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​Plant Health Instructor (PHI) Author Guidelines​​​

​​​​Submit a Manuscript​​​
​​E​ditorial Board

1. General In​formation

    • Why Submit
    • Publication
    • Article Categories

2. Preparing a Manuscript for Submission

    • General Manuscript Style
    • Figures & Tables
    • Literature Cited and References

3. How to Submit a Manuscript

    • ScholarOne Manuscript™
    • Free Publication Options
    • Cover Letter
    • Technical Assistance
    • Editorial Process

4. Post-acceptance

    • Article Proofs

5. Policies

    • ​​​Conditions for Submission and Scientific Review
    • Plagiarism
    • Funding Acknowledgments
    • Biosecurity and Select Agents Policies

6. Questions

1. General Information

The peer-reviewed content of the APS Education Center is published in the Plant Health Instructor journal. Materials accepted for publication must be scientifically sound, suitable for the designated audiences, and prepared according to these author guidelines. Accepted materials will be placed in the appropriate section of the APS Education Center and published under the guidance of the Plant Health Instructor Editorial Board​.

To be considered for publication in Plant Health Instructor, manuscripts must be submitted online using the ScholarOne Manuscript submission system.

The corresponding author must log in to or register to use the APS ScholarOne Manuscripts™ submission system. APS requires that corresponding authors have an ORCID ID obtained from the free online service that distinguishes researchers by providing their unique identification profile. Authors may add their ORCID ID directly to their APS ScholarOne Manuscript™ profile.

Why Submit Your Instructional Materials to the Plant Health Instructor Journal?

Publication in Plant Health Instructor populates the APS Education Center and benefits both students and author instructors. Instructors receive peer review by a distinguished editorial board and recognition for their contributions to education. The APS Education Center provides outreach resources to K-12 teachers, content for undergraduate and graduate students in plant health, biology, and microbiology courses, and teaching and professional development resources for instructors. Instructors can choose from the freely accessible online materials in the APS Education Center to enrich their own courses. Teaching articles provide a means for authors to contribute to the scholarship of plant pathology pedagogy.

In addition, the PHI journal gives students free access to quality instructional materials created by a variety of scientists with expertise in many areas. Plant pathologists who never enter a classroom may contribute their knowledge and insights to students worldwide by publishing materials in Plant Health Instructor with access through the APS Education Center. Specialists in related disciplines can provide information on topics with plant pathology applications. Plant Health Instructor content in the APS Education Center may also be used for continuing education. Plant health practitioners and Extension professionals can review basic knowledge and update their education in quickly changing areas. Online, peer-reviewed publication across a variety of topics assures accurate information and allows instructors to customize their courses topically and regionally.

Publication Fees

Plant Health Instructor does not have publication charges. All articles are freely available.

Manuscript Categories

All submissions require an abstract.​​

Case Studies

Manuscripts should be designed as teaching resources to engage students in scenarios related to any aspect of plant disease or plant health management. Case studies may be prepared for use by students at the graduate, undergraduate, high school, or elementary school level; the targeted educational level for the case should be specified in the abstract. A case study describes a scenario mimicking real-life situations but with fictional names of protagonists. It places students in the role of a decision maker (farmer, crop consultant, nursery manager, extension professional, etc.) faced with a challenging problem in plant disease or plant health management for which there is no simple solution, but rather a set of alternative strategies, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. The case describes the management challenge, helps students to understand why the challenge must be met by the decision maker, explains what the management options are, and provides background information and links to additional resources.

A separate section of the case study should provide resources for instructors, including suggestions for using the case in classrooms and questions for stimulating class discussion. Case studies should be conducive to development of critical thinking skills, inquiry-based learning, and group discussion. They should also be well illustrated (photos, line drawings, etc.). When submitting a case study manuscript, authors must provide evidence that the case has already been tested in an appropriate-level classroom and explain how the case study was developed based on feedback from the students. There are many examples of case studies published by Plant Health Instructor in the APS Education Center.

