The 3 Ps of plant science publishing

Mr Cuttings hears of a new journal launched this summer, and is appropriately excited.

The avid reader(s) of Botany One should be aware of the recent excitement at Cuttings HQ when we announced the arrival of two new botany journals. You can surely imagine our joy as we heard of yet another new plant journal. Entitled Plants, People, Planet, it is brought to you by the New Phytologist Trust (which is behind another highly regarded plant science journal – the New Phytologist).

Published in partnership with Wiley (John Wiley & Sons) this cross-disciplinary, Open Access journal (surely to be refered to as PPP?) has set itself the task of answering this question: How can plant science solve the global challenges of the 21st century? With its focus on the interface between plant science and society, it hopes to offer a lively and accessible forum for plant science research and discussion, in its broadest sense. With Editor-in-Chief Prof. Simon Hiscock (Director of the Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum) and Dr Paul Wilkin (Head of Science (Natural Capital) at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) as Deputy Editor-in-Chief we have a suitably high-profile and eminent pair of plant-minded individuals steering this publishing venture.

Plants, People, Planet aims to publish outstanding research across the plant sciences, placing it firmly within the context of its wider relevance to people, society and the planet. To underline that people dimension and highlight the impact (or potential impact) of the research to society, all submissions should be accompanied by a ‘societal impact statement’.

The journal was officially launched at a special reception at the XIXth International Botanical Congress (IBC) in Shenzhen (China) (IBC2017*). With potentially 7000 botanists at that event it should have had the most receptive and appreciative audience. As the journal’s own publicity blurb states, “as the human race continues to grow the work of plant scientists has never been more important as it seeks to meet the global challenges of the 21st Century”. With its interrogative aspiration, may we hope for at least one article per issue answering one of plant science’s 100 important questions?

And we’ve just learnt on the Twittersphere that Botanical Society of America titles American Journal of Botany and Applications in Plant Sciences will also be published by Wiley in 2018. Wiley by name, wily by nature (aka commercial acumen)?

* Which is not to be confused with the other IBC2017, The World’s Leading Media, Entertainment & Technology Show in Amsterdam (the Netherlands).

Nigel Chaffey

I am a botanist and former Senior Lecturer in Botany at Bath Spa University (Bath, near Bristol, UK). As News Editor for the Annals of Botany I contributed the monthly Plant Cuttings column to that august international botanical organ - and to Botany One - for almost 10 years. I am now a freelance plant science communicator and Visiting Research Fellow at Bath Spa University. I continue to share my Cuttingsesque items - and appraisals of books with a plant focus - with a plant-curious audience. In that guise my main goal is to inform (hopefully, in an educational, and entertaining way) others about plants and plant-people interactions, and thereby improve humankind's botanical literacy. Happy to be contacted to discuss potential writing - or talking - projects and opportunities.
[ORCID: 0000-0002-4231-9082]

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