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Information for Authors

Types of Content

Submission Requirements

Study Design Guidelines

Statistical Analysis Guidelines

Publication Forms

Types of Content

The journal Plant Phenomics accepts submissions for original research articles, reviews, mini-reviews, datasets, perspectives, and editorials. Prior to submission, each author should review and fulfill the submission requirements below and as outlined in the Editorial Policies page.

  • Research articles should present a major advance and must include an abstract of up to 250 words, an introduction and sections with brief and informative subheadings. Authors may include up to ten figures and/or tables and about 60 references. Total research article length should be under 15,000 words. Supplementary materials should be limited to information that is not essential for the general understanding of the research presented in the main text and can include data sets, figures, tables, videos or audio files. Please see the submission requirements for research articles in the following section.
  • Reviews should describe and synthesize recent developments of interdisciplinary significance and highlight future directions. Reviews must include an abstract, an introduction that outlines the main theme, brief subheadings and an outline of important unresolved questions. Reviews should be no longer than 8000 words, although longer manuscripts will be considered. Authors may include up to six figures and/or tables and up to 100 references. Most reviews are solicited by the editors. Unsolicited submissions will be considered, and authors are encouraged to contact the Editors first before writing the review paper.
  • Perspectives (up to 1000 words plus 1 figure) highlight recent exciting research, but do not primarily discuss the author's own work. They may provide context for the findings within a field or explain potential interdisciplinary importance. Perspectives that comment on papers in Plant Phenomics should add a dimension to the research and not merely be a summary of the experiments described in the paper. As these are meant to express a personal viewpoint, with rare exceptions, Perspectives should have no more than two authors.
  • Editorials are short, invited opinion pieces that discuss an issue of immediate importance to the research community. Editorials should have fewer than 1000 words total, no abstract, a minimal number of references (no more than 5) and no figures or tables. Editorials are only solicited by the editors.

Submission Requirements

When submitting a manuscript, authors should also include a cover letter with the following information:

  • The title of the paper and a one-sentence summary.
  • Names, telephone numbers and institutional email addresses for all authors, including selection of one to be corresponding author.
  • Names of colleagues who have reviewed the paper.
  • Names, affiliations and email addresses of five potential referees.
  • As required by the journal’s Editorial Policies, a signed version of the Authorship and Conflict of Interest form.
  • A statement that none of the material has been published or is under consideration elsewhere, including online, and that all authors listed on the paper have reviewed and agree to the Submission Terms and Conditions.
  • A signed Image Permissions Form confirming legal use of any images in your manuscript.
  • Written permission from any author who is not an author of your manuscript but whose work is cited as a personal communication or in press. Permission must allow distribution of in-press manuscripts or relevant data to reviewers or any interested reader upon publication. A copy of an email is sufficient.
  • Copies of any paper by you or your co-authors that is in press or under consideration elsewhere that relates to the work submitted to Plant Phenomics, or of any paper by you or your co-authors that is cited in your paper. These copies of existing, related papers by you or your co-authors should be sent as attached PDF files in an email to the journal’s editorial office according to the contact details listed in the Contact page, including the submission ID of your main manuscript upload included for reference.

In preparation for submitting a research manuscript to Plant Phenomics, authors should review the Template for Plant Phenomics Article Submission, which will facilitate accurate preparation and processing. The body text of a manuscript for a research article must include the sections in the list below in the same order listed. More detail on each of these sections is included in the Template for Plant Phenomics Article Submission.

  • Title
  • Authors and their affiliations
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgments
  • Supplementary Materials
  • References

The manuscript should also include the following, in compliance with all guidelines in the journal’s Editorial Policies:

  • An abstract that does not include any cited references
  • Definitions of all symbols, abbreviations and acronyms
  • Legends for all figures and tables
  • All data (no use of “data not shown”; no citations of unpublished results)
  • Descriptions of all statistical tests
  • Complete references. Each citation should include all authors (do not use et al.), full article title, journal title, journal volume, year of publication and first and last page. In place of first page number, use article number for journals that do not use page number ranges (e.g., AGU journals). If an article has been published online only, supply the DOI instead of volume and page numbers. For a source published only in conference proceedings, supply a URL.
  • For investigations on humans, a statement indicating that informed consent was obtained after the nature and possible consequences of the studies were explained
  • For authors using experimental animals, a statement that the animals’ care was in accordance with institutional guidelines

Formats for submission are as follows:

  • Text - We prefer that the initial submission be uploaded as a Word file that contains all components of the paper. Create a single file (see above for correct order) consisting of the text, references, figures and their legends, tables and their legends, and Supplementary Materials. Supplementary Materials that cannot be incorporated into a Word file must be sent to us separately (see below). Alternatively, you may upload your manuscript as one file that contains all of the textual material plus separate figure files (one for each figure) and separate Supplementary Material files. The text file should be a Word .docx (preferred) or .doc file. Please use zipped files when necessary to upload unusually large supplementary files.
  • Figures - See the guidelines below for creating and formatting your original figures. For initial submission, the figure files should be incorporated into the main text .doc or .docx file if possible. All figures should be cited in the manuscript in a consecutive order. Figures should be supplied in either vector art formats (Illustrator, EPS, WMF, FreeHand, CorelDraw, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) or bitmap formats (Photoshop, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, etc.). Bitmap images should be of 300 dpi resolution at least unless the resolution is intentionally set to a lower level for scientific reasons. If a bitmap image has labels, the image and labels should be embedded in separate layers.

