• Open Access



Welcome to the first issue of the twelfth volume of Plant Biotechnology Journal. I would like to start this editorial by thanking the past Editor-in-Chief, Professor Keith Edwards and all founding/current editors for their commitment to high-quality science, ethical standards and leading PBJ to achieve an Impact Factor of 6.279. With the dedication of a highly committed team of Editors and excellent contributions from our authors, PBJ is now ranked 5th among 197 plant science journals and 7th among 160 biotechnology journals publishing original research in these fields. For a very young journal, this is indeed an impressive accomplishment.

It is my goal to continue to increase the impact of PBJ in plant biotechnology, to improve its standing among academic/industry researchers and regulatory agencies and to increase awareness of this research among the public. To achieve the latter goals, PBJ has started a new section that publishes commentaries. It is intended that this section should highlight newsworthy articles published in other journals, important inventions/patents and regulatory approvals or controversies related to plant biotechnology. Areas of interest may include, but are not restricted to, how genetically modified crops play an increasingly important role in public debates, Supreme Court decisions in different countries and how voting by the public has impacted the labelling of GM products. Therefore, we invite authors to submit commentaries, in addition to their original research articles.

To best serve its authorship, PBJ will introduce a new submission initiative which will allow those authors who have had manuscripts previously considered by high-impact journals to submit to PBJ without the need for significant reformatting. The aim will be to allow rapid consideration of the work, with only those manuscripts that have to be resubmitted following review or which go on to be provisionally accepted for publication, needing to be reformatted to PBJ style.

PBJ will continue to publish high-quality articles in its established areas of strength, as well as expand into emerging areas. The Editorial Board will be expanded to represent new areas and different continents. We welcome aboard Professor Xiao-Ya Chen (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China, founding editor-in-chief of Molecular Plant) as the new Reviews Editor and Professor Qifa Zhang (National Key Laboratory, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China) as an Associate Editor. The editorial board was expanded in 2013 to welcome members from different continents, not previously represented. In addition, I convey my sincere thanks for the excellent service offered by our current Associate Editors (Drs Malcolm Campbell, Dave Edwards, Dominique Michaud, Neal Stewart, Stephen Streatfield) and outgoing Associate Editors (Professors Robert Henry and Maelor Davies). I express my profound gratitude to Robert who served PBJ more than a decade as the founding editor and Maelor for serving two years as the reviews editor. We aim to appoint more Associate Editors and Editorial board members to reflect new and emerging areas. PBJ will continue to publish special issues covering topics of interest to our readers, and we welcome suggestions for timely topics.

Like several other journals, PBJ published exclusively online from January 2013, and compatibility with mobile platforms, tablets, iPads and iPhones was modified accordingly. We encourage all readers to visit the journal homepage http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-7652 to keep up to date with the latest developments in these areas and to sign up for our automated e-alerts in order to receive e-mailed notifications when new issues and Early View articles are published. Please note that readers need to ‘opt-in’ to receive e-alerts, by visiting the journal homepage and registering at the ‘Get Content Alerts’ area.

With these and other changes, PBJ will continue to serve the plant research community and offer a platform to publish exciting research findings and new developments.