Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The journal Terra Latinoamericana is a quarterly publication of the Mexican Society of Soil Science (SMCS) published since September 1983.

The aim of Terra Latinoamericana is to provide a platform for the dissemination of original scientific and technological research conducted by specialists in Soil Science. Our approach is holistic and lies in understanding agricultural systems, which are related to edaphology, as both aim to understand the soil system.

Published articles are the sole responsibility of their authors. Total or partial reproduction of the journal is permitted with the condition that it is duly cited.


Section Policies

Scientific Papers

Must be generated from original research in which the scientific method was implemented to accept or reject a given hypothesis

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Are based on experimental work that presents new methodological aspects or important results that the author wants to publish before the research project is completed.

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They are written based on a critical analysis, a comprehensive and updated review on a topic of interest for the field of soil science. The works must adhere to the standards of the journal and will be reviewed by the Editorial Committee or by whoever is designated, before publication.

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Critical Reviews

Are articles in which the author reports the State of the Art of a given topic of interest to the scientific community, based on the published literature, and establishing conclusions regarding the analysis of the published data.

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Book Reviews

Is a section that aims to announce and preview books that may be of interest to soil scientists.

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It is a biographical sketch, mentions a series of data related to professional experience, presents information about the character and personality of the individual in question.

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Letter to the Editor

In the Letter to the Editor section, Terra Latinoamericana will publish those that are considered of interest and present opinions or comments on a topic. This section’s objective is to encourage discussion on topics published in this journal or those of interest for the scientific community.

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Peer Review Process

The received manuscripts are first screened by associate editors, co-publisher and editor in general, who evaluate quality and format requirements of the journal. At this early stage, the manuscript may be rejected due to the lack of quality or writing that does not meet the journal’s standards. If the manuscript complies with the stated requirements, it will be sent to three reviewers, experts in the field (peer review). The review process called double-blind peer review, in which both reviewers and authors are anonymous. Subsequently, a decision is made based on the reviewers’ recommendations, which can be a resolution of acceptance (minor revisions or major revisions) or rejection. If it is accepted, changes based on specific concerns of the reviewer must be made by the author.  When the manuscript is returned, its reviewers will check to determine whether the relevant modifications were made.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Ethical Guidelines



The Journal Terra Latinoamericana is committed to respecting and complying with the principles of transparency and good practices in academic publications in accordance with the Committee on Publications Ethics (COPE, for its acronym in English. http://publicationsethics.org/) and is governed by his principles. In general terms, Terra Latinoamericana's code of ethics refers to the integrity of the Editorial Committee, the Reviewers and the Authors, and under this argument, Terra Latinoamericana forces the Editorial Committee to act with objectivity and transparency in the process of review, to the Authors that their manuscripts are authentic and original and all those involved are required not to incur in scientific fraud.


Editorial Committee

The Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Committee of Terra Latinoamericana has the following commitments:

  • Work to maintain the good reputation of the journal, promoting only publication of original, relevant scientific and technological papers concerning the field of Soil Science.
  • Rule on the publication of historical and educational material related to Soil Science.
  • Publish on time and in proper form the four numbers that compose the annual volume of the journal.
  • Determine whether it is feasible, in terms of their relevance and adherence to the journal’s format, for the received manuscripts to continue in the process of arbitration.
  • Ensure that national and international researchers directly related to the subject of the manuscript will conduct the arbitration process.
  • Review the decisions of the referees and make the final decision and, when the manuscript is rejected, communicate the reasons to the author(s).
  • Preserve the anonymity of both the author(s) and reviewers as well as the editors.
  • Respect authors’ right of reply concerning the arbitration process and the opinions of the submitted manuscript.
  • Provide the authors timely information about the state of their contribution, from reception until acceptance or rejection.
  • Transparency and respect toward the authors, with an open attitude in terms of hearing their questions and answering accurately.



The reviewers of Terra Latinoamericana have the following commitments:

  • Maintain confidentiality regarding the manuscript received for evaluation, in terms of divulging by any means its content, the authors' names, as well as the reviewer’s resolution.
  • Review and rule on only those contributions related to their research area(s).
  • Read the manuscript meticulously and express objective observations and constructive criticism.
  • Avoid use of disrespectful language.
  • Issue a ruling, pointing out in the revised text or attached document (no name or signature) where the manuscript can be improved, or the reasons the reviewed contribution should not be published.
  • Comply with the arbitration time (two weeks) permitted for delivery to the Associate Editor of observations, the attached document (if applicable) and the decision format, properly completed.
  • Be available to the Associate Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Format Editor, Administrative Executive to clarify or explain any doubt.


