Plant Molecular Biology 52: vii–viii, 2003.
Plant Molecular Biology: A Commitment to Excellence in Plant Sciences
After almost two years as Editor-in-Chief for Plant Molecular Biology, I am pleased to report about progress the
journal has made in gaining impact among the international journals and improving its editorial review process.
And we have more changes planned for the near future to serve the research community as a leading journal in the
burgeoning ﬁeld of plant sciences.
Since it was founded in 1981 by Robert A. Schilperoort, Plant Molecular Biology continues to rank
among the leading journals. In a recent survey of the top 25 journals for plant papers published dur-
ing the years 1992–2002, PMB ranks number 6 for total citations and number 16 for citations per paper
). These strong rankings are especially notable considering the
breadth of papers on many different plant systems published in Plant Molecular Biology. While the Editorial
Board recognizes this important scope of the journal, we also feel that current trends in plant research offer unique
opportunities to publish more high-impact papers in development, intracellular compartmentalization and trafﬁc,
signal transduction, functional genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. The next few years will see a rapid
increase in information from expression analysis of fully sequenced plant genomes, from elucidation of organelle
and cellular proteomes, and from the changes of metabolite patterns in response to environmental stimuli. This
information requires new computational approaches and bioinformatics tools to understand the biological net-
works that control plant form and function. Plant Molecular Biology stands ready to consider manuscripts that use
functional genomics and computational biology tools to address important biological questions. Results from such
experiments must advance our understanding of key plant developmental, molecular and biochemical processes. To
demonstrate its dedication to the publication of high-impact papers, several new internationally leading scientists
have been appointed to the Editorial Board.
The introduction of the electronic manuscript management system, Editorial Manager
in 2001, has greatly
improved the editorial review process. The average time from manuscript submission to an editorial decision is
now six weeks or less, and the Editorial Board is committed to further improvements. The Author Instructions have
been revised to provide guidance on the type and impact of manuscripts that will be considered for publication in
Plant Molecular Biology (http://www.kluweronline.com/issn/0167-4412
). As a service to the authors, the Editorial
Board has decided to return manuscripts without review in the future if they do not comply with journal policies or
if they are unlikely to pass the editorial review process. Authors are encouraged to submit supplementary material,
especially for papers that report results from large datasets of proﬁling experiments. It is important to note, however,
that the format of such data sets must follow internationally accepted standards and must be fully accessible to
the scientiﬁc community. For details, authors may contact the publishing manager of the journal, Jacco Flipsen
). Manuscripts that have been accepted for publication in Plant Molecular Biology will
be posted immediately on the Kluwer website and can be accessed free of charge until publication volume and
page numbers have been issued. Kluwer editorial and production staff is also committed to print Plant Molecular
Biology papers as soon as possible after they have been accepted.
Plant Molecular Biology will continue to provide up-to-date reviews and publish special issues on selected
topics. Several special issues have already been commissioned, including the rice genome, plant meristems, the
evolution of plant disease resistance loci, and on important, but neglected crops such as cassava. Authors are
encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief with suggestions for special issues, or if they feel that their original
research article may be particularly well suited for a special issue. The Editorial Board is also developing new fea-
tures for Plant Molecular Biology, including regular information on plant databases and development of functional
genomics tools, as well as providing free web access to the top article selected from each issue.