Guidelines developed for Bhutanese Journal of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture

Click here to download

1.      BJA Articles                                                                               

1.1.      Content

The Bhutanese Journal of Agriculture focuses on original and innovative scientific research relevant to sustainable development of the agriculture sector in Bhutan.

1.2.      Target audience

Papers should address a scientific community interested in agriculture, and cross-cutting themes including; markets, biodiversity, irrigation/water, soils, farming systems and, climate change aspects of sustainable agriculture development in Bhutan.

1.3.      Types of contribution

Research articles: (3000 – 7000 words) the articles should not have been previously published elsewhere.

Papers should

  • Present original and innovative research insights;
  • Be well researched and documented
  • Clearly describe the research methodology including design, replications, sample size, number of years/seasons and statistical analysis used where appropriate;
  • Results should be presented based on sound facts, scientific procedures and well-founded arguments;
  • Be embedded in the relevant local, national or international debate;
  • Refer to the most recent academic literature on the issues discussed;
  • Be presented in a clearly structured and comprehensible manner; in the interest of disciplinary and interdisciplinary

Short communication (1500-3000 words): A concise and complete description of an investigation. The bulk of the text should be organized in a continuous form with separate sections such as Introduction, Materials and Method, Results and Discussion. It should, however, include a short abstract and a list of keywords at the beginning of the communication, and Acknowledgements (if any) and References at the end. These components are to be prepared in the same format as used for full-length research papers.

2.      Preparing your submission   

Manuscripts submitted to the Bhutanese Journal of Agriculture should strictly conform to the following instructions and technical guidelines:

2.1.      Total length of the article:

Maximum 3000-7,000 words excluding abstract and list of references for full-length articles and 1500 to <3000 words for short communication excluding abstract and list of references.

2.2.      Title

The first page of each manuscript starts with the title of the paper which should be typed in bold- faced print using both upper and lower case letters and set in the centre of the page.

The title should be as concise and catchy to reflect what the paper is all about. Abbreviations are not permitted in the title. The title should be in Times New Roman with 14-point bold.

2.3.      Author(s) and agency

The names of the author (s) should be written in full. Indications of titles, professorial ranks or other professional titles should not be used. The address of the agency to which the author belongs to shall be written as a footnote. Please provide the email address of the first corresponding author only in italic, 8-point Times New Roman.

2.4.      Abstract and keywords

The abstract consists of 150 – 300 words in one paragraph. The abstract should summarize pertinent results in a brief but understandable form. The abstract should start with a clear statement of rationale, brief objectives of the experiment/research/study and methods, and results and must conclude with one or two sentences that highlight important conclusions. References are never cited in the abstract. The abstract should be indented by 0.2 inches on left and right and centre justified with 12-point italic, Times New Roman. Below the abstract, list three to five keywords that best describe the nature of the research.

The term “Keywords” is typed in bold-faced print followed by a semicolon. The first letter of each keyword is capitalized and keywords are separated by semicolons. Keywords should include the main attributes of your papers; should be between 3-5 keywords; font 12-point italic, Times New Roman.

2.5.      Introduction

The introduction starts on a new page following the abstract. The introduction should justify the key theme of the research and specify the hypotheses tested. Discussion of relevant literature should be cited to support/justify your research in the introduction. The introduction should be divided into concise paragraphs, each paragraph dealing with a topic of your research theme. Mention of objectives of the study or research will be not done under a separate heading. If at all necessary, it can be included in the introduction. Objectives should be clear, concise and realistic to the study.

2.6.      Materials and Method

 Materials and Method should be clearly described in a step-by-step guide for others to understand and follow.

General: Study area, location and description must be given with illustration if possible. Authors may supply latitude and longitude coordinates for the study area/location referred to. For any equations used in the papers, standard equation format should be followed. Equations must be numbered and placed directly in the text with serial numbers. Figures, tables, and boxes must be referred to in the text, in numerical order.

Statistics: The data should be analysed using a standard statistical model. The use of incorrect or inadequate statistical models to analyze and interpret data is not acceptable. The statistical model, classes, blocks, and experimental unit must be described. Data analysis methods should be clearly stated. Both confirmatory inferential statistics such as LSD, r-value, 95% CI, etc., should be at a P-value of 95% confidence level and descriptive statistics such as standard error, standard deviation, CV%, etc., should be given where appropriate.

