Instructions for NACTA Authors
Advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning
The NACTA Journal invites contributions from faculty in agriculture and related disciplines.
Contributions should deal principally with: the teachers' role as an educator and communicator; skills, techniques, philosophy and methods useful in such roles and aspects of teacher learning environment management, leadership, supervision, and administration essential to the effective performance of such roles. Manuscripts are based essentially on research in teaching, on creative thought, such as theoretical models, and on case studies in which an experience is examined through a theoretical framework and the implications for application are fully explored. Manuscripts dealing primarily with technical subject matter in agronomy, animal science, economics, etc. are better published elsewhere.
Present material in easy-to-read language. Avoid jargon and define technical terms when necessary for clarity. Remember your audience spans several disciplines.
Quotations. Limit quotations. Use of lengthy quotations is seldom necessary and adds excess verbiage to the manuscript. Use ellipsis to indicate you omitted words from a quotation. If the quote contains a misspelled word, acknowledge this with [sic] following the word. You are responsible for making sure your quote is accurate. Use italics on quotes more than two lines long.
Your readers are professionals. Paraphrase important passages and cite their source without quoting them verbatim.
Do not use lengthy testimonials to illustrate points. Suffice it to paraphrase student reaction to a study, etc. Testimonials are not refereed and their authenticity cannot be confirmed.
Pronouns. Use first or third person pronouns for clarity.
Use the name and date system. Cite references as follows:
- One author: (Gough, 1989) or Gough (1992) depending upon context
- Two authors: (Gough and Smith,1995)
- More than 2 authors: (Gough et al.,1996)
Two citations by the same author(s) in the same year: (Gough and Smith, 1995a) or (Gough and Smith, 1995b)
Alphabetize multiple citations by senior author and separate by semicolons: (Gough and Smith,1995b; Malcom, 1936; Smith et al.,1987)
When there are multiple citations by the same author(s), arrange them in chronological order: (Gough, 1976, 1977b,1991).
When there are multiple citations with the same senior author but with different co-authors, arrange them chronologically, beginning with the earliest: (Gough and Abbott, 1977; Gough and Smith,1981; Gough et al.,1990)
When citing a quote, give the page numbers:(Abbott and Gough, 1992, p. 46-47). Do not cite the page if you are not quoting.
Figures should be clear and neat. Photos or figures should be submitted in the .tif or .jpeg format.
For the final revision all figures must be submitted as individual files named with the submission ID # and the figure #. You must highlight the in-text notation of where the figure will be placed.
Computer-generated figures should have black symbols on white background. Do not submit shaded figure backgrounds or bar-graphs where differences are shown by various shades and hues of gray. These will be difficult to read in the hard copy.
– black and white printing. Use cross-hatching or another method to differentiate among bars.
Reference figures in the text but attach all figures to separate pages at the end of the manuscript, one figure per page. Type captions below the figure.
Make tables neat and clear. Place tables on separate pages at the end of the manuscript. The final draft must highlight the in-text notation of where the table will be placed. The final location of all tables and figures is left to the discretion of the technical editor. Type captions above the table. Captions should be inclusive enough to allow the table to stand by itself. All captions and the tables themselves should be in 12-point Times New Roman font.
Use a minimum number of tables to support textual discussion. Tables should be numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Table titles should be in this format:
Table 1. Title of Table
Footnotes in tables should appear as superscript lower case letters beginning at the end of the alphabet, such as z,y,x etc. Use of “a”, “b”, “c”, etc. can be confused with indicators of statistical significance.
To indicate statistical significance, use a single asterisk (*) for P=0.05, a double asterisk (**) for P=0.01, and a triple asterisk (***) for P=0.001. Use small letters (a,b,c, etc.) to indicate mean separation and indicate in a footnote the level of significance (P=0.05, P=0.01, or P=0.001 level). “NS” indicates non-significance. You must state the test applied to generate significance. Explain your symbols in a footnote. For example:
1 Mean separation in rows by Gough's Multiple Range test, P=0.05
2 NS, *, **, *** Nonsignificant or significant at P= 0.05, 0.01, or 0.001, respectively using Gough’s Multiple Range test.
Documentation of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval or exemption is mandatory:
- State explicitly that human subjects' review was approved and how informed consent or assent was obtained.
- If the protocol was exempt from IRB approval, then indicate this.
