Author Guidelines

Instructions for Authors (Last Updated December 2012)


The Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology (formerly Journal of Tropical Microbiology) publishes papers and critical reviews in Medical Microbiology, Plant pathology, Public Health, Industrial Microbiology, Biotechnology, Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Pathogenesis, Food Microbiology, Microbial Physiology, Biochemistry of micro-organisms, Microbial Genetics, Molecular Biology, Bacteriology, Virology, Mycology, and Microbial Systematics. Both full length and short papers reporting original research making a significant contribution to microbiology and Biotechnology will be considered for publication. Letters to the Editor are welcome when these comment on matters relevant to Microbiology and Biotechnology. Reviews can be published on request from the Editor. The primary criterion for publication is new insight that is of broad interest to Microbiologists and Biotechnologists.


Before initiating the submission process, these Instructions for Authors should be read in full (available at

*Important info on Submission of Articles: Authors should submit manuscripts online journal operating system at To do this one has to be registered as an Author in JTMB on the AJOL website. A manuscript file in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format is required. In case of challenges send your manuscript as an e-mail attachment to

Cover Letter. A cover letter must be submitted along with the manuscript, explaining why the authors believe it meets the journal’s scope and noting that the manuscript has not been submitted for publication elsewhere and that all co-authors have agreed to its submission.. Any closely related papers that are in press or that have been submitted elsewhere should be noted in the cover letter, cited in the submitted manuscript.


Manuscripts should follow The Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology style, be written in concise and grammatically correct English. Consult a current issue of The Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology for guidance on format, organization, and preparation of figures, legends, tables, and references. In general, there are no limits to the length of manuscripts published in The Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology; however, papers of more than 10 journal pages will be published only if the editor judges that the content is sufficiently novel to warrant a long paper. Original manuscripts must be prepared in 12 point type using the Times Roman font. Use settings for standard A4 paper. Figures should be digitally prepared (see below). Organize manuscripts in the following order: Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, Figure Legends, Tables, and References. Note that when submitting your manuscript the References must be placed at the end of your document file. Tables and legends should be included as part of your manuscript file if possible.

Title Page. The title page should include the authors' full names and affiliations, a running title of 40 characters or less (in addition to the full paper title), and the telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of the corresponding author.

Manuscript Title. The full manuscript title should be succinct (approximately 90 characters) and informative. The title should include sufficient detail for indexing but be general enough to be clear to the broad readership of the journal. Toward that end, abbreviations and acronyms, including those for gene and protein names, should be avoided in titles or the general nature of the abbreviated entity should be clear. The journal encourages active titles over merely descriptive ones whenever possible. The title must mention the subject organism (or general group in the case of comparative works). Common names are allowed for major model systems (maize, rice, yeast); Latin names should be used for all organisms that have no standard (widely accepted) common name.

Abstract. The abstract should stand on its own with no reference to the text. It should contain approximately 200 words and must summarize the questions being addressed, the approach taken, the major findings, and the significance of the results. It should be concise, complete, and clearly communicate the importance of the work for a broad audience.

Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results and Discussion. Manuscripts should be written with sufficient clarity and conciseness to be understood by a wide audience of plant biologists, not only specialists. The use of abbreviations and jargon should be avoided, and terms that are not widely known should be explained clearly at first use. The Introduction should provide the necessary background information for the average reader; it should be both complete and concise. Previous publications that form a basis for the work presented must be cited. Citation of reviews is not a substitute for citing primary research articles. Citation of recent research articles is not a substitute for citing original discoveries. An author's own work should not be cited preferentially over equally relevant work of others. Authors' previously published data that are presented along with new data

must be identified clearly and cited appropriately; duplicate publication of data (including data previously published as supplemental material) is not allowed without citation. Methods must be described completely enough that other laboratories can replicate results and verify claims. Generally, standard procedures should be referenced, though significant variations should be described. Appropriate experimental design and statistical methods should be applied and described wherever necessary for proper interpretation of data and verification of claims. All novel materials and the procedures to prepare them should be described in sufficient detail to allow their reproduction (e.g., DNA constructs, genetic stocks, enzyme preparations, and analytical software). Authors must provide the city and state, or country, of manufacturers in the Methods section. The Results and Discussion can be subdivided if subheadings give the manuscript more clarity. The Discussion should not repeat the Results; instead, the Discussion should explore the implications of the Results, citing relevant published research, and should also be as concise as possible. A Conclusions section is generally not permitted.

