ANR Peer Review and Publication Production
University of California
ANR Peer Review and Publication Production

Manuscript submission requirements; using Manuscript FastTrak


Logging In

  1. Go to

  2. The first time you enter the system, you'll be asked "Want to submit a document, but don't have an account? Register here." Click that link.

  3. You'll be asked to create a user account, with user ID and password. Remember these for future access into the online system. 

  4. Once you have successfully created your account, log in to submit your manuscript. This takes you to the “Submission instructions" page.

Submitting a manuscript

  1. Your manuscript must be a Word document. 

  2. Visual elements (charts, photographs, illustrations etc) that provide important technical content are considered part of the text and must be included in the submitted manuscript. Insert these elements into the text near where they are referenced. We recommend saving visual elements as .png files for insertion into the Word file. Number each item and provide an explanatory caption. Be sure to reference each item (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc) in the main text. If a visual element is difficult to insert into the Word doc, you may provide it as a separate attachment.

  3. New requirement: To make your content accessible for people with visual impairments, please compose alt-text for each image. To access the alt-text interface in Word, right-click on an image and select "Edit Alt-text". Alt-text is a short, descriptive sentence or two (no more than 150 characters total) that explains what information the image coveys. Here's a quick explanation of how to compose good alt-text.

  4. For layout (after a manuscript is accepted) our designers will generally need different versions of the visual elements -- photograph files should be high-resolution, in .jpg or .tif format; figures and illustrations should be in a vector format such as .eps, .ai or vector .pdf. We will ask you for these files when we begin the editing process. You will also need to provide credit information (who created the image) and documentation that UC ANR has permission to publish each image (for copyright purposes). More information on permissions is available here. You do not need to provide this information until your manuscript is accepted, but it is a good idea to organize it ahead of time.

  5. Insert tables in the manuscript near where they are referenced. Be sure to reference each table (Table 1, Table 2, etc) in the main text.

  6. IMPORTANT: The document you upload should not identify any of the authors. Be sure to check and remove such information before you upload the document(s).

  7. Please suggest at least three possible reviewers for your manuscript.  Please add their names and emails in the Comments field. Select the AE subject area that is appropriate for your manuscript.

  8. If you are submitting a manuscript that is part of a multi-chapter book, write the book's title and the name of the Technical Editor (the person organizing the book) in the Comments field. Attach the book's Table of Contents as a separate document.

  9. Fill out and sign the "MF-21" form. Your signature on this form represents an acknowledgement of the copyright terms for UC ANR Publications — that the copyright of the published manuscript belongs to the Regents of the University of California. You can access the MF-21 form from the "My submissions" tab in Manuscript FastTrack. Look for the line "ANR Communication Services Submittal Form (MF-21)" and click "Update". Fill in the blanks in the upper portion of the form (please pay special attention to the question about pesticide references in the manuscript) and sign and date the "Author" fields near the bottom.

Peer review

  1. Once your manuscript has been submitted into the system, you will receive emails as it moves from submission to Associate Editor (AE) assignment. During this time you may also receive emails from the AE if he/she has questions about your submission. The duration of the review process takes varies widely, depending on the length of the manuscript and the responsiveness of the reviewers. Reviewers are asked to complete reviews within 30 days. 

  2. Using the online review form, peer reviewers evaluate the manuscript. They are asked to summarize what they believe are the major problems—if any—in your manuscript. They can make comments in the manuscript as well or write a separate letter to you. Last, they are given three decision options: 
    Accepted, contingent upon approved revision
    • Declined, but recommend to rework and resubmit
    • Declined outright

  3. When all reviews are returned, the AE summarizes the reviewers' main issues or concerns and selects the appropriate review decision in an email to you. If the decision was either "accepted (with revision)" or "rejected but encouraged to rework and resubmit," the AE will explain how you should address reviewer comments and queries. The anonymous peer review forms are attached to this email. Authors are typically given three months to make revisions to the manuscript.

  4. Once you are ready to return your revised manuscript and your response to reviewer comments, log into the online system but do not treat your revision as a new submission. Instead, go to your "My Submissions" page and click on your submission ID number. Go to "Manuscript Attachments" at the bottom and click on "Add another file." Now upload both your revised manuscript and your document that explains how you responded to reviewer comments. Your Associate Editor will receive this information and make his/her final peer-review acceptance of your manuscript.

  5. When the AE is satisfied with your responses and revision, peer review is considered successful.

  6. If any pesticide use recommendations appear in your manuscript, the AE will send the manuscript to the UC ANR Office of Pesticide Information and Coordination (OPIC), which will review all pesticide recommendations to ensure that they comply with current labeled uses. For details, see When pesticides are recommended in a manuscript.

  7. Last, the AE and the Director of Publishing will sign the MF-21 form and the publication will move to editing and production.


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