The New Zealand Plant Protection Society publishes original research papers on all aspects of biology, ecology and control of weeds, vertebrate and invertebrate pests, and pathogens and beneficial micro-organisms in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and natural ecosystems. Papers should report complete work or substantial interim results. Short reviews may be published as long as these are critical in nature and add significantly to plant protection science.

It is a requirement that a summary or a selected aspect of every paper published in the journal is presented orally at the Society’s Conference. At least one of the contributing authors must be a current member of the New Zealand Plant Protection Society. In addition, all manuscripts must be read by co-authors and approved by the corresponding author’s organisation before submission to the editor. Because New Zealand Plant Protection is pre-printed and circulated to members before the conference, submission deadlines must be strictly adhered to.

There is no charge for four printed pages (approximately 2000 words, including equivalent space for tables and figures). Authors will be charged $100 plus GST for every additional printed page.

Submission and review of papers

A 150 word abstract of the paper must be submitted on the website ( by 15 February. If data intended for publication are still being collected at this time and an extended deadline is required, you must request this when the abstract is submitted. Your paper will be allocated a number that you must use in all subsequent correspondence with the editor.

Completed manuscripts must be submitted on the website by 15 April (or before 15 May for those with prior approval). The manuscript with be reviewed electronically by at least one referee and the editor, and will be returned to you by the editor. You must use that version to make any alterations or corrections suggested and then email the final version to the editor within 5 working days. Should you disagree with the corrections requested, please give reasons why using a “Comment” inserted into the text. Please make sure that all Track Changes are removed from the final document before it is returned to the editor. Please do not indicate changes using coloured text.

Ensure that the final version has been carefully checked, as no alterations to the text will be accepted on the proofs. Proofs will be emailed as .pdf files for checking. Subsequent to publication of the journal, alterations to the .pdf files that are loaded on the website can be made. Error due to author oversight will cost $100 plus GST per paper.

Preparation of papers

Please use this template to prepare your paper. Do not change the font style or size. Submit all manuscripts in single spacing without line numbers. DO NOT use Microsoft styles to apply formatting. Capital letters should be typed using the “Shift” or “Caps Lock” key.

Please follow formats used since New Zealand Plant Protection 63 (2010). If possible, adhere to the following structure: Abstract (obligatory); Introduction; Materials and Methods; Results; Discussion; Acknowledgements; References. In some situations it may be more appropriate to present a combined “Results and Discussion” section or to include a “Conclusions” section, but this is not standard practice. Reviews may use other more appropriate major and sub-headings.

Title (left-aligned, bold, no full-stop) should be approximately 10 words. Scientific names must be given for organisms mentioned in the title and keywords. Leave a blank line after the title and before the author list.

Authors are left-aligned and in lower case. Use authors’ initials not full names. If an author has two or more initials, please use all initials. Leave a blank line after the author list and before the author affiliations.

Author affiliations are left-aligned, lower case and in italics. Use superscript numbers to illustrate affiliations where authors are from more than one organisation. Present the corresponding author’s email address on the line below the last address, using the following format: Corresponding author: Leave a blank line after the corresponding author and before the abstract.

The heading “Abstract” is at the left hand margin, in bold lower case. The text, in plain font, should not exceed 150 words. Leave a blank line after the abstract and before the keywords.

The heading “Keywords” is at the left hand margin, in bold lower case. The keywords are in lower case, but not bold. They are separated by a comma and the last one is followed by a full-stop. Include up to 10 keywords.

Major section headings are bold, left-aligned and in capitals, e.g. INTRODUCTION. Leave one line space before a section heading but no space after a heading.

Subheadings should be on a separate line, in bold, left-aligned and in lower case with no punctuation.

Paragraphs should have a hard return at the end. Please refrain from using paragraph formatting, such as setting line spacings before and after paragraphs. Do not indent paragraphs as this is done automatically by the printer’s software. For the initial submitted manuscript you may separate paragraphs with one blank line, but these will be removed during editing.

Scientific names, units and chemicals

Scientific names (Latin binomial) are in italics and must be given for organisms mentioned in the title or keywords; the authority and taxonomic classification may be given in the introduction. Standard New Zealand common names, as agreed by referees and the editor, may be given in parentheses after the scientific name and may thereafter be used in the text. Abbreviations for common names in the text should be avoided.

