(updated August 2016)


Download a version of these Instructions in MS-Word format here.


There are many important points which authors must bear in mind before submitting a paper for publication to any journal.

·         What is the scientific novelty? What are you, the author, saying that hasn’t been said before, and does your work warrant publication in the journal to which you are submitting it?

·         How should the author divide up the paper into sections (Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, etc.) and what should appear in each section?

·         What does the journal demand in terms of language? Editors should be allowed to focus on scientific content, and not be forced to read material in which the language is not of appropriate quality.

·         What are the journal’s requirements in terms of layout (including headings, citations, references, etc.)

·         What is the standard of artwork needed?

The pages which follow explain all of the points expected of authors before in preparation for submission of their manuscripts to Clays and Clay Minerals. Many papers are returned to authors one or more times before they enter the peer review system. Attention to the details in the paragraphs below will help to avoid such delays for your manuscript.


Regarding the organization of the scientific content in the manuscript, overall, please read the superb “recipe” for a good manuscript written by former editor, the late Fred Mumpton:

Mumpton, F.A. (1990) The Universal Recipe or How to Get Your Manuscript Accepted by Persnickety Editors.  Clays and Clay Minerals, 38, 631–636. It is available at:

Once you have read it, follow its outstanding guidance.  Specific matters that should be considered in preparing a manuscript for its first submission are highlighted in the following numbered items. 

       1.            Clear identification of scientific novelty in Introduction (Statement of Purpose): Before a manuscript can be sent out for review, it must identify the novelty of the work reported in terms of advancing the frontiers of clay science. A successful manuscript should clearly identify what is new and scientifically significant about the work presented.  Authors should clearly state the aim of this study (i.e., what problem is being solved, etc.). This will help readers to understand the scientific novelty of the study reported in the manuscript.  Authors need to show (state clearly) how this study differs from past studies of similar clay mineral phenomena.  The Introduction of the paper should define the scope of the problem to be solved by the work presented.  The Introduction should provide background explaining what problem is being solved, or what gap in existing scientific-community understanding as reported in the literature is being filled, by the work reported in the paper.  The Introduction should briefly explain why this problem is not already solved or why the solution in this manuscript is better than previous solutions in some specified important way.  A summary of previous work followed only by a statement that the present manuscript reports an increment of continued work along a similar direction is generally not sufficient justification for the present manuscript – a successful manuscript requires a specific statement of a specific reason that the specific continuation of previous work reported in the manuscript is required.  If the purpose is primarily to describe a local deposit, then either the paper belongs in a local or regional journal or the manuscript needs to better explain the scientific novelty of the work.  Is this a deposit that has significant potential to change our understanding about the existence and origin of this kind of natural material, or does it only confirm that it is much like others that have been characterized and it is just adding information about this particular deposit?  How does the detailed study of this unit advance scientific understanding beyond merely characterizing this locally economically important unit?  If there is no larger scientific significance, then specifically how does the characterization reported improve the use of the resource?  A description of a deposit that does not have international or global significance for understanding that type of deposit is not sufficient for an international journal.  Is the work reported a process that has significant potential to change scientific or applied approaches to this kind of material?  What can the community do better after the work reported here than it could do without this work?  Specifically how does the process reported in this manuscript improve upon prior art? 


       2.            Abstract:  One or two sentences at the beginning of the Abstract should statie the problem being addressed in this study, and its objective. (This statement-of-problem is to be a condensation of a more complete statement of background and problem as presented in the Introduction section.)  All manuscripts (except letters and comments) must contain an informative abstract that is a condensation of the essential ideas and results of the paper, and not a list of the subjects covered in the text. Abstracts must clearly and briefly state the problem being addressed by the study, objective, materials and methods used, results and main observations, and conclusions in such a manner that they can be used by current-awareness publications and other information-retrieval systems. Do not repeat information given in the title, copy verbatim the Conclusions section of the paper, or reference the literature, tables, or figures in the Abstract. It should not be subdivided into more than one paragraph. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words.


       3.            The Introduction should set the stage for the Discussion and Conclusions sections: Once the Introduction and statement of purpose have been written (as discussed above), the Discussion and, especially, the Conclusions, should clearly and explicitly link the outcomes of the research with the identified gap in community understanding as identified in the Introduction.   


       4.            A successful primary research manuscript should clearly distinguish conclusions arrived at as a result of this work from those arrived at from previous work.  Discussion, inferences, and conclusions must be clear, and the conclusions should draw on the results and discussion of this paper, not on the introduction section and previous papers.  If the previously published work is sufficient to be the main foundation for the current conclusions, there needs to be a compelling new reason to publish the results and ideas being written about. 


