Guidelines for Authors

Guidelines for Authors

Journal of Arid Land (JAL) is an international journal for research in the natural sciences, sponsored by the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, ChineseAcademyof Sciences, Science Press, and China Society of Natural Resources. It is published bimonthly by Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

In July 2011, JAL was selected for coverage in Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-E) and Current Contents/Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences (CC/AB&ES), beginning from the initial issue in 2009 (website: JAL also has been abstracted/indexed internationally by Scopus, Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience Abstracts (CAB Abstracts) in the UK, VINITI Abstracts Journal (РЖ) in Russia, Index Copernicus (IC) in Poland, Cambridge Science Abstract (CSA) and Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory (UPD) in the USA, and embodied nationally by Chinese Science Citation Database and China Academic Journals Integrated Online Database. Now, JAL is available online at and

The Editorial Office of JAL has opened online submission system, To submit a manuscript, the author(s) should register a profile first and make submissions in Word (.doc) format, using our online submission system. If manuscript accepted, a signed “Copyright Transfer Statement” should be scanned and uploaded to the online system. Further requirements are listed in this guide.

Aim and scope

JAL publishes original, innovative, and integrative research from arid and semiarid areas, addressing various aspects in geography, geology, pedology, hydrology, biology, ecology, and meteorology. JAL covers the following topics:

(1) The dynamics of natural resources, including water, soil/land, organisms and climate and the security and sustainable development of natural resources, the environment and the ecology, especially for Central Asia;

(2) The interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere, and the relationship between these natural processes and human activities;

(3) Patterns of geography, ecology and environment; Ecological improvement and environmental protection;

(4) Regional responses and feedback mechanisms to global change;

(5) Reviews, brief communications, and reports in the aforementioned subjects.

Manuscript types

The following types of manuscripts are considered for peer-review and publication in JAL:

Research Articles: Before writing a manuscript, author(s) should refer to the latest research results from the world, so that the manuscripts reach an international and advanced level, and report original, innovative, and complete sets of results. Generally, research articles (including figures and tables) should not exceed 12 printed pages with an abstract of 300 to 500 words.

Reviews: Summarizing the progress in core scientific disciplines, commenting on the status of the research, and make suggestions for future studies. The author(s) must be familiar with the topic and have several years of relevant research experience. Review articles should not exceed 15 pages.

Brief Communications: Reporting novel and innovative findings in natural sciences. Manuscripts of this type should be short, with a brief abstract.

News and Reports: Reporting important scientific news, information, and academic affairs, including the significant international conferences held in China.

Text Guidelines

Title: Concise and informative titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid abbreviations and formulae, when possible.
Author(s) names and affiliation(s): Please include the full, detailed name for all author(s) responsible for the article’s information and data. Write the family (last) name using capitals (e.g., SUN Honglie, Adrian R WILLIAMS). Indicate all affiliations with a superscript immediately after the author’s name(s), below the name(s) of the author(s), list the address of each author’s affiliation (where the actual work was done). Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name. Using an asterisk indicates and provides an email address for the corresponding author who is willing to handle correspondence at all stages of publication and post-publication.
Abstract: Abstracts should briefly state the purpose and method(s) of the research, principal results, and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so references, nonstandard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided.
Keywords: Immediately after the abstract, provide 3 to 7 keywords, closely related to the subject of the article. Avoid general and plural terms and multiple concepts (e.g., 'and', 'of').
Introduction: Provide an adequate background. State the significance, objective and method of the research, citing necessary references, especially references of work published in the last two to three years.
Study area/materials and methods: Introducing a general idea of the study area or experimental setting, the materials and methods used and the basic progress of the study. Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced or substantiated. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference.
Results: Relating the findings and results of the observation(s) and experiment(s)
without interpreting their meaning. Results should be clear and concise.

Discussion: Explaining all of your observations within your experiment(s). Exploring the significance of the results, but do not repeat them in the text. Stating whether each of your hypotheses are supported, rejected or if you cannot make a decision with confidence, and suggesting future studies or modifications to the same study.
Conclusions: Presenting main conclusions of the study that may stand alone or creating a discussion subsection.
Acknowledgements should include, if applicable, information on grants received, funding organizations, and/or recognition of people who assisted in the research or article.
References: Please cite a reference to acknowledge sources of information from others’ research and results. Ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list. Citation guidelines are as follows: as (Smith, 1998) for single author, as (Smith and Miller, 1999) for two authors, and as (Smith et al., 2006) for three or more authors. Groups of references should be listed first chronologically, then alphabetically. In the reference list, references should be arranged first alphabetically, then chronologically, if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters "a", "b", "c", etc., placed after the year of publication. Journal names should not be abbreviated.

Reference examples:

Articles: AmesR N, Reid C P P, Porter L K, et al. 1983. Hyphal uptake and transport of nitrogen from two 15N-labelled sources by Glomus misseae, a vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus. New Phytologist, 95(3): 381-396.