Use a “/” for “per something”, e.g. g/m2. Put a space between a unit and a number; e.g. 10 cm not 10cm. However, there is no space between the number and unit for degrees Celsius or percent, e.g. 25°C and 50% not 25 °C and 50 %. Write numbers that are less than 10 and refer to objects in words. For measurements and 10 or more objects use numbers. SI units should be used wherever possible and given in standard abbreviations except for litres, which should be written in full.

Use standard common names for chemicals as given by the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Register but identify all test products once by trade name and formulation. This can be done in parentheses at the first mention in the text (not in the abstract), in tables or in an appendix. All rates must be expressed as rate of the active ingredient (ai). Where a chemical is used contrary to label recommendations, e.g.. at a different rate or in adverse weather conditions, this should be stated in the paper. The active ingredient in organic compounds should be given once, in the text or table, but the compound can otherwise be identified by its trade name.

Statistical analyses

Statistical analyses must be appropriate and the type of analyses used outlined in the methods. Give probability levels, along with an LSD, SE or use lettering to indicate significant differences. Some guidelines relating to the presentation of statistical information are given below.

  • Use of P-values. It is acceptable to present P=0.045, rather than P<0.05, if this is the value calculated from the statistical package used. In some situations, it will be valid to discuss results where P<0.10; this would generally be when there are other analyses that back up this result. Remember that a P-value is an estimate of probability not an absolute value so should be treated as such. A standard error describes data more accurately than a P-value.
  • F statistic, chi-square statistic and degrees of freedom. It is usually superfluous to present the F or chi square statistic. The degrees of freedom should be obvious from the description of the experimental design given in the Materials and Methods section, and do not need to be presented with the Results.
  • Less common statistical tests. More detailed information, including the statistical test value, the degrees of freedom and the probability value, may be presented for these tests.
  • Standard errors. In general it is preferable to present pooled SEs rather than the SE for individual treatment means. However, in some cases (e.g. if SEs are quite different between treatments) it is more appropriate to present individual SEs. The SE used should be clearly defined, particularly in figures and tables.
  • Statistical programs and tests. Commonly used statistical programs such as GenStat (note new spelling) should be mentioned but not referenced. Likewise, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and linear regression need no explanation but less common statistical programs, tests, models or procedures should be fully referenced.


Please use the table feature in Word to generate tables. Do not make new rows using the “Enter” key – move to the next row of cells. Keep tables as simple as possible and insert in the appropriate place in the body of the paper. Do not reduce font size to make the data fit into a table – instead reduce the amount of data in the table! Leave one blank line above the caption and two blank lines below the table. The caption ends in a full-stop and only the table number is in bold. Use horizontal lines as in the example below. Do not use vertical lines. Please ensure that all the numbers are aligned correctly and are centred under column headings. Use numbers in superscript to indicate footnotes.

Table 1 Weight of weeds (kg/m2) and number of insect pests (no./m2) in my garden at different times of the year.
Season Weeds1 Insects
Spring 15 1200
Summer 30 4900
Autumn 50 5200
Winter 12 500

1Gardener obviously required.


Incorporate legends to symbols within the figure, not in the caption. Captions should be placed on a separate page at the end of the paper. Please do not put the caption in the figure.

In the text, if figures are referred to in parentheses use “(Fig. 2)”, otherwise write “Figure 2”. If there are two plots in one figure these should be referred to as “(Figs 1a & 1b)” or “Figures 1a & 1b”.

New Zealand Plant Protection is a professionally published print journal and requires high resolution graphic images for publication. Specifically, resolution must be:

  • 300 dpi (dots or pixels per inch) for colour or greyscale images
  • 600 dpi for pure black and white images

In practice, this means that colour and greyscale images should be at least 1800 pixels wide, assuming a full page width (two columns) in the final printed paper. Black and white images (which are rarely used nowadays) should be twice this to avoid jagged pixelation around diagonal lines. Guidelines for specific image types are given below.


