Focus and Scope

Terra Latinoamericana is a quarterly journal. The main objective is to publish original scientific articles conducted by specialists in the Soil and Water Science community around the world. All sections are subject to a peer evaluation process, in the double-blind mode. It is available digitally for consultation in open access files.

Terra Latinoamericana is the dissemination mean of the Mexican Society of Soil Science, A.C. (SMCS) since September 1983; however, it is not limited to publishing the results of the research conducted in Mexico, but goes beyond, including all Latin American and countries around the world. Terra Latinoamericana publish articles, research notes, reviews, essays, reviews, memoirs and letters to the editor, in order to disseminate the results of unpublished scientific and technological research, carried out by specialists in soil and water science, coupled with a holistic approach that lies in the understanding of agrosystems, which is why fields related to edaphology are considered in order to understand the soil and water systems.

The contributions associated with soil and water science will be accepted for review and possible publication, if they consider any of the following topics: soil biology, soil physics, chemistry or mineralogy, environmental pollution, plant nutrition, pedology, edaphology, sociocultural sciences of soil, soil amendments, inorganic fertilizers, hydrology, hydraulics, water management and quality, water treatment, water footprint, hydroponics, or aquaponics.

If a contribution is submitted with another topic related to soil and water sciences, the editorial committee will evaluate its content and determine whether is accepted for its peer review process.

Terra Latinoamericana publishes in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English. All articles that are not published in English, include the title, abstract, keywords, table titles and figures in English. Published contributions are the sole responsibility of the authors.

Terra Latinoamericana publishes original academic material. The academic level of informed research is appropriate for a technical, professional, postgraduate, and postdoctoral research audience.

The partial or total reproduction of this journal is authorized, citing it as a source of information.

Content significance

The content of Terra Latinoamericana is of interest, importance, and value for its readers, since the main topic it addresses on soil and water issues is raised by only 0.15 and 0.44 %, respectively of the international journals included in InCites Journal Citation Reports of ClarivateTM. The content of the journal is displayed on specialized topics, with a new perspective, regional, national, and international focus that undoubtedly enriches the breadth of coverage.

Authors distribution

In Terra Latinoamericana is sought that the authors of the publications have affiliations whose geographic diversity and publication record validate their participation in the academic community associated with the scope of the journal.

Authors roles

Terra Latinoamericana, for the sake of clarity, transparency, and to give authors the credit they deserve, is now including an Author Contributions section in all primary research paper issued. We endorse the Project CRediT taxonomy of contributor roles which is available at https://casrai.org/credit/.

The Terra Latinoamericana Editorial Committee will require that the corresponding author disclose the statement at the time of manuscript submission describing the roles exerted by each contributor as follows:

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Role

Definition

1

Conceptualization

Ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aim.

2

Data curation

Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later re-use.

3

Formal analysis

Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyses or synthesize study data.

4

Funding acquisition

Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication.

5

Investigation

Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection.

6

Methodology

Development or design of methodology; creation of models.

7

Project administration

Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution.

8

Resources

Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools.

9

Software

Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components.

10

Supervision

Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team.

11

Validation

Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs.

12

Visualization

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation.

13

Writing – original draft

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation).

14

Writing – review & editing

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary, or revision – including pre- or post-publication stages.

Timeliness/Publication Volume

From January 2021, Terra Latinoamericana changes to the Continuous Publication system. Continuous Publication consists of abandoning the idea of gathering articles in numbers and volumes of a journal that is published at regular intervals and moving to one in which each approved article is published individually online so that the scientific community has access to it. as soon as possible. In general terms, with continuous publication, it is possible to eliminate periodicities by adopting as the only publication period the year of publication corresponding to the volume. The main advantage is the speed in the process of arbitration and publication of the articles in the journal. All papers published annually are within ranges appropriate to the subject area of Terra Latinoamericana.

Authors Affiliation Details

All publications in Terra Latinoamericana are accurately identified. Publications include full names and institutional affiliations, including country / region, of all contributing authors. Additionally, the ORCID number of the authors is provided as a digital identifier or the links to institutional profiles that specify the identity and affiliation of the authors is included.