Study Design Guidelines

In the first section of the Materials and Methods, we encourage authors to have first subtitle of “Experimental and Technical Design,” which includes a diagram or flowchart to show the entire experimental design and illustrates the most significant elements: materials, treatments, measurements, data collection, methods of data analysis. This will facilitate the editors, reviewers and reviewers to understand and follow the whole concept, design, and results.

Statistical Analysis Guidelines

Generally, authors should describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the results.

Reporting Guidelines

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

Figure Guidelines

It is best to create your figures as vector-based files such as those produced by Adobe Illustrator. Vector-based files will give us maximum flexibility for sizing your figures properly without losing resolution. Although we do not need the highest-resolution files for the initial submission, you will need to have these high-resolution files of your figures on hand so that they can be submitted with your revised manuscript for final publication. These figure files can be saved at a lower resolution to minimize the file size at initial submission.

Please follow these guidelines for creating and labeling your figures:

  • In laying out information in a figure, the objective is to maximize the space given to presentation of the data. Avoid wasted white space and clutter.
  • The figure’s title should be at the beginning of the figure legend, not within the figure itself.
  • Include the figure’s identifying number (e.g., “Fig. 1”) on the same manuscript page that includes the figure.
  • Keys to symbols, if needed, should be kept as simple as possible. Details can be put into the figure legend.
  • Use solid symbols for plotting data if possible (unless data overlap or there are multiple symbols). For legibility when figures are reduced, symbol sizes should be a minimum of 6 points and line widths should be a minimum of 0.5 points.
  • Panels should be set close to each other and common axis labels should not be repeated.
  • Scales or axes should not extend beyond the range of the data plotted. All microscopic images should include scale bars, with their values shown either with the bar or in the figure legend. Do not use minor tick marks in scales or grid lines. Avoid using y-axis labels on the right that repeat those on the left.
  • Use a serif font whenever possible.
  • Use simple solid or open symbols, as these reduce well.
  • Label graphs on the ordinate and abscissa with the parameter or variable being measured, the units of measure in parentheses and the scale. Scales with large or small numbers should be presented as powers of 10. (When an individual value must be presented as an exponential, use form: 6 × 10–3, not 6e-03.)
  • Avoid the use of light lines and screen shading. Instead, use black-and-white, hatched, and cross-hatched designs for emphasis.
  • Capitalize the first letter in a label only, not every word (and proper nouns, of course).
  • Units should be included in parentheses. Use SI notation. If there is room, write out variables—e.g., Pressure (MPa), Temperature (K).
  • Variables are always set in italics or as plain Greek letters (e.g., P, T, µ). Vectors should be set as roman boldface (rather than as italics with arrows above).
  • Type on top of color in a color figure should be in boldface. Avoid using color type.
  • When figures are assembled from multiple gels or micrographs, use a line or space to indicate the border between two original images.
  • Use leading zeros on all decimals—e.g., 0.3, 0.55—and only report significant digits.
  • Use small letters for part labels in multipart figures enclosed in brackets, (a), (b), (c), etc.
  • Avoid subpart labels within a figure part; instead, maintain the established sequence of part labels, using small or lower-case letters. Use numbers (1, 2, 3) only to represent a time sequence of images.
  • When reproducing images that include labels with illegible computer-generated type (e.g., units for scale bars), omit such labels and present the information in the legend instead.

Color-mix and contrast considerations

  • Avoid using red and green together. Color-blind individuals will not be able to read the figure
  • Do not use colors that are close to each other in hue to identify different parts of a figure.
  • Avoid using grayscale.
  • Use white type and scale bars over darker areas of images.

Restrictions on figure use

  • Plant Phenomics does not allow certain electronic enhancements or manipulations of micrographs, gels or other digital images.
  • Figures assembled from multiple photographs or images must indicate the separate parts with lines between them.
  • Linear adjustment of contrast, brightness or color must be applied to an entire image or plate equally. Nonlinear adjustments must be specified in the figure legend.
  • Selective enhancement or alteration of one part of an image is not acceptable.
  • In addition, Plant Phenomics may ask authors of papers returned for revision to provide additional documentation of their primary data.

