual way); it is not possible to link up to the program of its origin.

It is suggested that authors include an additional example in which the figures will be of the Figure 2 type (without possibility of editing) to avoid involuntary changes in the numerical content. Another option is to include a pdf format copy of your document.

Statistical methods. Frequently, the procedure of mean separation is wrongly used. This may result in incorrect scientific conclusions. Comparisons of least significant differences (LSD) are used only when the treatments do not have a well defined structure (e.g. studies to compare cultivars). Authors must be aware of the limitations of the tests of multiple mean comparisons when they have little information on the structure of the treatments (Petersen, 1977; Little, 1978; Chew, 1980; Nelson and Rawling, 1983; Carmer and Walker, 1985). When the treatments have a logical structure, orthogonal contrasts are used.

Additional information

For more information on the preparation of the manuscripts consult the following documents:

Alvarado L., J. 2009. Redacción y preparación del artículo científico. 2a ed. Publicación Especial 11. Sociedad Mexicana de la Ciencia del Suelo y Colegio de Postgraduados, Agrociencia. Chapingo, México.

ASA-CSSA-SSSA. 2004. Publication Handbook and Style Manual. Madison, WI, USA. (Reviewed: May 6, 2007).

Carmer, S. G. and W. M. Walker. 1985. Pairwise multiple comparisons of treatment means in agronomic research. J. Agron. Educ. 14: 19-26.

Chew, V. 1980. Testing differences among means: correct interpretation and some alternatives. HortScience 15:467-470.

Little, T. M. 1978. If Galileo published in HortScience.

HortScience 13: 504-506. Mari Mutt, J. A. 2004. Manual de redacción científica. Caribbean J. Sci. Publicación Especial 3. Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. (Reviewed:May 6, 2007).

Nelson, L. A. and J. O. Rawling. 1983. Ten common misuses of statistics in agronomic research and reporting. J. Agron.Educ. 12: 100-105.

Petersen, R. G. 1977. Use and misuse of multiple comparisonprocedures. Agron. J. 69: 205-208. Salisbury, F. B. 1998. Standardizing with SI units. BioScience48: 827-835.


The proofs will be sent to the authors to enable them to check correctness of the typesetting. They should be reviewed promptly and returned to the editorial office. No changes other than corrections should be made.



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© 2015 Sociedad Mexicana de la Ciencia del Suelo A. C.
Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo, Departamento de Suelos,
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