Peer Review Process

The contribution received through the journal's platform is analyzed to determine if it complies with the authors' guide, format, approach and scope by the editorial committee made up of the Technical Editor, the Deputy Editor, the Editor-in-Chief and the Associate Editors. In addition, the percentage of similarity is evaluated to establish possible plagiarism or self-plagiarism. If the contribution meets the aforementioned requirements, the Deputy Editor or the Editor-in-Chief assigns it based on their expertise to an Associate Editor, whose function is to send it to three specialist reviewers on the subject (peer review), in the form called double blind (the author does not know the reviewers and vice versa). Subsequently, based on the reviewers' decision, the Associate Editor will determine if it is accepted with minor changes, major changes or if it is rejected. In case of being accepted with changes, the author must make them and the associate editor will determine if the pertinent changes were made.

The objective of the peer review process in Terra Latinoamericana is to maximize the quality of the manuscript while guaranteeing the authors' rights to submit their work for a rigorous, constructive, and transparent review process. Peer review is carried out by active researchers and academics, carefully appointed by the Editorial Committee of the journal in accordance with strict criteria of excellence, and who certify the precision and validity of the research with their names in the published article. Peer review focuses on objective criteria for the validity and quality of the work presented. Likewise, it is rigorous, fair, constructive, responsible, and transparent for all those involved. Of course, peer review should be efficient. Efficiency is achieved by developing on the OJS platform, an online, collaborative discussion forum between authors, reviewers, and the responsible associate editor and providing comprehensive quality service to all participants in the review process. All contributions, without exception, undergo the same rigorous review process. Peer review is carried out by active researchers and academics, carefully appointed by the Editorial Committee of the journal in accordance with strict criteria of excellence, and who certify the precision and validity of the research with their names in the published article. Peer review focuses on objective criteria for the validity and quality of the work presented. Likewise, it is rigorous, fair, constructive, responsible, and transparent for all those involved. Of course, peer review should be efficient. Efficiency is achieved by developing on the OJS platform, an online, collaborative discussion forum between authors, reviewers, and the responsible associate editor and providing comprehensive quality service to all participants in the review process. All contributions, without exception, undergo the same rigorous review process.

Terra Latinoamericana has maintained strict quality standards for manuscripts and the peer review process through clear criteria. When a manuscript exceeds the criteria, it is accepted and rejected when it does not exceed them. Terra Latinoamericana's peer review process judges the value and validity of submitted studies through rigorous quality controls. Associate Editors are accredited to make content decisions; they are charged with recommending rejection at any time; they make the acceptance decisions, and any decision is notified to the Editor-in-Chief. The Format Editor, with the team of Technical Editors, can also reject those manuscripts that due to some involuntary errors of omission were not previously rejected, thereby ensuring that the peer review was rigorous and that the publication is of high quality.

Transparent review. To ensure rigorous and objective reviews, the identities of the reviewers remain anonymous during the review process. The name of the Associate Editor remains visible throughout the arbitration process. The process allows reviews to be conducted in a constructive manner, with associate editors and reviewers having a level of responsibility and accountability for the document by providing rigorous feedback that provides a publication of the highest quality.

Rigorous review. Terra Latinoamericana provides a review questionnaire template that is located on the OJS platform, with the purpose of systematically conducting reviews in this template. The review focuses solely on the quality of both the research and the manuscript and aims to provide constructive comments to bring the final article to a better quality. This process allows for a fair, rapid, complete, and comparable research evaluation.

Acceptance criteria. The quality standards of a manuscript that allow the Editorial Committee and the reviewers of Terra Latinoamericana to accept a publication, is based mainly on basic criteria for the publication of scientific studies, such as clear and adequate language and presentation, for example, complying with editorial standards presentation of tables and figures; the manuscript must be in accordance with the editorial and ethical standards of Terra Latinoamericana; the methodology must be transparent and correct, with a well-established experimental design, correctly applied statistical analyzes and a detailed description of the study materials; The bibliographic references must be sufficient, recent and with coverage relevant to the main subject of the manuscript, which must consider a hypothesis and a specific question, with a relevant theory on the subject of study.

