Information for Contributors
California Agriculture 60(3):166-167.
Published July 01, 2006
California Agriculture is a peer-reviewed journal reporting research, reviews and news in agricultural, natural and human resources. The authors are primarily, but not exclusively, faculty from the University of California and its Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is published four times a year.
The first issue of California Agriculture was published in December 1946, making it one of the oldest continuously published land-grant university research publications in the country. It is also the largest-circulation publication of its kind (currently about 14,000 domestic and 1,700 international subscribers).
California Agriculture presents original, peer-reviewed research in a meaningful, real-world context. Our approach is geared to a well-educated, diverse readership (see Audience). We encourage authors to use direct language, to define technical terms and use interpretive tools such as glossaries and enhanced illustrations.
In the last 3 years, the rejection rate has run close to 25%. In addition, Associate Editors send back 7% to 10% of submissions for revision prior to peer review. Although most manuscripts make it through review, few manuscripts get through review “clean.” As a rule, the Associate Editors and reviewers also require some revision before acceptance. We extensively edit all final manuscripts so that they are clear and accessible to our audience.
All published, signed papers are peer-reviewed.
Research articles are ideally 2,500 to 3,500 words including tables and figures, or four to six journal pages. Articles are expected to contain data representing a significant advance in one field; they may synthesize results from related experiments, presenting them in terms meaningful to both an interdisciplinary audience and educated lay readers.
Reviews are generally 3,500 words or less and analyze recent developments in research that significantly affect agricultural, natural or human resources in California. Readers should be able to learn what has been firmly established and what are unresolved questions or future directions for research.
Perspectives are review articles that interpret and analyze recent developments in research and public policy and express an opinion concerning the resulting impacts on California's agricultural, natural and human resources.
New pests and diseases are shorter review articles describing new pests and diseases of statewide significance. They are generally 2,500 to 3,000 words. Authors are expected to describe the host range, geographic range and important biological characteristics of the pest, citing the relevant literature. Articles must contain California data and describe expected impacts of the pest in the state.
Public policy research addresses broad public policy issues regarding agricultural, natural or human resources in California. We recognize that evidence can be qualitative as well as quantitative. In all cases, research should adhere to accepted standards of research methodology and statistical significance in the relevant discipline.
Surveys, case studies and program evaluations must also meet the standards for methodology and statistical significance in the relevant discipline. We encourage authors to include a comparative dimension in survey research, case studies and program evaluations. Readers should be able to understand California phenomena relative to broader scale, regional or national phenomena.
Manuscripts based on routine program assessments and feedback instruments do not generally pass peer review. Please contact the Associate Editor in your subject area or the California Agriculture staff before preparing program evaluations or survey research for submission.
Special collections and focus issues typically include both reviews and research articles on subjects that have stimulated significant interdisciplinary research and / or extension efforts at UC, and that have interest for a wide cross-section of the audience. Suggestions for coverage are welcome. Both solicited and unsolicited articles undergo peer review. To obtain Guidelines for Special Collections and Focus Issues, please e-mail email@example.com.
Sidebars are usually published within the text of signed manuscripts and illustrate or offer expanded discussion of a single aspect of the accompanying article. They are typically 600 to 1,000 words. Because of the brevity of sidebars, the conclusions drawn and assertions made must either be supported by the accompanying manuscript or by literature citations listed at the sidebar's conclusion. Like all signed papers, faculty-authored sidebars must undergo peer review, but they are evaluated for accuracy and balance rather than for the formal presentation of scientific data.
News sections of the journal
Most items in the news section are developed by editorial staff, based on UC research and extension activities; these include science briefs, research updates, introductions/overviews, outreach news and letters to the editor. News articles are not peer reviewed, but faculty sources review them for accuracy and balance of presentation. Non-peer-reviewed, faculty-authored articles in the news section include editorials, editorial overviews and outlooks. Suggestions for coverage are welcome.
