Guidelines for Individual Article Types
All journals of the Plant Management Network publish the following types of manuscripts (click for description):
In addition, the following article types are published by selected journals:
Applied Turfgrass Science
Plant Health Progress
Applied Turfgrass Science
Applied Turfgrass Science
All articles are subjected to peer-review, except Industry News, Perspectives, and Letters, which are published at the discretion of the editors. All authors are strongly encouraged to have their manuscripts critically reviewed by colleagues prior to submission. Reviews, Diagnostic Guides, and Management Guides often are solicited by PMN journal editors and authors should contact the editors before preparing these types of articles.
Below are the general instructions for individual categories of article published in the journals of the Plant Management Network. The more exacting instructions for units, citations, etc., are presented in the General Style Manual. Please read both sections carefully. Following the guidelines they provide is a condition of publication in any PMN journal.
Manuscripts from symposia at professional society or industry-sponsored meetings may be submitted for publication. Symposium organizers contact the journal Editor before the symposium is presented to make arrangements for submissions. Manuscripts from symposia are subject to the same review process applied to other articles.
Each PMN journal publishes Reviews. Reviews are peer-reviewed articles that summarize and analyze a topic of importance to the journal's subject matter area for those who are not specialists. Readers should be able to learn what is known and what questions remain unresolved about the subject. Reviews should be documented with appropriate references and be no longer than 3,500 words in length, not including Literature Cited.
Reviews should include an introduction to the problem or issue including why the topic is of interest to those involved with the journal's subject area and a discussion of the issues or new information as it relates to plant health management. The body of the review may be subdivided using short clauses that describe the major idea or ideas being discussed. Reviews should cite suitable references to document statements that are not considered general knowledge and also provide a list of printed and/or electronic resources for further information. Authors are encouraged to include figures, concise tables, and color photographs to document or substantiate statements and increase reader interest.
Authors of Reviews should also prepare a 4 to 5 sentence (200 word maximum) summary of the article and present it in the email message or cover letter at the time of submission. The summary should describe the contents of the article, and suggest the ways in which the article would benefit the readership of the journal.
Topics for Reviews in Plant Health Progress may include analysis of issues that impact agriculture, horticulture, forestry, industry, environment, or society including public policy debate, legislation, research efforts and priorities, or the practice of plant health maintenance. Reviews may also include "success stories" that describe the successful implementation of new knowledge to the practice of plant health maintenance.
Topics for Reviews in Crop Management may include analysis of issues that impact agriculture production, the agriculture industry, the environment, or society including public policy debate, legislation, research or technology transfer efforts and priorities, or cultural practices (or principles) related to crop management and production. Crop Management Reviews may also include "success stories" that describe the successful implementation of new knowledge to crop production.
Topics for Reviews in Forage and Grazinglands may include analysis of issues that impact forage production, grazinglands management, the forage industry, the environment, or society -- including public policy debate, legislation, research or technology transfer efforts and priorities, or cultural practices (or principles) related to forage and grazinglands. Forage and Grazinglands Reviews may also include "success stories" that describe the successful implementation of new knowledge to forage and grazinglands management, livestock production, or natural resource conservation with forage and range plants.
Topics for Reviews in Applied Turfgrass Science may include analysis of issues that impact turfgrass production, the turfgrass industry, the environment, or society including public policy debate, legislation, research or technology, or cultural practices related to turfgrass management and production. Turfgrass Science Reviews may also include "success stories" that describe the successful implementation of new knowledge to turfgrass production.
Each PMN journal publishes Research articles and all research articles are peer-reviewed. They should describe work that represents a significant advance in the understanding of a particular issue and that leads to practical solutions to existing problems. The work described must not have been published before (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review, or thesis) and must be original. Data reported in PMN journals must be from scientifically valid, replicated plots or observations and subjected to appropriate statistical analysis. Contributors are strongly encouraged to combine data from related experiments in similar regions or environments in order to broaden the inference space for the work.
Research articles are no longer than 3,000 words including table headings and figures captions, but not including Literature Cited. All manuscripts must be presented in terms meaningful to both a multidisciplinary audience of scientists and educated, non-specialist, lay readers. Technical jargon should be avoided where possible and technical terminology should be defined at its first occurrence in the text.
Research articles should contain the following parts:
Abstract: The abstract should consist of three to six sentences that provide an informal summary of the main points of the article and why the research results should be viewed as important.
Introduction: One to three paragraphs that describe the problem and the reasons for conducting the research. Authors should establish the context of their research at the beginning of the article and discuss the significance of their findings for plant management practices.
Body: This section should describe specific experiments, how they were conducted, and the results of these experiments. Articles should not be subdivided using the more formal journal style of "Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results, and Discussion," but should instead be subdivided using short clauses describing the particular experiment or series of experiments. Conclusions and recommendations resulting from the work should be discussed together in the final section of the article. Conclusions should interpret results in terms of practical recommendations.
