• Open Access



Welcome to the first issue of the tenth volume of the Plant Biotechnology Journal; yes, it is hard to believe that the Journal is approaching its tenth birthday.

As in all of our previous years, 2011 has seen both an increase in the number of manuscripts submitted and a significant increase in our impact factor; to 4.87. One suspects that it will not be too long before the Journal hits the magic five.

During the past year, there have been several changes to the Plant Biotechnology Journal’s aims and scope and our instructions to authors. These changes have a significant effect on whether a manuscript is sent out for review or returned immediately to the authors, and so I feel that it is well worth reviewing these changes here:

Word limit

The Plant Biotechnology Journal will not accept, for review, research articles containing more than 7000 words and review articles containing more than 9000 words. To support this process, all manuscripts must have a word count immediately following the covering page listing the authors and their affiliations. The word count must include all sections including figure and table legends; however, references and supplementary/supporting data should not be included in the word count. Research articles containing more than 7000 words and reviews containing more than 9000 words will be returned to the authors without review.

Work carried out solely in model species

Because of the rapid rise in the number of manuscripts submitted to the Journal, the Plant Biotechnology Journal, while continuing to accept exceptional manuscripts describing novel and useful procedures carried out in model species, has tended to immediately reject manuscripts containing high quality, but not exceptional, research relating solely to model species.

Preferred reviewers

Authors must indicate preferred and non-preferred reviewers when submitting their manuscript. Whilst the Journal is at liberty to approach any reviewers, to help speed the review process, we strongly recommend that you contact your preferred reviewers to ascertain whether or not they might be willing to review your manuscript. This step could save time and help to stop your manuscript being immediately rejected owing to a lack of reviewers willing to review your manuscript.

While this editorial is my tenth, it will also be my last; I have decided that after 10 years, it is time to hand over the leadership of the Journal to the next generation and go back to doing what I do best; research. I must say that I envy this next generation, it is they who will start to see the full benefits of over thirty years of research and development in plant biotechnology. I wish them and you our reader’s well; if you are ever in the Bristol area please do drop in and say hello, you will find me as always in the lab, hard at work; long may it be so.

I cannot end this editorial without acknowledging the fantastic contribution that our Editorial Office manager Adrienne Whitty has made to the Journal’s success. In 2012, Adrienne will also retire from the Journal; via this short note, I would like to thank Adrienne for all of her hard work, it has been a pleasure to work (and gossip) with Adrienne, and I wish her all the best in her future endeavours.