Why should you publish in Plant Protection Quarterly?

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Dr Stephen Johnson

Managing Editor, Plant Protection Quarterly, Orange NSW 2800, Australia.

Cite this article as:

Johnson, S.B. (2013d). Why should you publish in Plant Protection Quarterly? Plant Protection Quarterly 28(1), 2 & 27.

A mutual colleague of two of our editors recently asked why they should consider publishing in Plant Protection Quarterly. A discussion was had, and while their colleague, on this occasion, chose another journal to submit their work to, it reminded the editors of some of the many reasons why people may wish to publish research.

Why bother publishing research at all?

There are a number of reasons to publish research. Perhaps foremost, but often overlooked, is that professionals publish to express and share their research, their findings and their ideas, so that ultimately scientific knowledge is advanced. In its truest form, professionals publish to make the world a better place.

As professionals, we “search to understand things better… seek[ing] answers to [the] fundamental questions” in our professions (Chubb 2013). Such basic research drives the development of technology we will use tomorrow, everything from plastic bank notes to internet search engines. Todays ideas, theories, policies and practices all need to be tested and found to be useful before corporate knowledge can be advanced though. To do this, applied research will always be needed. It too needs to be published.

For many professionals, publishing goes hand-in-hand with career progression, with publishing a sure way to increase profile within a peer community. Progression and increased profile secure a future within a profession, particularly when it comes to securing future research funding and resources. Publishing helps produce further research.

A race to quantify

There is an increasingly concerning 1st world trend to quantify the quality of publications, journals and even authors institutions (Bryant and Calver 2012). Along with this, professionals are being encouraged to satisfy the requirements of large commercial publishing houses at the expense of disseminating more local research. Where does this crucial applied research then get published?

The ideal of free and open communication of science is not so easily satisfied when the acceptance of journal rankings and citation indices becomes the norm, rather the merits and utility of research itself (H. Recher personal communication). While there is a role for open access journals in free and open communication, particularly where authors pay to have their work published, such a system should never be allowed to create a professional class system, differentiating between those who can and do choose to pay to have their research published quickly and without charge to readers, and those who can not or do not wish to pay for such services. Although subscriptions to journals and/or subscriptions to various societies will continue to be necessary to ensure that some journals survive, authors and editors of professional publications should aspire to ensure that all research is as “open access” as possible.

Some of what Plant Protection Quarterly offers authors

When submitting your manuscript to Polymeria publishing (the publishers of Plant Protection Quarterly) you are:

  1. publishing in a journal with an international reputation and audience;
  2. that is published four times each year; and
  3. that publishes a broad range of basic and applied research, reviews and technical information on all aspects of plant protection.
  4. Further, our turn-around times from submission to publishing are generally much shorter than many similar journals;
  5. the peer reviewer and editorial processes are overseen by a single editor who understands both the scientific and editorial process;
  6. that, as an author, your relationship to us is crucial, and we look forward to growing this relationship through the manuscript review and publishing process; and
  7. that any profit we do make does not go to large (often international) publishing houses; so that
  8. we continue to invest in our most important assets, these being our authors and readers.

In this issue

We are pleased to include five papers in this issue, three with an entomological focus, another detailing a new plant species (and genera) recorded as naturalised in Australia for the first time and a final paper investigating the impact of soil disturbance and moisture on weed emergence.

Surveillance is an important first step in preventing the establishment of new invasive species into areas where they currently do not occur. The research by Dominiak et al. (2013) details surveillance of Asian Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar asiatica L. in south eastern Australia, illustrating the effectiveness of current pre-border inspections and complementary quarantine systems.

Seasonal incursions of southern armyworm, Persectania ewingii (Westwood) in Tasmania are examined by Hill (2013a) illustrating that a state light trap network has been effective in providing regional early warnings of serious outbreaks of the insect. At the same time, the analyses suggest that further research may be warranted into the relationship between immigration events and certain climatic data. The migratory data from this light trap network is outlined in a separate paper (Hill 2013b), specifically the species (23-160) captured over certain intervals (upwards to 60 years) and suiting both weekly and monthly analyses. This data set is offered to researchers for further analysis.

