Instructions for authors


  • Scope and editorial policy
  • General Instructions
  • Submission of the manuscript
  • Editorial fees

Scope and editorial policy

The Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo (R. Bras. Ci. Solo) [Brazilian Journal of Soil Science] is a periodical published by the Sociedade Brasileira de Ciência do Solo (SBCS) [Brazilian Soil Science Society] for publication of original and significant contributions regarding new findings in the following areas: Soil in Space and Time (soil genesis and morphology, soil survey and classification, pedometrics), Soil Processes and Properties (soil biology, physics, mineralogy, and chemistry), Soil Use and Management (soil fertility and plant nutrition, soil amendments and fertilizers, soil and water management and conservation, land use planning, pollution, soil remediation and recovery of degraded areas) and Soil, Environment and Society (soil education and public perception of the soil; soils and food security; history, epistemology, and sociology of soil science). The R. Bras. Ci. Solo publishes scientific articles, short communications, reviews of literature, and letter to the Editor.

The manuscript submitted for publication is initially evaluated by the Technical Editor in regard to scope, suitability within the standards of the journal, and quality of tables and figures. If it is judged to be adequate, the Editor designates an Assistant Editor within the pertinent area and the manuscript is sent to three specialist reviewers in that area. Based on the opinions of at least two reviewers and his/her own analysis, the Assistant Editor recommends acceptance or rejection of the manuscript. It belongs to the Editor in Chief to coordinate the activities of the Assistant Editors and reviewers and to maintain an open channel of communication with the authors. Throughout the process, the identity of the Assistant Editor, Reviewers, and Authors is preserved.

Petitions for reconsideration of opinions unfavorable to publication are not accepted, nor the request for evaluation by other Reviewers and Assistant Editor.

The published article becomes the property of R. Bras. Ci. Solo and will be made available with free and unrestricted access on the sites SBCS (, SciElo (, and Redalyc (, or other databases on which the R. Bras. Ci. Solo may be indexed in the future. Total or partial reproduction of the studies is permitted as long as the source is explicitly indicated.

The concepts expressed in the articles, communications, reviews, or letters are exclusively the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board of the R. Bras. Ci. Solo or of the Sociedade Brasileira de Ciência do Solo.

General Instructions

Types of manuscripts

         Manuscripts written in Portuguese or English in accordance with the standards for writing of scientific studies and which have not been submitted to or published in another journal, as declared by the authors, may be accepted for publication.  Those studies whose content has been presented in conferences in the form of an abstract or expanded abstract may be submitted to the RBCS. For manuscripts in English, it is recommended that the text be reviewed by a professional fluent in English who is familiar with scientific terminology and texts.

Subdividing studies into parts (I, II, …) should be avoided but, if necessary, these manuscripts should be submitted in sequence and the multiple parts should be mentioned in the cover letters of the manuscripts.

Scientific Article: Manuscript founded on an original scientific hypothesis not yet clarified, which is validated, or not, through experimentation and/or theoretical models based on the established scientific method, with adequate statistical planning and a discussion with adequate scientific argumentation. It explains the scientific merit of a problem that need of solution, which is presented partially or totally. Comparison of methods, varieties, types of management, etc. will fit within this category of scientific article only as an exception, i.e., only when the basis for this type of article and/or well-discussed and well-examined scientific justifications are presented. The text may have a maximum of 25 pages, including figures, tables, and references.

Short Communication: Category of scientific manuscript that describes a technique, a device, a new species, or observations and surveys of data limited to experiments that are not replicable or other unique situations. In general, it is shorter than the scientific article and does not need to follow the classical structure, yet it must obey the same scientific rigor as a Scientific Article and the same value as a publication. It may have a maximum of 15 pages including figures, tables, and references.

Review of Literature: The review, in addition to presenting the state of knowledge in respect to a specific theme, should be of an analytical and critical character. The text may have a maximum of 40 pages, including the figures, tables, and references.

Letter to the Editor: It should contain communication of relevant material connected with Soil Science or a critical comment on studies published in the R. Bras. Ci. Solo. In the latter case, the right of counter argument will be granted to the authors. The text may have a maximum of two pages.

Submission of the manuscript

Submission of the manuscript will be by electronic media using the links available on the SBCS site ( or on the page of the R. Bras. Ci. Solo in SciELO

For submission of the manuscript, a cover letter is required which highlights the relevance of the results in increasing knowledge and arguments that justify the suitability of the manuscript within the scope of the R. Bras. Ci. Solo. Furthermore, authors are requested to indicate three potential reviewers for the manuscript, with their respective electronic addresses. However, the Editor reserves the right to send the manuscript to the indicated reviewers or not.

Preparation of the manuscript

The manuscript should be typed with “Times New Roman 12” typeface in 1.5 line spacing, left alignment (not justified with left and right alignment), with A4 page size, and with 2.5 cm upper and lower margins and 2.0 cm right and left margins. The pages should be numbered in the lower right-hand corner) and the lines of the text should be numbered in a continuous manner. The title of each section should be written in uppercase letters, in bold print. Subdivisions should have only the first letter capitalized and be highlighted in bold print.