Nomenclature and terminology. The Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology requires that all nomenclature, including gene names and symbols, conform to nomenclature conventions adopted by the scientific community and that all genetic terminology be used in a scientifically accurate manner.

Organisms. In the Abstract, text, and Methods, organisms should be referred to by their common name at first use (if a standard common name applies), and the Latin name should be given in parentheses. Subsequent references to organisms can be either Latin or common names but should be consistent throughout the manuscript. Authors are responsible for determining that all nomenclature conforms to accepted community

standards prior to submission.

Accession numbers. Accession numbers should be provided as the last paragraph of Methods (just before Acknowledgements) with the heading "Accession Numbers" for any data or materials available in a public repository. If an accession number has not been assigned at the time of submission, please use Xs as placeholders to be updated later. In general, accession numbers should be provided only in the Methods, not elsewhere in the manuscript, unless necessary for clarity.

Figure Legends. Provide a short title for each figure. Figure legends should be concise and should not repeat information presented in the text. Figure panels that are designated with capital letters should have specific subtitles in the legend and should be described separately and completely. Do not describe methods in figure legends unless they are necessary to interpret the results conveyed by the figure. Define in the legend all symbols and abbreviations that are used in the figure. Accession numbers should not be included in figure legends.

Tables. Tables should be submitted embedded within the text file just before the references. Prepare tables using Word's table feature. If not using Word's table feature, tables can be prepared using a single tab between columns. Number tables consecutively as they are first mentioned in the text. Provide a concise title for each table, and label each column with an unambiguous heading. If footnotes are needed for clarity, designate them with lowercase letters in the order in which they are referenced in the table. Table titles and footnotes should be placed as regular text outside the table body. Each table may include a short general description before the footnotes.

References. Cite references in the text by name and date of publication and not by number. List only articles that are published or in press. References should contain complete titles and inclusive page numbers. Authors are expected to proofread every citation in their reference list against the PDF or photocopy of the cited work so that the reference list is accurate with respect to spellings, symbols, italics, subscripts/superscripts, and accents. Cite in the text all unpublished results, including personal communications and submitted manuscripts (for example, R. Goldberg and K. Jofuku, unpublished results). Citations for web sites (other than for primary literature) should be handled parenthetically in the text and not included in the reference list. Authors should test all URLs and links. All cited publications should be read by the authors. Reference to specific results must be to original publications, not to later publications or reviews.

Figures. Figures should be provided seperately as TIFF, JPEG, PPT or PDF files and should not be included in the word docment, to avoid large documets. Number figures consecutively according to the order in which they are called out in the text. Figures should be unambiguous and as conceptual as possible and should provide enough information so that the reader can understand them without significant input from the text. Whenever possible, position panels vertically for one-column reproduction in the journal. For the best possible reproduction of gel blots, submit combination figures in which the labels and photographs or autoradiographs are composite images. Format the width of sequence data in the paper to one column. Use the same typefaces for all figures. For those figures that contain more than one panel, designate the panels with capital letters (no parentheses and no periods following letters) in the upper left-hand corner of each panel. Wording in figures must match the rest of the manuscript for capitalization, italics, and use of symbols. If labels contain typographic errors or inconsistencies, the author will be asked to upload corrected figures.

Figure format. We recommend that figures be created using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. If you use Photoshop or similar software, send tiff files at full size and delete any blank space around the edges of each figure. Resolution of at least 600 dpi is needed for most figures; 1000 dpi is needed for any figures that are made entirely of black lines and text (e.g., line graphs). If you use Illustrator or similar software, send eps files. Type should be set to "create outlines" or "convert to paths," or fonts should be embedded when saving the file. If you use PowerPoint, send the original PowerPoint files. Use only basic PowerPoint fonts, do not draw lines that are less than .25 points thick, and use shaded or colored fills instead of “pattern” fills. Images imported into PowerPoint should have at least 600 dpi resolution.

All parts of a figure must fit on a single printed page and if figures are too large each figure should be sent in its own file.