Naming your figure files for initial submission

  • To keep file sizes small, please save your figures at a resolution 300 dots per inch (dpi) for initial submission. (A higher resolution and a different suite of acceptable file formats applies for revised figures submitted after peer review.) Note that we cannot accept PowerPoint files or files that are not readable by Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Freehand, or Adobe Illustrator. In some cases, higher-resolution files are necessary to properly represent data (for example, micrographs or immunocytochemistry).
  • Our electronic submission form will only accept files with the correct extension designating the file type. Name all files starting with the last name of the first author. Follow this by an indication of whether this is the text or the figure name. The file name ends with the extension. Unacceptable file names include (each figure should be complete, not broken into parts) and smithtext (all files should end in a file extension).
  • Examples of acceptable file names:
    • Smithtext.doc
    • Smithtextfigs.pdf
    • Smithfig1.eps
    • Smithms.pdf
    • Smithsupp.pdf
  • Use double spacing throughout the text, tables, figure legends and references. Electronic files should be formatted for U.S. letter paper. For best results, use Times and Symbol fonts only.

Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest (COIs, also known as “competing interests”) occur when issues outside research could be reasonably perceived to affect the neutrality or objectivity of the work or its assessment. Authors must declare all potential interests – whether or not they actually had an influence – in a “Conflicts of Interest” section, which should explain why the interest may be a conflict. If there are none, the authors should state “The author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.” Submitting authors are responsible for coauthors declaring their interests. Declared conflicts of interest will be considered by the editor and reviewers and included in the published article.

Authors must declare current or recent funding (including for Article Processing Charges) and other payments, goods or services that might influence the work. All funding, whether a conflict or not, must be declared in a “Funding Statement.” The involvement of anyone other than the authors who 1) has an interest in the outcome of the work; 2) is affiliated to an organization with such an interest; or 3) was employed or paid by a funder, in the commissioning, conception, planning, design, conduct or analysis of the work, the preparation or editing of the manuscript or the decision to publish must be declared.

Funding Statement

Authors must state how the research and publication of their article was funded by naming financially supporting body(s) (written out in full) followed by associated grant number(s) in square brackets (if applicable), for example: “This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the National Science Foundation [grant number zzzz]; and a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant”. If the research did not receive specific funding, but was performed as part of the employment of the authors, please name this employer. If the funder was involved in the manuscript writing, editing, approval or decision to publish, please declare this.

Preparation of Tables

Tables should be cited consecutively in the text. Every table must have a descriptive title and if numerical measurements are given, the units should be included in the column heading. Vertical rules should not be used.


All acknowledgments (if any) should be included at the very end of the manuscript before the references. Anyone who made a contribution to the research or manuscript, but not significant enough to be a co-author, should be acknowledged (with their permission).

Supplementary Materials

Text and figures. Include supporting text (including supplementary materials and methods, tables, and figures) at the end of the main manuscript file, in a separate section titled Supplementary Materials, if this can be easily done. Alternatively, Supplementary Materials can be included as a separate file that can be uploaded. In that case, use one of the file types specified above (.doc or .docx preferred).

Video files. Acceptable formats for videos are Quicktime, MPEG, and Flash. Keep videos short and the display window small to minimize the file size of the video. Supply caption information with the videos. Edit longer sequences into several small pieces with captions specific to each video sequence.

Audio files. Please contact the editors regarding submission of such file types.

Citation Style

Please follow the guidelines below for citations, notes, and references in submissions to Plant Phenomics.

1. Books

Authors/Editors, Title (title style) Vol. (volume number if the book is divided into volumes set uppercased), Publisher, Location (the city and state abbreviation in the case of USA), Country, Edition (optional), and Year.

R. E. Blahut, Principles and Practice of Information Theory, AddisonWesley, Boston, Mass, USA, 1987.

S. Haykin, Ed., Advances in Spectrum Analysis and Array Processing, Vol. III, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA, 1995.

M. I. Skolnik, Introduction to Radar Systems, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, USA, 3rd edition, 2000.

2. Book series:

  • Authors/Editors, Book title (title style), Vol. (optional), Series name (title style), Publisher, Location (city and state abbreviation in the case of USA), Country, Edition (optional), Year. (In case the book has no volume number in the series)
  • Authors/Editors, Book title (title style) Vol. (optional), vol. (number) of Series name (title style), Publisher, Location (city and state abbreviation in the case of USA), Country, Edition (optional), Year.

3. Incollection (Part/Article) of a book:

Author, Title (sentence style), in Name of the book (title style), Names of Eds. (optional), Range of pages, Publisher, Location (city and state abbreviation in the case of the USA), Country, Edition (optional), Year.

4. Article from a book in a series:

Author, Title (sentence style), in Name of the book (title style), Names of Eds. (optional), vol. of Name of the series, Range of pages, Publisher, Location (city and state abbreviation in the case of USA), Country, Edition (optional), Year.

