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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.
  • 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 submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

Instructions for preparing papers

The New Zealand Plant Protection Society publishes original research papers on all aspects of biology, ecology and control of weeds, vertebrate and invertebrate pests, and pathogens and beneficial micro-organisms in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and natural ecosystems. Papers should report complete work or substantial interim results. Short reviews may be published as long as these are critical in nature and add significantly to plant protection science.

It is a requirement that a summary or a selected aspect of every paper and poster abstract published in the journal is presented orally at the Society’s Conference. At least one of the contributing authors must be a current member of the New Zealand Plant Protection Society. In addition, all manuscripts must be read by co-authors and approved by the corresponding author’s organisation before submission to the editor. Submission deadlines must be strictly adhered to because New Zealand Plant Protection is pre-printed and circulated to members before the conference. 

Full Papers

Submission and review of papers

A structured abstract of up to 180 words with the subheadings Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions must be submitted on the website (journal.nzpps.org) by 15 February. Only submit an abstract if you are intending to submit a full paper. Completed manuscripts must be submitted on the website by 15 April. If data collection, analysis or internal reviewing are still being undertaken on this date then you will need to submit your paper the following year. The manuscript with be reviewed electronically by at least one referee and the editor, and will be returned to you by the editor. You must use that version to make any alterations or corrections suggested and then email the final version to the editor within 5 working days. Should you disagree with the corrections requested, please give reasons why using a “Comment” inserted into the text. Please make sure that all Track Changes are removed from the final document before it is returned to the editor. Please do not indicate changes using coloured text. 

Ensure that the final version has been carefully checked, as no alterations to the text will be accepted on the proofs. Proofs will be emailed as electronic files for checking by the corresponding author. Subsequent to publication of the journal, alterations to the .pdf files that are loaded on the website can be made. Error due to author oversight will cost $100 plus GST per paper.

Preparation of papers

Please download the template from the website and use this to prepare your paper. Do not change the font style or size. Submit all manuscripts in single spacing without line numbers. DO NOT use Microsoft styles to apply formatting. Capital letters should be typed using the “Shift” or “Caps Lock” key.

Please follow formats used since New Zealand Plant Protection 63 (2010). If possible, adhere to the following structure: Abstract not exceeding 180 words (obligatory); Introduction; Materials and Methods; Results; Discussion (or Results and Discussion); Acknowledgements; References. In some situations it may be more appropriate to present a combined “Results and Discussion” section or to include a “Conclusions” section, but this is not standard practice. Reviews may use other more appropriate major and sub-headings.

Title (left-aligned, bold, no full-stop) should be approximately 10 words. Scientific names must be given for organisms mentioned in the title and keywords. Leave a blank line after the title and before the author list.

Authors are left-aligned and in lower case. Use authors’ initials not full names. If an author has two or more initials, please use all initials. Leave a blank line after the author list and before the author affiliations.

Author affiliations are left-aligned, lower case and in italics. Use superscript numbers to illustrate affiliations where authors are from more than one organisation. Present the corresponding author’s email address on the line below the last address, using the following format: Corresponding author: smithm@research.co.nz Leave a blank line after the corresponding author and before the abstract.

The heading "Abstract" is at the left hand margin, in bold lower case. The text, in plain font, should not exceed 180 words. Leave a blank line after the abstract and before the keywords.

The heading "Keywords" is at the left hand margin, in bold lower case.. The keywords are in lower case, but not bold. They are separated by a comma and the last one is followed by a full-stop. Include up to 10 keywords.

Major section headings are bold, left-aligned and in capitals, e.g. INTRODUCTION. Leave one line space before a section heading but no space after a heading.

Subheadings should be on a separate line, in bold, left-aligned and in lower case with no punctuation.

Paragraphs should have a hard return at the end. Please refrain from using paragraph formatting, such as setting line spacings before and after paragraphs. Do not indent paragraphs as this is done automatically by the printer’s software. For the initial submitted manuscript you may separate paragraphs with one blank line, but these will be removed during editing.

Scientific names, units and chemicals

Numbers that are less than 10 and refer to objects should be written in words. Use numbers for measurements and 10 or more objects. SI units and their standard abbreviations should be used wherever possible except for litres, which should be written in full. Use a capital L for abbreviation of milli- or micro-litres, i.e. mL or μL.