       5.            Only results necessary to arrive at novel conclusions should be presented, discussed, and used as a basis for interpretation.  Inconclusive or non-essential results (statements that are true but not essential to the inferences and conclusions) should be excluded, and not included simply because the work was done.  The only permissible exception to this exclusion is if it is important to include such information to show both (1) that these observations of these materials resemble observations of similar materials by similar methods, and (2) that this similarity is scientifically important. 


       6.            Success                ful manuscripts should be specific and detailed in discussing Methods, Results, and the basis for drawing inferences in the Discussion.  Methods must be thoroughly described.  Results and Discussion should be separate sections – a Results section describing the observations upon which the inferences are based, and a Discussion section drawing inferences from the observations and articulating the implications of the inferences for the literature.  The Abstract and Conclusions should address briefly the findings thoroughly described and discussed elsewhere in the text, especially in the Results and Discussion. 


       7.            The Conclusion sections: The Conclusion should (1) summarize the most significant interpretations, outcomes, and implications for the literature, from the Discussion; (2) identify how the results of the present manuscript differ from or add to the previous papers about the studied phenomenon that were cited in the Introduction; and (3) clearly distinguish conclusions arrived at as a result of this work from those arrived at from previous work.  The Conclusions are not an appropriate place to introduce new information that should be in the Background or Discussion.  It is acceptable to include a statement that future work is required and to identify such future work; the end of the Discussion is generally a better place than the Conclusions for such a statement. 


       8.            References cited should consist almost exclusively of primary literature.  Citing one’s own abstracts, guidebooks, or other gray literature should be considered unacceptable, except for matters such as sample-locality descriptions or to establish chronologic priority (and in this case, mentioning the abstracts and presentations in Acknowledgments may be sufficient).  Work that remains exclusively in abstract form after many years has never been peer-reviewed, and is therefore not suitable material to be cited in a peer-reviewed journal.  If a body of unpublished (non-peer-reviewed) work (available only as abstracts, guidebooks, or other gray literature) describes no results significantly different from those reported in peer-reviewed papers by other authors, then there is no reason to cite the gray literature.  Only if the manuscript under consideration claims as original to itself inferences or conclusions also stated in unpublished work is there potential infringement of the priority of the gray literature.  Citing abstracts, guidebooks, or other gray literature by others is an act of desperation that should only be allowed under extreme circumstances.  Absent conflicts of priority, we do not convey proper scholarship to our readers (especially students or the public) by citing work that was never peer-reviewed and thereby elevating it to the level of other citable, peer-reviewed work.  If previous work is publishable and citable, is should be published so it can be cited.  Otherwise, as far as the refereed literature is concerned, the previous work does not exist.  Also, authors and reviewers alike should beware of erroneously elevating gray literature by citing peer-reviewed secondary literature (e.g., review papers, or refereed papers that used non-refereed gray literature as part of their basis for drawing inferences).  Misconceptions can be introduced into and propagated through the peer-reviewed literature by citing secondary papers that depend on non-peer-reviewed gray literature for some of the primary data, observations, or previous conclusions.  This weakens the authority of peer-reviewed literature, and therefore should be avoided. 





All manuscripts must be submitted at; this is PeerTrack, our online manuscript submission and tracking system.

·         A. The first choice to make in the online submission system is “Article type”. Contributions may be: (1) “Articles” on original research or reviews on subjects of interest to the international community of clay scientists; (2) (2) Book reviews (unsolicited reviews should not be submitted); (3) “Review Articles”; (4) “Letters” to the editor commenting on papers published.

·         B. Authors are then required to upload a title, an abbreviated title, author names, and contact details (give as much information as possible).


·         C. Next, authors are asked to select a “Section or Category” related to their manuscript. Unless your paper is related to a specific group of papers, choose “None” here.


·         D. Then paste a copy of your abstract, enter key words, and select “classifications” relevant to your manuscript (these will help us to choose reviewers).


·         E. In the next screen you are required to confirm that your paper complies with all of the requirements outlined in this guidance document. This is an important stage. If your paper is not presented appropriately, it will be returned to you for further work. You are also asked to confirm that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived to bias your work and that none of the results/data/figures in this manuscript have been published or are under consideration for publication elsewhere.


·         F. You are offered an opportunity to send a message to the editorial office.