Cover Submissions. Each cover of The Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology will feature an image from one of the articles published in that issue. Authors who wish to have an image considered for the cover should upload the image as a supplemental file and indicate on the checklist provided at acceptance that a cover candidate has been submitted. If an author does not hold the copyright for a submitted image, they are responsible for obtaining the necessary permission to use the image in The Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology.


¨ When giving the page numbers e.g. 12-15 use the longer dash 12–15, which can be done by pressing the command (control+, minus).

¨ The simple brackets (Okemo 1992) should be used when enclosing one set of information as shown above. However in case more than one set of brackets are needed then let it be done as follows e.g. [2.5 mg dry wt (mol of substrate)-1]

¨ The multiplication symbol (×) should be used and not (x or X).


Members of the editorial board will evaluate all manuscripts upon submission to determine whether they are appropriate for evaluation by expert outside reviewers. Editors are permitted to use any reviewer reasonably believed to be an appropriate scientific expert, except reviewers who would be excluded by KSM’s conflict of interest policy. Decisions will be made as rapidly as possible, and the journal strives to return reviewers' comments to authors within 4 weeks whenever possible. If revision is requested, the editorial board will evaluate revised manuscripts and determine whether outside review is required. The board normally will consider only one revised manuscript, and this manuscript must be submitted within 1 month unless an extension is granted. In the case that extensive revision including additional experimentation is required, journal policy is to decline the manuscript, but editors may choose to encourage resubmission. Resubmissions are subject to the full review process. It is the goal of the journal to publish manuscripts within 2 months after submission, but this can only be achieved if the original submission meets all journal requirements.


Authors of accepted manuscripts will be provided with a checklist for preparing their final submission. Accepted manuscripts are copyedited for grammar and journal style before proof is generated. Any subsequent final corrections to the paper will appear in the final published version for both The Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology Online and The Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology (paper) versions.


Electronic page proofs will be delivered to the corresponding author. The author will have access to a PDF file, which will contain PDF pages (with figures, images and tables). Page proofs are considered to be the final version of the manuscript. With the exception of typographical or minor clerical errors, no changes will be made in the manuscript at the proof stage. Notes added in proof will be sent to the co-editor assigned to the manuscript prior to publication and will be reviewed for appropriate content and wording. Authors will receive proofs approximately 3 to 4 weeks after final acceptance of the manuscript. Because of the tight publication schedule, authors must relay all additions and corrections to the printer by e-mail or by overnight mail within 24 hours of receipt of the proofs. Failure to act promptly to approve the page proofs may delay publication of the manuscript. For electronic correction of manuscripts, please use the free text tool to mark your PDF proof.


Members of the Kenya Society of Microbiology will be charged a fee of KSh 5000 for the first five pages and 200 KSh for any extra page. Corresponding authors who are non-KSM members will be charged US$ 200 per manuscript. Payments should be made to Kenya Society of Microbiology, Standard Chartered Bank, Kenyatta Avenue Branch, Account Number 0152012639200, Swift code: SCBLKenX


The front section of the journal features occasional editorials, In this issue articles, Current Perspectives Essays, Historical Perspectives Essays, reviews, and letters/commentaries. Prospective authors may inquire about contributing an article to one of these features by contacting Prof. Hamadi Boga, ( )

Corrections and Retractions. If necessary, corrections of significant errors in published articles will be published in a later issue of the journal. Within 2 months after publication, authors are requested to bring any errors to the attention of the managing editor. A correction published in the print journal will also be published as a correction in the online journal and will be linked to the original article. Articles may be retracted by their authors, academic or institutional sponsor, editor, or publisher because of pervasive error or unsubstantiated or irreproducible data. A correction or retraction, so labeled, will appear in a prominent section of the journal, will be listed in the contents page, and will include the title of the original article. The text of a retraction will explain why the article is being retracted and will include a bibliographic reference to it.


Kenya Society of Microbiology,

P.O. Box 10696-00100 Nairobi,


Fax: 254-2-811575

Tel. 2542810245


Prof Hamadi Iddi Boga


JKUAT, P.O. Box 62000-

00200, Nairobi, Kenya or

Mobile: 00254733926733

Office: 002546752711

Fax: 002546752164

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1607-4106