The resolution of photographs is determined by the digital camera used. Different cameras may have different aspect ratios (width:height) but most now have 3:2 aspect ratio. To achieve the required 300 dpi resolution for a full page width in the printed journal (around 6 inches) the image will need to be 1800 pixels wide. For landscape images, the height is therefore 1200 pixels, requiring at least a 2.2 megapixel camera (= 1800 × 1200 pixels). For portrait images, the height is 2700 pixels, requiring at least a 4.8 megapixel camera.

Photos should always be submitted as .jpg images, as this gives the best quality relative to file size. The .jpg format is specifically designed to give high quality in images where colours vary gradually from pixel to pixel.

  • For photos in landscape orientation, use at least a 2.2 megapixel camera.
  • For photos in portrait orientation, use at least a 4.8 megapixel camera.
  • Ensure the images are at least 1800 pixels wide.
  • Submit photographs as .jpg files.

Graphs, charts and line drawings

The best file format to use for line-based images with sudden changes in colour is .png. Alternatively, .gif or .tif formats may be used, but these are less flexible and generally result in much greater file sizes than .png. Never use .jpg for line-based images, as this will introduce unwanted artifacts which may not become visible until the image is printed.

The required high resolution is not always easy to achieve when generating charts and graphs from software such as Microsoft Excel. There are two main approaches available for saving high resolution images from Excel charts.

Method 1: Draw big Excel charts

  1. Once you have finalised your chart’s appearance, select it, copy it (Ctrl+C), and paste it into a new blank worksheet in the same workbook.
  2. Zoom out, to around 40%, using the View – Zoom menu or the slider in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Select the chart and stretch it by Shift-dragging the lower right corner. You need to make it around 60 cm wide; check the dimensions in the Chart Tools – Format menu.
  4. Resize fonts, line widths, marker sizes etc to make the chart look right. As a guide, fonts will need to be >40 pt, lines and axes >4 pt wide, and data points at least size 15. Be aware a quirk of Excel means you may lose the difference between dashed lines in the legend; if this occurs the only option may be to use Method 2 below.
  5. Select the resized chart, copy it (Ctrl+C), and paste it into a graphics program, such as GIMP, Paintshop Pro, Irfanview, etc. The image size should be at least 1800 pixels wide. Then save or export the chart as a .png file.

Method 2: Rescale via PDF using vector-based tools

  1. In Excel, set the page orientation to landscape using Page Layout – Orientation – Landscape.
  2. Select the chart and use the menu options File – Export – Create PDF/XPS.
  3. Open the resulting .pdf file in PDF Xchange Viewer Portable (free software that does not require administrator rights for installation).
  4. Use the snapshot tool (looks like a camera in the menu bar, or use menus Tools – Basic tools – Snapshot tool) to highlight the entire chart.
  5. Use the menu File – Export – Export to image. Make sure the page range is set to “selected graphic” and the file type is .png. The preview picture will show the dimensions of the resulting image in pixels; ensure the width is at least 1800 by adjusting the Page zoom or Resolution options. Click the export button when ready.

Summary guidelines for graphs, charts and line drawings:

  • Ensure images are at least 1800 pixels wide (see suggested methods above).
  • Submit as .png files (or .gif or .tif) but never as .jpg.


Set references out as in the examples below but do not use indents.. Follow the reference formatting style used since New Zealand Plant Protection 63 (2012). The style is the same as the Royal Society of New Zealand journals (New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, etc.).

Below are some detailed instructions and examples.

1. Do not use a reference to common statistical packages, such as SAS or GenStat. A description of the version in the Methods section is sufficient, e.g. GenStat for Windows (release 4.2) was used for statistical analyses.

2. References that are available both on the web and in hard copy should be referenced to the hard copy version. References that are available only on the web should be cited in the text as (Author 2000), (Organisation 2000) or (Anon. 2000) in the same way as any standard reference. The reference should then be cited in the reference list as outlined below. It is essential to include the date on which the document you are referring to was accessed.

Anon. 2000. Blight control products available to the Irish potato industry. (accessed 23 August 2000).

3. In-text citations are written as described below. Do not use punctuation for citations in the text except for a semi-colon between separate references in the same bracket.

Single author: (Smith 2001) or Smith (2001)
Two co-author names are linked by & (Smith & Jones 1996).
Three or more co-authors are cited by the name of the senior author followed by et al. (no italics), e.g. (Smith et al. 1997).