Plant Disease Profiles (formerly Plant Disease Lessons)

These articles should be designed for students in higher education with a basic background in biology but no specific knowledge of plant pathology. They follow the established format under the previously published “Plant Disease Lessons" format, including sections on Symptoms and Signs, Pathogen Biology, Disease Cycle and Epidemiology, Disease Management, Significance (biological, economic, historical), and Selected References. The references should be appropriate for the intended audience. Images are encouraged (see the Preparing the Manuscript for Submission section). Authors may request artwork support for production of the disease cycle by contacting the Plant Health Instructor Editor-in-Chief. Authors should indicate which drawings from the disease cycle should accompany the text sections explaining the cycle. See published Plant Disease Profiles/Lessons for examples. If an author would like to include detail that may go beyond what introductory students would be expected to read, they should discuss it with the Plant Health Instructor Editor-in-Chief prior to submission; generally, authors will be encouraged to cleave advanced content into a separate “additional information" section or page that would be available for more advanced audiences.

Lesson Plans and Laboratory Exercises

These articles are intended to present complete activities, assignments, or demonstrations, ready to use in the classroom or lab. Submissions should include a target level (K-12, Introductory, or Advanced), learning objectives, a materials list (if applicable), a description of the activity/assignment, and instructor notes. Introductory lessons assume no previous experience in plant pathology and should be appropriate for introductory or general plant pathology courses that are usually taught at the undergraduate level. These may also be useful for biology and microbiology survey courses or for advanced high school courses. Advanced lessons and laboratory exercises are designed for courses that have a previous plant pathology course as a prerequisite and usually assume some background in basic plant pathology.

Follow the established format in the Introductory and Advanced Laboratory Exercises sections of the APS Education Center. Images and appropriate background material are encouraged. Include “Instructor Notes" appropriate for novice instructors and faculty of biology or microbiology departments who may benefit from guidance in obtaining cultures or living materials, preparation time, specialized equipment, etc. Lesson Plans should clearly explain what is recommended, including sources of materials when needed, preparation timing, the potential benefit to the students and/or instructor, and any potential problems or limitations. A list of relevant keywords not listed in the title should be included to aid searches.

Teaching Notes

These are short communications on teaching techniques and resources, intended to encourage instructors to share ideas, techniques, and materials that will benefit other instructors but do not warrant a full-length teaching article or lesson plan. Examples include equipment recommendations, reliable laboratory techniques, new instructional approaches to aid students with difficult concepts, games or other novel teaching tools, and sample assignments/assessments.

Teaching Notes may not exceed 3,500 characters and may include up to two images. Keywords or phrases that do not occur in the title should be included to aid in searches. Sample terms include diagnostics, epidemiology, games, group learning, host-parasite interactions, inquiry-based learning, instructional technology, K-12 instruction, and molecular plant pathology. Include no more than four references to teaching or plant pathology publications as appropriate.

Course-Curriculum Development

These are exercises related to plant pathology that are appropriate for K-12 classrooms. The information should provide sufficient background for understanding by K-12 teachers and follow the established format of published exercises in the K-12 section of the APS Education Center. Submissions should indicate the recommended grade levels and preparation needs for each exercise. Authors should suggest sources of materials as needed.

Teaching Articles

Manuscripts should be scholarly articles related to the teaching and learning of plant pathology. These articles can focus on the instructor's role as an educator through discussion of techniques, philosophy, methods, classroom interactions, leadership, and curriculum development. Manuscripts may address the role of plant pathology in nontraditional courses and the participation of plant pathologists as instructors in such courses. Additional topics include discussion of changes to maintain up-to-date content in plant pathology courses, appropriate preparation of plant pathology students for available positions, fostering critical thinking and creativity, and ethical issues in science and technology. Manuscripts should be based on research in teaching and learning in which the experience is examined through a theoretical framework that explores the implications of the subject with supporting documentation. Key words or phrases that do not occur in the title should be included to aid in searches. Sample terms include: diagnostics, epidemiology, games, group learning, host-parasite interactions, inquiry-based learning, instructional technology, K-12 instruction, molecular plant pathology. 

