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Editorial Policies

Plant Phenomics advocates and adheres to the highest standards for accurate and ethical publication of science and uses a selective peer review process. The scientific editors for Plant Phenomics evaluate submitted manuscripts and those that warrant further consideration for publication are sent out for in-depth review by external referees. Plant Phenomics does not accept resubmissions of manuscripts that have already been rejected for reasons related to novelty or impact. Papers selected for publication will be edited to improve readability and ensure the use of plain language whenever possible.

Authorship and Conflict of Interest

As indicated in Information for Authors, a completed copy of the Authorship and Conflict of Interest Form must be received from each author listed on the manuscript at submission. This form asks authors to specify the nature and level of their contribution to the article, their understanding regarding the obligation to share data and materials, and any affiliations, funding sources or financial holdings that might raise questions about possible sources of bias.

To be included as an “author,” a researcher must meet the criteria for authorship laid out in the definition of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, which states that authorship should be based on four criteria:

  1. Provided substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work.
  2. Participated in drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
  3. Participated in final approval of the version to be published.
  4. Provided agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Plant Phenomics will send an email to all authors to confirm receipt of each paper. Submission of a paper that has not first been approved by all authors listed will result in immediate rejection without appeal. Any changes in authorship following submission must be approved in writing by all of the original authors.

Plant Phenomics does not permit unethical ghost, guest, or honorary authorship. For reference, “ghost authorship” refers to any context where an individual has made author-level contributions to the paper but is not included by name in the author list. “Guest authorship” or “honorary authorship” refers to any context when someone who has not met all criteria of authorship is listed as an author. Individuals who have participated in generation of the research paper but who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section of a paper rather than as authors, alongside a brief indication of the nature of their contribution, such as help in generating data, provided critical materials, critical reading/editing of the MS, etc. violation of this rule may result in rejection or later retraction of the published paper.

Licenses to Publish

Before Plant Phenomics accepts a manuscript, each author must also sign and submit a License to Publish Agreement (PDF) that allows Nanjing Agricultural University exclusive rights to publish and use your contribution. As an open access journal, Plant Phenomics publishes under a CC BY license, which allows readers to distribute, adapt, or reuse articles, including for commercial purposes.

Data and Materials Availability after Publication

After publication, all data and materials necessary to understand, assess and extend the conclusions of the manuscript must be available to any reader of Plant Phenomics. All computer codes involved in the creation or analysis of data must also be available to all readers. After publication, all reasonable requests for data or materials must be fulfilled. Any restrictions on the availability of data, codes, or materials, including fees and restrictions on original data obtained from other sources, must be disclosed to the editors. In addition, any Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) pertaining to data or materials used or produced in this research that place constraints on providing these data or materials should be disclosed. Patents (whether applications or awards to the authors or home institutions) related to the work should also be declared. Unreasonable restrictions on data or material availability may prevent publication.

Informed Consent for Human Studies

Informed consent must be obtained for studies on humans after the nature and possible consequences of the studies are explained. A statement that informed consent was obtained must also appear in the manuscript. All research on humans must have approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or an equivalent body. The editors reserve the right to request IRB documents associated with a particular paper.

Materials Sharing

Before acceptance, Plant Phenomics must be informed of any restrictions on sharing of materials, such as Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs). Unreasonable restrictions may preclude publication. After publication, all reasonable requests for materials must be fulfilled, unreasonable or persistent refuse of sharing the data may result in retraction of the published paper.

Plagiarism and Text Redundancy

Plant Phenomics papers will be passed through a plagiarism detection software upon submission to the journal and the editorial team will closely evaluate instances of text that overlaps with other published content. Authors should appropriately cite all quotations and not heavily lean upon large swaths of content from other publications, including your own publications.

Prior Publication and Related Papers

Plant Phenomics will not consider any paper or component of a paper that has been published or is under consideration elsewhere in any language. Distribution on the internet and conference proceedings may be considered prior publication and may compromise the originality of the paper, although we do allow posting on certain not-for-profit preprint servers such as Please contact the editors with questions regarding this policy or allowable postings. In addition, copies of papers submitted to other journals by any of the authors that relate to a research article submitted to Plant Phenomics must be included with the submission.

Reporting Guidelines

Authors are encouraged to follow published standard reporting guidelines for their study discipline. Many of these can be found at the EQUATOR website

Security Concerns

Authors and reviewers are expected to notify editors if a manuscript could be considered to report dual use research of concern (DURC). DURC refers to the instance in which life sciences research that is intended for benefit, could potentially be easily be misapplied to do harm. Papers identified as possible DURC will be brought to the attention of the Editors-in-Chief for further evaluation. If necessary, outside reviewers with expertise in the area will be consulted.

Unpublished Data and Personal Communications

Citations to unpublished data and personal communications cannot be used to support claims in the paper. Papers will be held for publication until all “in press” citations are published.

Animal Studies

For all animal experimentation described in the manuscript, Plant Phenomics requires that authors state in the Methods section their adherence to the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals or the equivalent. For the full text of the NIH guidelines, see For genetically modified animals and to avoid confounding effects of inbred strain background, littermate controls should generally be used, although exceptions may be allowed. Justification for other control animals should be included. Authors should fully describe the source of their animals and number of times backcrosses were performed.