Use standard common names for chemicals as given by the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Group (www.nzfsa.govt.nz/acvm/registers-lists/acvm-register /index.htm) but identify all test products once by trade name and formulation. This can be done in parentheses at the first mention in the text (not in the abstract), in tables or in an appendix. All rates must be expressed as rate of the active ingredient (ai). Where a chemical is used contrary to label recommendations, e.g.. at a different rate or in adverse weather conditions, this should be stated in the paper. The active ingredient in organic compounds should be given once, in the text or table, but the compound can otherwise be identified by its trade name.

Statistical analyses

Statistical analyses must be appropriate and the type of analyses used outlined in the methods. Give probability levels, along with an LSD, SE or use lettering to indicate significant differences. Some guidelines relating to the presentation of statistical information are given below.

  • Use of P-values. It is acceptable to present = 0.045, rather than < 0.05, if this is the value calculated from the statistical package used. In some situations, it will be valid to discuss results where P < 0.10; this would generally be when there are other analyses that back up this result. Remember that a P-value is an estimate of probability not an absolute value so should be treated as such. A standard error describes data more accurately than a P-value.
  • F statistic, chi-square statistic and degrees of freedom. It is usually superfluous to present the F or chi-square statistic. The degrees of freedom should be obvious from the description of the experimental design given in the Materials and Methods section, and do not need to be presented with the Results.
  • Less common statistical tests. More detailed information, including the statistical test value, the degrees of freedom and the probability value, may be presented for these tests.
  • Standard errors. In general it is preferable to present pooled SEs rather than the SE for individual treatment means. However, in some cases (e.g. if SEs are quite different between treatments) it is more appropriate to present individual SEs. The SE used should be clearly defined, particularly in figures and tables.
  • Statistical programs and tests. Commonly used statistical programs such as GenStat (note new spelling) should be mentioned but not referenced. Likewise, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and linear regression need no explanation but less common statistical programs, tests, models or procedures should be fully referenced.


Please use the table feature in Word to generate tables. Do not make new rows using the “Enter” key – move to the next row of cells. Keep tables as simple as possible and insert in the appropriate place in the body of the paper. Do not reduce font size to make the data fit into a table – instead reduce the amount of data in the table! Leave one blank line above the caption and two blank lines below the table. The caption ends in a full-stop and only the table number is in bold. Use horizontal lines as in the example below. Do not use vertical lines. Please ensure that all the numbers are aligned correctly and are centred under column headings. Use numbers in superscript to indicate footnotes.

Table 1 Weight of weeds (kg/m2 ) and number of insect pests (no./m2 ) in my garden at different times of the year.


All figures must be supplied as separate computer files saved in a commonly used graphics format, such as png, tif or jpg. Please do not incorporate figures into the main document file or into another Word file. The printer’s software cannot handle graphics files that are embedded into Word files. Computer-generated files should be at 600 dpi for black and white line artwork and 300 dpi for colour or greyscale artwork. Incorporate legends to symbols within the figure, not in the caption. Captions should be placed on a separate page at the end of the paper. Please do not put the caption in the figure. In the text, if figures are referred to in parentheses use “(Fig. 2)”, otherwise write “Figure 2”. If there are two plots in one figure these should be referred to as “(Figs 1a & 1b)” or “Figures 1a & 1b”.


References styles, both in-text citations and the reference list, are the same as the Royal Society of New Zealand journals (e.g. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science). Please follow formats used since New Zealand Plant Protection 63 (2010).

1. Do not use a reference to common statistical packages, such as SAS or GenStat. A description of the version in the Methods section is sufficient, e.g. GenStat for Windows (release 4.2) was used for statistical analyses.

2. References that are available both on the web and in hard copy should be referenced to the hard copy version. References that are available only on the web should be cited in the text as (Author 2000), (Organisation 2000) or (Anon. 2000) in the same way as any standard reference. The reference should then be cited in the reference list as outlined below. It is essential to include the date on which the document you are referring to was accessed.

  • Anon. 2000. Blight control products available to the Irish potato industry. www.potatocongress.org (accessed 23 August 2000).

3. In-text citations are written as described below. Do not use punctuation for citations in the text except for a semi-colon between separate references in the same bracket.

  • (Smith 2001) or Smith (2001)
  • Two co-author names are linked by an ampersand: (Smith & Jones 1996)
  • Three or more co-authors are cited by the name of the senior author followed by et al. (no italics), e.g. (Smith et al. 1997).
  • Different references in the same bracket are separated by a semi-colon (Smith 1997; Jones 1998), with the oldest references coming first. Two or more references by different authors in the same year are placed in alphabetical order within that year. Two references published by the same author in different years are separated by a comma (Smith 1997, 1998), while references by the same author in the same year are distinguished by letters (Smith 1994a, b). The first reference cited in the text is labelled “a”.