·         G. You are encouraged to suggest possible reviewers for your paper. Choice of appropriate reviewers will help your manuscript through the review process more quickly. We will also take into consideration your suggestions of reviewers who should not be invited to assess your manuscript.


·         H. You are now required to upload the files for your paper. Follow the onscreen instructions. Make sure you place the files in the correct order (remember that figures, tables and their captions should be at the end of your manuscript, and not interspersed throughout the document).


·         I. Finally, check carefully the pdf produced by PeerTrack and approve it for submission.



Manuscripts should generally be no more than 10,000 words long (plus figures and tables). Authors of larger manuscripts should contact the Editor for advice. In the submittal letter, authors must state that the manuscript has not been published previously, is not currently submitted for publication elsewhere, wholly or in part, nor will it be submitted elsewhere while in the review process for CLAYS AND CLAY MINERALS. The letter must also state that all authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Unsolicited book reviews should not be submitted.   


All manuscripts (except letters and comments) must contain an informative abstract that is a condensation of the essential ideas and results of the paper, and not a list of the subjects covered in the text. Abstracts must clearly state the problem being addressed by the study, objective, materials and methods used, results and main observations, and conclusions in such a manner that they can be used by current-awareness publications and other information-retrieval systems. Do not repeat information given in the title, copy verbatim the Conclusions section of the paper, or reference the literature, tables, or figures in the Abstract. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words.


List up to ten Key Words in alphabetical order for subject indexing. 


Manuscripts must be double-spaced on standard 8.5 x 11 inch or A4 pages. Use wide margins of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) and a font size of 12 points. Do not right-justify type. CLAYS AND CLAY MINERALS welcomes manuscripts from all countries, but the texts must be in English. All submitted manuscripts should have been reviewed by a colleague for whom English is a first language (this is a very important point – please pay close attention). Pages must be numbered. Include line numbers which run continuously from the start to the end of the manuscript. Group figures, Tables and their captions together at the end of your manuscript. Do not intersperse them throughout the paper.  


Text must be in a concise and readily understandable style (see “style” section below). Sufficient detail must be included to enable other investigators to repeat the work. However, extremely detailed technical descriptions of the methods used should only be given when such methods are not published elsewhere or represent a new approach. Contributors may indicate the approximate position desired within the text for each figure and table, but figures and tables must be provided separately.

Style and Nomenclature

New mineral names require the approval of the IMA Commission on New Mineral Names. Mineral nomenclature and terminology must conform to IMA, CMS Nomenclature Committee, and AIPEA Nomenclature Committee guidelines. SI units are mandatory, but angstrom (Å) and bar (b) may be used also if usage is consistent within the manuscript. Footnotes should be used sparingly. For the first time an acronym (e.g. TEM) is used (both in the Abstract and in the Text), spell in full and place the acronym in parentheses. Thereafter, use the acronym only. Polytype symbols (e.g. muscovite-2M1) should have the letter only in italics. Latin terms (e.g., etc., et al., i.e.) are in italics. The symbols ‘‘M’’ for ‘‘molar’’ and ‘‘N’’ for ‘‘normal’’ are not italic. Use I-S and not I/S for illite-smectite interstratification. Use d001 where 1 is a number, but d00l where l  is a letter, in this case "el". Use “sheet,” not “layer,” when referring to the octahedral or tetrahedral sheet; use “layer,” not “sheet,” when referring to the unit obtained with the unification of the tetrahedral and octahedral sheets. Use “organo-clay” rather than “organoclay” or “organo clay.”

  The Editor-in-Chief further emphasizes the following points of style:

a.    A comma must be inserted before “and” or “or” when three or more items are listed in a series. If series are nested, semi-colons should be used to separate the items in the first-level series.

b.    Avoid writing in the first person, i.e., avoid using personal pronouns I, we, our, my, etc.

c.     Avoid starting a sentence with “it” (unless “it” clearly refers to an antecedent noun) or “there” and avoid using phrases like “there is,” “there are,” “there was,” “there were,” “there has,” “there have,” “it is/was/has” (unless “it” clearly refers to an antecedent noun), “it seems/appears/. . . ,” etc. While spoken and casual English use these phrases extensively, scientifically written English should be more succinct.

d.    Generally speaking, use “since” only when referring to time rather than as a conjunction in place of “because.”

e.    Use American English spellings. Examples: aluminum, not aluminium; color, not colour; behavior, not behaviour; stabilize, not stabilise; acknowledgments, not acknowledgements; etc.

