J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2009, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (1): 1-2.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2008.00806.x

• Editorial •     Next Articles

Future Prospects: Scientific Quality Relies on the Critical Reviews from Our Peers

Chun-Ming Liu   

  • Published:2009-01-01


From Executive Editor to Editor-in-Chief is a big jump for me, and means many more responsibilities. I could feel the pressure on my shoulders; from the hopes of my predecessors, my colleagues, and the board members. As a journal with a 57-year history, JIPB has built its credit over the years, publishing many original works in both Chinese and English. However, in the international scientific community, JIPB is still a minor player, especially under the current not-so-healthy impact factor-driven publishing environment.

Achievements in 2008

With the support from the editors, the funding agencies (Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the National Science & Technology Committee), and the Wiley Blackwell Publishing Group, JIPB is moving forward, step by step. 2008 was a year of significant accomplishments for JIPB.

1) We finally entered the PubMed database. The accessibility through PubMed has provided a tremendous change to the journal, since it allows much quicker online browsing and reading. Moreover, JIPB articles can now be accessed through Google and Google Scholar.

2) Three special issues were organized to highlight the latest research development in abiotic stress (issue 10: co-edited by Drs. Zhizhong Gong and Qi Xie) and global climate changes (issue 11: co-edited by Drs. Jiquan Chen and Scott Heckathorn), and to celebrate the 75-year anniversary of the Botanical Society of China (issue 7: edited by Drs. Dong Liu and Chun-Ming Liu).

3) A “JIPB Club” excursion was organized in August 2008, to the Inner Mongolia Grassland Research Station (one of the ecological research stations associated with the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences), with some of the editors, authors, and the editorial staff (see photos on the right). Strategic discussions were held during the trip, and new editors were proposed.

Word of Thanks

Using this opportunity, I, on behalf of the Editorial Board, would like to express our sincere thanks to those who have made some great contributions to the journal. First, I owe greatly to my predecessors, Prof. Xingguo Han (now the Director General of Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang) and Prof. Hong Ma (now the Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai), who have worked very hard to set up the basic infrastructure and a focused scope of the journal, and to establish the enthusiastic international editorial and reviewing team.

Many thanks go to the following handling editors who have finished their tasks and retired from the Editorial Board at the end of 2008. They are the people who have worked behind the curtain, to follow every step of the manuscript processing under a particular scientific area. They are Drs. Lizhe An, Song Ge, De-An Guo, Hon-Ming Lam, Cheng-Sen Li, Guang-Hui Lin, Ben-Ye Liu, Bo Liu, Cong-Ming Lu, Ying-Tang Lü, Hua Ouyang, Jianxin Sun, Su-Hua Shi, and Jian-Min Yue. Without their critical comments and excellent services, the journal would go nowhere. The thanks also go to the current handling editor, the reviewers (see the December issue for the list), the authors, and editorial staff, who have been contributed greatly to make JIPB visible to the scientific community.

The New Editors

Following the enthusiastic engagement of Prof. William Lucas in 2007 as an Associate Editor, several prominent plant biologists have joined the JIPB board in 2008, to be in charge of individual themes (see brief introduction below): Prof. Roberto Bassi from Verona University, Italy; Prof. Clive Lloyd from John Innes Center, UK; Prof. Klaus Palme, from Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany; Prof. Li-Jia Qu from Peking University, China; Prof. Rowan Sage from University of Toronto, Canada; and Prof. Weicai Yang from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

Six prestigious scientists have joined the JIPB board as handling editors. They are: Dr. Toru Fujiwara, Tokyo University, Tokyo, Japan; Dr. John Harada, California University, Davis, USA; Dr. Dong Liu, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; Dr. Yaoguang Liu, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China; Dr. Chuanqing Sun, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China; Dr. Zhongnan Yang, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China. Additional new HEs will be recruited in the near future.

Our Ambitions

A frequently asked question is how JIPB could become an internationally visible journal. I think two things are important. The first is constructive, responsible and critical reviews made by the peers, to ensure good papers are treated properly by real experts. I strongly believe this is the only way to build trust among the Journal, the readers, and its authors. The second is the speed of publication; to make sure every step of the manuscript handling is as short as possible. With JIPB’s rapid channel for publication, PubExp, it has been possible for a well-written paper to be processed, accepted, and available online in 2-3 days, and printed in hard copy in 3-4 weeks.

The goalf integrative plant biology is to, by using multi disciplinary approaches, understand the growth, development, and evolution of plants, and the interaction between plants and their environment. In the coming year, I look forward to see more papers studying biological questions using an integrative approach - to perform comprehensive studies to allow a scientific question to be answered in a clear manner. This will be the focus point of JIPB in the future.

Finally, let us all work together to make JIPB a great journal.

Chun-Ming Liu, Ph.D. Editor-in-Chief

The Associate Editor (AE) Team:

Prof. Roberto Bassi (Area of Responsibility: Metabolic Biology & Biochemistry) Dipartimento di Biotecnologie, Università di Verona, Italy. Email: Roberto.Bassi@univr.it. Received his Ph.D. from University of Padua (1977), now Professor at University of Verona. Research focus: light reaction of photosynthesis, structure and function of light harvesting proteins, and mechanisms of photoprotection.

Prof. Clive Lloyd (Area of Responsibility: Cell & Developmental Biology) Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. Email: clive.lloyd@bbsrc.ac.uk. Received his Ph.D. from Wales University (1971) and is now Professor at JIC, Visiting Professor in Royal Holloway University of London and Honorary Professor, University of East Anglia. Research focus: cytoskeleton and its influence on the shape of plant cells, cell growth axis establishment and reorientation and division, and characterization of the microtubules involved in these processes.

Prof. William J. Lucas (Area of Responsibility: Signal Transduction & Stress Response) Department of Plant Biology, California University, Davis, USA. Email: wjlucas@ucdavis.edu; Received his Ph.D. from University of Adelaide (1975), now Distinguished Professor at California University, Davis. Research focus: cell-to-cell signaling, gene silencing, long-distance signaling, phloem, plasmodesmata, and viral movement proteins.

Prof. Klaus Palme (Area of Responsibility: Systems Biology & Molecular Physiology) Institut für Biologie II/Botanik, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany. Email: klaus.palme@biologie.unifreiburg.de; Received his Ph.D. from University of Ulm (1981), now Professor at the Institute for Biology II, University of Freiburg. Research focus: plant signal transduction, dealing with plant hormones and other aspects of molecular mechanisms of plant physiology.

Prof. Li-Jia Qu (Area of Responsibility: Invited Review, Commentary, and Special Issue) Peking-Yale Joint Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and AgroBiotechnology, Peking University, Beijing, China. Email: qulj@pku.edu.cn; Received his Ph.D. from Peking University (1995), now Professor at Peking University. Research focus: methylation of phytohormones, transcriptional factors, organ shape and size control, and cell cycle regulation in gametogenesis in plants.

Prof. Rowan Sage (Area of Responsibility: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Canada. Email: r.sage@utoronto.ca; Received his Ph.D. from University of California, Davis (1986), now Professor at University of Toronto. Research focus: plant physiological ecology, whole plant and stress physiology with an emphasis on C3 and C4 photosynthesis, temperature, global change biology, and bioenergy.

Prof. Wei-Cai Yang (Area of Responsibility: Sexual Reproduction) Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. Email: wcyang@genetics.ac.cn; Received his Ph.D. from Wageningen University (1994), now a Group Leader at the Institute of Genetics & Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. Research focus: gametogenesis, embryogenesis, plant developmental genetics, and cell biology.

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