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Instructions for authors

Read our 10-point guidance notes for authors here.



Scope of the Journal

Clay Minerals – Journal of Fine Particle Science publishes electronically and in paper form, research papers about clays, clay minerals and related materials, natural or synthetic. Aspects covered include: Earth Processes (interactions in 'system earth' ± soil science, and geology/mineralogy) including genesis/synthesis, phase transformations, stability, weathering, soil-organic interactions, ion-exchange, basin analysis, clay petrology; Solid State Chemistry/Materials Science ± synthesis, structure and dynamics, reactivity, crystal chemistry, mechanical, thermal, electrical properties, micro and nanophase materials; Environmental Science ± analytical methods, elemental distribution, waste containment, health issues, environmental impact assessment, conservation of cultural heritage; Colloid/Surface Science ± adsorption, colloid stability, surface chemistry, reactivity; and Applied Science and Technology ± industrial uses and technical applications, including mining and processing of clay, zeolite (and other) deposits and application in ceramics, paper, paint, polymer, ion-exchange, sorption, catalysis etc.


Papers must be written in English.

Guidelines re: paper type and length

Research papers of two types are allowed. ‘Full’ papers should normally be no more than about 6000 words of text (approx 24 pages) plus tables and figures. Short papers, where the text is not divided into sections, of up to 1500 words of text plus tables and figures are encouraged when the subject matter is novel or urgent. In both cases, an abstract (full papers – 150 words; short papers – 100 words) is required. If you wish to submit a research paper or review significantly longer than indicated above, please contact the appropriate Editor (see below).

Submission of manuscripts

In a letter accompanying the manuscript, the submitting author must state that all authors agree with the final version of the manuscript. The letter must also state that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere, either in full or in part, and that, while under review for Clay Minerals, it will not be submitted to any other publication. Authors are encouraged to suggest up to three possible reviewers for their papers.

Online submission

Authors should submit their papers online at

Preparation of manuscripts

Each manuscript (including text, references, tables, figures, captions) must be submitted as a single pdf file and as an identical MS-Word file. Double spacing should be used with margins of 4 cm at the top, sides and foot of each page. Tables, figures, legends and the reference list should be on separate pages.

Figures and tables should be kept to a minimum. Authors should use footnotes to the tables to provide ancillary information rather than adding such text to the title. Figures: (i) Line art should be black on a white background. Lettering should be in Times New Roman or Helvetica and of appropriate size to be legible after size reduction for publication. Italic or bold characters should be avoided. Adjacent grey scales should differ by at least 20% to ensure sufficient contrast. (ii) The standard of all figures must be equivalent to that of a professional draftsman or photographer. Unsatisfactory diagrams will be returned for redrafting and this will result in a delay in publication. (iii) Where it is not possible to submit figures electronically, they should be presented on a high-gloss art paper or board. For an example of carefully produced artwork, please see the paper by Morata et al. (2001) Clay Minerals, 36, 345–354. Figures may be reproduced in colour in the print version of the journal.


Data should not be repeated from the literature unless they are from “inaccessible” journals and/or are discussed in the text in conjunction with novel data. It might be appropriate for papers on rare or obscure minerals to include a concise summary of available data.

Submission of final manuscripts

MS-Word is the preferred format for the text and tables. Acceptable formats for figures are Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Tiff, Bit Map or Encapsulated Post-script. When exporting to EPS, all objects should be selected and then exported using 'selected only'. Do not submit digital figures embedded in text files.


Please see the manuscript template which follows.


A published paper entitles an author to a free e-print.

Open Access

The Mineralogical Society offers the option to publish your paper Open Access.  Please check the copyright form at the time of acceptance of your paper.


Authors are presented with a range of choices relating to copyright at the time of acceptance of their paper. Please read these options carefully.

Competing interests

All authors must include a competing interest declaration with their article. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors.

Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.”


Dissolution of mineral x by nitric acid solutions at different pH

Title in upper and lower case with caps for significant words only

K. Murphy1, G. Christidis2 and R. Smith1,*

Author names with forenames or initials, separated by commas. Addresses indicated by superscripted number.

