ASPB journals announce journal portability initiative

The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, authors who have received an editorial decline decision from any journal in the ASPB suite of titles will have the option to transfer their submissions to any other ASPB journal.

ASPB publishes three journals: Plant Physiology (founded in 1926), The Plant Cell (founded in 1989), and Plant Direct (founded in 2017). Although these journals use very similar peer review processes and editorial oversight mechanisms, until now authors have only had the opportunity to transfer submissions declined by Plant Physiology or The Plant Cell to Plant Direct. As of July 2020, authors who have submitted an article to any of these journals can transfer their submission to another journal in the ASPB family of titles.

Whether or not to transfer a submission is the author’s choice. Authors will have the ability to transfer only their manuscripts, along with associated metadata and any related editorial comments. Alternatively, with the consent of the reviewers, the articles may be ported with their reviews.

This portability initiative will be conducted as a 2-year trial. The Society anticipates that the ease of transfers among journals will alleviate the burden on reviewers and allow authors to transfer their important research more easily between journals. ASPB staff will closely track various metrics throughout the trial period to analyze the success of the initiative.

ASPB’s CEO, Crispin Taylor, says “Lessening burdens on authors and reviewers is a priority for ASPB and its journals, and I am delighted that we have added this time- and energy-saving tool to our growing suite of author-focused services.”

The Editors-in-Chief of the three journals agree that journal portability addresses important concerns of the authors and reviewers. Mike Blatt (Plant Physiology) says “I am pleased to see that this trial gets under way and hope that it will benefit all three journals. I look forward to reviewing the take-up going forward.” Ivan Baxter (Plant Direct) says “It’s great that we can reduce the burden on reviewers by utilizing the same reviews for multiple journals.” Blake Meyers (The Plant Cell) says “I am happy that we can now offer our authors a seamless mechanism to transfer their work and find the best-fitting journal. This will save authors, reviewers, and editors time and effort, while providing publishing options that fit a wide variety of papers. I see many benefits for the community of plant biologists that both support and benefit from the ASPB journals.”