Focus Article

These are articles that focus on a particular topic, event, or historical figure in plant pathology. Examples include foundational concepts (e.g., disease definitions, disease cycle, disease triangle), historical epidemics and their impacts, social impacts of plant diseases, pathogen biology, diagnostics, disease management, host-parasite interactions, epidemiology, or methods in plant pathology (e.g. highlighting a new method, discussing advantages and disadvantages of methods for a particular objective). There is no established format for Focus Articles, but the text should be scientifically sound, address a specific topic fully, and include images and appropriate references. Articles should be identified as K-12, Introductory, or Advanced to indicate the target audience level. Introductory topics assume no previous experience in plant pathology and should be appropriate for introductory or general plant pathology courses. Advanced focus articles are designed for readers who have some background in basic plant pathology. A list of relevant key words not listed in the title should be included to aid searches.​

Simulation, video, or other presentation

Please contact the Plant Health Instructor Editor-in-Chief​ prior to submitting a simulation, video, or other presentation. Simulations may be submitted as part of a lesson plan or as a stand-alone resource under Teaching Notes; however simulations require technical preview from our IT department, and original code must be uploaded to gitHub with all documentation. If included as part of a PHI submission, videos should be in MP4 format. Audio PowerPoints and other presentations are encouraged and should be published with the most recent version of the software available.

Other (non-PHI) Submissions

Resources that do not clearly fit the above categories may still be welcomed into the Education Center, either as part of the peer-reviewed PHI resources, or in other resource areas within the Center. Authors with materials that do not fit the manuscript categories described above should contact the Plant Health Instructor Editor-in-Chief to discuss an appropriate outlet for their materials in the APS Education Center, or other APS outlets. Entire courses, which may be tuition-based, submitted by individuals or groups are also encouraged.

2. Preparing a Manuscript for Submission

Authors should view current materials published on the APS Education Center site for examples of article style, length, and content (see also Manuscript Categories section). Manuscripts should be submitted as Microsoft Word files with separate image files (described below). Submissions that do not follow these formats will be returned to the author for revision before they are sent for review.

The APS Education Center can provide support for artwork for disease cycles if needed. If authors require this service, they should contact the Plant Health Instructor Editor-in-Chief.

Illustration files should not be merged or linked to the text file but submitted as separate files; references to illustrations or small images within the body of the text should be used to determine their placement. Captions for figures should be placed in a list at the end of the text, following the references. Each table should be placed on a separate page following the references. Prepare tables using the table format, with one data field per cell. Double-space the entire document (including tables) and use a 12 point font. Microsoft Word (.docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) are the preferred file formats for text. Contact the Plant Health Instructor Editor-in-Chief if other formats are desired.

General Style Manual

Title. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials submitted for publication in the APS Education Center (and cited as a publication of the Plant Health Instructor) must have a title that is descriptive of the subject.

Authors. List all authors by their full names, e.g., Jane E. Doe, (unless the author uses initials only) and provide their affiliation, including title, department, institution or company, and location.

Abstract. For student-facing materials and lessons (including disease profiles, focus articles, case studies, lesson plans, and laboratory activities), the abstract should explain how the submission can help students learn new concepts, engage in critical problem solving, participate in lab exercises, or understand topics of importance in plant pathology. The intended audience should be identified and learning objectives should be provided. It should be written in standard English that is understandable to readers without specialized knowledge of plant pathology. For instructor-facing content (Teaching Articles), the abstract should identify the topic and thesis of the article, explain its importance in plant pathology education, and highlight the key impacts or conclusions.

