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I would like to introduce myself as the new Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Applied Biology. I am Professor of Plant Pathology in the Department of Applied Biology in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland, but presently relieved of duties towards the university in order to concentrate on research as an Academy Professor employed by the Academy of Finland. I have a considerable interest in the diseases caused by plant viruses and the ability of plants to resist such diseases.

It is most appropriate to start by cordially thanking Martin Parry for his 10 years of hard and dedicated work as the Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Applied Biology. I have had the pleasure of being a member of the Board of Editors for those 10 years and in a position to observe the comprehensiveness and importance of the changes, which have been carried out under Martin’s leadership. The results speak for themselves! The journal now ranks third among its peers, the number of submissions has doubled and the Impact Factor has increased from 0.5 to 1.75. Many papers published in the first issues of 2008 had been downloaded hundreds of times by the middle of November. Annals of Applied Biology is now a journal that is printed and marketed by one of the world’s largest international publishers, Wiley-Blackwell. It should be mentioned that we have not lost Martin from the team of Editors. He has very kindly agreed to continue as a Senior Editor and hence will remain in contact in his role of co-ordinating and handling manuscripts.

Annals of Applied Biology has made rapid progress. There has been a positive cycle of an increasing Impact Factor, greater number of manuscripts submitted by authors and thus more appealing issues of the journal. This has lead to a wider interest to a larger audience and hence more readers, which again has increased submissions and citations of the journal. It will be a demanding task to maintain this development, but we are committed to ensure that Annals of Applied Biology retains its position as a leading Multidisciplinary Agriculture journal. Probably, the best advertisements for a scientific journal are the number of interesting high-quality papers published and a fast and fair manuscript evaluation process. The Editorial Board will strive to ensure that the current high standards of highly cited reviews and primary papers are maintained.

As I am new to this job, I would in particular welcome ideas from you the readers as to how Annals of Applied Biology could be enhanced. If you have any suggestions for improvement (or even criticisms!), please do not hesitate to contact me.