The manuscript should be structured in these sections: Resumo, Abstract (obligatory), Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results and Discussion (or, preferentially, Results, Discussion), Conclusions, Acknowledgments (optional), and References. This structure does not necessarily apply to manuscripts on Education, Review of Literature, and Short Communications, although they must have a Resumo and Abstract. A manuscript submitted in English should include a Resumo in Portuguese, and one submitted in Portuguese should include an Abstract in English.

The manuscript should have a cover page with the title and names of the authors written in full, with indication of professional education, professional affiliation, and electronic address. The corresponding author should be indicated with an asterisk and the telephone number for contact should be indicated. The first page of the manuscript should contain the title, immediately followed by the text according to the sections.

Sections of the manuscripts

Title: It should be concise and indicate the content of the manuscript. It should have at most 20 words in uppercase letters and aligned to the left (not justified with alignment to the left and to the right).

Resumo/Abstract: For scientific articles and reviews of literature, the resumo (Portuguese language) or abstract should contain up to 400 words and, for short communications, up to 150 words. Each resumo or abstract should begin with a brief sentence that introduces the study. For articles and short communications, it should present the material and methods and the most important results and conclusions in an objective manner. Bibliographical references and symbols or abbreviations that require a reading of the text to be understood should not be included.

Palavras-chave (Portuguese language)/Keywords: Use at least three and at most five terms different from those used in the title. Do not use terms made up of more than three words.

Introduction: It should be brief, but sufficient to clarify the problem dealt with or the hypothesis(es) of the study, with citation of the specific and updated bibliography, concluding with an indication of the objective of the study.

Materials and Methods: This section should contain the information necessary and sufficient for obtaining the results and that allows the study to be repeated by other researchers. It should contain information about the method(s), the experimental design, the treatments, the number of replications, the experimental units (number and size), and the statistical methods used. Tables and figures should not be included in the text.

Results and Discussion: This section should contain a concise presentation of the data obtained, and the Results and Discussion may be presented together or, preferentially, separately. If presented separately, the Discussion should not repeat a description of the Results. Tables and Figures should not be included in the text.

Conclusions: They should be concise and consistent with the data presented in the study.

Acknowledgments: Optional. They should be succinct and located after the conclusions. Indications of financial support for the research project that gave rise to the study are included in this section.

Tables: They should be numbered sequentially with Arabic numbers. The title should appear above the table and should contain the elements that allow it to be read and understood without referring to the text. The tables should be produced with the “Table” tool of MS Word or MS Excel or equivalent software. Times New Roman typeface should be used with a maximum font size of 10. Units are placed in the body of the table, on the line above the numerical values. Vertical and horizontal lines should not appear in the body of the table. Tables should be inserted in an editable format (illustrator/eps/corel draw/jnb/excel, doc, or docx, etc.) after the references, with a page break. Manuscripts containing tables inserted as images will not be accepted.

Graphic or Artwork Figures: They should be numbered sequentially with Arabic numbers. The title should appear below the figure and should contain the elements that allow it to be read and understood without reading the text. The figures will be inserted after the tables in an editable format (illustrator/eps/corel draw/jnb/excel, etc.). Manuscripts containing figures inserted as images will not be accepted.

Photographs: Photographs should be presented as a file “tagged image format [TIF]”, with 500 dpi.

Formulas and equations: They should be written with editing tools that allow them to be edited. Formulas and equations inserted as images will not be accepted. Regression equations should be presented with statistical notation (? = ? + ?1** x + … + ?n** x) and not in mathematical notations usual in the software (y = ?nx? +…+ ?1x + … + ? ). The indication of significance (**) should be indicated in superscript to the coefficients. The coefficients of regression equations should have an adequate number of significant decimals.

References: This section should contain a listing of the studies cited in the text, table(s), or figure(s) and inserted in alphabetical order, according to the Vancouver System. Models for the most frequent type of references are:

  1. a) Periodicals: Name of all the authors. Title of the article. Abbreviated title of the periodical. Year of publication; volume: beginning and ending pages. Example:

Fonseca JA, Meurer EJ. Inibição da absorção de magnésio pelo potássio em plântulas de milho em solução nutritiva. R. Bras Ci Solo. 1997;21:47-50.

Rodrigues DT, Novais RF, Alvarez V VH, Dias JMM, Villani EMA, Otoni WC.  In vitro germination of Cattleya intermedia R. Graham by means of chemical disinfection and without laminar flow. Prop Ornam Plants. 2011;11:19-24.

Articles with DOI:

Zirlewagen D, Raben G, Weise M. Zoning of forest health conditions based on a set of soil, topographic and vegetation parameters. For Ecol Manage. 2007;248:43-55. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2007.02.038

The abbreviation of the periodicals can be checked at the addresses:

<>, <>

  1. b) Book: Authors. Title of the publication. Number of the edition. Place of publication: Publisher; year of publication. Example:

Konhnke H.  Soil physics. 2nd ed. New York: MacGraw Hill; 1969.