2.7.      Results and Discussion

Results should be presented in tabular or graphical form with description of key results in the text. The text should explain or elaborate on the tabular/graphical data, but numbers should not be repeated extensively within the text. Sufficient data with index of variation should be presented to allow the reader to interpret the results of the experiment.

Discussion should interpret the results clearly and concisely, and should cite, compare, contrast literature results to corroborate similar research findings. This will provide the reader with a broad base on which to accept or reject the hypotheses tested. It should include the scope and limitation of the study.

2.8.      Conclusion

This section should consist of 300-500 words. The conclusion section should highlight key findings and their implications for relevant users of the information. It should explain in lay terms, without abbreviations, acronyms, or citations, what the findings of the research/study are. Do not repeat statements made in the result and discussion sections. It may include research gaps and recommend future research areas.

2.9.      Acknowledgement

Acknowledgement should be made to key persons other than authors and co-authors including the anonymous reviewers and funding agencies. However, it should not be lengthy.

2.10.     Authors’ contribution statement

The authors’ contribution must be described in following manner:

  • Study conception and design
  • Implementation of research and data collection
  • Analysis and interpretation of results
  • Draft manuscript preparation

3.   References       

 3.1.      Tables and Boxes

 Tables are used to present numerical data in a self-explanatory manner. They should be intelligible without consulting the text and should not duplicate data already given in the text or in illustrations. Any abbreviation used in a table must be defined in that table.

All tables should be cited in the text. Arabic numerals are used to number tables. The table number (i.e., Table 1.) is typed followed by a period. When tables are referred to in a text, it is not followed by a period (e.g., Table 1). The title of the table should be given just above the table with only the first letter capitalized; font 12 Times New Roman. Do not use a period at the end of the title.

Column headings should have the first letter of each word capitalized while the names of variables are typed with only the first letter capitalized (i.e., Average growth rate). For numerals, less than 1, insert a zero to the left of the decimal point (columns should be set up so that decimal points are aligned). If there are no data for a particular entry, insert a dash. If an explanation is necessary, use an abbreviation in the body of the table (e.g., NA) and explain clearly what the abbreviation means.

  • In boxes, include a caption in a title bar (topmost line across the entire box).
  • Your submission may have no more than 5 tables or boxes in
  • Very large tables and long lists should be
  • Tables should be inserted as enhanced
  • No border lines, only boundary lines will be used, 10-point, Times New Roman and no
  • Text in tables must always be horizontal; no bold.

Example (Table 1)

 Table 1. Seed yield and other agronomic traits in three locations

Figure 1

  • Possible file formats: .JPG, PDF, .XLS, .GRF.
  • The figures should be inserted as enhanced
  • Figures should be black and white
  • The submission should not have more than 5 figures (including photos, diagrams, maps).
  • Put captions below the figures; 12-point Times New
  • No colour, but choose different shade(s) that is appropriate for black/white
  • Photos, illustrations, and flow charts can be used if

Example (Figure 1)

Figure 1. Effect of treatments on growth rate of broccoli plant

Note: For editorial convenience, authors are also required to submit charts (figures) and tables as separate files with appropriate corresponding file references as they appear in their manuscripts.

4.      Referencing

 All literature cited in any part of your paper should be listed at the end of the body text file in a section entitled “Reference,” without numbering. The references should be arranged alphabetically by author and then chronologically, giving the complete unabbreviated source citation.

General rule

 For convenience and ease of use for our contributing colleagues in the research centres and our field personnel, the BJA has adopted the APA (6th) style of referencing.

 4.1.  In-text references

Use author-year style in chronological, then alphabetical, order. Use “et al.” with three or more authors. Use colon and number to indicate page reference.


  • Karma (1993, 1995a, 1995b)
  • Yuden and Dorji (2004)
  • (Sonam et al., 1975)
  • (Stremlow 1998; Antrop 1999; Tress and Tress 2001; Backhaus et , 2007a, 2007b)
  • (see figures 4 and 5 in Keen et al., 1971)
  • Wangchuk et (2014)

Three, four, or five authors: Where there are three, four, or five authors, all surnames should be used the first time the in-text reference appears in the document. For all subsequent citations, include only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.”

  • First mention:
    • Smith, Grierson, Malthus, and Nicholson (2015) found . . .
    • According to evidence . . . (Smith, Grierson, Malthus, & Nicholson, 2015).
  • Subsequent mention
    • Smith et al. (2015) suggest . . .
    • The study concluded . . . (Smith et al., 2015).

Six or seven authors: Where there are six or seven authors, use the first surname only followed by et al.