Different references in the same bracket are separated by a semi-colon (Smith 1997; Jones 1998), with the oldest references coming first. Two or more references by different authors in the same year are placed in alphabetical order within that year. Two references published by the same author in different years are separated by a comma (Smith 1997, 1998), while references by the same author in the same year are distinguished by letters (Smith 1994a, b). The first reference cited in the text is labelled “a”.

4. Some points about formats used in the reference list are described below. All references are listed alphabetically by surname then initials. Two or more
references by a single author are listed chronologically. Two or more references by the same first author but with different second authors are listed alphabetically by the first author then by second author. Two or more references by the same first author but with two or more co-authors, cited in text as et al., are listed alphabetically by first author then chronologically. For example:

Smith RN 1985.
Smith RN 1996.
Smith RN, Bryant JK 1995.
Smith RN, Jackson SL 1991.
Smith RN, Jackson SL, Bryant JK 1952.
Smith RN, Bryant JK, Jackson SL 1955.

All authors are separated by commas; there is no “and” before the last author. There is no punctuation between an author’s initials or between the author’s
surname and initials (e.g. Smith RN, Jackson SL, Bryant JK 1952.). There is no space between two or more initials.

There is a full-stop after the year.

Editors of books to follow same format as authors with ed. after the names. The list of editors precedes the title of the book. Please include the name of the publisher as well as the city and country where the book was published.

Titles are always in plain text – for the article, the book or the journal. Journal titles are written in full and not italicised. For the article title, capital letters are only used for proper nouns and in Latin binomials. All nouns in journal names begin with capital letters. The journal volume number is followed by a colon, a space, then the first and last page numbers in full, separated by an en rule (–).

Page numbers are always at the end of the reference

Pp. 23–30. (range of pages in book)
p. 21. (single page in book)
400 p. (number of pages in a book)

5. Examples

Alias AN, Smith HH, Jones KC 1992. Prairie grass control in the Waikato. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 12: 96–104.

Francis SM, Peddie JP, McDonald CA, Hofflich MJ 1974. Control of Ovis aries (woolly aphid) in North Canterbury hill country. Proceedings of the 12th New Zealand Weed and Pest Control Conference: 55–62.

Francis SM, Peddie JP, McDonald CA, Hofflich MJ 1998. Ovis aries (woolly aphid) control on the Canterbury plains. Proceedings of the 28th New Zealand Plant Protection Conference: 55–62.

Francis SM, Peddie JP, McDonald CA, Hofflich MJ 2004. A review of Ovis aries (woolly aphid) control. New Zealand Plant Protection 75: 55–62.

Bolger JM, Moore MK 1993. How to win and lose an election in three years. In: Peters W, Jones R ed. Life in New Zealand. Beehive Press, Wellington, New Zealand. Pp. 46–125.

Foot D 1997. New Zealand agrichemical manual. Wham Chemsafe Limited, Wellington, New Zealand. 400 p.

Rejection of papers

Your paper will be rejected if:

  • it falls outside the scope of New Zealand Plant Protection
  • there are insufficient data to support any useful conclusions
  • results have been incorrectly interpreted
  • data have not been statistically analysed (unless there is a very good reason for not doing so)
  • information in the paper is either not original or not new, although review papers will be considered
  • there is insufficient information to warrant publication as a full paper

Your paper may be rejected if, in the opinion of the referee and the editor, the paper needs major revision in any of the following areas.

Information. Make sure your information is accurate. Ensure that each section of the paper gives adequate information and that the information is in the appropriate place, i.e. do not put methods in the results or vice versa.

Readability. Use clear, concise, grammatically correct language. Arrange information in a logical order. Be accurate in what you say. Don’t pad the paper out with unnecessary information or repetition, e.g. in the Results section describe only the main differences apparent in data in tables or figures and do not describe every minor difference.

Presentation of results. Present data in the appropriate form as tables or figures. In some cases it is sufficient to describe data in the text. Remember it is not always necessary to present all the data you have collected.

Statistical analysis. Make sure your analyses are appropriate, that you outline in the methods the type of analyses used and that statistical differences are apparent in the results. Give an SED, an LSD or use lettering to indicate significant differences, along with probability levels.

Formatting. Follow the formatting information exactly, particularly the layout of headings, tables, figures and references.