f.      Use past tense verbs when describing methods, observations, results, and conclusions; use present tense only when referring to something that is widely accepted or generally considered to be true.

g.    When referring to States or Provinces, spell out the name rather than using postal code abbreviations (e.g., Illinois, not IL), unless it is a specific postal address being given (e.g., Urbana, IL 61801 USA).

h.    When reporting experimental data that are listed in a table or displayed in a figure, the preferred style is to describe the data, but identify the corresponding table or figure using parentheses instead of explicitly within the sentence. For example: “Experimental measurements of x (Figure A) revealed that . . . .”; rather than, “Experimental measurements of x are given in Figure A. These results revealed that . . . .”

i.      When using qualifying words, such as “however,” “therefore,” etc., insert this word within the sentence rather than beginning the sentence with it.

j.      The abbreviation “ca.” (abbreviation for circa) refers to time, not to quantity.

k.     If using “either,” use “or,” if using “neither,” combine with “nor.”

l.      Don’t begin a sentence with a number (e.g., use “Twenty” instead of “20”).

m.  Be careful to match the number (singular vs. plural) of articles, subjects, and verbs.

n.    When referring to an element that may exist in more than one oxidation state, and the oxidation state is being specified, use the superscript Arabic valence number, e.g., Fe3+; if in a complex or solid state, use the Roman Numeral in parentheses, e.g., Fe(III).




First-order headings (INTRODUCTION, DISCUSSION, etc.) are in all capital lettering and centered on the page. Second-order headings should be in lower case, italicized, and placed at the left-hand margin of the page. Third-order headings are italicized and placed at the beginning of the paragraph.




Chemical and mathematical equations are to be set from the text above and below by centering on the line, provided with a sequence number in parentheses, such as (1), and with each new symbol defined immediately below in the text.




References are cited in the text by the name of the author and the year of publication, e.g. Noh (1998) or Brandt and Kydd (1998). For references with more than two authors, use ‘‘et al." as in White et al. (1992). Citations in parentheses must include a comma, e.g. (White et al., 1992).
Full references are listed alphabetically by author at the end of the paper and with the year in parentheses. For several publications of an author with different co-authors the following order must be followed: (a) publications of the author alone, in chronological order; (b) publications of the author with a single co-author, in alphabetical order of co-authors; (c) publications of the author with more than one co-author, in chronological order (as they are cited in the form ‘Jones et al.‘ in the text). The name of the author is given surname first, followed by a comma and the initials, with each initial followed by a period and without a space between initials. Do not abbreviate journal names. Volume numbers are in bold. For example:


Jahren, J.S. (1991) Evidence of Ostwald ripening related recrystallizations of chlorites from reservoir rocks offshore Norway. Clay Minerals, 26, 169–178.


Koizumi, M. and Roy, R. (1959) Synthetic montmorillonoids with variable exchange capacity. American Mineralogist, 44, 788–805.


Reynolds, R.C. (1980) Interstratified clay minerals. Pp. 249–303 in: Crystal Structures of Clay Minerals and their X-ray Identification (G.W. Brindley and G. Brown, editors). Monograph 5, Mineralogical Society, London.


Weaver, C.E. and Pollard, L.D. (1973) The Chemistry of Clay Minerals. Elsevier, Amsterdam.


Kalt, A. (1968) Une silice hydratée cristallisée: Préparation, structure, propriétés chimiques. PhD thesis, Univ. Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France, 197 pp.


Personal communications or other unpublished observations may be cited in the text, such as: (J. Jones, pers. comm., 1996) or (J. Jones, unpublished data, 1996). These citations should not be included in the reference list, but the address of the person (e.g. J. Jones) referred to in the communication may be given in the Acknowledgments at the discretion of the author.  


Figures and tables should be kept to a minimum and will only be published if essential. Authors should use footnotes to the tables to provide ancillary information rather than add such text to the title. Figures: (i) line art should be black on a white background. Authors should give some consideration to the size of the lettering used because most figures are reduced for publication. Times New Roman and Helvetica, or equivalent typefaces, must be used for the lettering on the figures. Unless absolutely necessary, italic or bold characters should be avoided. Adjacent gray scales should differ by at least 20% to ensure sufficient contrast; (ii) half-tone plates (photographs) should be submitted as grayscale tiff images. The standard of all the figures must be equivalent to that of a professional draftsman or photographer. Unsatisfactory diagrams will be returned to authors for redrawing. Authors must submit electronic versions of figures.

