Soil Organisms

Instructions for authors

Short Instructions for Authors

SOlL ORGANISMS presents high-level research results, review papers and short notes in English covering the complete field of soil biology, including taxonomy and systematics, soil ecology (including interactions), biogeography, morphology, conservation, evolution and ecosystem functions. Unique among soil-biological journals, Soil Organisms especially considers the organismic aspects of soil biology. Three issues per volume are published as one volume per year (issued in April, August and December). SOIL ORGANISMS is committed to fair open-access publishing, which is why we offer online open access publishing of all papers without any publication fees. The author(s) confirm that the content of the submitted article complies with the rules of good scientific practice (according to COPE, see and “Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice – Code of Conduct” of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,, does not contain any plagiarism, all data were collected and analysed legally (including CITES, Access & Benefit Sharing), and investigations were conducted in compliance with all legal requirements and regulations. 

All submitted manuscripts are subject to review by two specialist referees. Mainly based on their reports the editors decide whether a manuscript will be accepted for publication. When the review procedure is completed, the review documents and the editors’ statement of (non-)acceptance will be sent to the corresponding author. If a manuscript requires revision, final acceptance may only be decided after a revised version of the manuscript has been received and checked by the editors and/or the referees.

Authors of accepted manuscripts will receive a proof copy of their paper as a PDF. Proof corrections should be communicated as soon as possible, normally per e-mail, along with the release to print.
Authors will be supplied a PDF copy (300 dpi) for free use.
The PDFs will also be freely accessible at
Hardcopy reprints are available for purchase.

Submission of Manuscripts

Manuscripts and enquiries should be directed to:
Prof. Dr Willi Xylander, Editor-in-Chief of Soil Organisms,
Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz, PF 30 01 54, 02806 Görlitz, Germany.

Manuscripts should be submitted to: soil-organisms[at] or online

The author(s) transfer their copyrights of the manuscript to the publisher to allow, e.g., open access. A copyright transfer declaration is mailed to the authors with the confirmation of receipt of the manuscript. If such a declaration is not received, the authors should contact the publisher. The author(s) must arrange any further authorisation necessary for reproduction of figures etc. prior to submission of the manuscript. The cover letter must explicitly confirm that all named authors have agreed to publication of the work, and that the manuscript does not infringe any other person’s copyright or property rights. Manuscripts will be reviewed by two referees in a double-blind review process, we ask authors to submit the names and email addresses of two or more potential independent reviewers that are specialists in the field the article is submitted. The author(s) must not follow all details of the Instructions when initially submitted.

Basic layout: The print space of the journal is 165 x 231 mm or 81 mm width for one column. The basic font is Times New Roman.

Figures and photographs are to be submitted in high-resolution digital form (with a minimum resulolution of 300 dpi). The prefered file formats are PSD (Photoshop) and TIFF. Please do not reduce the layers to one layer. Costs incurred by printing colour photographs or figures must be borne by the author(s).

Diagrams and line illustrations Should be supplied as high-resolution digital files. The print space of the journal, should be kept in mind in the preparation of tables and graphs. If you scan line drawings, select a resolution of 1200 dpi for the final figure size. Text in illustrations should be as short as possible in sans-serif type (Arial) and regular style.

Preparation of manuscripts:

Heading: English title, short title, full name of the author(s), institution(s) (affiliation) and full address(es). In case of several authors, a corresponding author should be indicated.

Abstract: including a list of up to five keywords that do not appear in the title.

Text: Sectioned (where applicable) into: 1. Introduction, 2. Materials and methods, 3. Results, 4. Discussion, 5. Acknowledgements (if desired), 6. References.

Acknowledgements: Any research in the paper not carried out by the authors must be fully acknowledged in the manuscript. All sources of funding must be acknowledged in the manuscript, and authors have to declare any direct financial benefits that could result from publication. All appropriate ethics and other approvals must have been obtained for the research.

Names of genera and species are set in italics. For the first mention of species names within the text, the name should be followed by the describing author(s). Taxonomic descriptions must accord with the applicable International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).

References within the text should be given as in the following examples: ‘Brown & White (2005) have shown…’, or, ‘Some authors (Brown & White 2005, Black 2006) consider that…’. For two collaborating authors, the names are to be connected with an ampersand (&), more than two authors are to be cited with the first author’s name followed by et al. No comma should be used to separate the year of publication from author names. Citations within brackets should be arranged chronologically, for example: (Brown & White 2005, White 2006, Black et al. 2007).

Reference list citations: References are to be listed alphabetically by author(s), and within these in chronological sequence. The journal style requires citations to be formatted as in the following examples:

For journal articles: surname(s) and initial(s); year of publication in parentheses followed by a colon; full title in the original language (or in official transliteration) followed by a full stop, space, en-dash, space, full journal title (not in abbreviated form), volume number in bold type followed by a colon, page numbers of the cited article followed by a full stop.
Voigtländer, K. & C. Düker (2001): Distribution and species grouping of millipedes (Myriapoda, Diplopoda) in dry biotopes in Saxony-Anhalt/Eastern Germany. – European Journal of Soil Biology 37: 123–126.

For book chapters: surname(s) and initial(s); year of publication in parentheses followed by a colon; title of the chapter or cited part of the book followed by a full stop, space, dash, space followed by In followed by a colon, names of book editor(s) followed by a colon; book title (and edition, if applicable) followed by a full stop, space, en-dash, space followed by publisher and place of publication, colon, page numbers of the cited chapter followed by a full stop.
Kuwahara, Y. (2004): Chemical ecology of astigmatid mites. – In: Cardé, R. T. & J. G. Millar (eds): Advances in Insect Chemical Ecology. – Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 76–109.

For books/monographs: surname(s) and initial(s); year of publication in parentheses followed by a colon; book title (and edition, if applicable) followed by a full stop, space, en-dash, space followed by publisher and place of publication, colon, total number of pages.
Braun, U. (1995): A monograph of Cercosporella, Ramularia, and allied genera (phytopathogenic Hyphomycetes), Vol. 1. – IHW-Verlag, Eching: 333 pp.

For internet references: surname(s) and initial(s); year of publication in parentheses followed by a colon; full title followed by a full stop, space, dash, space, full source title and volume number (where applicable) followed by the web address in square brackets.
Kiss, L. & O. Szentiványi (2000): Infection of bean with cucumber powdery mildew, Podosphaera fusca. – New Disease Reports Volume 2 [].

Supplementary materials: May include figures, tables, methods, videos, and other materials. They are available online linked to the original published article, and should be cited in text as ‘S’, e.g. ‘Table S1’ and ‘Figure S1’. The maximum file size for supplementary material is 15MB each.