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The Plant Genome Author Instructions

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Manuscript Submission

Article Requirements

Publication Fees

Related editorial links:

ASA-CSSA-SSSA Editorial Policies

ASA-CSSA-SSSA Style Manual












Papers must be either reports of original research, critical reviews, or interpretive articles. The Plant Genome will publish original research investigating all aspects of plant genomics. Technical breakthroughs reporting improvements in the efficiency and speed of acquiring and interpreting plant genomics data are welcome. Short articles (usually 4 printed pages or less) concerned with experimental techniques, database descriptions, method improvements, new analytical equipment, computational tools or other breakthroughs that significantly improve genomic data acquisition and analysis will be accepted for review as Science Notes. Science notes may also describe novel findings that do not require extensive background or discussion. The editorial board will give preference to novel reports that use innovative genomic applications that advance our understanding of plant biology that may have applications to crop improvement.


Manuscript Submission

All manuscripts should be submitted through the online submission tool (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/plantgenome). Detailed instructions can be found at this site, along with instructions related to logging on to The Plant Genome Manuscript Central system. Submissions to The Plant Genome must not be previously published in or simultaneously submitted to any other scientific or technical journal. For the policy regarding publishing in nontechnical outlets, see the Publications Handbook and Style Manual.

Creating the manuscript file. Submit the main text document in a common word processing file (Word preferred). LaTeX or other typeset formats are not accepted. Manuscript Central will convert your original files into PDF format; please check this PDF “proof” before submitting. Check any Greek characters and figures carefully. If you have a character conversion, fix your word processing file by embedding fonts (in Word, go to Tools/Options/“Save” tab, and check “Embed Truetype Fonts”). If there is an error in the PDF you cannot fix, contact the Managing Editor.

ORCID iD. Beginning July 1, 2018, corresponding authors will be required to use an ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript. For more information on ORCID, see https://www.orcid.org. We encourage all authors to list their ORCID iD in the manuscript.

Peer review and revisions. All manuscripts submitted undergo single blind peer review. Papers are assigned to an associate editor who is responsible for soliciting at least two reviews. Authors will be prompted to provide a list of potential reviewers. These reviewers must not have a conflict of interest involving the authors or paper, and the editorial board has the right to not use any reviewers suggested by authors. See the editorial policy information page for additional information on review policy. All revisions to the manuscript during the review process will be made by the author only, and revisions will be given the same manuscript number, with an R number on the end (e.g., TPG-2006-04-0017-ORA.R1). Each revision has the opportunity for another round of review—the manuscript status “awaiting reviewer selection” is automatic and does not indicate a resubmission. Authors have four weeks to review and return their manuscript following reviewer and associate editor comments. Manuscripts may be released if revisions are not received, and the paper will have to be submitted as a new manuscript. Within days of submission, we'll decide whether or not to send your paper through review. For papers that are reviewed, the average time from submission to first decision is about eight weeks. Accepted papers go through an average of one revision.  

Language Editing

Particularly if English is not your first language, before submitting your manuscript you may wish to have it edited for language. This is not a mandatory step, but may help to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services. A list of paid resources can be found at https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/language-helpThe Editor or Associate Editor may also recommend in-house language editing (for a fee) after your paper has been submitted. The Societies have an English Language Editing Service for papers submitted to our journals. Please contact the Managing Editor for more information.

Article Requirements

Full papers must be either reports of original research, critical reviews, or interpretive articles. The journal also publishes short communications, book reviews, and letters to the editor. Authors should follow the ASA-CSSA-SSSA style when formatting manuscripts for submission.

Please submit the manuscript file in Word format containing the title, abstract, text, references, figures, and tables. 

The submission should contain the following elements:
• Title
• Authors
• Affiliations
• Core Ideas
• Abstract
• Abbreviations list
• Text
• References list
• Figure captions
• Tables*
• Figures*
• Cover submission (optional)

*Tables and figures (review quality) with captions should be placed into the text document at first mention. If your manuscript is accepted for publication, figures must also be submitted separately as high-resolution image files in the following acceptable formats: PDF, EPS, TIF, or JPEG.