The units on the axis labels of figures should follow the axis label and be enclosed in parentheses, e.g., “Axis Label (units)”, not “Axis Label/units.”

Specific instructions for electronic forms of artwork


a.        The following formats are acceptable: .tif, .bmp, .eps, .ai (Adobe Illustrator) and .cdr (Corel Draw). Do not send figures which are embedded in MS-Word or other Microsoft files.

b.        Line diagrams must be saved as 1-bit, i.e. bitmapped, or as vector images. Drawings which include gray shading must be saved as grayscale images. Photographs (otherwise known as halftones) must be saved as grayscale images. Unless the editor has agreed with the author that colour publication is essential, and a means of paying for reproduction of the image in color has been confirmed, do not save your files as color images. This makes the files unnecessarily large. If we are to print a figure in color, use CYMK as the colour type rather than RGB.

c.         Clays and Clay Minerals will publish your figures in color in both the online and print versions. For online publication, there is no charge for colour; for print publication, a charge is imposed. The cost depends on a number of factors, but a reasonable estimate is that the first page in colour will cost ~$150 and subsequent pages ~$100 each.

c.         Line diagrams and grayscale drawings must have a resolution of at least 600 dpi. Photographs (halftones) must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. (This applies whether color is involved or not.)

d.        Bear in mind that the physical size of reproduction of an image and its resolution work hand in hand. An image which has a resolution of 600 dpi, but which is saved at 2 cm wide, will only have a resolution of 120 dpi if it is to be published at 10 cm width.

e.        For legends and other labeling on figures, use Arial or similar sans-serif font. Keep in mind the final size of reproduction of the figure when choosing the font size, i.e. make sure that the final size will be neither too big nor too small, and try to achieve some consistency between each of your figures. Do not use italic for anything other than variables. Do not italicize Greek letters.

f.         When creating your e-files remember to embed all fonts in all figures (e.g. in Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator). If you don’t, we won’t be able to read any text you add to the figures unless your fonts match exactly those we have on our computers.

g.        Remember, if the images you send do not look clear and sharp to you, they won’t be usable for publication. If you are unable to match these instructions exactly and produce clear sharp images at the appropriate resolution etc., then please arrange, at an early stage, to create high-quality printed versions of your figures (print them from the original software in which they were created on high-quality glossy paper) and send separately, to the editor.




Manuscripts submitted to the CLAYS AND CLAY MINERALS are normally reviewed by two or more referees, an Associate Editor, the Managing Editor, and the Editor-in-Chief.




The final version of all manuscripts must be accompanied by files in appropriate formats. Microsoft Word¨ is the preferred format for the text and tables. Native CorelDraw (CDR), Adobe Illustrator (AI), bitmap (TIF), and Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) formats are acceptable for illustrations.




As a result of the U.S. copyright law effective January 1, 1978, a condition of publication is that the authors or their employers grant in writing to THE CLAY MINERALS SOCIETY the copyright to the manuscript, unless the work has been done for the U.S. Government. Copyright forms will be mailed at the time of manuscript acceptance or are available from the Editorial Office upon request. All authors must sign the copyright form, unless their employer will hold the copyright. Authors (or employers, as applicable) will retain all proprietary rights other than copyright, such as patent rights and the right to use all or part of the manuscript in future non-journal works of their own, such as lectures, reviews, textbooks, or books of reprints.




For CMS, the term `open access’ means the full text of an article in the journal is made free to anyone from the moment it is published.  CMS will provide open access to any article posted on the CMS website, on the IngentaSelect site or on GeoScienceWorld for which an author pays the $250 per page creation cost. The author may link to this free-access article from any other site.


The term `Self-archiving’ means the article is posted and made available on another institution's website, presumably for free to anyone.  CMS will provide a pdf file for self-archiving of any article for which an author pays the $250 per page creation cost.  The organization is encouraged to link to the article on the CMS site, rather than hosting the file themselves.


Authors are allowed to post e-prints on any websites or repositories free of charge after a period of two years since the paper was first published online has expired.




Page proofs will be sent to the author specified on the title page. Authors may be billed at cost for all page-proof alterations, other than the typesetter’s errors. Proofs must be returned within 48 hours of receipt.




A reprint (offprint) order form will be sent with the page proofs. Orders for reprints must be received prior to printing of the Issue in which the work is included. A free e-print is sent to the corresponding author at the time of publication online. Authors are free to distribute copies to interested colleagues but note that it is Clay Minerals Society policy that authors are not allowed to post e-prints on any websites or repositories for a period of two years after the paper was first published online.