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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • One or more of the co-authors is a current member of the New Zealand Grassland Association. Visit https://www.grassland.org.nz/membership.php to join the Association.
  • One of the co-authors will present the paper at the next NZGA Conference if the paper is accepted.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The corresponding author affirms that all co-authors have read and approved the final draft of the manuscript and it has been approved by the authors' employers.
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format.
  • The corresponding author will be given an opportunity to read and correct the edited manuscript as page proofs, but if the author fails to return proofs to the technical editor of the Journal within the time specified, publication may proceed without the author’s approval of the edited manuscript.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the 'JNZG manuscript notes and template Vol 81 2019', which has been supplied to authors who have been invited to submit a manuscript.
  • Care and Use of Animals: I certify that any research that involved animals followed established standards for their care and use as approved by an Animal Ethics Committee.
  • High-resolution figures must be supplied separately as well being included in the manuscript.

Author Guidelines


 Preparation of Paper Offers

Authors are required to submit an initial 400-word paper offer prior to submission of a full manuscript. Paper offers are assessed by the Executive Committee of the New Zealand Grassland Association who will decide whether or not they are within the scope of the Journal and are suitable for peer review. Where a member of the Executive Committee is on the author list or has any other competing interest regarding a specific paper offer then they will be excluded from the decision-making process.

Authors will be notified of the Committee’s decision by mid-March and successful authors will be asked to submit a full manuscript by 13 May 2019.


Manuscript Preparation

Please download and use the manuscript template and author guidelines available at: https://www.nzgajournal.org.nz/index.php/JoNZG/libraryFiles/downloadPublic/13. Also, if possible, use the Endnote style file available here to format your references.


Authorship Criteria

It is a requirement that a summary or a selected aspect of every paper published in the journal is presented orally by one of the co-authors at the Association's annual conference in November.

At least one of the contributing authors must be a current member of the New Zealand Grassland Association.  Go to https://www.grassland.org.nz/membership.php to join the Association.

Authors need to register with the journal prior to submitting or, if already registered, can simply log in and begin the five-step process.

To give appropriate credit to each author, the individual contributions of authors should be specified in the manuscript.

An 'author' is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html has produced the following guidelines that to qualify as an author one should have:

  1. made substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
  2. been involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
  3. given final approval of the version to be published. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content; and
  4. agreed to 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.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not usually justify authorship.


All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help or writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support.



Articles must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.

Authors should consider the following guidelines when preparing their manuscript:

  • Any statement in the manuscript that relies on external sources of information (i.e. not the authors' own new ideas or findings or general knowledge) should use a citation
  • Authors should avoid citing derivations of original work. For example, they should cite the original work rather than a review article that cites an original work
  • Authors should ensure that their citations are accurate (i.e. they should ensure the citation supports the statement made in their manuscript and should not misrepresent another work by citing it if it does not support the point the authors wish to make)
  • Authors should not cite sources that they have not read
  • Authors should not preferentially cite their own or their friends’, peers’, or institution’s publications
  • Authors should not use an excessive number of citations to support one point
  • Ideally, authors should cite sources that have undergone peer review where possible
  • Authors should not cite advertisements or advertorial material



Published abstracts should be cited. Prior publication of abstracts presented at, or published as part of, academic meetings may not preclude consideration for peer review of a full manuscript but will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on length and content.


Plagiarism/Duplicate publication

Any manuscript submitted must be original and the manuscript must not be under consideration by any other journal. In any case where there is the potential for overlap or duplication, the Journal requires that authors are transparent. Authors should declare any potentially overlapping publications on submission and, where possible, upload these as additional files with the manuscript. Any overlapping publications should be cited. Any ‘in press’ or unpublished manuscript cited, or relevant to the Editor’s and reviewers' assessment of the manuscript, should be made available if requested by the Editor. The Journal of New Zealand Grasslands reserves the right to judge potentially overlapping or redundant publications on a case-by-case basis.

Manuscripts submitted to the Journal of New Zealand Grasslands must not already have been formally published in any other journal or in any other citable form. All manuscripts will be checked for plagiarism using specialised antiplagiarism software.


Text recycling

Authors should be aware that replication of substantial amounts of text from their own previous publications is text recycling (also referred to as self-plagiarism), and in some cases is considered unacceptable. Where overlap of text with authors’ own previous publications is necessary or unavoidable, duplication must always be reported transparently and be properly attributed and compliant with copyright requirements.


Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts should be prepared using the MS Word manuscript template supplied to each corresponding author and submitted on-line at http://www.nzgajournal.org.nz/ by 13 May 2019.

 NOTE: Manuscripts that do not meet the style guidelines may be returned at the editor’s discretion.


 Peer-review and Editorial Processes

Each manuscript will be checked for novelty using antiplagiarism software. Manuscripts that pass this initial screening will be reviewed by two anonymous reviewers with scientific expertise relevant to the topic plus the Editor. The Journal of New Zealand Grasslands operates a blind peer-review process where the reviewers know the identity of the authors but the authors do not know the identity of the reviewers.

Authors are required to amend their papers based on the reviewers' and editor's comments or provide detailed reasons why these comments have not been dealt with. Amended papers are re-reviewed by the editor and, if necessary, sent back to referees for further consideration before acceptance. Authors should note that even in light of one positive report, concerns raised by another reviewer may fundamentally undermine the study and result in the manuscript being rejected.

A copy of the manuscript with referees’ and editor’s comments will be returned to the corresponding author by late July for them to respond. A revised version is required within 3 weeks of receipt of these comments and should be submitted directly via the online portal http://www.nzgajournal.org.nz/.

Where an Editor is on the author list or has any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, another member of the Editorial Board will be assigned responsibility for overseeing peer review.

Revision and Proofs

When returning their revised manuscript, authors must provide a covering letter that contains a point-by-point response stating how they have dealt with the referees’ and editor’s comments. This should be done by listing all recommended changes including those on any marked scripts (when applicable) and then showing how each has been dealt with or reasons provided if not. Ensure that the revised manuscript conforms to the journal style. It is important that files are correctly formatted.

Some manuscripts may require further rounds of revision depending on the issues raised during review. The editor will accept papers once all issues have been addressed. The accepted papers will then be sent for typesetting. Proofs of each paper will be sent out to authors for final sign off. These must be checked carefully and returned to the editor within 48 hours of their receipt.

Changes to manuscripts at this stage, other than for correction of errors, are not acceptable. Papers will be published online using a digital object identifier once the proofs have been corrected. An updated version of each paper with page numbers will be added after the conference in November.



Editors and reviewers will treat all submissions in confidence except in cases of suspected misconduct where third parties may be contacted and informed of possible issues. 


Conference Presentation

Authors should identify both the lead author and the presenting author with their submission. Presenters are required to register for the conference to present their paper. The NZGA Executive requires that presenters only present data at the conference that has been through the full review process.




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