Methods should be described only in enough detail that the reader can understand and evaluate the results and conclusions and duplicate the work if so desired. If the experiment includes two or more trials, (e.g., in the form of random locations or environments), then the trials should be discussed separately only if the statistical analysis indicates that separate analyses are more appropriate. The conclusions and recommendations resulting from the trials can be summarized as a whole. All tables and figures should be cited in numerical order.
Authors of Research articles should also prepare a 4 to 5 sentence (200 word maximum) summary of the article and present it in the email message or cover letter at the time of submission. The summary should describe the contents of the article and the ways in which its publication would benefit the readership of the journal.
Each PMN journal publishes Briefs. Briefs are short peer-reviewed scientific reports that report new findings and recommendations relevant to any aspect of the journal's subject matter area. These include any topics appropriate to other areas of the same journal except that they are shorter by nature. Briefs provide a repository of science-based findings that are important to advisers, growers, diagnosticians, researchers, regulatory officials, other practitioners, and the public. Briefs are intended to stand alone and do not include preliminary reports of work that will later be presented in full-length papers. Briefs are not abstracts and must not duplicate abstracts published or submitted elsewhere. Briefs are limited to 700 words including title, author names, and affiliations.
The title of a Brief should clearly identify the topic presented, the common name of the plant involved, if well known (otherwise the scientific name), and the relevant geographic location. When appropriate, scientific names should be used in the body if not already given in the title. Briefs should include observations and general methods but omit tables, footnotes, and acknowledgments. The significance of the report should be clearly stated and a brief interpretation, prognostication, or statement of implications is desirable. Up to four high-quality color photographs may be included to illustrate relevant aspects of the brief. Briefs should have no more than four references. References must be published journal articles or material from books (not proceedings or "in press" material).
Plant Health Progress and Applied Turfgrass Science publish peer-reviewed Diagnostic Guides. They describe the methods used to identify nutrient and other abiotic disorders, diseases and their causal agents, and insect, nematode or weed pests of specific plants. Each guide discusses: symptoms and signs; pathogen or pest names; host range; geographic distribution; methods for isolating and identifying the pathogen or pest, storage of the pathogen/pest, and conducting host range/pathogenicity tests; taxonomic references; and general references. These articles should be illustrated with high-quality color photographs of the symptoms and pathogen or pest structures associated with the problem. Diagnostic guides should not exceed 3,000 words in length.
Diagnostic guides should adhere to the format below (a very close adaptation can be used for disorders or conditions for which the format's categories do not apply):
HOST(S): List the common names of the primary economic hosts followed in parenthesis by the scientific name of each host
DISEASE: Give the official common name of the disease as listed in the Common Names for Plant Diseases (American Phytopathological Society Committee on the Standardization of Common Names for Plant Diseases. 1994. Common Names for Plant Diseases. APS, St. Paul, MN) Common Names of Plant Diseases.
PATHOGEN: List the current scientific name of the pathogen and any important synonyms, e.g., previous names by which the pathogen was well known or under which a large body of information may have been published. For fungal pathogens, provide anamorph and teleomorph names if appropriate. For virus pathogens, list the virus and its family affiliation. It is not necessary or desirable to provide great depth on the current taxonomic state of the pathogen.
TAXONOMY: List and describe pertinent references that discuss the current taxonomic state of the causal agent. If possible, list electronic resources that may be used to confirm the current taxonomic status of a causal agent. For example, the current names for bacteria, fungi, and viruses can be found at http://www-sv.cict.fr/bacterio/, http://126.96.36.199/cabipages/, and http://biology.anu.edu.au/Groups/MES/vide/, respectively.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: Start by describing those symptoms and signs of the disease most useful and characteristic for diagnosis of the disease. Expand the description to include important symptoms and signs of the disease as it develops over the growing season.
HOST RANGE: Describe the host range of the pathogen beyond the economic hosts listed above. Include a statement citing references for those interested in more detail.
GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Describe the geographic distribution of the pathogen in general terms. Include a statement with citing references for those interested in more detail.
PATHOGEN ISOLATION: For isolation of fungi and bacteria, include methods for isolation and establishment of pure cultures. Include recipes for unusual media, but not for common media such as potato dextrose agar. For nematodes, include appropriate methods.
PATHOGEN IDENTIFICATION: Describe the characters and techniques used to identify the pathogen in enough detail for someone unfamiliar with it to have a reasonable chance of success. Include "tricks of the trade" for working with individual pathogens and photographs or good quality line drawings of key characters.
PATHOGEN STORAGE: Describe methods used to preserve cultures of pathogens for both short- and long-term storage. These may include microbiological methods for fungi and bacteria or plants used to maintain cultures of viruses, nematodes, or other pathogens that cannot be cultured on artificial media. List plant species and cultivars known to be successful greenhouse hosts.
PATHOGENICITY TESTS: Describe the methods used to inoculate plants with a suspect pathogen. Include techniques for inoculum production, inoculation techniques, host varieties or cultivars most useful in identification, and environmental conditions for incubation of inoculated plants. Describe methods used to rate disease incidence and/or severity. Include descriptions and/or references to specialized equipment that may be used in the process.