  1. c) Participation in a collective work: Author(s). Title of the referenced part followed by In: Name(s) of the editor(s), editors. Title of the publication. Number of the edition. Place of publication: Publisher; year. Beginning and ending pages. Examples:

Jackson ML.  Chemical composition of soil. In: Bear FE, editor. Chemistry of the soil. 2nd ed. New York: Reinhold; 1964. p.71-141.

Sharpley AN, Rekolainen S.  Phosphorus in agriculture and its environmental implications. In: Tunney H, Carton OT, Brookes PC, Johnston AE, editors. Phosphorus loss from soil to water. New York, CAB International; 1997. p.1-53.

  1. d) Publication in Annals: Author(s), Title of the study. In: Type of publication, number and title of the event [CD-ROM, when published in]; date of the event (day month year); city and country where event was carried out. City (of the Publisher): Publisher or Institution responsible for the publication; year of the edition (not always the same as the event). Pages of the study or the abstract. Examples:

Ferreira DF.  Análises estatísticas por meio do Sisvar para Windows versão 4.0. In: Anais da 45ª. Reunião Anual da Região Brasileira da Sociedade Internacional de Biometria; julho 2000; São Carlos. São Carlos: Universidade Federal de São Carlos; 2000. p.255-8.

Gomes SLR. Novos modos de conhecer: os recursos da internet para uso das bibliotecas universitárias. In: Anais do 10º. Seminário Nacional de Bibliotecas Universitárias [CD-ROM]; 25-30 out 1998. Fortaleza. Fortaleza: Tec Treina; 1998.

  1. e) Citation of electronic source:

Brasil. Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento, Assessoria de Gestão Estratégica.  Projeção do agronegócio 2009/2010 a 2019/2020 [internet]. Brasília, DF: Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento; 2011 [accessed on: 10 Nov 2010]. Available at:


  1. f) Theses and Dissertations: Title of the thesis/dissertation (include subtitle if there is one) [academic degree]. City: Institution where it was defended; year.

Silveira AO.  Atividades enzimáticas como indicadores biológicos da qualidade de solos agrícolas do Rio Grande do Sul [dissertação]. Porto Alegre: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul; 2007.

  1. g) Technical bulletin:

Tedesco MJ, Gianello C, Bissani CA, Bohnen H, Volkweiss SJ.  Análises de solo, plantas e outros materiais. 2a ed. Porto Alegre: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul; 1995. (Boletim técnico, 5).

  1. h) Citation of citation:

A citation of citation should only in used when strictly necessary. In that case, in the text, cite the surname of the author of the document not consulted, with the year of publication, followed by the expression “cited by” and the surname of the author of the document consulted, with the year of publication (Abreu, 1940, cited by Neves, 2012). In the References, only the source consulted should be included.

  1. i) Personal communication:

Should be placed only in a footnote. Include the name of the informant, the date the information was given, name, state and country of the Institution to which the informant is affiliated, followed by the expression “personal communication” For example: Joaquim da Silva, on 22 January 2011, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – received by electronic mail – Personal communication).

Citation of references

References in the text should be cited in chronological order and in the following formats:

  1. a) One author: (Author, year) or Author (year), e.g., (Silva, 1975) or Silva (1975);
  2. b) Two authors: (Author and Author, year) or Author and Author (year), e.g.: (Silva and Smith, 1975) or Silva and Smith (1975);
  3. c) When there are more than two authors, use the reduced form (Author et al., year) or Author et al. (year), e.g.: (Souza et al., 1975) or Souza et al. (1975);
  4. d) References to two or more articles of the same author(s), in the same year, will be discriminated with lowercase letters (E.g.: Silva, 1975a,b).

Complementary information

The RBCS uses the International System of Units. Some examples of presentation of numerical values adopted by the RBCS follow. Consider the form to the right as the standard used by the RBCS: 72 hours = 72 h; 5 minutes = 5 min; 3 seconds = 3 s; 10 l (liters) = 10 L; 20 ml = 20 mL; 3 tons = 3 t or Mg; 25°C = 25 °C; 3 m × 3 m = 3 × 3 m; 5% = 5 %; 4%, 6% and 12% = 4, 6 and 12 %; 5 m and 16 m = 5 and 16 m; 1 M HCl = 1 mol L-1 or mol/L of HCl (the two forms are accepted; however, it is requested that they follow the same pattern in the text and tables/figures); 1 mM NaOH = 1 mmol/L or mmol L-1; grams per pot = g/pot; grams per plant = g/plant; plants per pot = plants/pot; tons per hectare per year = t ha-1 yr-1. Concentrations presented in Normality (N) should be converted to the equivalent in mol/L or mol L-1.

The journal reserves the right to carry out changes of a normative, orthographical, and grammatical order in the originals with a view toward maintaining the accepted form of the language, respecting, however, the style of the authors.

It is suggested that authors consult articles recently published in the RBCS to resolve questions in regard to the format of the manuscript.

Editorial fees

A fee will be charged per page edited (final versin in the Journal) for articles published in the RBCS: for SBCS members (first author, and/or corresponding author) U$ 70.00 per pages, for non-members (first author, and/or corresponding author) U$ 100.00 per page.