  • According to Abercrombe et (2008) . . .
  • It was shown that . . . (Abercrombe et , 2008).

If there are several works by the same author(s), they should be arranged chronologically by year of publication with the oldest reference first; if several works by the same author were published in the same year, arrange them alphabetically and add a letter to the year of publication, e.g. 1999a, 1999b, etc.

For a group, the name of the group is written in full the first time they occur in an in-text citation. If you wish to abbreviate names, write the name in full the first time that it occurs, and place the abbreviated form in brackets. In subsequent citations, you can then just use the abbreviation.

  • First mention:
    • (National Statistics Bureau [NSB], 2017).
  • Subsequent mentions:
    • (NSB, 2017).

4.2.      Reference

  • All items listed under References must be publicly available, i.e., in a library or on the Internet;
  • Personal communications or unpublished data are generally discouraged, but can be included with the exception if the authors can provide an address at which a copy can be requested; ideally, this will be your own address; example: “available from the corresponding author of this article”
  • “In press” items should include webpage or doi;
  • If you translate the title of a publication written in another language into English, indicate the original language in square brackets following the title (see examples below). The format of references is different depending on the type of literature (e.g. journal article, book chapter, conference proceedings, etc);
  • References should contain: author’s last name followed by author’s initial (s) with periods, year, and title of article, volume and inclusive page numbers. Book and reports must include the name and location of the publisher: Please see the following
  • Take care to italicize latin names (scientific names) in journal titles in your reference
  • You must include the DOIs for journal papers if they are available.

Place of publication: 

  • Use the English version of cities and other place names.
  • For books published within the United States, use the name of the city with the two official US postal service
  • For all other publications, follow the name of the city with the name of the End with the name of the publisher. For example:
    • New York, NY: Harper & Row.
    • Washington, DC: Author
    • Cambridge, MA: MIT
    • London, England: Wildwood
    • Melbourne, Australia: Puffin
    • Thimphu, Bhutan: Department of Agriculture.

5.      Sample Reference

 5.1.      Journal articles

Baher, Z. F., Mirza, M., Ghorbanli, M., & Bagher Rezaii, M. (2002). The influence of water stress on plant height, herbal and essential oil yield and composition in Satureja hortensis L. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 17(4), 275-277. doi:10.1002/ffj.1097

Dorji, K., Tshewang, S., Lakey, L., & Tenzin, J. (2022). Young migrants and their transition to adulthood: A case study of Bhutan’s Wangdue and Punakha districts. International Social Science Journal, 2022, 1-18. Doi: 10.1111/issj.12327

Sarawale, P., Rajemahadik, V., Shendage, G., & Mane, S. (2016). Effect of Different Varieties and Establishment Methods on Growth and Yield of Finger Millet [Eleusine Coracana (L.) Gaertn.] under Condition. J. Indian Soc. Coastal Agric. Res., 34(2), 22-26.

Journal article published online

 Albrecht, U., & Bowman, K. D. (2012). Tolerance of trifoliate citrus rootstock hybrids to Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Scientia Horticulturae, 147, 71–80.

Dorji, K., Lakey, L., Chophel, S., Dorji, S. D., & Tamang, B. (2016). Adoption of improved citrus orchard management practices: a micro-study from Drujegang growers, Dagana, Bhutan. Agriculture & Food Security, 5(1), 3.

Ha, D. T., & Shively, G. (2008). Coffee Boom, Coffee Bust and Small Holder Response in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Review of Development Economics, 12(2), 312–326.

Lakey, & Dorji, K. (2016). Ecological status of high-altitude medicinal plants and their sustainability: Lingshi, Bhutan. BMC Ecology, 16, 45. 016-0100-1

Journal article published online without doi

 Where there is no DOI, provide the home page URL of the journal/periodical (see below)

Panoyan, L., Lee, S., Arar, R., Abboud, H., & Arar, N. (2008). The informed consent process in genetic family studies. Genomics, Society and Policy, 4(2), 11-20. Retrieved from

5.2.      Book

Print Book

Brown, W. H. (2014). Introduction to organic chemistry. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Roder, W., Nidup, K., & Chettri, G. B. (2008). The Potato in Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan: Bhutan Potato Development Program, DoA, MoA.

Edited book

Guzys, D., & Petrie, E. (Eds.). (2014). An introduction to community and primary health care. Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter in edited book

Davies, F. T. J., Davies, T. D., & Kester, D. E. (1994). Commercial importance of adventitious rooting. In T. D. Davies & B. E. Hasting (Eds.), Biology of Adventitious Root Formation (pp. 53–61). New York, NY: Plenum Press.