Rejection criteria. Basically, a contribution can be rejected at any stage before the paper is published, even during initial validation, peer review, final validation and, if problems are identified at a late stage, also after acceptance. In general terms, those manuscripts that do not meet the acceptance criteria should be rejected; However, it is important to establish clarity in the rejection criteria that are mainly limited to the following: when the manuscript does not conform to editorial and ethical policies, for example, it is not original, it is duplicated, it is plagiarized or self-plagiarized; the presentation in terms of the language is not of sufficient quality for the review process to be carried out strictly and rigorously; there are errors in the methodology, for example, the experimental design is not correct, the statistical analyzes are not appropriate for the study data and in this matter, the collaboration of the Statistical Editors of Terra Latinoamericana is essential; the presentation of the manuscript does not allow to elucidate if there is a hypothesis or research question with scientific validity, that is, the research question is pseudoscientific; the conclusions are not in accordance with the objectives or are biased by incorrect analysis; references in the text do not reflect the current state of knowledge in the study area or are very local, that is, the access to references is not possible; the study carried out violates the ethical policies not only of Terra Latinoamericana, but also those internationally recognized, for example, privacy protection, studies with living beings, among others; evidence is presented in the results obtained whose precision and reliability is very low, with the possibility that the data were falsified or fabricated and that the tables, figures and images present fraudulent manipulation.

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.

Grant support details

Authors submitting their contributions to Terra Latinoamericana are required to provide appropriate acknowledgment to the sources of funding for their research.

Appropriate citations to the literature

Terra Latinoamericana requires authors that in all contributions submitted to the OJS platform must grant adequate recognition to the literature that encompasses the subject of the submitted contribution.

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. https://publicationethics.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, the Member of the Mexican Society of Soil Science, the Authors, and under this argument, Terra Latinoamericana forces the Editorial Committee and the reviewers 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. 

Terra Latinoamericana and its Editorial Committee apply a zero-tolerance policy for any lack of transparency, good practices, or publication ethics. A fault will result in the definitive withdrawal from the journal of any member of the Editorial Committee and the author, in addition to a 20-year veto on the publication of papers in Terra Latinoamericana.

Terra Latinoamericana takes issues related to publishing ethics very seriously. Generally speaking, authors are expected to adhere to ethical standards with respect to attribution of authorship, conflicts of interest, respect for ethical considerations in the use of human and experimental animal participants, disclosures of financial support, and participation in the peer review process. In addition, cases of invalid or fraudulent data, plagiarism, self-plagiarism, similarity, and dual submissions will constitute grounds for rejection. Of course, Terra Latinoamericana editors and reviewers are expected to comply with ethical standards regarding conflicts of interest, confidentiality of reviewed articles, objective evaluation of work and preservation of the anonymity of reviewers until acceptance, in addition to refraining from coercive dating. Editors have the authority and responsibility for the acceptance of articles. While Terra Latinoamericana strives for transparency regarding the identity of reviewers and editors, external publication of review reports or discussions of the review process is strictly prohibited. As contributions made to the interactive review process come from different parties, the decision to share these contributions is not the reservation of either party.

Corrections policies

The Editorial Team of Terra Latinoamericana have the responsibility to correct scientifically relevant errors in previously published articles. The corrections more common that we attend are related to a small section of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading; or there is an error in a figure that does not alter the conclusions; or there is an error in statistical data not altering conclusions; or there are mislabeled figures; or if the authors/contributors list is incorrect when a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included. To address any of these corrections or any other, an email must be sent to M.Sc. Rosa María López Atilano (formato.ed.terra@gmail.com), indicating the incorrect section, as well as the corresponding correction.

Erratum policies

The policies of erratum of Terra Latinoamericana refers to a correction of errors introduced to the article by the editor or editorial team. All changes introduced by the editor are highlighted to the author at the proof stage or galley and any errors should be identified by the author and should be corrected by the editor before final publication. The authors who notice an error should immediately contact by e-mail to M.Sc. Rosa María López Atilano (formato.ed.terra@gmail.com), indicating the error detected in the publication, adding all the identification data of the paper published.

