Preparation of Manuscripts

The responsibility for the preparation of a manuscript in a form suitable for publication lies with the authors. Papers must be in Irish English and it is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that the English is of a standard which is suitable for publication. Authors should consult the most recent issue of the journal in order to make themselves familiar with the layout and style required. Both full research papers and notes should follow the following format:

• Title, short title, author(s) name(s), affiliations, email address of corresponding author, Abstract, key words (up to 5)

• Introduction

• Materials and methods

• Results

• Discussion

• Acknowledgements

• References

• Tables

• Figures

• Photographs

• Captions for figures and photographs

Title, short title, authors’ names etc.: These should be on a separate page. The title should be concise but provide sufficient information to allow the reader to judge the relevance of the paper to their interests (limit 30 words). The short title (that runs on page headings) gives a short overview of the paper and should not include more than 50 characters (including spaces). Author’s names should be presented as Surname, Initial(s).

Abstract: This should not exceed 250 words for original, review and perspectives papers and 150 words for research notes. It should concisely outline the purpose of the work, the methods and the most important results and conclusions. It should be intelligible without reference to the main paper.

Keywords: Authors should include up to a maximum of 5 keywords or two- to three-word phrases, given in alphabetical order. These should be placed after the abstract.

Introduction: This should succinctly introduce the topic and cite previously published material which is of relevance to the objectives of the work. Long unfocussed introductions should be avoided. The final paragraph of the introduction should state the objectives of the work described in the paper.

Materials and methods: This section should describe in detail the materials and methods used or refer to a previously published paper where the materials and methods were described in detail. Methods of chemical analysis should be stated and referenced and it is essential that the experimental design and statistical analysis are described in detail. Statistical Analysis The experimental design used in the study should be stated, e.g., randomised block, Latin square, split plot, etc. and the statistical model used to analyse the data should be described. It is not adequate to simply state the computer software used to analyse the numerical data. The test used to compare differences between treatments for statistical significance should be stated. In the text the level of significance can be stated using the conventional approach, i.e., at the 5% level (P<0.05), the 1% level (P<0.01) and the 0.1% level (P<0.001) or the actual P value can be given.

Results: These should be presented in a concise way keeping the numbers of tables and figures to a minimum. Data should not be presented in both tabular and graphical form. It is not necessary to state the numerical data in the text of the results, where it is already given in the tables. There should be no discussion included in the results section.

Discussion: The discussion should be focused but should adequately relate the results to those of other similar studies previously published. Results should not be restated in the discussion.

Acknowledgements: The assistance of colleagues and funders should be concisely acknowledged. Those listed as authors should not be included in the acknowledgements.

Tables and Figures

Tables and Figures should be submitted as separate documents. Graphs should be submitted as Excel or graphic files (JPG, TIF or GIF), and Tables should be submitted as separate Word documents.

Tables: Each table should be presented on a separate page (see example). The title should be brief and self-explanatory. Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Group similar items in the left column (as shown in the example table). Horizontal lines are only used for column headings. Tables should be numbered according to their sequence in the text. Numerous small tables or unduly large and complex tables should not be used. Reversing columns and rows may reduce the dimensions of a table. Avoid the overuse of significant digits which may suggest false or unwarranted precision. Use zeros to the left of decimals in numbers less than 1. The level of experimental error and the statistical significance of results should be given. Levels of statistical significance should be indicated as follows without explanation: * = P<0.05, ** = P<0.01, *** = P<0.001. Alternatively, the actual P-value can be given. Where there is no significant difference leave space blank. Where no data is available leave blank. Note that only the first word of each column is capitalised. Footnotes to tables should be numerals. Tables should be self-explanatory and easy to comprehend without reference to the text. The details of the methods used in the experiments should preferably be described in the legend instead of in the text. The same data should not be presented in both table and graph form or repeated in the text. Where a series of Tables have the same footnotes, these can be referred back to the previous tables (e.g., See footnote(s) to Table 1).

Example table

Table 4: Effect of supplementary concentrate feeding level with grass silage on live weight and carcass traits in Experiment 1

Figures: Figures should be presented with captions on separate pages. Avoid use of heavy-weight lines. There should be consistent, scale, boldness and font. Avoid the use of unnecessary background or gridlines or 3D display. Avoid ‘busy’ figures and rescale if there is a lot of white space. Solid symbols should be used before open ones and continuous lines should be used before dotted or dashed ones. All titles and legend text should be legible when the figure is reduced in size. A specimen figure indicating desirable symbols and thickness of lines is shown in the example. Begin each legend with a title (do not include legend(s) within the Figure) and include sufficient description so that the figure is understandable without reading the text of the manuscript. Information given in legends should not be repeated in the text. The x and y axes must be labelled and units must be given in parentheses. Do not repeat a table using a figure. Figures should be numbered according to their sequence in the text. Each figure has to be referred to in the text.