Acknowledgments. Acknowledgments may be included after the text and before the Literature Cited or Selected References. Authors should acknowledge any financial or other assistance associated with the work reported or the development of the materials.

Abbreviations. Avoid nonstandard abbreviations in text. These may be used in tables. Authors should avoid coining abbreviations except for extraordinarily long terms or complex concepts used very frequently in the article. Spell out the term and place the abbreviation in parentheses at first use.

Apparatus and materials. Names of unusual proprietary materials and special apparatus should be followed by the manufacturer's name and location in parentheses (e.g., manufacturer, city and U.S. state, or city and country if outside the United States). It is only necessary to cite these materials by specific name if the work cannot otherwise be replicated. When necessary, trade names may be used and should be capitalized. Trademark or copyright symbols should not be used and will be deleted before publication.

Common names of plant diseases. The list maintained by APS PRESS for the Common Names of Plant Diseases should be used.

Chemical terms. List pesticides by their approved common or generic names. Brand names may be included parenthetically when a pesticide is first mentioned. The current Farm Chemicals Handbook and the most recent edition of Acceptable Common Names and Chemical Names for the Ingredient Statement on Pesticide Labels are good sources. Use the chemical name if a common name is not available. The Merck Index and Hawley's Chemical Dictionary are good sources for checking spellings of chemical terms.

Scientific names. Citation of authorities for Latin binomial names is optional and not usually recommended. When used, authorities should be given only at first mention of the primary organisms discussed (hosts and causal agents). After first use of binomials, the name can be written by abbreviating the genus, e.g., P. infestans for Phytophthora infestans. For trinomials, the name can be written by abbreviating the genus and spelling out the specific epithet and subspecific epithet, e.g., P. graminis f. sp. tritici.

Bacteria. Spellings should be based on Bergey's Manual of Systemic Bacteriology the Approved Lists of Bacterial Names, or the lists of species published in the International Journal of Systemic Bacteriology (IJSB). Note that per Bergey's style, groups below the level of subspecies should be italicized. Where applicable, designate strains.

Fungi. The preferred source for common and scientific names and authorities of fungi is the USDA-ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory Fungal Database. Ainsworth and Bisby's Dictionary of the Fungi is another good reference. When new fungal taxa are described, the authors are strongly encouraged to submit the name and appropriate information to MycoBank. For modern binomials to apply to powdery mildews (Erysiphales), it is suggested that authors check the Erysiphales Database.

Insects.Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms can be used to verify insect names. Include scientific names for important insect vectors.

Plants. The PLANTS Database (Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture is a good source for spellings of common and scientific names. Other good sources are Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, PLANTS Databases, and The Plant-Book. Regional floras may be used. Use the term “cultivar" for agronomic and horticultural varieties. Identify the source of cultivars and include plant introduction (PI) numbers when appropriate. The name of a cultivar should be enclosed in single quotation marks at first use.

Viruses. Viruses, agents that cause disease and exhibit particular properties, are distinguished from virus species, a category level into which isolates and strains of a virus are grouped. The two are differentiated by the form in which their names are written: virus species names are written in italics, with only the first letter of the species name and any proper nouns capitalized (e.g., Artichoke Italian latent virus), while virus names are written in Roman type with only proper names capitalized (e.g., artichoke Italian latent virus). The virus species refers only to the taxonomic status of the virus and should not be abbreviated; only the virus name can be abbreviated. Abbreviations should follow the first use of the virus name, as long as that virus name is used at least three times in the text of a manuscript. That is, the use of abbreviations for virus names does not negate the normal rule for use of abbreviations per se. A sentence such as "Tomato is often infected by Tobacco mosaic virus in the genus Tobamovirus" is incorrect. The taxonomic entity, Tobacco mosaic virus, cannot infect anything, because this is a property of the physical entity, tobacco mosaic virus. The two concepts should be kept distinct from one another—the infection by the concrete entity tobacco mosaic virus and the taxonomic status of the abstract entity Tobacco mosaic virus. They can coexist in the same sentence by referring to tobacco mosaic virus (the infectious entity) as a member of the genus Tobamovirus. Real things can be members of abstract classification structures. A more appropriate presentation of the information would be “Tobacco mosaic virus is a member of the genus Tobamovirus. Tomato is often infected by tobacco mosaic virus."

