Instructions to Authors


Category of the Papers

Soils and Rocks is the international scientific journal edited by the Brazilian Association for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ABMS) and the Portuguese Geotechnical Society (SPG). The aim of the journal is to publish (in English) original research and technical works on all geotechnical branches.

According to its content the accepted paper is classified in one of the following categories: Article paper, Technical Note, Case Study or Discussion. An article paper is an extensive and conclusive dissertation about a geotechnical topic. A paper is considered as a technical note if it gives a short description of ongoing studies, comprising partial results and/or particular aspects of the investigation. A case study is a report of unusual problems found during the design, construction or the performance of geotechnical projects. A case study is also considered as the report of an unusual solution given to an ordinary problem. The discussions about published papers, case studies and technical notes are made in the Discussions Section.

When submitting a manuscript for review, the authors should indicate the category of the manuscript, and is also understood that they:

a) assume full responsibility for the contents and accuracy of the information in the paper;

b) assure that the paper has not been previously published, and is not being submitted to any other periodical for publication.

Manuscript Instructions

Manuscripts must be written in English. The text is to be typed in a word processor (preferably MS Word), single column, using ISO A4 page size, left, right, top, and bottom margins of 25 mm, Times New Roman 12 font, and line spacing of 1.5. All lines and pages should be numbered. The text should be written in the third person.

The first page of the manuscript must include the title of the paper followed by the names of the authors with the abbreviation of the most relevant academic title. The affiliation, address and e-mail must appear below each author´s name. An abstract of 200 words follows after the author´s names. A list with up to six keywords at the end of the abstract is required.

Although variations on the sequence and title of each section are possible, it is suggested that the text contains the following sections: Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussions, Conclusions, Acknowledgements, References and List of Symbols. A brief description of each section is given next.

Introduction: This section should indicate the state of the art of the problem under evaluation, a description of the problem and the methods undertaken. The objective of the work should be clearly presented at the end of the section.

Materials and Methods: This section should include all information needed to the reproduction of the presented work by other researchers.

Results: In this section the data of the investigation should be presented in a clear and concise way. Figures and tables should not repeat the same information.

Discussion: The analyses of the results should be described in this section.

Conclusions: The content of this section should be based on the data and on the discussions presented.

Acknowledgenments: If necessary, concise acknowledgements should be presented in this section.

References: References to other published sources must be made in the text by the last name(s) of the author(s), followed by the year of publication, similarly to one of the two possibilities below:

… while Silva and Pereira (1987) observed that resistance depended on soil density … or It was observed that resistance depended on soil density (Silva and Pereira, 1987).

In the case of three or more authors, the reduced format must be used, e.g.: Silva et al. (1982) or (Silva et al., 1982). Two or more citations belonging to the same author(s) and published in the same year are to be distinguished with small letters, e.g.: (Silva, 1975a, b, c.). Standards must be cited in the text by the initials of the entity and the year of publication, e.g.: ABNT (1996), ASTM (2003).

Full references shall be listed alphabetically at the end of the text by the first author´s last name. Several references belonging to the same author shall be cited chronologically. Some examples are listed next:

Papers: Bishop, A.W. & Blight, G.E. (1963). Some aspects of effective stress in saturated and unsaturated soils. Geotechnique, 13(2): 177-197.

Books: Lambe, T.W & Whitman, R.V. (1979). Soil Mechanics, SI Version. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 553 p.

Book with editors: Sharma, H.D.; Dukes, M.T. & Olsen, D.M. (1990). Field measurements of dynamic moduli and Poisson´s ratios of refuse and underlying soils at a landfill site. Landva, A. & Knowles, G.D. (eds), Geotechnics of Waste Fills – Theory and Practice, American Society for Testing and Materials – STP 1070, Philadelphia, pp. 57-70.

Proceedings (printed matter or CD-ROM): Jamiolkowski, M.; Ladd, C.C.; Germaine, J.T & Lancellotta, R. (1985). New developments in field and laboratory testing of soils. Proc. 11th Int. Conf. on Soil Mech. and Found. Engn., ISSMFE, San Francisco, v. 1, pp. 57-153.(specify if CD ROM)

Thesis and dissertations: Lee, K.L. (1965). Triaxial Compressive Strength of Saturated Sands Under Seismic Loading Conditions. PhD Dissertation, Department of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 521 p.

Standards: ASTM (2003). Standard Test Method for Particle Size Analysis of Soils – D 422-63. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, USA, 8 p.

Internet references: Soils and Rocks available at and downloaded on August 6th 2003.

On line first publications must also bring the digital object identifier (DOI) at the end.

Figures shall be either computer generated or drawn with India ink on tracing paper. Computer generated figures must be accompanied by the corresponding digital file (.tif, .jpg, .pcx, etc.). All figures (graphs, line drawings, photographs, etc.) shall be numbered consecutively and have a caption consisting of the figure number and a brief title or description of the figure. This number should be used when referring to the figure in text. Photographs should be black and white, sharp, high contrasted and printed on glossy paper.

Tables shall be numbered consecutively in Arabic and have a caption consisting of the table number and a brief title. This number should be used when referring to the table in the text. Units should be indicated in the first line of the table, below the title of each column. Acronyms should be avoided. When applicable, the units should come right below the corresponding column heading. Additional comments can be placed as footnotes.

Equations shall appear isolated in a single line of the text. Numbers identifying equations must be flushed with the right margin. International System (SI) units must be used. The definitions of the symbols used in the equations must appear in the List of Symbols. It is recommended that the symbols used are in accordance with Lexicon in 8 Languages, ISSMFE (1981) and the ISRM List of Symbols.

The text of the submitted manuscript (including figures, tables and references) intended to be published as an article paper or a case history should not contain more than 30 pages, formatted according to the instructions mentioned above. Technical notes and discussions should have no more than 15 and 8 pages, respectively. Longer manuscripts may be exceptionally accepted if the authors provide proper explanation for the need of the required extra space in a cover letter.


Discussions must be written in English. The first page of a discussion should contain:

The title of the paper under discussion;

Name of the author(s) of the discussion, followed by their position, affiliation, address and e-mail. The author(s) of the discussion should refer to himself (herself/themselves) as the reader(s) and to the author(s) of the paper as the author(s).

Figures, tables and equations should be numbered following the same sequence of the original paper. All instructions previously mentioned for the preparation of article papers, case studies and technical notes also apply to the preparation of discussions.

Editorial Review

Each paper will be evaluated by reviewers selected by the editors according to the subject of the paper. The authors will be informed about the results of the review process. If the paper is accepted, the authors will be required to submit a version of the revised manuscript with the suggested modifications. If the manuscript is rejected for publication, the authors will be informed about the reasons for rejection. In any situation comprising modification of the original text, classification of the manuscript in a category different from that proposed by the authors, or rejection, the authors can reply presenting their reasons for disagreeing with the reviewer comments.


The author(s) must upload a digital file of the manuscript to the Soils and Rocks website.

Follow Up

The online management system will provide a password to the corresponding author, which will enable him/her to follow the reviewing process of the submitted manuscript at the Soils and Rocks website.