Monograph: Lambers H, Stuart Chapin ΙΙΙ F, Pons T L. 2008. Plant Physiological Ecology. 2nd ed.New York: Springer Science+Business Media, 56-64.

Proceedings: Bernstein N, Kafkafi U. 2002. Root growth under salinity stress. In: Waisel Y, Eshel A,KafkafiU.Plant Roots, the Hidden Half.New York: Marcel Dekker Press, 787-805.

Electronic reference: UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 2008. Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.Paris: UNESCO World Heritage Centre. [2009-11-17].

Article format

Please write your text in proper English and save in Word (.doc) format. Use10.5 ptTimes New Roman font, single spaced. The text, tables, and figures must be in one document. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then1.1.1, 1.1.2,), 1.2, etc. Please download the Template from the website ( to see detailed article format.

Figures, tables and photographs must be numbered consecutively, using Arabic numerals. Their position in the paper should match the indication in the text. A figure showing national boundaries should be drawn based on the latest standard base-map of Map Press. An entire map ofChinashould includeTaiwanIsland,South China SeaIslandsandDiaoyudaoIsland. The original maps/figures shall be in formats of .XLS for EXCEL, .OPJ for Origin, .PSD for Photoshop, .JNB for Sigmaplot, .AI/.EPS for ArcGis, etc. [Note: Please provide the original graphs of all your figures so that they can be edited

in word size, font, curve shape, legend, etc].

The figures and photographs should be provided in high-resolution files with 600-900 dpi with clear titles using 7 or8 ptTimes New Roman font. Tables should be concise and exact, using three sections, demarcated by lines, with a descriptive caption in 8 or7.5 ptTimes New Roman fonts.

Formulas should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals, placed in parentheses to the right of the formula.

The Journal uses the international system of units (SI), such as “m”, “m2”, “m/s” etc (see: GB3100-3102 of China). Nomenclature should follow internationally accepted rules and conventions. In the text, nomenclature, unit, names of persons and places should be uniform.


The first issue of JAL was published in the fourth quarter of 2009. Currently, manuscript submissions will only be accepted through the online submission system ( To submit a manuscript, author(s) should register a profile first at the online submission system, and author(s) should write down more detailed information carefully when register the profile, so that we can contact with you. JAL requires valid contact information for the corresponding author, including email address, postal address, and phone number. The Guide for Authors, Copyright Transfer Statement, and Template are shown on

Authors must submit their manuscripts in English. For Chinese authors, it’s better to send the manuscripts in both English and Chinese, in order to ensure an accurate and accelerate peer and editorial review. Submit manuscripts in Word (.doc) format. The file name should include the name of the first author. The figures of the manuscript should be provided in related XLS, OPJ, AI, SPW, EPS formats, etc.

Authors are encouraged to suggest the names and full contact details of two or three potential reviewers on the understanding that the Editorial Board has the final decision on the selection of reviewers. Once the manuscript is accepted and published in JAL, the copyright of the article will be transferred to the Editorial Office of JAL.

Processing submitted manuscripts

First, the editors of JAL will review whether or not a manuscript fits the scope and basic requirements of JAL. The Editorial Office will inform authors within fifteen days of receipt of a manuscript if it does not comply with JAL’s requirements. Manuscripts will then be independently peer-reviewed. If two or more reviewers consider the manuscript unsuitable for publication, the decision will be communicated to the author(s) within two months of the date the manuscript was received. In these days, author(s) can not submit the manuscript to other journals. The Editorial Office has the right to edit the articles for words, sentences, grammar, and e_x_p_r+e_s_s_i_o_n. Manuscripts sent back to the corresponding authors for revision should be returned to the Editorial Office without delay, attaching a letter of response to each point raised by reviewers. The decision made by the Editorial Board whether or not to publish any submission, shall be final.

One to two months before manuscripts are published; a press proof in PDF format will be e-mailed to corresponding author(s). The author should check the PDF file very carefully, because after the manuscript is published online, any changes will not be accepted by JAL and Springer. Furthermore, any such revisions should be e-mailed to the Editorial Office within five days.

Once the manuscript is completed the final editing process, it will be published online first at and, and author(s) could download the PDF file from the website. After the manuscript is printed, one sample will be sent to the corresponding author.

Research Data Policy

The journal encourages authors, where possible and applicable, to deposit data that support the findings of their research in a public repository. Authors and editors who do not have a preferred repository should consult Springer Nature’ list of repositories and research data policy.

l List of Repositories

l Research Data Policy

General repositories - for all types of research data - such as Figshare and Dryad may also be used. Datasets that are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite: authors, title, publisher (repository name), identifier.

l DataCite

Springer Nature provides a research data policy support service for authors and editors, which can be contacted at

Contact information

Editorial Office of JAL

Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography

818 South Beijing Road,Urumqi, Xinjiang 830011,China

Tel: +86-991-7827352

Fax: +86-991-7885320