Example Figure

Figure 3. Changes in weight loss of coated (□) and uncoated (■) fresh-cut carrots during storage. Each value is the mean of two duplicates (each duplicate with triplicate measurements) and error bars represent standard errors of means.

Graphic files: Photos, drawings and diagrams can be submitted in any of the following formats: EPS, BMP, JPG, TIFF, GIF.

The IJAFR house style

Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other units are mentioned, please give their equivalent in SI. Symbols and Abbreviations: Abbreviations should be explained on first use. The following are the more common symbols and abbreviations which may be used without prior explanation:

smaller than <

larger than >

smaller than or equal to ≤

larger than or equal to ≥

equal to =

standard deviation s.d.

standard error of difference s.e.d.

standard error of mean s.e.

least significant difference LSD

variance ratio F

degrees of freedom d.f.

coefficient of variation CV

correlation coefficient r

Celsius (with number) 0C

Centimetre(s) cm

colony forming units cfu

day d

Dry matter DM

etcetera etc.

equivalents eq

for example e.g.

gram(s) g

gravitational force g

hour(s) h

International Unit(s) IU

Joule(s) J

kilogramme(s) kg

litre(s) L

metre(s) m

micron(s) m

minute min

month mo

millilitre(s) mL

millimolar (concentration) mM

millimole (mass) mmol

parts per billion ppb

parts per million ppm

Pascal Pa

Probability P

revolutions per minute rpm

second s

tonne t

week wk

year yr

Use of slant line, per: Use the slant line (/) only when it means “per” with numbered units of measure or “divided by” in equations. Use only one slant line in a given expression (e.g., 6 kg/cow per day). Elements and compounds may be represented by their chemical symbols.

Italics: Use Italics for species and genus and book or report titles.

Nomenclature of organisms: Names of organisms are given in italics. They should be given in full at first mention e.g., Escherichia coli and abbreviated thereafter, E. coli. If only the genus is referred to, it is italicised and capitalised e.g., Brucella. When used adjectively, do not italicise or capitalise, e.g., staphylococcus toxin.

Capitalisation: Proper nouns, breed and variety names and trademarks or registered names are capitalised.

Numerals in text: Spell out numbers one through nine. Use numerals for numbers 10 or larger. However, when describing different treatments use numerals, e.g., Treatment 1 vs. Treatment 2. When writing numbers use a comma for numbers over one thousand, i.e., 1,000.23 not 1 000.23 or 1. 000.23

Percent: Use per cent symbol (%) and percentage.

Dates: 2 October 2015. Don’t abbreviate days or months in text. Days/months can be abbreviated in Tables using three letter abbreviations.

Time: Use 24 hour clock, e.g., 21:30. However, express units of time in hours and minutes, e.g., 4h 30 min.

Special cases: Live weight (without hyphen) but when qualified by a verb hyphenate: live-weight gain.


The editors have used their best endeavours to ensure that the results and conclusions are consistent with the data but no responsibility is accepted for fraud or inaccuracy on the part of contributors. The use of trade names in this publication does not imply endorsement by the publisher nor criticism of similar products not mentioned. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage arising from any use of methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein.

Welfare and publication ethics

Researchers must have proper regard for conservation ethics and animal welfare. Any possible adverse consequences of the work for ecosystems, populations, individual organisms or local human communities must be weighed against the possible gains in knowledge and its practical applications. Attention is drawn to the ‚Guidelines for the treatment of animals in behavioural research and teaching’ published in the journal Animal Behaviour, 2006, 71, 245-253 and available at . Social research should follow the highest standards of research ethics and we ask authors to ensure their research conforms to guidelines set by reputable sources such as the British Sociological Association and the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth. Editors may seek advice from referees on ethical matters and the final decision will rest with the editors. During submission, authors are required to agree to the Author’s Declaration confirming that the work as submitted has not been published or accepted for publication, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere, either in whole or substantial part; the work is original and all necessary acknowledgements have been made; all authors and relevant institutions have read the submitted version of the manuscript and approve its submission; all persons entitled to authorship have been so included; all work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out, including those relating to conservation and welfare, and to the Journal’s policy on these matters. Papers published in another journal or manuscripts offered for publication elsewhere will not be accepted, but the publication of an abstract or conference paper does not preclude publication of the full paper in this journal. Opinions expressed in papers are those of the contributors.

Data archiving

Data are important products of the scientific enterprise, and they should be preserved and usable for decades in the future. IJAFR encourages authors to make the data supporting the results in published papers available in an appropriate public archive, and many funding agencies require this. Teagasc authors are encouraged to use T-Stór as an open access data archive http://tstor. Authors may use, for example, Dryad, TreeBASE, GenBank, figshare or another archive of the author’s choice that provides comparable access and guarantee of preservation. Authors may elect to have the data made publicly available at time of publication or, if the technology of the archive allows, may opt to embargo access to the data for a period after publication.