For more information on the correct spelling of virus and species names please also refer to “How to Write Virus, Species, and Other Taxa Names" provided on the ICTV website.

Software. Software used should be treated as a proprietary material or apparatus. Give the name of the manufacturer or developer in parentheses along with their location (city and state or country). Software such as that produced by SAS should not be cited in literature citations.

Statistics. Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable the reader to verify the reported results. Always specify the experimental design and indicate the number of replications, blocks, or observations. Identify the computer program used to analyze data if appropriate. When a quantitative factor (e.g., temperature) is studied, it often is desirable to use regression instead of analysis of variance. For qualitative factors (e.g., cultivar), analysis of variance and mean separation tests can be used, but the specific procedure and significance level should always be indicated. Whenever possible, researchers should consult a statistician before designing an experiment and when analyzing results.

Units of measurement. Information may be published in either English or metric units of measure. In choosing a system of units, authors should consider the needs and preferences of the intended audience. For example, both metric and English units are provided for distance, size, and temperature in the K-12 and Introductory sections.

Units of time. Day is never abbreviated. Week (wk), month (mo), and year (yr) are abbreviated only in tables. Second (s), minute (min), and hour (h) are always abbreviated if preceded by a numeral.

Figures and Tables

Figure Guidelines

To publish the figures in your article with the highest quality, it is important to submit digital art that conforms to the appropriate resolution, size, and file format. Doing so will help to avoid delays in publication and maximize the quality of images.

Authors may use images from other APS publications where the Society owns copyright, but authors must verify this upon submission. Note the original publication, edition, figure or plate number, page number, and credit (e.g. Courtesy J. Smith, used by permission) in the list of figure captions. If an author selects an image where APS does not hold the copyright, a request to use the image must be made by the author to the original source and permission must be documented by completing this form​ and including it with the manuscript files using the file designation “Image Copyright Forms"

General Information

  • All figures are provided as separate image files, which will be uploaded separately during submission. Multipanel figures should be submitted preassembled in individual image files. Do not submit figure files embedded in the main document in the final submission.
  • All figures are numbered according to their sequence in the text. All figures must have captions.
  • Do not include figure numbers, captions, or author names as part of the figure.
  • Captions should follow tables in the main document.
  • When uploading a figure file to ScholarOne Manuscripts, make sure you copy and paste the figure caption into the caption field.
  • For multipanel figures, all data must be contained in one file. Composite figures must be submitted preassembled. Identification labels should appear in 14 pt Helvetica or Arial font in bold. If other labeling is included in your figure files, please make sure it will appear in a minimum size of 6 pt type, with 9 pt type preferred, maintaining the same font for all figures submitted with your manuscript.
  • Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns in each label.
  • Scale bars should be inserted in figures to indicate magnification, where appropriate.
  • Photographic images should be clear and of high quality and cropped at right angles.

File Specifications

  • Size. Figures should be submitted in the highest resolution possible, with a minimum width of 1,000 pixels (2,000 pixels wide is ideal).
  • Format. Preferred image file formats: .tif, .jpg, or .eps. When saving TIFF files, use only LZW compression; do not use JPEG compression. All images must be flattened; layered images are not supported. If images are submitted in color, they should be submitted in RGB format.

Graphs and Line Drawings

  • Graphs should be “boxed" with tic marks on axes as needed. Use solid black or white or hatch or stripe patterns in bar graphs.
  • Line thicknesses and symbol sizes should be sufficient to be clearly visible when viewed online.
  • Only standard symbols can be reproduced in captions (e.g., squares, circles, triangles). ​Please provide a key to any symbols as part of the figure if other nonstandard symbols are used in the figure.
  • Resolution requirements for line art or figures with text should be double the resolution listed above for reproduction with maximum clarity (approximately 2,000 to 4,000 pixels).

