Manuscript Preparation Guidelines

Download PDF copy of Request for Publication Review and Approval form.


These guidelines are to aid authors in preparing research manuscripts for publication by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. The basis for the style is Scientific Style and Format: The Council of Science Editors (CSE) Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers.

Publications include the Research Report and the Research Series

All authors should plan for — in addition to their own total hard-copy book and CD needs — a standard total of 150 extra hard copies (whether hard copy books or CDs or a combination of the two) of every publication produced through the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. Division of Agriculture Communications distributes the 150 copies for the AAES.

Research Series

This category is for annual or periodic reports on research and test results. Examples include reports on research progress in a commodity, such as rice or cotton, or a program area, such as soil fertility or animal science, with articles compiled by a faculty editor. Variety trials are published as Research Series publications.

Research Report

This category is for non-periodic publications, typically on significant research results and related information of interest to an Arkansas audience.

Review and Submission of Manuscript for Publication

All manuscripts must be reviewed within the principal author’s department by two faculty members with selection of reviewers and other details determined by departmental policy. The manuscript must be submitted for publication by the department head. Reviewers and department head must sign and date a “Request for Publication Review and Approval” form attached to a copy of the manuscript. Send manuscripts directly to Division of Agriculture Communication Services, not the Director’s office. Additional details are provided on the Request for Publication Review and Approval form (attached and online at Additional copies are available in departmental offices.

1. Planning the Publication

Contact Gail Halleck, Research Publications Coordinator, to discuss details such as format, audience and quantity.

2. Preparing the Manuscript

Manuscripts submitted for review, editing and publication should be double-spaced with pages numbered sequentially and printed by a laser or letter-quality printer. An electronic copy in MS Word only must be provided on CD,USB flash drive or as an email attachment (unless electronic file size prohibits e-mail attachment) after manuscripts are accepted for publication. A spell-check should be run on the full document prior to submission and after revisions.

3. Title Page

The title page should include:

The authors’ complete names as they are to be printed. Authors’ title (assistant, associate, etc.) and affiliation (university, department, city, and state) when the paper was written. Current information for authors who have changed positions.

4. Table of Contents

Label this page as CONTENTS. Use the following major subdivisions as a general format:

This is only a general format; it may be altered to meet specific needs.

5. Abstract

Provide a statement of 150 words or less that summarizes the purpose of the research, important results and conclusions, and the potential impact of the new information provided. The statement serves purposes similar to those of an executive summary or abstract. It should be written for an average reader who is not a scientist.

6. Standard Footnotes

Two unnumbered footnotes will be added on the introductory pages:

Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Fayetteville. Mark J. Cochran, Vice-President for Agriculture; Clarence E. Watson, Associate Vice President for Agriculture–Research, and Director, AAES.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

7. Acknowledgements

One of the acknowledgment statements below must be included on any publication supported by USDA grant funds, depending on whether the USDA grant fully support or partially supported the material. Each article in a publication should have its own acknowledgements section. or

Additionally, The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture should be acknowledged in publications or in each article within a publication.

8. Citation of Sources in the Text

Preferred: Author’s name followed by year of publication in parentheses (Smith, 1981) or (Smith and Jones, 1974) or (Jones et al., 1965). Acceptable: A number corresponding to the position of the reference in the Literature Cited section. Use this method when the preferred method would be cumbersome.

9. Figures and Tables

Figures and tables must be submitted as electronic PDF or TIFF files. Submit photo figures at a minimum of 300 dots per inch (dpi) and 1200 pixels wide. All figures should be generated by authors in the original charting software at 300 dpi at a standard figure width of at least 4 inches (select “constrain proportions” and height will default proportionally), and exported or saved as grayscale or black and white images.

Prepare tables using the tabel function in Microsoft Word or Excel please do not use tabs and spaces.


