Journal policies

Competing Interests or Conflict of Interest Statement

Plant Science Today requires authors to declare all competing interests, often called a conflict of interests, in relation to their work. All submitted manuscripts must accompany ‘competing interests’ statement listing all competing interests. Where authors have competing interests, they need to append this statement in the manuscript. Editors may ask for further information relating to competing interests.

Competing interests may be financial or non-financial. A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations. Authors should disclose any financial competing interests but also any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment if they were to become public after the publication of the article.


Human and animal rights

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research.

Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The Basel Declaration outlines fundamental principles to adhere to when conducting research in animals and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.


Informed Consent

For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.



All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an 'acknowledgements' section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a head of the department/institution who provided only general support.


Changes in authorship

In line with COPE guidelines, it requires written confirmation from all authors that they agree with any proposed changes in authorship of submitted manuscripts or published articles. This confirmation must be via direct email from each author. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors confirm that they agree with the proposed changes. If there is disagreement amongst the authors concerning authorship and a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, the authors must contact their institution(s) for a resolution. It is not the Editor’s responsibility to resolve authorship disputes. A change in authorship of a published article can only be amended via publication of an Erratum.


Data and material release

Submission of a manuscript to a Plant Science Today implies that readily reproducible materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality. Nucleotide/protein sequences should be deposited in an appropriate database in time for the accession number to be included in the published article. In computational studies where the sequence information is unacceptable for inclusion in databases because of lack of experimental validation, the sequences must be published as an additional file with the article.


Algal, fungal, and botanical names

From January 2012, electronic publication of algal, fungal, and botanical names is a valid form of publication. Manuscripts containing new taxon names or other nomenclatural acts must follow guidelines set by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. 

Authors describing new fungal taxa should register the names with a recognized repository such as Mycobank, and request a unique digital identifier which should be included in the published article.


Corrections and retractions

Rarely, it may be necessary to publish corrections to, or retractions of, articles published in its journals, so as to maintain the integrity of the academic record. Corrections to, or retractions of, published articles will be made by publishing an Erratum or a Retraction article, without altering the original article in any way other than to add a prominent link to the Erratum/Retraction article. The original article remains in the public domain and the subsequent Erratum or Retraction will be widely indexed. In the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory we may have to remove that material from our site and archive sites.


Appeals or complaints

Authors have the right to appeal rejection of their manuscript. Appeals should be based on the scientific content of the manuscript and its suitability for publication rather than concerns about the process. Authors wishing to appeal a rejection should contact the Managing Editor. The Editor’s decision on the appeal is final.

Authors wishing to make a complaint should, in the first instance, contact the Managing Editor. For complains that cannot be resolved with the Editor (for example, complains about the Editors themselves), the authors should contact the publisher.