to the home page to the main navigation to the main content to the contact form to the search form
International Seed Testing Association
International Seed Testing Association
Richtiarkade 18
8304 Wallisellen, CH
+41 44 838 60 00
International Seed Testing Association

STI Instructions to Contributors

Seed Testing International is the biannual news bulletin of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA).

The magazine contains scientific articles related to seed testing, research notes, reports about regional and international activities, as well as workshop and meeting reports.

Procedure for the submission of material

Articles should be written in British English, using grammatically correct language, which is clear and to the point. If you are not a native English speaker, you should consult an editor, ensuring that the language you use is accurate. Submit material by e-mail to the ISTA Secretariat.

Article submission format

Articles should be submitted as a Microsoft Word document in A4 page size (210 x 297 mm) with normal margins, to a maximum of four pages. Graphics, tables, and photos are encouraged but not required. If included, images must be submitted as separate files, in a format suitable for print (min. 300 dpi), such as TIFF or high quality JPG or PDF.  Do not paste any photographs or illustrations into the Word document but indicate where in the text you would like these to appear. Add appropriate captions for images in the text, indicating that these are captions and which images they belong to. Indicate main headings in bold type and secondary headings in italic type. Leave the text in a plain format and do not add any other styles, borders, etc. 

Please include the following information (clearly marked):

Title – concise but informative, containing key words which describe the subject matter for use in abstracting systems.

Name(s) of author(s)

Full postal address – of the author; please provide an e-mail address where possible.

Summary – indicate the scope of the article in no more than 200 words For experimental work, group the subject matter under the following main headings...    

  • Introduction    
  • Materials and Methods  
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgements
  • References

Alternatively, the headings Summary, Experiment and Discussion, Acknowledgements, References, may be used.

Define abbreviations on their first use. For easily recognised organisations or countries (e.g. ISTA, USA, FAO), use initial letters without punctuation.

Numbers from one to ten should be spelled out in full (e.g. nine hours, three months). Use figures for a series of numbers or with a specific recognised unit of measurement (e.g. 8 mm, 5 g). The percentage sign should be used in conjunction with a number (7%), but percentage should be written in full when used as a noun (percentage germination, not per cent germination or % germination). Express measurements metrically, following the Système International d’Unités (SI) (published by OFFILIB) where possible.

Species should be described by their scientific (‘Latin’) names and these should be italicised. Give the full binomial and authority at the first mention in the main text; subsequently, the genus should be abbreviated to its initial letter and the authority omitted. Authorities are not used after Latin names in the title or summary. When a name has been stabilised by ISTA in the ISTA List of Stabilised Plant Names, synonyms must not be used. For species not included in this list, please click here.


References in the text should be cited by author’s surname and year of publication (in brackets), after the statement they support. If there are more than two authors, citations should quote the surname of the first author followed by ‘et al.’. All names should be included in the list of references. At the end of the article, list references alphabetically in the following format:

  • Name, Initials (year). Title of journal or other source, volume number, first–last page numbers.

The titles of periodicals should be written without abbreviation. Titles of books must also be given in full, together with the publisher’s name and the place of publication.

Some correctly presented examples:

  • Author, A.B., Author, C.D. and Author, E.F. (1999). Title of article. Journal Title in Full, 00, 123–456.
  • International Seed Testing Association (1999). International Rules for Seed Testing. Seed Science and Technology, 27, Supplement, 333pp.
  • Author, A.B. and Author, C.D. (1999). Chapter in book. In Book Title, (eds. E.F. Editor and G.H. Editor), vol. 3, pp. 123–456, Publisher, City.

When a paper is cited which has been published in another language, its title may be translated. The translation should appear between square brackets:

  • Author, G.H. and Author, I.J. (1999). Title in another language. [Title in English]. Journal Title in Full, 00, 12–34.

Tables and figure captions

These should be listed on a separate page from the main text and numbered in series. Avoid the use of shading in figures and keep lettering to a minimum, ensuring it will be at least 2 mm high in print. 

An editor will notify the author(s) on acceptance of the material and whether revisions are needed. Proofs will be forwarded via e-mail to authors for further comments and correction of content. 


Submission of material to STI implies that the work described has not been published elsewhere, except in the form of a poster, an abstract, or a thesis, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, and that all co-authors have approved the manuscript.

The International Seed Testing Association retains the copyright for all material published in this magazine. Photocopies of articles may be made for personal use. For permission to reproduce further copies, please apply to the ISTA Secretariat.

Search form

Cookie settings

We use cookies to provide our visitors with an optimal website experience, for statistical and marketing purposes, as well as for integrating external content. In connection with the use of these technologies, information is stored and/or retrieved on your device. For the aforementioned purposes, personal data (such as IP addresses, cookie IDs) may be processed and partially transmitted to third-party providers (e.g. Google). By clicking "Accept All," you consent to the processing to the extent and for the purposes described. You can adjust your settings at any time subsequently.