4. Some points about formats used in the reference list are described below.

  • All references are listed alphabetically by surname then initials. Two or more references by a single author are listed chronologically. Two or more references by the same first author but with different second authors are listed alphabetically by the first author then by second author. Two or more references by the same first author but with two or more co-authors, cited in text as et al., are listed alphabetically by first author then chronologically.
    • Smith RN 1985.
    • Smith RN 1996.
    • Smith RN, Bryant JK 1995.
    • Smith RN, Jackson SL 1991.
    • Smith RN, Jackson SL, Bryant JK 1952.
    • Smith RN, Bryant JK, Jackson SL 1955.
  • All authors are separated by commas; there is no “and” before the last author. There is no punctuation between an author’s initials or between the author’s surname and initials (e.g. Smith RN, Jackson SL, Bryant JK 1952.). There is no space between two or more initials.
  • There is a full-stop after the year.
  • Editors of books to follow same format as authors with ed. after the names. The list of editors precedes the title of the book. Please include the name of the 6 publisher as well as the city and country where the book was published.
  • Titles are always in plain text – for the article, the book or the journal. Journal titles are written in full and not italicised. For the article title, capital letters are only used for proper nouns and in Latin binomials. All nouns in journal names begin with capital letters. The journal volume number is followed by a colon, a space, then the first and last page numbers in full, separated by an en rule (–).
  • Page numbers are always at the end of the reference Pp. 23–30. (range of pages in book) p. 21. (single page in book) 400 p. (number of pages in a book).

5. Examples (minus bullets):

  • Alias AN, Smith HH, Jones KC 1992. Prairie grass control in the Waikato. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 12: 96–104.
  • Francis SM, Peddie JP, McDonald CA, Hofflich MJ 1974. Control of Ovis aries (woolly aphid) in North Canterbury hill country. Proceedings of the 12th New Zealand Weed and Pest Control Conference: 55–62.
  • Francis SM, Peddie JP, McDonald CA, Hofflich MJ 1998. Ovis aries (woolly aphid) control on the Canterbury plains. Proceedings of the 28th New Zealand Plant Protection Conference: 55–62.
  • Francis SM, Peddie JP, McDonald CA, Hofflich MJ 2004. A review of Ovis aries (woolly aphid) control. New Zealand Plant Protection 75: 55–62.
  • Bolger JM, Moore MK 1993. How to win and lose an election in three years. In: Peters W, Jones R ed. Life in New Zealand. Beehive Press, Wellington, New Zealand. Pp. 46–125.
  • Foot D 1997. New Zealand agrichemical manual. Wham Chemsafe Limited, Wellington, New Zealand. 400 p.

Rejection of papers

Your paper will be rejected if:

  • It falls outside the scope of New Zealand Plant Protection.
  • There are insufficient data to support any useful conclusions.
  • Results have been incorrectly interpreted.
  • Data have not been statistically analysed (unless there is a very good reason for not doing so).
  • Information in the paper is either not original or not new, although review papers will be considered
  • There is insufficient information to warrant publication as a full paper.

Your paper may be rejected if, in the opinion of the referee and the editor, the paper needs major revision in any of the following areas.

  • Information. Make sure your information is accurate. Ensure that each section of the paper gives adequate information and that the information is in the appropriate place, i.e. do not put methods in the results or vice versa.
  • Readability. Use clear, concise, grammatically correct language. Arrange information in a logical order. Be accurate in what you say. Don’t pad the paper out with unnecessary information or repetition, e.g. in the Results section describe only the main differences apparent in data in tables or figures and do not describe every minor difference.
  • Presentation of results. Present data in the appropriate form as tables or figures. In some cases it is sufficient to describe data in the text. Remember it is not always necessary to present all the data you have collected.
  • Statistical analysis. Make sure your analyses are appropriate, that you outline in the methods the type of analyses used and that statistical differences are apparent in the results. Give an SED, an LSD or use lettering to indicate significant differences, along with probability levels.
  • Formatting. Follow the formatting information exactly, particularly the layout of headings, tables, figures and references.

Page charges

There is no charge for four printed pages (approximately 2000 words, including equivalent space for tables and figures). Corresponding authors will be charged $100 plus GST for every additional printed page.