5.3.      Thesis or Dissertation

 Kershaw, L. H. (2016). Journeys towards expertise in technology-supported teaching (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

McKenzie, D. L. (1988). Physical and Chemical Properties of Apple Juice and Apple Juice Particulate. (Master’s Thesis), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Walz, A. (2006). Land Use Modeling for an Integrated Approach to Regional Development in the Swiss Alps (Doctoral dissertation). Zurich, Switzerland: University of Zurich.

5.4.      Conference Proceeding

Mahat, K., Loday, P., & Lakey, L. (2017). Field evaluation of attractive lures for Bactrocera minax (Enderlein) (Diptera:Tephritidae), for use in bait sprays in Tsirang, Bhutan. In Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Fruit Flies of Economic Importance. Vienna, Austria: International Atomic Energy Agency.

Smith, C. L. (2003). Understanding concepts in the defence in-depth strategy. In Proceedings of the IEEE 37th Annual 2003 International Carnahan Conference on Security Technology (pp. 8-16). doi:10.1109/CCST.2003.1297528

5.5.      Poster presentation

Mahat, K., Loday, P., Lhendup, D., Lakey, L., & Sanderson, G. (2017, May). Area-Wide Management of Chinese Citrus Fruit Fly in Tsirang, Bhutan Using Protein Bait Sprays and Orchard Hygiene. Poster session presented at Third FAO/IAEA International Conference on Area-wide Management of Insect Pests, Vienna, Austria.

5.6.      Report

All reports should be managed in your reference libraries in the form of a book, and accordingly cited.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2016). Land management and farming in Australia, 2014-15 (Cat.No. 4627.0). Retrieved from

Stewart, J., Hedwards, B., Richards, K., Willis, M., & Higgins, D. (2014). Indigenous youth justice programs evaluation. Retrieved from Australian Institute of Criminology website:

5.7.      Reference Works

Print dictionary

Park, C., & Allaby, M. (2013). A dictionary of environment and conservation. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Encyclopedia entry

Robinson, A. (1994). The principles of genetics and heredity. In The new encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 19, pp. 699-740). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Online encyclopedia entry

Jensen, R. (2015). Advocacy journalism. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), The concise encyclopedia of communication (pp. 94-95). Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell. Retrieved from

5.8.      Newspaper article


Harlan, C. (2013, April 2). North Korea vows to restart shuttered nuclear reactor that can make bomb-grade plutonium. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.


Cater, N. (2016, December 27). Since Davos, only the climate remains unchanged. The Australian. Retrieved from

5.9.      Brochure or Fact sheets

 Treat brochures, fact sheets, templates etc. like books. As with any reference list entry, the four elements you’ll need are the author, the date, the title and source. Indicate the type of publication in square brackets after the title, unless the publication type is included in the title

 When the publisher is the same as the author, write ‘Author’ as the name of the publisher. For example:

Department of Agriculture. (2014). The National Citrus Repository [Brochure]. Thimphu, Bhutan: Author

5.10.      Images or Figures

 Applies to maps: For example:

 Figure 1. Altitude zones in Bhutan (Roder, Nidup, & Chettri, 2008, p. 15)

Reference List (end-text):

Roder, W., Nidup, K., & Chettri, G. B. (2008). The Potato in Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan: Bhutan Potato Development Program, DoA, MoA.

6.      Spelling and other style details 

  • Use A4 paper size;
  • Format margins at 1″ all-round;
  • Text font 12 Times New Roman, 5 space between lines;
  • Use British English consistently throughout the paper;
  • Use italics for local words; for example Pangtse oil;
  • As a rule, spell out all abbreviations when they first occur in your manuscript; example: CIP (International Potato centre);
  • All numerical units should conform to the International System of Units (SI);
  • Use the metric system for all measurements;
  • Italicize only the “P” and not the value when reporting your results; Do not report the precise value when P is <0.001 (just P<0.001 will suffice);
  • The monetary unit should be ; please indicate the US$ equivalent in brackets or provide the current official conversion rate
  • Use italics in the following way for Latin names of species: Genus species Solanum tuberosum or Solanum

Manuscripts for publication in the Bhutanese Journal of Agriculture, DoA should be submitted in digital version addressed to:

Member Secretary, Bhutanese Journal of Agriculture, DoA, MoAL