5. Articles:

Authors, Title (sentence style), Journal (italic full Journal name with title style), vol. (volume number), no. (issue number), pp. (pages separated by en-dash), Year.

G. Everest and T. Ward, An Introduction to Number Theory, vol. 232 of Graduate Texts in Mathematics, Springer, New York, NY, USA, 2005.

G. Sohn and I. J. Dowman, “Extraction of buildings from high-resolution satellite data,” in Automatic Extraction of Man-Made Objects from Aerial and Space Images (III), pp. 345–355, Swets & Zeitlinger B.V., Lisse, The Netherlands, 2001.

E. P. Simoncelli, “Bayesian denoising of visual images in the wavelet domain,” in Bayesian Inference in Wavelet-Based Models, P. Muller and B. Vidakovic, Eds., vol. 141 of Lecture Notes in Statistics, pp. 291–308, Springer, New York, NY, USA, 1999.

M. Z. Win and R. A. Scholtz, “Impulse radio: how it works,” IEEE Communications Letters, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 36–38, 1998.

6. Inproceedings:

Author, Title (sentence style), in Proceedings title (conference name with title style) (all caps acronym), vol. (number) if any, pp. (pages) (if any), Location (state abbreviation in the case of USA), Country, Month Year.

7. Inproceedings published in a series:

Author, Title of the article (sentence style), in Proceedings title (title style) (all caps acronym), Name of editors, Eds., vol. (number) of name of the series, Range of pages, Place of the proceedings (city, state abbreviation in the case of the USA), Country, Month Year.

C. Jaynes, F. Stolle, and R. Collins, “Task driven perceptual organization for extraction of rooftop polygons,” in Proceedings of IEEE Workshop on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV ’94), pp. 152–159, Sarasota, Fla, USA, December 1994.

G. Tan, H. Jin, and L. Pang, “A scalable video server using intelligent network attached storage,” in Management of Multimedia on the Internet: 5th IFIP/IEEE International Conference on Management of Multimedia Networks and Services, vol. 2496 of Lecture Notes in Computer Sciences, pp. 114–126, Santa Barbara, Calif, USA, October 2002.

J. F. Böhme, “Statistical array signal processing of measured sonar and seismic data,” in Advanced Signal Processing Algorithms, vol. 2563 of Proceedings of SPIE, pp. 2–20, San Diego, Calif, USA, July 1995.

8. M.S. Thesis:

Authors, Title (sentence style), M.S. thesis, Department, University, Address of the university (city and state abbreviation in the case of USA), Country, Year.

9. Ph.D. Thesis:

Authors, Title (sentence style), Ph.D. thesis, Department, University, Address of the university (city and state abbreviation in the case of USA), Country, Year.

10. Technical report:

Author, title (sentence style), Report type report number, Institution, Address, Year, URL (if found).

J. T. Conroy, “Spectral characteristics of monopulse communication signals,” M.S. thesis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Ill, USA, 1997.

J. D. Laster, Robust GMSK demodulation using demodulator diversity and BER estimation, Ph.D. thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va, USA, 1997.

11. User’s guide:

User's guide, Title sentence style, Manufacturer, Month Year. URL.

12. Manual:

Author, Title title style, Department, University, Town, Country, Year.

13. Unpublished items:

Author, Title (sentence style), Journal (italic full Journal Name with title style), In press.

14. Miscellaneous:

J. Ward, “Space-time adaptive processing for airborne radar,” Tech. Rep. 1015, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, Mass, USA, 1994.

L. Fenson, P. S. Dale, J. S. Reznick et al., The MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories: User's Guide and Technical Manual, Singular Publishing Group, San Diego, Calif, USA, 1993.

H. Tolman and WAVEWATCH III Development Group, User Manual and System Documentation of WAVEWATCH III Version 4.18, Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch, Environmental Modeling Center, College Park, Md, USA, 2014

V. Chulaevsky, “On regularity of conditional mean,” Markov Processes and Related Fields, In press.

15. Patents

W. J. Gilwee and Z. Nir, “Toughened reinforced epoxy composites with brominated polymeric additives,” US Patent 6-493865, 1983.

16. Preprints

V. Chulaevsky and Y. Suhov, “Efficient Anderson localization bounds for large multi-particle systems,” .

Publication Forms

Each submission to Plant Phenomics must be accompanied by Licenses to Publish and Conflict of Interest forms completed by each author before the review process can be completed. Image Permission forms are required as needed for re-use of any outside figure, image, or other asset.

Documents may be printed out, signed, and scanned or signed using an electronic signature. Once completed, please upload the files into Editorial Manager alongside your manuscript files.

Download the Authorship and Conflict of Interest Form.

Download the License to Publish Form.

Download the Image Permission Form.