California Agriculture is edited to reach a diverse, well-educated audience. Based on a 2003 reader survey to which 66% of our subscribers responded, 33% work in agriculture (25% in production or processing, 8% in agribusiness), and 31% are either faculty members at universities or research scientists. One-fifth or 19% work in government agencies or are elected office-holders. Of respondents, 87% are college graduates, and 55% of all respondents hold advanced degrees.
Peer review and editing
California Agriculture tries to maintain a balance between technical accuracy and a readable style to reach a diverse, well-educated audience. Language should be simple, direct, clear and concise. Technical terminology should be used sparingly, and clearly defined at the outset. Please review the full Writing Guidelines on our Web site for more detailed information about our requirements.
Each submission is forwarded to the appropriate Associate Editor, who makes an initial determination of its (1) scientific soundness and (2) suitability for California Agriculture's audience. The Associate Editor then recommends two or three reviewers for double-blind peer review. After we hear from the reviewers, we send their recommendations to the author with the Associate Editor's instructions.
After the Associate Editor approves the revised manuscript, we will ask for the final version, including revised tables and graphs, images, author identifications and acknowledgements. The author will receive edited galleys — usually with numerous queries — for correction and approval before publication.
California Agriculture prints high-quality color images with all articles, primarily using art supplied by the author. Digitized images, whether scanned from conventional prints or captured with a digital camera, must provide the resolution needed for our purposes. We prefer digital images be at least 300 dpi at 4” x 6” and saved as a TIFF or high-resolution JPEG file. Or, 35 mm color slides may be submitted, preferably good-quality originals. As a last resort, we can use good-quality color prints. We will return slides or prints after publication.
For more information about submitting images to California Agriculture, contact Davis Krauter at (510) 987–0046 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Checklist for submission
California Agriculture is now managing the peer review of manuscripts online. Go to http://repositories.cdlib.org/anrcs/californiaagriculture. Click the “Submit article” button on the lower left-hand side of the screen, and follow the instructions. Those using the system for the first time will be asked to choose a password. Questions about online submission should be directed to Janet Byron at email@example.com or (510) 987–0668.
Authors who prefer not to submit online should e-mail the manuscript to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Those who do not agree to the electronic transferal of their manuscripts should submit their cover letter and three copies of the manuscript to: Editor, California Agriculture, 1111 Franklin St., 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607–5200.
In preparing the manuscript, please:
Double-space the whole manuscript, and include all tables, figures and captions at the end.
Use a 12-point font, such as Palatino or Times New Roman.
Leave margins that are a minimum of 1 inch.
Include line numbering (per page) and page numbers.
All manuscripts must be accompanied by a cover letter. The cover letter should include:
The names, addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and affiliations of all authors. The online sysyem will also prompt for this information at the time of electronic submission.
The headline (title) of the paper and a statement of its main point.
The total number of words (including text, references, and figure and table legends) in the manuscript.
A statement that the material has not been published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Those planning simultaneous submission of a manuscript with a technical or trade journal should disclose this information and/or contact the Managing Editor or Executive Editor.
A statement specifying when the data was collected. If the final data was collected more than 3 years before submission, please state why they are timely and relevant.
A statement permitting the electronic transferal of the manuscript to peer reviewers and the Associate Editor.
A list of photographic illustrations, either available or suggested.
Conditions of acceptance
When a paper is accepted for publication in California Agriculture, it is understood that:
Informed consent was obtained for studies on humans after the nature and possible consequences of the studies were explained.
Care of experimental animals was in accordance with institutional guidelines.
Photos depict situations that conform to relevant regulatory code, if any.
Authors retain copyright but agree to grant to California Agriculture (and the eScholarship Repository and UC Regents) a nonexclusive license to publish the paper in print and online.
Authors agree to disclose all affiliations, funding sources, and financial or management relationships that could be perceived as potential sources of bias.
The paper will not be released to the press or the public before publication.