Associate Editors

  • Protect the confidentiality of the arbitration process, ensuring the anonymity of the reviewers and authors.
  • Continually improve quality standards in the selection of manuscripts, reviewers and the review process, always considering the scientific relevance of the manuscript, its originality, clarity and pertinence.
  • Carry out the review process and opinion of the manuscripts and their content without distinction based on race, gender, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation or political philosophy of the authors.
  • The decision of the editor to accept or reject a manuscript for publication must be based on scientific relevance and originality.



The author(s) who submit articles for publication in Terra Latinoamericana have the following commitments:

  • Send unreleased contributions, i.e. work that has not been published nor in the process of being published in another journal.
  • Submit outstanding scientific and technological contributions in the field of soil science, properly drafted and with data (charts, graphics, images, etc.) that support the proposed hypotheses.
  • Advise the Editor-in-Chief when a contribution is submitted with initial or partial data of a study, in order to treat it as a Technical Note.
  • Advise the Editor-in-Chief when a contribution is a historical type or a review, in order to handle it as Letter to the Editor.
  • Invariably, follow the Author’s Guide, which is available on the journal´s website.
  • Always give credit to the sources consulted and avoid plagiarizing data or text contributions.
  • Cite author’s own ideas published in previous papers, avoiding excess, to promote criticism and discussion when contrasting with ideas of other authors.
  • Provide full and accurate information of the references consulted, following the format given in the Author’s Guide.
  • Consider, in all seriousness, comments and recommendations from referees and Associate Editor, Editor-in-Chief or Format Editor.
  • Promptly send the information or clarifications requested by the Associate Editor, Editor-in-Chief or Format Editor.
  • Show respect for the Associate Editor, Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board of the journal, even when the decision is not favorable.
  • Promptly send the respective voucher of the deposit of publishing costs, when requested by the Editor-in-Chief, Administrative Executive or Format Editor of the journal.
  • Always be available to answer any question put forth by the Associate Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Format Editor or Administrative Executive.


Guidelines for Publishing

Guidelines for publishing papers in TERRA LATINOAMERICANA

Download (Spanish Version)

Download (English Version)


Plagiarism or self-plagiarism

The use of someone else’s ideas or words in their original, or slightly changed, form without proper citation is plagiarism and will not be tolerated in Terra Latinoamericana. Even when a citation is given, if quotation marks are not placed around words taken directly from another author’s work, the author is still guilty of plagiarism. All manuscripts received in the platform of Terra Latinoamericana are sent to iThenticate®, a software or plagiarism control system, which compares the content of the manuscript and confirms the originality of the content presented. This software contrasts the manuscripts by comparing them with millions in the database of web pages and academic publications such as scientific papers and other notable sources. In this process, the iThenticate® software provides a report with a similarity index which specifies (1) a total similarity percentage of the sum of the percent similarity of individual articles, books, etc. published previously, and (2) the report also provides a PDF file with the phrases that were copied with its reference. Some of the criteria for reviewing the similarity index of Terra Latinoamericana are the following: a) References with an individual similarity index greater than 1% are the ideal case and are considered as having no overlap or plagiarism, even though the total similarity of all individuals summed up could possibly exceed 15%; b) The bibliography section is also checked and should not list verbatim all the references without a single new one from another article, this is not considered plagiarism per se, but it is considered that author has simply used the reference of another published article without doing any original research, the goal is to publish original research manuscripts with original research; c) In some cases, the same name is used for variables, varieties, among others, which are determined in computing the similarity index; however, these will not be considered plagiarism, nor to be self-plagiarized; d) As a general rule  the total similarity index without the bibliography and references, should be equal to or less than 15%; however, larger total numbers will be considered on a case by case basis. In the event that overlap or similarity is detected, the Editor-in-Chief of Terra Latinoamericana will notify the corresponding author as part of the review procedure of the manuscript. The corresponding author who agrees to continue with the review process will be obligated to modify the manuscript and reduce the similarity index. If the authors insist on not modifying their manuscript and send it to the platform of Terra Latinoamericana without making the changes, this document will be judged as plagiarized or self-plagiarized, supported by the iThenticate® and will not be considered for publication. The decision to reject because of plagiarism of a submitted manuscript depends on the Editor-in-Chief of Terra Latinoamericana, supported by the review of the Associate Editor or the rest of the members of the Editorial Committee of Terra Latinoamericana. When similarity is not detected, no action will be required by the corresponding author, that is, he or she will not receive any notification in this regard and the manuscript will be sent to the Associate Editors for their evaluation.


Equality and no discrimination

All manuscripts received by the platform of Terra Latinoamericana are subject to evaluation based on their research originality and quality. The Editorial Committee of Terra Latinoamericana does not favor any potential authors nor do they discriminate against any potential authors regardless of nationality, race, sex, or any other reason or condition. Appropriate measures will be taken as indicated against any non-compliance with these principles declared by resolution of the competent authority.


The Editor-in-Chief of Terra Latinoamericana, together with the Editorial Committee, takes the principles of equity and non-discrimination seriously, taking particular care regarding gender equality.