Paper structure. On the first page, give the title, a byline with the names of all authors, an author–paper documentation, a list of all nonstandard abbreviations used in the paper (standard abbreviations available in the style manual, https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/style), and any other necessary footnotes. An abstract is required and is normally the second manuscript page. After the title page and abstract, the usual order of sections is an untitled introduction (which includes the literature review), Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions (optional), Acknowledgments (optional), and References, followed by any figure captions and the tables. Results and Discussion may be combined and conclusions can be given at the close of the Discussion section. Start each section (including figure captions and tables) on a new page and number all pages.

Title and byline. A title gives the reader a clear idea of what the article is about; it should be brief and informative. The usual limit for titles is 10 to 12 words (not counting “and,” “of,” and similar conjunctions and prepositions). Titles in a numbered series of articles may be longer. Below the title, list the names of all authors. Place an asterisk after the name of the corresponding author (i.e., the person from whom reprints are to be requested).

Affiliations. The author–paper documentation is a single paragraph. The first sentence lists the authors (without professional titles) and their complete, current addresses. If a paper has only one author, or if all authors are from the same department and institution, omit the names (i.e., give the address only). The second sentence lists institutional sponsors, with the institutional article number of similar contribution acknowledgment. Add such an acknowledgment if an author has moved and using the current address leaves no other mention of the involvement of the former institution. Other information such as author contributions, granting, funding, or dissertation status may follow here or in a separate acknowledgment section at the end of the paper. End the author–paper documentation paragraph with these two statements: “Received ___________. *Corresponding author (e-mail).” The date received will be filled in by an editor.

Core Ideas: Include 3 to 5 summary statements that convey the core findings of the article. The purpose of these short, bullet-pointed statements is to identify the most relevant outcomes of the paper and to provide a synopsis encapsulating the significance of the research and its implications for readers. Each statement must be 85 characters or less (spaces included). If the article is accepted, the core ideas may also be used for promoting and publicizing the research.

Abstract. Abstracts are a single self-contained paragraph of no more than 1500 characters – including word spaces ‑ for papers or 750 characters for Notes. Abstracts should contain the rationale, objectives, methods, results, and their meaning or scope of application. Be specific. Identify the crops or organisms involved, the soil type, chemicals, and other details that are pertinent to the results. Do not cite references.

Abbreviations. Prepare a list in alphabetical order of abbreviations used in your article. Do not include SI units, chemical abbreviations, or most common abbreviations such as those listed in the style manual.

Conflict of Interest. Authors should include a statement just before the References section that explains any conflicts of interest. If there are none, authors should explicitly state there are no conflicts of interest.

Author Contributions. Authors are encouraged to include a short paragraph before the References section with specific author contributions.

References. The author–year notation system is required; do not use numbered notation. In the list, arrange references alphabetically by author. All single-author entries precede multiple-author entries for the same first author. Use chronological order only within entries with identical authorship (alphabetizing by title for same-author, same-year entries). Add a lowercase letter a, b, c, etc. to the year to identify same-year entries for text citation. Do this also for any multiple-author entries that would otherwise result in identical citations in the text.

Reference examples:
Lewis, J.M., L. Siler, E. Souza, P.K.W. Ng, Y. Dong, G. Brown-Guedira, G.-L. Jiang, and R.W. Ward. 2010. Registration of ‘Ambassador’ wheat. J. Plant Reg. 4:195–204.
USDA-ARS National Genetic Resources Program. 1993. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) database. Festuca arundinacea Schreb. POACEAE ‘Maximize’. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, MD. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/acc/display.pl?1444051 (accessed 1 Jan. 2015).


Figures. Submit figures in high-resolution. All panels of one figure need to be on the same page if possible. Check your figures in the PDF proof generated by Manuscript Central to ensure they are legible. Width of figures should approximate desired print size, i.e., 3 ¼ inches for a one column figure, 7 inches for a two column figure. Photographs and drawings for graphs and charts should be prepared with good contrast of dark and light. Give careful attention to the width of lines and size and clarity of type and symbols. Variables (e.g., r, x, y) should be italicized.

A figure caption should be brief, but sufficiently detailed to tell its own story. Specify the crop or soil involved, the major variables presented, and the place and year. Identify curves or symbols in a legend within the figure itself, not in the caption. Define abbreviations in the caption. Define symbols used in the caption or in the legend. Be sure to indicate the scale for micrographs, either in the illustration or the caption.

