My first full year as Editor-in-Chief of Pest Management Science was 2013. 2013 has been an eventful and prosperous year for the journal. Our impact factor increased to 2.594, an all time high, and the number of papers submitted will be about 750 for 2013, also a new record. China continues to provide a rapidly increasing number of submissions.

Terry Clark, Willem de Kogel, J. Chris Hall, Kirk Simmons, and David Young retired from the Editorial Board (EB). We will sorely miss their presence on the board, and we thank them for donating their precious time and expertise to our journal. We welcomed Robert Clark, Frank van den Bosch, Bart Fraaije, Jens Jacob, Cynthia Scott-Dupree, Paul Teng, and Patrick Tranel, who joined our EB as Associate Editors (AE). The structure of our EB was changed somewhat last year, with eight Executive Editors (EE) who act as subject editors, assigning papers to appropriate AEs or handling the papers as an AE themselves. This process is more finely tuned in assigning papers to the appropriate AE. Jeff Bloomquist was promoted from AE to EE.

Because the number of pages that we can print stays about the same, our rejection rate has necessarily had to increase with increasing submissions. Our rejection rate is currently ca. 70% and rising, up from 45% in 2005. The more selective acceptance of papers has probably contributed to our rising impact factor. The number of papers rejected without review has increased in order to prevent reviewer burnout. These criteria were provided to AEs to consider as reasons for rejection without review:

  • The question addressed is of little scientific significance.
  • The work has been published in whole or in part elsewhere.
  • The paper is of limited geographical importance or interest.
  • The paper has a questionable relationship to the management of pests.
  • The paper is on products of uncertain chemical composition (e.g. crude extracts, formulations with incomplete chemical descriptions) or unknown or unclear active ingredients.
  • The paper is an efficacy comparison of commercial products.
  • The paper is too preliminary (e.g., minimal data).
  • The paper is too similar to another or others by the same or different authors.
  • The grammar would require a major revision to correct.

Use of iThenticate to identify prose taken from previous publications in submitted articles has been successful in allowing us to detect unacceptable levels of similarity. When this occurs, the paper is rejected without review.

The time required for a decision on submissions has been steadily coming down and is now about 30 days, down from ca. 100 days in 2005. But, this reduction has been helped by increasing proportions of papers being rejected without review.

One of our continuing objectives is to publish high-quality front matter articles (reviews, perspectives, and spotlights) on topics of broad interest. In 2013, we moved closer to our goal of three such papers per issue, reaching 2.5 front matter articles per issue in 2013. This is up from 1.5 such papers per issue in 2012. The special issue on vertebrate pest management (March, 2012), based on the 8th European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference held in late 2011, helped us approach the goal, as did an In Focus section in our February, 2013 issue on pesticide resistance based on the Rothamsted resistance meeting held in late 2011.

We look forward to two special issues in 2014. One devoted to whitefly, stemming from the First International Whitefly Symposium held in Crete in May, 2013, is being edited by Ralf Nauen and Isaac Ishaaya. An issue based on the Global Herbicide Resistance Challenge 2013 held in Australia in February, 2013 is being edited by guest editor, Steven Powles, and me.

Lastly, let me thank the many reviewers who have assisted us and the entire editorial board for their valuable time and expertise. The higher level of scrutiny in what we publish makes their job even more challenging. I take this opportunity to thank them for their usually thankless efforts that have significantly improved the quality and impact of our journal. I hope that we can successfully continue the improvement of the journal in 2014.