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Guidelines for Authors of APS Feature Articles

APS Feature articles are published open access and prominently presented on the American Phytopathology Society's home page. APS Features are thus the "first impression" of APS. Past Feature articles are archived in the Publications Section of the APS website. Each APS Feature is assigned a DOI number that may be used to cite the article and is linkable through CrossRef. A recommended citation format and DOI designation are included near the beginning of each article.

APS Features summarize a topic related to plant pathology for those who are not specialists in the article's subject matter. The Plant Health Instructor Senior Editor for APS Features (henceforth, Feature Editor) seeks articles on a broad spectrum of topics involving plant pathology research as well as related societal, ethical, and economic issues. Because APS Features are frequently read by teachers, jou​rnalists, and others outside of plant pathology, they should be essentially free of specialized jargon. The authors should have considerable experience with the subject, and be willing to share insights and impressions wherever appropriate. Authors will be asked to transfer to APS the copyrights for the Feature article, as with any other APS publication.

The organization of APS Feature articles varies but typically includes introductory and historical information, an in-depth narrative, and an assessment of the current status and future outlook in the subject area. The length of APS Feature articles is typically between 10 and 15 double-spaced pages of 12-point typescript (about 3000 to 4000 words), but this is flexible at the discretion of the Feature Editor. Apart from differences in organization and tone, APS Features should adhere to the same guidelines as research articles in the APS Journals. For example, standards of clarity, conciseness, and logical organization of the text, tables, and figures should be observed. APS Features are not intended to be reviews comparable to those in Annual Reviews, so the total number of references should be limited. Nevertheless, key statements not qualified as opinion should be supported by references. Authors are encouraged to provide links to other relevant material discussed in the Feature article.

Authors contemplating submission of a Feature article should contact the Features Editor prior to beginning preparation of the article. As a preliminary step in development of an APS Feature, the submission of a summary of the article's content (approximately one page or 300-words) is encouraged. The summary can be in the form of an email inquiry. The summary allows the Feature Editor to comment on the author's approach and make suggestions at an early stage in manuscript development.

After the Feature Editor approves the proposed article, the authors prepare the manuscript. Authors should e-mail the manuscript's text and figures as attachments to the Feature Editor (if the image files are too numerous or large to be e-mailed, please contact the Feature Editor). The Feature Editor will evaluate the submission and it will be fully peer-reviewed and returned to the senior author with recommendations for revision.

APS features are generally narratives, and personal pronouns and the active voice may be used. Abstracts and additional keywords are not used, nor are the headings "Materials and Methods," "Results," or "Discussion." Text should be submitted as a .doc or .docx file. Images should be at least 1000 pixels wide and submitted in tiff or jpeg (highest quality setting) format. Within reason, the larger the image file the better; exceptions might be allowable in cases of historically important images that cannot meet this criteria. Photos should be cropped to show only essential details, and scale bars should be inserted where necessary to indicate magnification. Provide figure captions at the end of the text file after the references; number the figure captions and the corresponding figure filenames with the same numbering system (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Please do not put captions on the images themselves; leave captions and figures separate. Photos of all authors may be included, and if so, should be individual; no group shots unless all authors are included. Figures must be reproducible; authors will need to complete "Authorization to Publish" forms for images and artwork that are not currently copyrighted, and "Permission to Reproduce Published Material" forms for images and artwork that have been previously published or for which use is otherwise protected by copyright. Authors are not assessed page charges.

When the Feature Editor accepts the revised manuscript for publication, the senior author then provides the APS editorial staff with the accepted version of the text and illustrations. Editorial staff will edit the feature and query the senior author if there are questions.

The entire review process is overseen by the APS Feature Editor, a member of the Board of the APS online publication Plant Health Instructor, published under the auspices of the APS Education Center.

Robert M. Harveson
Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist
University of Nebraska
Panhandle Res & Ext Center
4502 Ave I
Scottsbluff, NE 69361-4907

Phone: (308) 632-1239 (office), (308) 631-5953 (cell)
Fax: (308) 632-1365

To learn more about publishing an APS Feature article, contact Bob Harveson, APS Features Editor.