1 Mineralogical Society, 8-12 Baylis Mews, Amyand Park Road, Twickenham TW1 3HQ, UK

2 Technical University of Crete, School of Mineral Resources Engineering Chania, 73100 Greece

3 Mineralogical Society, 8-12 Baylis Mews, Amyand Park Road, Twickenham TW1 3HQ, UK

Addresses in italic, numbers used to match affiliations above

[Received: xx  xxxx 2015; revised: xx xxxx 2016; Associate Editor: D. Bish]

Include this information in so far as it is available to you.

Running head: Dissolution of the mineral x structure

It is better if the author chooses the running head. It must fit on a single line across less than two columns. Use no more than 75 characters.


Leave a space for the DOI


Make sure to include a current email address which is checked regularly. This is the address that will be used for correspondence and will be published if your manuscript is accepted.

ABSTRACT: The dissolution of mineral x was investigated with the aim of revealing the effect of pH on its structure. Mineral x becomes more soluble at lower pH, with the octahedral, brucite sheet more readily dissolved than the tetrahedral sheet. The dissolution of the brucite sheet increases the pH of the solvent, because of the release of OH groups along with the Mg2+ ions. At pH 2.00, the characteristic cylindrical fibre bundle structure of mineral x is retained after dissolution, although the outside surface of each fiber becomes rough. Mineral x remains fibrous upon dissolution at pH 1.08, but the fibers are no longer crystalline and their cylindrical structure collapses. The nitric acid treatments result in an increase in both the specific surface area and the pore volume of mineral x.

The first sentence or two of the abstract should state the problem being addressed and your objective. In addition, it must include, in condensed form, a statement of the essential ideas and results to follow. You should note the materials and methods used, key observations, and list the main conclusions. The abstract should be no more than 350 words long.

Keywords: mineral x, dissolution, layer silicate, pH.

Keywords: Add 6–8 keywords, separated by commas, with a full stop at the end.

Main text

Mineral X is a naturally occurring fibrous hydrated magnesium layer silicate mineral. It forms as a secondary mineral resulting from the alteration of magnesium silicates, especially olivine, pyroxene, and amphibole. Mineral x, the idealized chemical formula of which is Mg3Si2O5(OH)4, consists of octahedral sheets of magnesium hydroxide (brucite) covalently

Citations should be in the form: “Murphy (2015)” or “(Murphy, 2015)” or “Murphy & Smith (2016)” or “(Murphy & Smith, 2016)” or “Murphy et al. (2017)” or “Murphy et al. (2017)”.

Make sure to include line numbers in your manuscript. These should run consecutively from one page to the next. They make it easier for the editors and reviewers to note items to which they wish to draw the authors’ attention.


Please use mineral abbreviations and associated symbols that are consistent with the recommendations and listing of Warr (2020). Mixed-layered clay minerals should be listed using a hyphen to separate the phase components e.g. Illite-smectite is symbolized as Ilt-Sme.


This journal uses three level of subheading


Level 2

Level 3. For this level of heading, the text follows on the same line after the full stop.

Typical Level 1 headings are







Anbalagan G., Sivakumar G., Prabakaran S. & Gunasekaran S. (2010) Spectroscopic characterization of natural mineral x. Vibrational Spectroscopy, 52, 122–127.

This is a typical reference to a paper from a journal. Note that commas are not used after surnames, & is used rather than “and”, the journal title is given in italic, followed by a comma, followed by the volume number in bold, followed by a page range with a long hyphen (n-rule) in the middle.

Belver C., Bañares Muñoz A.B. & Vicente M.A. (2002) Chemical activation of a kaolinite under acid and alkaline conditions. Chemistry of Materials, 14, 2033–2043.

Brindley G.W. & Brown G., editors (1980) Crystal Structure of Clay Minerals and their X-ray Identification. Mineralogical Society, London, UK, 504 pp.

This is a typical reference to a book. Note that commas are not used after surnames, & is used rather than “and”. The book title is given in italic with sentence case for all words. The  number of pages is given after the publisher details (name, city, country).

Mering J. & Oberlin A. (1977) The smectites. Pp. 193–229 in: The Electron Optical Investigation of Clays (J.A. Gard, editor). Mineralogical Society, London.

This is a typical reference to a chapter from an edited book. Note that commas are not used after surnames, & is used rather than “and”. The chapter title is given in roman, followed by the page range (long hyphen (n-rule) in the middle) followed by “in:” and then the book title (caps for all significant terms) and then, in parentheses, the name(s) of the editor(s). Then, after a full stop, give the name and location (city+country) of the publisher.