Table Guidelines

Tables are used to present precise numerical data that show comparisons or interrelationships. Tables should be intelligible without reference to the text or another table. Do not repeat data in the text that are given in a table or figure.

  • Cite tables in numeric order in the manuscript.
  • Titles should summarize the information presented in the table without repeating the column headings. Nonessential details should be omitted, but titles should include enough information to be self-explanatory.
  • Column headings should be brief. The minimum number of columns in a table is two.
  • Abbreviations are acceptable; nonstandard abbreviations should be explained in footnotes. Ditto marks should never be used.
  • Numbers should be rounded to significant digits.
  • Vertical and horizontal rules are not allowed in data fields.
  • Footnotes are designated with superscript lowercase letters. Use “a, b," etc. if mean separation letters are not used in the data fields; otherwise, use letters from the end of the alphabet, ending with “z" for the last footnote.
  • Tables must be submitted in text format; tables submitted as images are not acceptable.
  • Tables should be submitted on numbered pages after the Literature Cited section.
  • Tables must be created in portrait orientation.

Literature Cited and References

Guidelines for citing publications in text. Use the author and year method of citing publications. For example, “Various investigators (Smith 1990; Smith et al. 1988, 1995a, b; Smith and Jones 1994) have reported similar findings." List citations in alphabetic order by authors' surnames. When citing multiple works by the same author, list articles by one author before those by multiple authors. Determine the sequence by alphabetizing the first author's surname and subsequent authors' surnames, by the year of publication (most recent last), and, if necessary, by the page numbers of articles published in the same journal.​

Guidelines for reference list. List all references in alphabetic order by authors' surnames. Single-author works should be listed before works with multiple authors. Works by the same author(s) should be ordered chronologically (most recent last). Always cite the original source of publication, whether print or online. Italicize Latin binomials, capitalize German nouns, and insert diacritical marks. List specific pages of books. Refer to the BIOSIS List of Serials for accepted abbreviations of journal names. Do not abbreviate one-word titles of journals. Double-check the accuracy of each citation (title abbreviations, page and volume numbers, and dates) and that each is cited in text. References should be appropriate for the audience of the material.

Only references generally available through libraries, online journals, and preprint archives should be listed in Literature Cited. Preprints should be cited as specified by the preprint archive, including the relevant digital object identifier (DOI). If a work cited is in preparation, submitted but not accepted for publication, or not readily available in libraries, cite the work in parentheses in the text, e.g., (J. Jones, unpublished data) or (J. Jones, personal communication), not in Literature Cited. Authors must obtain written permission from the person(s) cited as the source of the unpublished information, and a copy of the letter from the person supplying information must be included when submitting a manuscript. To cite an article as “in press," you must have a letter of acceptance from a journal or book editor or have a copy of the galley proof for book chapters, bulletins, etc. Avoid excessive reference to unpublished information.

Software. Software used should be treated as a proprietary material or apparatus. Give the manufacturer's or developer's name in parentheses. Software such as that produced by SAS should not be cited in literature citations. Software, programs, models, etc. that are used to analyze data should be cited in text by referencing the sponsoring organization and program, e.g., NIH Image is available online from the National Institutes of Health.

Databases. Accession numbers cited from GenBank, EMBL, and other databases for primary nucleotide or amino acid sequence data should be referenced in text, not in Literature Cited. Provide accession numbers that are part of the research in text. Data must be publicly released upon or before acceptance.