The parenthetical style of referencing is used by the journal. In the text a reference should be quoted by the author’s name (without initials) and year of publication. Examples: “As observed by Kelleher (2011) the effect…”. “This confirms earlier findings (O’Keefe, 2015)”. Where the reference contains two authors, both authors names should be given followed by the year of publication (e.g., Christian & Riche, 2014). Where there are two or more authors, the first name followed by et al. should be used. References cited together in the text should be arranged chronologically. Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be listed as 2010a, 2010b, etc.

The list of references in the reference section should be in alphabetical order and set out as in the following examples:


Alexander, S. 2011. “Approved Pesticides for use on Vegetable Crops 2011”. Teagasc, Kinsealy, Dublin 17, 116 pages.


Gould, N., Kenny, D.A., Lawrence, P., Minchin, W. and McGee, M. 2011. Effect of initial grazing date in spring on intake and performance of yearling beef heifers and on yield and nutritive value of swards designated for silage production. Proceedings of the Agricultural Research Forum, Tullamore, Ireland, page 153.

Chapter in book

Sheehan, J.J. 2011. Cheese: avoidance of gas blowing. In: “Encyclopaedia of Dairy Sciences”, 2nd Edition, Volume 1 (eds. J.W. Fuquay, P.F. Fox and P.L.H. McSweeney), Academic Press, San Diego, USA, pages 661–666.

Journal paper

Ashfield, A., Wallace, M., Prendiville, R. and Crosson, P. 2014. Bioeconomic modelling of male Holstein-Friesian dairy calf-to-beef production systems on Irish farms. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research 53: 133–147.

(Note: please include volume numbers only, do not include issue numbers)

Online publication

Clancy, M. and Scheer, J. 2012. “The Case for Sustainable Energy. A Review and Analysis of the Economic and Enterprise Benefits”. Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Available online: [Accessed 20 August 2012], 23 pages.


Butler, A.M. 2006. Development and use of the Irish dairy systems optimising model for two contrasting production environments

under a range of policy and development scenarios. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland, University College Dublin.

Statistical references

SAS. 2003. Version 9.3.1, SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA.

A paper accepted for publication but not yet published should be referred to as “in press”. References concerning unpublished data or “personal communications” should not be cited in the reference section but may be mentioned in the text. Authors must ensure that all references in the text appear in the references section of the paper and vice versa, and that names and dates correspond in both places


It is important that appropriate credit is awarded to the authors of a manuscript. In accordance with ICMJE guidelines to qualify as an author, a researcher should make substantive intellectual contributions to each of the following aspects:

  1. Concept and design of the study, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data.
  2. Critically drafting or revising of the manuscript for important intellectual content.
  3. Final approval of the version to be published. Each author should participate sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not justify authorship.
  4. Be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Funding Acknowledgements

Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research (IJAFR) requires all research articles to have a funding acknowledgement statement included in the manuscript. The statement should be placed under a heading entitled ‘Funding’ directly after your Acknowledgements and Declaration of Conflicting Interests, if applicable.

We require details of the funding agency to be supplied in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets. Multiple grant numbers should be separated by comma and space, see following example:

This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxx, yyy, zzz].

Where the research was supported by multiple sources, the different agencies should be separated by semi-colon, with “and” before the final funder. Such as:

This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the National Science Fund [grant number zzzz]; and the International Research Body [grant number xxxx].

Where the research is not funded by a specific project grant, but from other resources available to a university, college or other research institution, such as the block grant, the following statement should be used:

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Text Recycling

“Text Recycling” or “self-plagiarism” as it is sometimes called occurs when an author reuses passages of text from his/her own previously published work in a new submission. As Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research (IJAFR) requiresis a member of CrossCheck’s plagiarism detection initiative, all instances of text recycling will be detected. When such instances are detected the COPE Guidelines on text recycling will be followed.


All manuscripts submitted to The Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research (IJAFR) should be original and not under consideration by another publication. In instances where substantial parts of the text in the submission may overlap, we ask our authors to be open and let us know of any concerns when they submit their manuscripts. Each issue will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis in accordance with ICMJE recommendations on overlapping publications.

In the event that The Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research (IJAFR)  becomes aware of violations of publication ethics after the article has already been published, then the article may warrant retraction with or without the author’s explanation or approval. In any such event The Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research (IJAFR) will adhere to the COPE flowcharts when dealing with the suspected violations.


The Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research (IJAFR)  is a member of CrossCheck’s plagiarism detection initiative and uses plagiarism detection software. If plagiarism is identified, the COPE guidelines on plagiarism will be followed.

Research and Publication Misconduct

Any allegations of potential research or publication misconduct will be investigated in adherence with the COPE guidelines on how to deal with cases of suspected misconduct.

For more detailed information on our Misconduct Handling Policy please click here