Early detection of new incursions is an important next step in any biosecurity response. While detection may occur, without trained and experienced professionals, in particular taxonomists, effective management may not occur: if it does, it may not use the most effective means possible, often because of incorrect identification. This is why it is crucial to ensure that any suspected new naturalisations are positively identified and risk assessed with a minimum of delay. The naturalisation of a species of Daphne (Thymelaeaceae), this being D. laureola, is reported for the first time in Australia (Baker 2013). This complements a similar paper reporting on incursions of Mesembryanthemum guerichianum Pax (Aizoaceae) (Chinnock et al. 2012) and reviews of the taxonomy, biology and management of various species that are invasive in Australia (and around the world), as published in the Biology of Australian weeds series, for example, Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don (Breaden et al. 2012), Sagittaria platyphylla (Engelmann) J.G. Smith and Sagittaria calycina Engelmann (Adair et al. 2012a) and Polygala myrtifolia L. (Adair et al. 2012b).

Finally, the management of weeds that have become endemic, for example in primary production systems, and the factors that affect the establishment of these species are crucial. The research by Calado et al. (2012), simulating autumn sowing in Mediterranean environments, illustrates that soil disturbance hastens weed emergence and, in particular, that high soil moisture combined with a minimum temperature sum appears to be needed for monocotyledon emergence. This research supports the practices of pre-sowing herbicide control and no soil disturbance conditions (most similar to no-tillage planting), after initial high rainfall and then soil drying. While rapid weed seedling emergence is stimulated by the high soil moisture levels initially, and controlled by herbicides, subsequent soil drying prevents further weed emergence under no-disturbance conditions.


Some ideas for this editorial have been drawn from an, as yet, unpublished paper by Professor Harry Recher “What makes this old scientists grumpy”.


Adair, R.J., Keener, B.R., Kwong, R.M., Sagliocco, J.L. and Flower, G.E. (2012a). The Biology of Australian weeds 60. Sagittaria platyphylla (Engelmann) J.G. Smith and Sagittaria calycina Engelmann. Plant Protection Quarterly 27(2), 47-58.

Adair, R.J., Shackleton, A., Stajsic, V. and Gajaweera, R. (2012b). The Biology of Australian Weeds 61. Polygala myrtifolia L. Plant Protection Quarterly 27(4), 119-30.

Baker, M.L. (2013). Daphne laureola L. (Thymelaeaceae): A weedy alien species new to Australia. Plant Protection Quarterly 28(1), 3-5.

Breaden, R.C., Brooks, S.J. and Murphy, H.T. (2012). The Biology of Australian Weeds 59. Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don. Plant Protection Quarterly 27(1), 3-18.

Bryant, K.A. and Calver, M.C. (2012). Adaptive radiation in Australian journals in the Arbustocene ERA: an empty niche for JANCO? In ‘Science under siege: zoology under threat’. eds P. Banks, D. Lunney and C. Dickman, pp. 145-9. (Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, Syndey).

Calado, J.M.G., Basch, G., Barros, J.F.C. and Carvalho, M. (2013). Weed emergence as affected by soil disturbance and moisture in a controlled environment. Plant Protection Quarterly 28(1), 6-11.

Chinnock, R.J., Stajsic, V. and Brodie, C.J. (2012). Mesembryanthemum guerichianum Pax (Aizoaceae): A weedy alien species new to Australia. Plant Protection Quarterly 27(2), 83-8.

Chubb, I. (2013). The future of science in Australia. http://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2013/05/the-future-of-science-in-australia/ (accessed 29 June 2013).

Dominiak, B.C., Gillespie, P.S. and Subasinghe, R. (2013). Surveillance for Asian Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar asiatica L.) between 2005 and 2012 in New South Wales, Australia. Plant Protection Quarterly 28(1), 12-4.

Hill, L. (2013a). A history of forecasting outbreaks of the southern armyworm, Persectania ewingii (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Tasmania. Plant Protection Quarterly 28(1), 15-21.

Hill, L. (2013b). Long-term light trap data from Tasmania, Australia. Plant Protection Quarterly 28(1), 22-7.

First published online: February 4, 2013