Online publications. Materials originally published online by established sources should be cited as published online. The printed version of publications that were originally published in traditional print form but which are also available or referenced online should be cited as print publications. Citation of online material should include author(s), date, title, publication name or sponsoring organization, and publication number or equivalent identifier, if any. For example, Schumann, G. L., and D'Arcy, C. J. 2000. Late blight of potato and tomato. Plant Health Instructor. Online doi: 10.1094/PHI-I-0724-01. Include the electronic address of the material, although electronic addresses and locations are frequently changed. If information used in text can be found online but is not from an established publication, it should be referenced in text as a personal communication (requiring the same verification from the authors as any other personal communication), e.g., (J. Jones, B. Myers, and P. Johnson, personal communication).

Author-Recommended Internet Resources. The optional section heading Author-Recommended Internet Resources provides an opportunity to highlight relevant websites. The section is placed after Literature Cited. Websites should not take the place of literature citations.

3. How to Submit a Manuscript

ScholarOne Manuscripts

Plant Health Instructor requires that all manuscripts to be considered for peer review be submitted via the Plant Health Instructor ScholarOne Manuscripts portal. Non–peer-reviewed materials should also be submitted through ScholarOne Manuscripts using the “Other (non-PHI submissions)" manuscript type. Electronic submission speeds the handling of your manuscript and allows you to monitor its status at any time during the review process.

Add your ORCID iD

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID®) is a non-profit organization dedicated to solving the long-standing name ambiguity problem in scholarly communications by creating a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers and an open, transparent linking mechanism between ORCID and other current author identifier schemes. APS recommends authors create or associate their existing ORCID record with their profile in ScholarOne Manuscripts. If you do, we will automatically link your online article to your ORCID record. An ORCID record is required for the submitting author and corresponding author of a paper. To learn more about ORCID, please visit

First-time ScholarOne Manuscripts users must create an account. Your account is specific to the journal, you will have to create another account to submit to a different APS journal. Follow the onscreen directions to submit your manuscript. Upon acceptance, the text (file designation: main document) file must be submitted in Word or other common word processing format. Figures should be submitted in .tif, .eps, or .jpg format. When uploading a figure file to ScholarOne Manuscripts, make sure you copy and paste the figure caption into the caption field. Line drawings and composite figures generated in an MS Office program can be submitted in the original format if they conform to the file specifications.

Article License Options

Articles may be published with the following licenses:

Copyright © APS: (authors may include their own original content and use it in future personal works without permission from APS). The manuscript may include content that is not the author's original work if the author has obtained written permission, provided it with submission, and credits the source within the manuscript.)

CC BY NC ND: (manuscript must include only content that is the author's original work). This Creative Commons license allows others to download your works and share them with others if they credit the source, but they cannot change them in any way or use them commercially.

CC BY: (manuscript must include only content that is the author's original work). This Creative Commons license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, if they credit the original creation.

CC0: (manuscript must include only content that is the author's original work). This is a “No Rights Reserved" Creative Commons license that waives all author rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

Cover Letter

A cover letter must also be included with the submission. The letter should briefly (3-5 sentences) explain the significance of the content.

Technical Assistance

Assistance with technical difficulties in submission is available from ScholarOne Manuscripts​​. First click the red “Get Help Now" button in the top right corner of your screen and consult “FAQs" (frequently asked questions). If you still have questions, contact ScholarOne Manuscripts Customer Support by telephone (+1.888.503.1050, option 1; or +1.434.964.4100, option 1).

Editorial Process

Manuscripts will be assigned to an appropriate Senior Editor by the Editor-in-Chief. Authors will be notified of this assignment by e-mail. Authors are asked to recommend reviewers to assist the Senior Editor in obtaining reviews; however, this does not guarantee that these reviewers will be selected. Senior Editors will select a minimum of two reviewers with expertise in the subject matter of the manuscript. Reviewers remain anonymous to the authors. When the initial review process is completed (reviews are returned), the author will be contacted by the Senior Editor. Correspondence with authors will be by e-mail.