Retractations policies

According to the Committee on Publication Ethics (https://publicationethics.org/), Terra Latinoamericana abides by their guidelines and recommendations in cases of potential retraction. Terra Latinoamericana also abides by two other key principles, as recommended by COPE: retractions are not about penalizing authors; retraction statements should be public and linked to the original, retracted article. All potential retractions will be judged on their own merits and will be the subject of an internal investigation or were satisfactory, the recommendations from the institutional investigation of the author(s). Terra Latinoamericana as other international journals, considers the following reasons as giving cause for concern and potential retraction: clear evidence that findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error); findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication); major plagiarism or auto plagiarism; the reporting of unethical research, the publication of an article that did not have the required ethics or bioethics committee approval; legal issues pertaining to the content of the article, e.g. libelous content; major authorship issues, i.e. proven or strongly suspected cases of ghostwriting or sold (‘gift’) authorship; politically motivated articles where objectivity is a serious concern; the singling out of individuals or organizations for attack; faith issues (e.g. intelligent design); papers that have made extraordinary claims without concomitant scientific or statistical evidence (e.g. pseudoscience). When any reader, author or member of the editorial committee detects articles published in Terra Latinoamericana that may require retraction, they should immediately contact the authors of the article and send an email to the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Terra Latinoamericana (editor@terralatinoamericana.org. mx), making sure to include copies of all correspondence with authors.

Conflict of interest

For the Terra Latinoamericana and according to other international journals, a conflict of interest can be anything potentially interfering with, or that could be perceived as interfering with, full and objective peer review, decision-making or publication of articles submitted to Terra Latinoamericana. The personal, financial, and professional affiliations or relationships can be perceived as conflicts of interest. All authors and members of Terra Latinoamericana Editorial Board are required to disclose any actual and potential conflicts of interest at submission or upon accepting an editorial or review assignment. Failure to declare competing interests can result in the rejection of a manuscript. If an undisclosed competing interest comes to light after publication, Terra Latinoamericana will act in accordance with internal policies and Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines. Anything that can be perceived as a potential conflict of interest should be disclosed within the statements section, during submission, which will be included in the file of the version of the final publication of the paper.

Editorial Committee

The Editor-in-Chief, the Deputy Editor 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 and Water.
  • Rule on the publication of historical and educational material related to Soil Science and Water.
  • 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.

Reviewers

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 peer-review 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, Deputy Editor, 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.

Authors

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 and the Deputy Editor 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 and the Deputy Editor 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, Deputy Editor or Format Editor.
  • Promptly send the information or clarifications requested by the Associate Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Deputy Editor 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, Deputy Editor, Administrative Executive or Format Editor of the journal.
  • Always be available to answer any question put forth by the Associate Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Deputy Editor, Format Editor or Administrative Executive.

Guidelines for Publishing

Guidelines for publishing papers in TERRA LATINOAMERICANA

Download Instructions 2021

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. In accordance with COPE guidelines, we expect that “original wording taken directly from publications by other researchers should appear in quotation marks with the appropriate citations.” This condition also applies to an author’s own work. 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.

Statistics

Terra Latinoamericana has an editorial team (Statistical Editors) dedicated exclusively to review the sections of the experimental design and statistical analysis of the manuscripts that are received on the OJS platform. In that context, the journal requires that all statements about quantitative differences be based on quantitative data and statistical tests. Statistical analyzes are required to be applied for independent experiments. The number of independent samples and the deviation parameters (e.g., standard error of the mean, standard deviation, confidence intervals) should be clearly indicated in the methods or figure legends. In general, technical replications within a single experiment are not considered independent samples. Descriptions of statistical analyzes or procedures must include the software and analyzes used and must be detailed enough to be reproduced. Likewise, in the section corresponding to the experimental design used, the authors must specifically indicate the experimental design used, indicate the number of times that the experiment was carried out, the number of replications of the experimental units (in general, at least n = 3), as well as the specific statistical analysis that was carried out.

Equity 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.