Tables and figures should stand alone. The reader should not have to refer to the text for pertinent information. Therefore, subject, location, date, etc., need to be provided in table headings and figure captions. However, table headings and figure captions should be succinct. Capitalize only the first letter of the first word in the caption and the first letter of any proper nouns. Confirm, prior to submission, that all tables and figures have headings and captions. Tables should be single spaced, Helvetica 9-point plain type and only table titles bolded and centered. Figure titles only should be 9-point Helvetica, bolded and centered. Use only .5 rules; do not use “hairline“ commands.

10. Units

Use units of measurement that are appropriate for the intended audience. Provide an English/metric conversion table as the final page of the submitted manuscript. The table may be printed either as an appendix or inside the back cover. Reference the table in the text at the site of the first measurement unit used. The Research Publications editor can provide a metric conversion table.

11. Numbers

Spell out numbers one through nine in the text unless the number is a numerical value.


The treatment was replicated three times. The flavor was given a rating of 3. Plate waste was 3% of total intake.

12. Abbreviations and Symbols

Use the abbreviation or symbol for a unit of measurement in the text only if the unit is preceded by a number; the same abbreviation symbol is used for the singular and for the plural form of the unit.


Plate waste was measured as a percentage of total intake (not “plate waste was measured as a % of total intake”). Cattle weights were measure in pounds (not in “lb”). The wire was: 1 in. long... 3 ft long... 15 cm long. One liter was added.

Most abbreviations do not take periods unless they fall at the end of a sentence. However, use a period with any abbreviation that could be confused with a word (in. for inch is an example), and always spell out liters to avoid confusion.

Use degree symbols when reporting temperatures.


Room temperature is 25 °C (77 °F).

13. Serial Comma

In a series of three or more simple items with a single conjunction, omit the comma before the last item.


The American flag is red, white and blue.

14. Hyphens

Use hyphens in compound modifiers. The following examples will demonstrate the difference in meaning a hyphen can make:

100 cow herds (100 herds of cows)

100-cow herds (herds of 100 cows each)

light transmission instrument (a transmission instrument that doesn’t weigh much)

light-transmission instrument (an instrument that transmits light)

Some examples of CORRECT usage of hyphens are as follows:

spur-of-the-moment decision

a two-thirds ownership

two 30-mm rods

a six-year-old child

a 7.1-m row

a high-yielding cultivar

within-breed effect

a one-minute exposure

15. Literature Cited Format

Provide all of the needed information such as author(s), date of publication, title, publisher, place where published, editor(s), etc. For conference proceedings, provide author(s), location and dates of the conference, place where proceedings were published and the publisher, date of publication and applicable paper numbers, page numbers, etc. Lower case the article and book titles except for the first word and proper nouns, and do not use underline or italics for book titles. Please use the standard acceptable abbreviation for journal titles, and spell out titles of obscure journals.

Example: Journal articles

McKenzie, A.J., W.F. Spencer, K.R. Stockinger, and B.A. Krantz. 1963. Seasonal nitrate-nitrogen content of cotton petioles as affected by nitrogen applications and its relationship to yield. Agron. J. 55:55-59.

Example: Books

Brody, S. 1945. Bioenergetics and growth. Reinhold Publishing Co., N.Y.

Example: Unpublished master’s theses

Reitmeier, C.A. 1975. Physiological studies of brown-end discoloration in snap bean pods. Unpublished Master’s thesis, Department of Horticultural Food Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Example: Conference proceedings

Frans, R., R. Talbert, and R. Rogers. 1982. Influence of long-term herbicide programs on continuous cotton. pp. 228-229. In: Proc. Beltwide Cotton Production Research Conference, Las Vegas, Nev. January 1982. National Cotton Council of America, Memphis, Tenn.


If you have questions at any time during the preparation of your manuscripts, refer to the Council of Science Editors Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers or contact the research publications editor in the Division of Agriculture Communications office, Agriculture Building 110, Fayetteville. Telephone: (479) 575-5670.