These are examples of IRB approval statements:
- The <insert institution name> Institutional Review Board approved the study protocol and all participants provided written informed consent prior to participation in the study.
- This study was deemed exempt by <insert institution name> Institutional Review Board.
- This study was deemed exempt under federal regulation 45 CFR§46.101(b).
The IRB approval or exemption can be provided as a footnote to the title of the manuscript.
The major divisions of a research report include:
- Materials and Methods
- Results and Discussion
- Literature Cited
Authors of predominantly philosophical works may omit one or more of these divisions or may substitute more appropriate categories. Prepare division headings in bold font and type them flush left.
Title: Make this a brief and precise description of the manuscript's contents. Usually, 10 to 12 words are sufficient.
Title Page: Place the names of the author(s) from the same institution on the same line, the institution on the second and the city and state on the third line. If the manuscript has more than one author from different institutions, place the institution information beneath the author name. For example:
For U.S. addresses, use two letter abbreviations for states, followed by the Zip Code. For Canadian addresses, use city, province (abbreviated), postal code and country name. For other foreign addresses, give name of the city and country in English.
Provide complete contact information (department, phone and email) and, if desired, professional ranks or other titles as a footnote to the author(s) name(s).
Footnotes: On the cover page: acknowledgments, contribution number and complete contact information (as indicated above) are provided as footnotes. Use Arabic numerals (1,2,3) for cover page footnotes.
Do not use footnotes in the text, but insert the information in parenthetical clauses.
Use of footnotes in tables as discussed under the section headed “Tables.”
Text: Prepare all text in 12-point normal Times New Roman font.
Introduction: Include the review of literature here, citing only those references that are germane to the manuscript. Be concise.
Materials and Methods: You may head this section as such or simply as “Methods,” whichever is more appropriate to the manuscript. Tell how you did the work. You may cite references that explain procedures you used, such as “...using the XYZ test of Koch (1972).”
Results and Discussion: Tell what you found and discuss its importance to the field. Literature citations are appropriate in this section, as well as in the Introduction, with the difference being that here you use them to support your data. Do not use this section as an extension of the Introduction.
Summary: This is a brief restatement at the end of the text highlighting the findings and conclusions with the intent of driving home the point of the paper.
Literature Cited: Include here are all the citations referenced in the text. The Journal style allows only for a Literature Cited section. Single space the information for each citation and then double-space between citations..
Indicate personal communications with citation in the text as (Smith, A.P., personal communication).
Alphabetize citations in the Literature Cited. If multiple citations have the same author(s), list them chronologically. If multiple citations have the same senior author, list them as follows:
Gough, R.E. 2011. The use of turnips in the classroom. Journal of Applied Vegetable Culture 46(2): 56-62.
Gough, R.E. and V.G. Shutak. 2006. Blueberries are for the birds. Journal of Ridiculous Results 21(3): 1-12.
Gough, R.E., R. Ditterline and D.Cash. 2014. Judging alfalfa. Journal of Fair Judging 23: 5-10.
Note: When a reference has only two authors, the names are separated by “and” with no preceding comma. When more than two authors appear, use a comma to separate the next-to-the-last name from the “and” preceding the last name, as in the third example above.
Do not enclose journal titles in quotation marks. Do not italicize journal titles.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): Acceptable in the following format:
Smith, R.B. 2011. The role of turnips in healthcare. 4th ed. Plentywood, MT: ABC Press.
Jones, A.B.(ed.). 2008. Using the wood lathe in shop. Roundup, MT: Two-Dot Press.
Note: Do not underline or italicize book titles.
Best, J.P. 2007. Growing kumquats in Montana. In: Blank, D.P. and H. Bowman (eds.). The use of citrus in rocky mountain agriculture. Billings, MT: The Cut Bank Press.
Thesis or Dissertation:
Schaff, P.A. 2013. Use of sulfur in ruminant digestion systems. PhD Diss., Dept. of Animal Science, Univ. of East Anaconda, 1100 Long Road, Anaconda, MT.
Proceedings: (Citation of the complete proceedings)
National Society for the Culture of Parsnips. 2001. Proc. 21st Annual Meeting., Sheridan, WY, June.
(Citation for a single paper in the proceedings)
Brown, J.P. and I.M. Green.2005. Okra for the ages. In: Proceedings 31st Annual Meeting of Okra Enthusiasts, Greenbow, ID: 1-7 Dec.
