Guide for Authors

  • Instructions to Authors (PDF version)Pedobiologia primarily publishes experimental studies in the fields of soil zoology, soil microbiology and plant–soil interactions; more theoretical papers or papers describing results from observational studies and review or viewpoint/idea articles are also welcome. Manuscripts should present new scientific findings that are of general significance in the field of soil biology/ecology. Please clearly state hypotheses tested and how the paper is relevant to a broader soil biology/ecology audience. Results should not have been published previously. Short papers reporting important new findings might be published as short communications. Manuscripts will be reviewed by two referees.

    Copyright: 1. An author, when quoting from someone else’s work or when considering reproducing an illustration or table from a book or journal article, should make sure that he is not infringing a copyright. 2. Although in general an author may quote from other published works, he should obtain permission from the holder of the copyright if he wishes to make substantial extracts or to reproduce tables, plates, or other illustrations. If the copyright holder is not the author of the quoted or reproduced material, it is recommended that the permission of the author should also be sought. 3. Material in unpublished letters and manuscripts is also protected and must not be published unless permission has been obtained. 4. A suitable acknowledgement of any borrowed material must always be made.

    Funding body agreements and policies: Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors who publish in Elsevier journals to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit

    Open Access: This journal offers you the option of making your article freely available to all via the ScienceDirect platform. To prevent any confl ict of interest, you can only make this choice after receiving notification that your article has been accepted for publication. The fee of $3,000 excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as color charges. In some cases, institutions and funding bodies have entered into agreement with Elsevier to meet these fees on behalf of their authors. Details of these agreements are available at Authors of accepted articles, who wish to take advantage of this option, should complete and submit the order form (available at Whatever access option you choose, you retain many rights as an author, including the right to post a revised personal version of your article on your own website. More information can be found here:

    Electronic submission: From now on, all manuscripts should be submitted electronically through Elsevier Editorial System (EES) which can be accessed at Manuscripts with a predominantly soil microbiology/plant–soil interaction focus should be directed to M. Rillig, those with a soil animal focus should be directed to S. Scheu.

    Manuscripts should be written in English. Authors writing a paper in an unfamiliar language should have it checked by a native speaker prior to submission. Manuscripts should be submitted in final form and prepared in accordance with the journal’s accepted form and content. Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced throughout with a right margin of 3.5 cm.

    The first page (Title page) should contain the full title of the paper, the names - initial(s) and surname(s) - of the authors, name of laboratory where the study was carried out and a running title of max. 50 characters. Please indicate the author to whom proofs and other communications are to be sent and provide the e-mail address. The second page of the manuscript is its Summary which presents briefl y the major results and conclusions of the paper in a language as non-technical as possible. Following the summary, up to six Keywords should be supplied, indicating the scope of the paper.

    The main portion of the paper should be divided into the sections Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion followed by Acknowledgements and References. The sections can be divided into sub-sections but the use of numerous sub-sections should be avoided. Each section and sub-section must bear a heading (fl ush to the left margin). They should not be numbered. The title of the paper, the names of authors and the headings of sections (including Summary and Keywords) should be in bold face, headings of sub-sections should be in normal face (not in italics). Except for the Keywords headings should be typed on a separate line. In the text usage of italics should be restricted to species and genus names. Only SI units should be used. “F” and “P” of F- and P-values of statistical tests should be given in upper case letters (no italics). F-values of ANOVAs should be accompanied by numerator and denominator degrees of freedom separated by comma and given as subscript.

    Short communications should be of a maximum length of 2 printed pages including tables and figures. A separate Summary should be provided but the following text should not be subdivided in sections except for Acknowledgements and References.

    Viewpoint/idea papers should follow the same guidelines as short communications, but here the focus is on developing an argument, setting new directions for research or reinterpretation of data. Authors interested in preparing reviews or viewpoint/idea papers should contact an Editor first regarding suitability.

    Reference to the literature in the text should be by the author’s surname with the year of publication in brackets. Where there are two authors the names should be linked by “and”. Where there are more than two authors the reference should be quoted - first author followed by “et al.” (not in italics). If references are given in brackets the author’s surname and the year of publication should be separated by a comma; if there is more than one reference of the same author years of publication should be separated by commas. References to publications of different authors should be separated by semicolons.

    The References at the end of the paper should list in alphabetical order under the first author’s name only works referred to in the text. They should be cited as in the following examples:

    Bengtsson, G., Hedlund K., Rundgren, S., 1994. Food- and density dependent dispersal: evidence from a soil collembolan. J. Animal Ecol. 63, 513–520.
    Wardle, D.A., van der Putten, W.H., 2002. Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and aboveground - belowground linkages. In: Loreau, M., Naeem, S., Inchausti, P. (Eds.), Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning - Synthesis and Perspectives. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 155–168.
    Coleman, D.C., Crossley Jr., D.A., 1996. Fundamentals of Soil Ecology. Academic Press, London.

    For the official ISI abbeviations of journal titles please refer to

    References to homepages/internet addresses should be given in text.

    Tables should be printed with a concise explanatory caption and each column should carry a separate heading. Additional explanations should be given as footnotes. In the table format only horizontal lines need to be used and the number of these should be kept to a minimum. Each table should by typed on a separate sheet and submitted separately from the text.

    Figures should be used with discretion and are only justified if they clarify or reduce the text. Data should be presented only once in a graph or a table. Files for graphs and figures should be send in eps or tiff format, final resolution 300 dpi for halftones, 600 to 1200 dpi for black/white line drawings. The figures should be submitted separately from the text, each figure should be given on a separate page. A brief descriptive legend should be provided for each figure. Legends of figures should be given on a separate page. In legends and headings “Figure X.” and “Table X.” should be given in bold. Figures and tables should always be referred to in the text (Fig. 1 - Table 1 etc.) and numbered with Arabic numerals.

    Pages and lines of the manuscript should be numbered.

    Supplementary material. Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, movies, animation sequences, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more.

    Free colour reproduction. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable colour figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in colour on the web (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. Colour figures can be printed only if the costs are covered by the author (€250.00 for first colour figure, €200.00 for every following colour figures). For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at

    There are no page charges. The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with an e-offprint of the article via e-mail. The PDF file is a watermarked version of the published article and includes a cover sheet with the journal cover image and a disclaimer outlining the terms and conditions of use. Additional offprints may be ordered when proofs are returned.

    Until publication of the print edition, corrected proofs will be available online first (


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