LITERATURE CITED: List references for material provided above using the citation format for Plant Disease. References should be numbered and cited by number in the text.
Plant Health Management
Plant Health Progress publishes peer-reviewed Plant Health Management articles. They should introduce the disease, disorder, or pest by describing its geographic distribution, brief history including when and where the problem was first described, and relative economic importance with respect to crop production. Subsections should describe the symptoms and signs associated with a particular disease, disorder, or pest, the causal agent of the problem, the disease or pest life cycle, the environmental conditions that influence the problem, and lastly, management recommendations for the problem. Management articles should be documented with high-quality color images of the symptoms and signs and causal agents of the problem, and appropriate references and sources of additional information. Plant Health Management articles should be approximately 2,000 words or less in length.
Crop Management, Forage and Grazinglands, and Applied Turfgrass Science accept (subject to editorial and/or peer review) new and unique management guides for practicing professionals. Management guides are intended to expand and update the knowledge base of crop or forage producers, industry representatives, grazingland managers, conservationists, Extension specialists, county agents, consultants, and other adult educators.
Submissions should include a thorough consideration of current research findings and contain the most recent recommendations and best management practices available. Authors should provide an explanation of the science and logic behind recommendations or best management practices. Management guides should also include background information so that readers unfamiliar with the information are able to understand the topic. Management guides should be written in lay language but using the style guidelines for other articles in Crop Management, Forage and Grazinglands, and Applied Turfgrass Science. Guides should represent large geographical areas and be of interest to crop professionals across the United States.
Each PMN journal publishes Industry News. Industry News articles are brief announcements of new products, label revisions, etc., and may be accompanied by a photograph, company logo, and/or a link to a company website. Industry News articles are usually contributed by private companies involved in plant management professions touched on by the journals of PMN and are not intended to be product reviews. Although Industry News articles are evaluated for importance, balance, and appropriateness for the journal's audience, their publication does not constitute an endorsement of the products or companies by PMN, the editorial board of any of its journals, the partners of PMN, or the publisher. Industry News articles should be no longer than 800 words.
Crop Management, Forage and Grazinglands, and Plant Health Progress publish Perspectives that discuss problems of general interest to our readers, such as recent developments in research, legislation, and public policy, and express opinions concerning the resulting impact on the respective subject matter area of the journal in which they are published. Perspectives representing alternative or opposing points of view will frequently be solicited and presented simultaneously. The editors reserve the right to reject or accept Perspectives for publication and to edit them for clarity and conciseness. The opinions published in the Perspectives section of PMN's journals reflect the views of the authors and are not necessarily the views of the journals' editorial boards, the partners of PMN, or the publisher. Plant Health Perspectives should be no longer than 1000 words.
Turfgrass Science and Industry Trends
Applied Turfgrass Science publishes information under "Turfgrass Science and Industry Trends" that addresses problems or issues of general interest to our readers, such as recent developments in research, legislation, and public policy. Types of information that will be considered include, but are not limited to, annual reports from various research and educational groups, local or regional survey or economic data, unique observations or trends in turfgrass science and management, and legislative or policy issues that may impact turfgrass managers, researchers, and educators. Articles in Turfgrass Science and Industry Trends should not exceed 1,000 words in length.
The editors reserve the right to reject or accept content for publication in "Turfgrass Science and Industry Trends" and to edit for clarity and conciseness. Opinions published in the "Turfgrass Science and Industry Trends" category of Applied Turfgrass Science reflect the views of the authors and are not necessarily the views of the journals' editorial boards, the partners of PMN, or the publisher.
Letters to the Editor
Each PMN journal publishes Letters to the Editor that pertain to material published in the journals of PMN. Letters may correct errors, provide supporting or differing points of view, clarification, or information to supplement material published at PMN. In cases where numerous responses are received on a particular topic, letters will be selected to reflect a range of opinions. Authors of the articles addressed usually will be given an opportunity to reply. The reply should be concise and respond directly to the issues raised. Letters are typically no longer than 300 words in length and are evaluated for appropriateness before publication. The editors reserve the right to reject or accept letters for publication and to edit letters for clarity and conciseness.
It is our policy that all symposium manuscripts be submitted, peer-reviewed, and revised before the symposium is published. We require that one member of the symposium act as overall organizer to make sure that: (1) every speaker agrees to submit a manuscript before the symposium; (2) manuscripts are submitted on time (within a short time-frame following the actual symposium); (3) revisions are made in a timely manner following peer-review; (4) the organizer prepares an introduction to the symposium that sets the context for readers so they understand why the symposium is important; and (5) the organizer, not PMN, will be responsible for enforcing agreed-upon deadlines.
For each manuscript submitted as part of the proceedings of a symposium, PMN imposes a processing fee due upon initial submission of papers and applying to manuscripts whether or not they are ultimately accepted. The symposium processing fee covers the labor and planning associated with handling a group of papers as a single project.