Gough, R.E., V.G. Shutak and R. Bates. 1999. Marketing highbush blueberries to undergraduate students. Montana Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 123.
Baker, T.J. and O. Baker. 2003 . Use of overhead visuals in the classroom. NACTA Journal 21(4): 28. (Abstract).
Parker, R.O. 2013. Using the internet for publication. (provide complete URL). Thomson Publishing. (date accessed).
No appendices accepted in Journal manuscripts.
Do not use ibid., item, op. cit., or other generally obsolete abbreviations. The construction “and etc.” is redundant and incorrect.
Endnotes: Do not use endnotes.
Font: Use 12-point Times New Roman font for the text. Do not change font size and type within a text.
Indent: Do not indent. Do not use tabs in the manuscript but prepare everything flush left with “ragged right” margin. Do not use the space bar as you would on a typewriter. Using the space bar can cause misalignment of columns.
Margins: Use full-page text with one-inch top, bottom, left and right margins. Do not arrange the text into columns and do not justify the right margin.
Spacing: Double-space the text but not the tables in the initial submission. If the work is accepted for publication you must submit the final revision single- spaced. Separate paragraphs and divisions with a double space.
Line Numbers: Using the features in word processing software, add line numbers to the initial submission.
Electronic File Format: Electronic files must be submitted in MS Word or compatible format. Do not submit manuscripts as PDFs.
The NACTA Journal does not accept manuscripts previously published nor does it accept simultaneous submissions. Receipt of a manuscript for review will be assumed to carry with it an intent to publish. If you doubt suitability of a manuscript for the NACTA Journal, contact the editor prior to submission.
To submit a manuscript to the NACTA Journal, go to this website: http://nacta.expressacademic.org/
Once a manuscript is submitted electronically the Editor creates an anonymous electronic copy for review. The submitting author will be assumed to be the corresponding author unless otherwise indicated.
Upon submission of a manuscript, the FastTrack electronic submission program assigns a submission ID number. Refer to this ID number in future correspondence regarding the disposition of the work.
*If you resubmit your article you MUST include the original submission ID number in correspondence or submission notes. Failure to do so will result in delayed processing and possible errors.
The ID numbers are in the form: 2016-0102, where the first four numbers represent the year and the last four numbers represent the order of the manuscript in submission sequence.
All manuscripts undergo vigorous, double-blind peer- review prior to publication. The reviewers do not know the identities of the authors, nor do the authors know the identities of the reviewers. The manuscript is submitted to at least three reviewers who serve on the NACTA Editorial Board.
Reviewers are faculty members in colleges and universities throughout North America. Names and affiliations of current reviewers are listed inside the front cover of the Journal. All manuscripts are also reviewed by the NACTA Journal Editor, who holds final authority on the acceptance of material for the Journal. Reviews are usually completed about eight weeks after initial receipt of the manuscript from the author.
The results of the review process will be emailed to the submitting author shortly after the review process has been completed. The disposition of the manuscript will fall into one of four categories:
- Accept. After considering the comments and suggestions of reviewers, final, revised copies of these manuscripts are submitted as attachments to the original submission on the NACTA FastTrack site.
- Accept after Revisions and Addressing Reviewer Comments. These manuscripts will be acceptable for publication with some revisions suggested by the reviewers and/or Editor. When the revision is submitted in final form, authors will often be asked to submit a separate document indicating how they addressed each concern of each reviewer.
- Reject in Present Form but Invite Resubmission. These hold promise for reconstruction into acceptable works. The authors will be strongly encouraged to consider the comments of the Editor and reviewers and to resubmit a thoroughly revised manuscript for re- review, and resubmission to the electronic review process.
- Reject. Manuscripts will be rejected for publication because they deal with subjects inappropriate for NACTA Journal readers, or because the revision and resubmission of the manuscript did not sufficiently address issues from the original submission.
The North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) is a professional society that focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning agriculture and related disciplines at the postsecondary level. Members of NACTA are from two-year and four-year colleges, public and private.
Formed in 1955, the mission of NACTA is to:
- Provide a forum for discussion of issues related to the improvement of college instruction
- Seek to improve higher education
- Encourage and promote excellence in instruction
NACTA Journal Editor
Phone: 780 990 7487
Updated October 2020