Whittle C.K. (1985) Analytical transmission electron microscopy of authigenic chlorites. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield, UK.

Theses and restricted-access reports may be cited but full details are necessary. Title in italic, type of document, location (institution, city, country)

Order of References

First, papers by single author in chronological order

Then papers by that author with a single co-author, in alphabetical order of the co-author.

Then papers by that author with two or more co-authors in chronological order.

Churchman G.J. (1970) Interlayer water in halloysite. Unpublished PhD thesis lodged in the Library, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Churchman G.J. (1990) Relevance of different intercalation tests for distinguishing halloysite from kaolinite in soils. Clays and Clay Minerals, 38, 591–599.

Churchman G.J. (2000) The alteration and formation of soil minerals by weathering. Pp. F3–F76 in: Handbook of Soil Science (M.E. Sumner, editor). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

Churchman G. J. (2009) Halloysite: are we there yet? Book of Abstracts, XIV International Clay Conference, Italy, 2009, 1, 340.

Churchman G.J. (2015) The identification and nomenclature of halloysite (a historical perspective). Pp. 51–67 in: Natural Mineral Nanotubes (P. Pasbakhsh & G.J. Churchman, editors). Apple Academic Press, Oakville, Canada.

Churchman G.J. & Carr R.M. (1975) The definition and nomenclature of halloysites.  Clays and Clay Minerals, 23, 382–388.

Churchman G.J. & Gilkes R.J. (1989) Recognition of intermediates in the possible transformation of halloysite to kaolinite. Clay Minerals, 24, 579–590.

Churchman G.J. & Lowe, D.J. 2012. Alteration, formation and occurrence of minerals in soils. Pp. 20.1–20.72 in: Handbook of Soil Sciences. Properties and Processes, 2nd edition (P.M. Huang, Y. Li & M.E. Sumner, editors). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

Churchman G.J. & Lowe D.J. (2014) Clay minerals in South Australian Holocene basaltic volcanogenic soils and implications for halloysite genesis and structure. Pp. 3–6 in: Proceedings of the 23rd Biennial Australian Clay Minerals Society Conference, University of Western Australia, Perth (R. Gilkes, editor).

Churchman G.J. & Pasbakhsh P. (2015) Current trends in research and application of natural mineral nanotubes. Pp. 481–488 in: Natural Mineral Nanotubes (P. Pasbakhsh & G.J. Churchman, editors). Apple Academic Press, Oakville, Canada.

Churchman G.J. & Theng B.K.G. (1984) Interactions of halloysites with amides: mineralogical factors affecting complex formation. Clay Minerals, 19, 161–175.

Churchman G.J., Whitton J.S., Claridge G.G.C. & Theng B.K.G. (1984) Intercalation method using formamide for differentiating halloysite from kaolinite. Clays and Clay Minerals, 32, 241–248.

Churchman G.J., Davy T.J., Aylmore L.A.G., Gilkes R.J. & Self P.G. (1995) Characteristics of fine pores in some halloysites. Clay Minerals, 30, 89–98.

Churchman G.J., Pontifex I.R. & McClure S.G. (2010) Factors affecting the formation and characteristics of halloysites or kaolinites in granitic and tuffaceous saprolites in Hong Kong. Clays and Clay Minerals, 58, 220–237.


For review purposes, you may embed your high-quality figures within the text at the point of citation. However, please upload the original .tif or .eps files at the time of submission also. When your paper has been accepted, we will not be able to use figures embedded in MS-Word for typesetting purposes.

As an online-only journal, all colour figures are now reproduced free of charge.

TABLE 1. Solution pH values before and after the dissolution experiments.

TABLE spelt with small caps for “able”.

Use MS-Excel or the Table function in MS-Word to create tables for data. Do not align columns of data using the space bar. Make sure that your table is not inserted in the text as a graphic. For typesetting purposes, we will need to be able to edit the text in your tables.


FIG. 1. Extent of dissolution of Mg and Si from raw mineral x as a function of the initial pH.

FIG spelt with small caps for “ig”.

In the text refer to figures as “Fig. 1", or "Figure 1" if at the start of a sentence. Do not abbreviate the word Table. Use uppercase F and T, respectively.