After a manuscript has been reviewed and returned to the author for revision by the Senior Editor, the author should make the required changes and return the manuscript through ScholarOne Manuscripts, along with a cover letter responding to the reviewers' comments. An author receiving reviews and editorial recommendations for revision of a manuscript has three months to complete the revision and return it to the Senior Editor, again through ScholarOne Manuscripts. Unless authors have permission from the Senior Editor for a brief delay in revision, manuscripts requiring more than 3 months for revision should be resubmitted as new manuscripts.

The final files submitted to ScholarOne Manuscripts and accepted by the Senior Editor will be used for processing the manuscript for publication.

4. Post-acceptance

Article Proofs

Proofs of edited articles are made available to the corresponding author via e-mail. The article page proofs must be reviewed and approved by the corresponding author in the ScholarOne Manuscripts​ Author Center.

Adobe Reader, version 7 or higher, will be needed to read and annotate the electronic proofs. If authors do not already have access to Adobe software, a link for downloading a free version of the Adobe Reader can be found in the e-mail accompanying the proofs.

Only typographical and essential factual changes may be made at this stage. Corrections and query responses and the signed copyright form should be returned within 48 hours. All corrections and queries must be indicated in the page proofs using the accepted annotation method.

5. Policies

Conditions for Submission and Scientific Review

Those who submit manuscripts to Plant Health Instructor should respect the value of the research of their peers by not devaluing authorship. Each author should have made a substantial intellectual contribution to the design, conduct, analysis, and/or interpretation provided in the manuscript. Each author must approve the final version of the article to be published and be willing to take public responsibility for their contribution to the paper. In addition, the first author and the corresponding author are expected to be able to take public responsibility for the entire paper. Authors are required to disclose any conflict of interest when submitting the manuscript.

A manuscript submitted to Plant Health Instructor must not be under review and may not be submitted for review by another journal, even in part, while under consideration for publication by APS. APS will not publish a paper that contains data that have been or will be published elsewhere. If a paper is closely related to one or more papers under consideration or accepted elsewhere, copies must accompany the manuscript submitted to Plant Health Instructor.

Most manuscripts will be reviewed by two reviewers. However, the Editor-in-Chief or a Senior Editor may return, without further review, any manuscript deemed unsuitable or out of scope. Authors can facilitate review and processing of their manuscripts by reading the author guidelines carefully.


APS does not tolerate plagiarism and will implement a two-year submission ban on authors found guilty. In scientific writing and publishing, plagiarism most often occurs when ideas or key phrases are taken from a literature source and the source is not cited. Copying a sentence from another work and merely replacing a few words in that sentence also is considered plagiarism.

Plagiarism is prohibited because it is dishonest. Authors who do not credit the original sources of ideas and phrases are guilty of stealing the original authors' scientific contributions. Scientific discoveries and progress build on the previous accomplishments of other scientists. They deserve—and receive—proper recognition when their contributions used in current works are acknowledged with proper citations.

APS journals use the program iThenticate to check submitted manuscripts for plagiarism. Editors evaluate the results of the analysis to determine whether a violation of the APS Publications Ethics Policy has occurred. If authors reuse text from previously published, copyrighted materials, they must cite the original publication to avoid copyright infringement.

Funding Acknowledgments

Authors of manuscripts submitted to Plant Health Instructor are expected to list all sources of funding for the research project at the time of submission.

Biosecurity and Select Agents Policies

The American Phytopathological Society (APS) biosecurity policy covers details for screening for research that may constitute misuse of plant pathological methods or potential danger from the improper application of knowledge. In addition, before a report on a discovery of an Agricultural Select Agent can be submitted for publication, the detection of the Select Agent must be reported to USDA APHIS. See the APS Select Agent Policy.

6. Questions

All presubmission or general editorial questions should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief of Plant Health Instructor.

Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief to discuss their plans, in order to avoid duplication and encourage coordination with others who may be preparing similar materials.​​​