Information For Authors

Grassland Society of Southern Africa

Interested in submitting to this conference?

We recommend that you review the About the Conference page for the Annual Congress policies. The next Annual Congress of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa will be held from 22 to 27 July 2018 at the Roodeplaat Training Centre, Pretoria District, Gauteng, South Africa.

Each submission will be allowed two revisions, thereafter it will be rejected.

The Conference Director will send submissions back to the authors (as first revision of two), if:

  • the format of the abstract is incorrect;
  • the abstract contains spelling and/or grammatical errors;
  • student authors do not include their co-authors and their affiliations, including email addresses;
  • the abstract does not include keywords.

Guidelines for Abstract Submissions

The Scientific Committee’s main aim is to ensure a stimulating programme of platform presentations for the Congress. Abstracts submitted earlier will have a greater chance of being included in the platform paper programme, but the final criterion for acceptance of platform papers is quality and relevance to the audience. Posters will be given prominence at the venue and enough time will be allocated so that authors can explain their posters during the relevant sessions.

As a general guideline, platform papers should report findings of original research or novel synthesis and review of existing information. Very preliminary findings and research proposals should be presented as posters. The closer interaction with the audience that the research proposal poster session affords will facilitate discussion and feedback on these proposals, while the short presentations of standard posters during the relevant sessions will bring them to the attention of the delegates and allows time for brief discussion. When selecting papers for platform presentations, priority will be given to new findings and novel synthesis. The Scientific Committee who review abstracts may encourage changes from poster to platform presentations and vice versa, based on the content of the abstract.

It is, therefore, essential that abstracts are as informative as possible about the aims, methods and key findings of the study. We encourage authors to submit extended abstracts of up to 500 words. A table or figure showing key data may be included. Excessively brief abstracts make it difficult to judge whether a paper is suitable for a platform presentation. When an abstract is too brief to judge the scope of the work to be presented, authors will be requested to expand them or change to a poster presentation.

Please include a list of not more than 10 (ten) keywords with your abstract.

Please use the following format when sending in your abstracts:

  • Spacing: single
  • Length: not more than 500 words
  • Tables and figures: attach as separate files in step 3 of submission process

Structure and Content of Abstracts

While abstracts, especially those of invited keynote speakers, vary in style, the following is a recommendation on how abstracts should be structured. Scientific articles are usually written following the Scientific Format, and we recommend that abstracts follow this style. The abstract has a title, followed by authors, their affiliations and contact information, and then the body of the abstract. The body of the abstract does not contain any headings, but reflects several sections, namely Introduction, Aim, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. These various sections are dealt with separately.


The title is a brief description of the information that the author wishes to present. Titles should be as descriptive as possible, but should remain relatively short.

Authors and institutional affiliations

Provide the names, email addresses, institutions and countries of all authors. To add an author to your submission, click the "Add Author" button which appears below the author data and the abstract title box. The author who will be making the presentation should be annotated with an asterisk (*). The presenting and corresponding author is usually the same person. If this is not the case, then the corresponding author should be annotated with a crosshatch (#), and indicated as such using the radio button beneath their author data (where it says "Principal contact for correspondence"). Some authors may have more than one institutional affiliation, and this should be indicated using numbers, e.g.

1 Bovine Research Institute, Hereford.

2 South African Cattle Research Centre, Beesfontein.

3 Rooikat Research Centre, Tierfontein.

Introduction (do not include headings in abstracts, these are descriptions of the sections to include in the abstract)

An introduction is usually two or three sentences that provide a background and context to the work that has been done. After reading the introductory part of the abstract, a reader should have a clear idea why the work was necessary, and why it was done. Complex studies may require significantly longer introductions, especially if there are many interactive factors determining various outcomes.

Aim (do not include headings in abstracts, these are descriptions of the sections to include in the abstract)

This component provides a clear account of the purpose of the research. It is usually phrased as an objective, a question, or a hypothesis. Note that the working hypothesis, not the statistical null hypothesis, should be used if a hypothesis is stated. Depending on the nature and complexity of the research, an aim, objectives, and hypotheses might be appropriate.

Methods (do not include headings in abstracts, these are descriptions of the sections to include in the abstract)

The methods section describes how, and usually where, the research was conducted. If the aim of the research was addressed using an experiment, then an outline of the experiment should be given. Alternatively, sampling procedures or methods of analysis should be described.

Results (do not include headings in abstracts, these are descriptions of the sections to include in the abstract)

The results section should highlight some of the main results of the study, and should present actual values. It is usually useful to present some measure of variation and whether results were significant. However, full test statistics should not be reported. While it is appropriate to presentsome results, the abstract should not contain too many results for a reader to assimilate.

Results can be presented in tables or as figures if they help to clarify the content of the abstract. However,authors should avoid including tables and figures just to add content to their abstract. When describing a difference between two treatments, try to describe the nature of that difference.

Note that abstracts that refer to results but do not actually contain results will not be accepted as either poster or platform presentations (e.g. “Results will be discussed”, etc). If for some reason authors have not analysed their data by the time abstracts have to have been submitted, it would be better to request an extension from the Congress Organiser, note this extension on the submitted abstract and ensure that the full abstract is submitted by date agreed.

Discussion and conclusion (do not include headings in abstracts, these are descriptions of the sections to include in the abstract)

The discussion is usually one to several sentences linking the results to the aim (and hence introduction). The conclusion is a simple statement that informs the reader what the authors’ final decision on the research was. When providing a conclusion, it is important not to

a) confuse a conclusion with a summary of results, or

b) overstate the importance of the conclusion.

For further information regarding the submissions of abstracts, please consult the Abstract Submission Guidelines document as well as the Guidelines for Presentations document.