Tables. Prepare tables with the tables feature in your word processor; do not use tabs, spaces, or graphics boxes. Each datum needs to be contained in an individual cell. Number tables consecutively. Table heads should be brief but complete and self-contained. Define all variables and spell out all abbreviations. Tables should be placed at the end of the main text document.

Cover submissions. If you have any images which highlight your paper, you may submit them along with your paper in the Manuscript Central system. Please be sure to label as “image” (not “figure”). Cover images need to be at least 300 dpi at actual size. Please be aware that even if your image is not chosen for publication as the cover, images submitted to The Plant Genome may be used in other Society publications.

Supplemental materials. If you wish to include supplemental materials, please include these files with your submission. See the style guide for requirements. Label the file as “Supplemental File” when you upload. 

Units of measure. The SI system (Système International de Unités) is required in Crop Science. Other units may be indicated in parentheses after the SI unit if this helps understanding or is needed for replication of the work.

Math. If you have equations, please use the INSERT EQUATION function in Microsoft Word or use a program such as MathType.

Citing genetic material. Authors of CSSA publications must cite plant introductions, as well as registered cultivars, germplasm, parental lines, and genetic stocks when they are mentioned in the text of the Introduction, Discussion, or Characteristics section of research papers. Such genetic materials must also be cited when they are used to develop unreleased genetic populations that are the focus of the research paper, unless the development of the population can be cited more directly. Authors are encouraged to cite the Journal of Plant Registrations if possible. Other sources for citation information include the Genetic Resource Information Network (GRIN) maintained by the USDA. Registrations published in Crop Science and the Journal of Plant Registrations are indexed on the GRIN website at http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/csrlist.pl?. A general search in GRIN is available at http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/acc/acc_queries.html

Nomenclature and identification of materials. Give the complete binomial and authorities at first mention (in abstract or text) of plants, pathogens, and insects or pests.


Publication Fees

Full-length manuscripts accepted for publication in The Plant Genome are assessed a publication charge of $1600, plus $200 per page for each page over 10, $20 for each table and figure, and $100 for supplemental information. Notes are assessed a publication charge of $600.

Open access and archive deposit policy. The default licensing option for The Plant Genome is CC BY-NC-ND. Authors have the option of paying an additional $500 fee (see options below), above the usual publication charge, to expand their open access licensing to CC BY. Authors may post the final published version of their papers anywhere, with no restrictions. The doi link should appear on the PDF. Open access options are as follows.
Open Access Options

CC BY-NC-ND https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ 
In summary: You may share immediately with attribution, but not for commercial or derivative purposes. Open access articles may be posted on an author’s personal Website, funder and institutional repositories, and article sharing sites. This license permits noncommercial copying and redistribution of articles with proper attribution, and prohibits distribution of derivative content. This licensing option is standard for The Plant Genome and will be used if the alternative is not specified.

CC BY https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
In summary: You may share immediately with attribution. Open access articles may be posted on an author’s personal Website, funder and institutional repositories, and article sharing sites. This licensing option may be selected for a base publication fee of $2100 (plus fees for pages over 10, tables/figures, and supplemental information).

Important note: Some articles may contain figures, tables, or text taken from other publications, for which this publisher does not hold the copyright or the right to re-license the published material. Please note that you should inquire with the original copyright holder (usually the original publisher or authors), whether or not this material can be reused. 

Official Sources

• Spelling: Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary
• Plant scientific names: USDA–ARS GRIN Taxonomy (http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl)
• Chemical names: ChemBioFinder.com (http://chembiofinder.cambridgesoft.com/)
• Soil series descriptions: USDA–NRCS Official Soil Series Descriptions (https://soilseries.sc.egov.usda.gov/osdname.asp)
• Fungal nomenclature: Fungi on Plants and Plant Products in the United States (APS Press)
• Journal abbreviations: Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (CASSI; American Chemical Society, http://cassi.cas.org/)
• ASA-CSSA-SSSA journal style: Publications Handbook and Style Manual (dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/style)

Plagiarism Screening

Upon submission, papers are screened for plagiarism using specialized software. If significant duplication is found, the paper will be forwarded to the journal editor for evaluation.

 For questions about the format of submissions, the process of submitting a manuscript, or about the status of manuscripts that have been submitted and assigned a manuscript number, please contact The Plant Genome managing editor Liz Gebhardt.