PSB Author Instructions

The Plant Science Bulletin (Print: ISSN 0032-0919; Electronic: ISSN 1537-9752) is a publication of the Botanical Society of America (BSA) published three times a year containing news and information from the Society, information on upcoming meetings, courses, field trips, news of colleagues, and professional opportunities. It provides a means of advertising items or materials wanted. It also publishes original, previously unpublished, peer-reviewed articles on innovative teaching approaches and methods, both formal and informal, the history of botany, and economic botany and serves as a peer-reviewed forum for essays discussing issues of concern to Society members such as environmental policy. It also publishes juried book reviews of current botanical literature. Papers not suitable for publication in the American Journal of Botany because they are purely descriptive, natural history, or broad surveys may be appropriate for the Plant Science Bulletin.


News, information, book reviews, announcements, and contributed and invited articles or essays should be submitted directly to the editor, preferably in MS Word, to


Types of Manuscripts

Plant Science Bulletin publishes four types of manuscripts:

  1. Research Articles

Research articles must include either quantitative or qualitative methods of analysis and be grounded in a theoretical framework. Research articles on botanical education must include an assessment component. For a description of assessment methods see: Sundberg, M. D. 2002. Assessing student learning. Cell Biology Education 1: 11–15.


  1. Descriptive Articles

Descriptive articles must have a clear focus and be grounded in a botanical problem. They will usually include specific examples, for example “How To…” articles in botanical instruction or special projects or special exhibits at gardens or arboreta.


Both research and descriptive articles will generally have the format of a typical research manuscript. The article should be grounded by a clear description of goals and expected outcomes and references made to appropriate literature. Although traditional section headings may be employed—Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion—more descriptive section headings should be used if appropriate.


  1. Essays

Essays may focus on any area of general botanical interest and are usually within the context of personal experience and/or provide specific examples. The essay should be presented in a scholarly manner citing references and appropriate resources related to the topic.


  1. Book Reviews—These are submitted directly to the Editor, not through Editorial Manager

The main function of the book review is to acquaint readers with worthwhile books and to inform the readers of those books' strengths and limitations. Specific guidelines for book reviews are on the BSA website under “Instructions for Reviewers” at PSB Reviewer Instructions and “A Strategy for Reviewing Books for Journals” at psb-1994-40-3.php#bookreview.



Review Policy and Procedure

Manuscripts are reviewed by scholars with expertise in the field as assigned by the editor or members of the editorial committee.

Manuscripts may be returned without review if the English needs significant improvement. Authors have the opportunity to make one revision addressing the criticisms and concerns of the reviewers and editors.

Correspondence and notifications regarding manuscripts will be through e-mail. All reviewer comments and author revisions, will be handled electronically.

Final acceptance of a manuscript is contingent upon strict compliance with Bulletin requirements.


Manuscript Preparation

Style (citations, abbreviations, etc.) should follow the guidelines for manuscript preparation for the American Journal of Botany (

For manuscript files MS Word (.doc) format is preferred.

Insert line numbers to facilitate review comments.

Double-space and left justify the margin of the entire manuscript, including Literature Cited, Appendices, Figure Legends, and Tables, using continuous pagination.

Leave at least a 2.5-cm margin on all sides. Number pages in upper right corner.

Number figures and tables in the order discussed in the text.

Manuscript Content

  1. Title Page Center boldfaced title written with sentence-style capitalization. Latin binomials in a title should be followed by the name of the family in parentheses.

Below the title, list authors: each author’s first name, middle initial, surname. On the next line, give affiliation and unabbreviated address. If authors have different affiliations and addresses, add a superscript number after each author’s name to indicate the footnoted address. Include another footnote superscript number to indicate the author for correspondence.

  1. Footnotes Include the following footnote: Manuscript received _______; revision accepted _______.

Place brief acknowledgments, if desired, as a separate paragraph, using the following style: “The author(s) thank(s)…”. Include grant acknowledgments here.

Other footnotes (e.g., e-mail for correspondence) are permitted: match footnote numbers with those on the title page.

  1. Abstract Page (Research and descriptive articles only) The abstract is 150 words or less, written in a single paragraph. Please include in the first sentence how the paper is of interest to the broad botanical readership. Include the paper’s premise (why you did this work), methods, content, and significance.

Provide a list of 3–10 “Key words.” Capitalize proper nouns, place in alphabetical order, and separate by semicolons.

  1. Text In the first paragraph of the introduction, include the theoretical or conceptual basis for your work in a context accessible to a diverse botanical readership.

Text following the introduction should be in sections following a section heading. Center main headings and capitalize all letters—for instance, MATERIALS AND METHODS.

Indent subheadings at the start of a paragraph; capitalize only the first word and proper nouns and adjectives.       
      Second-level headings—(boldface italic followed by an em dash)
      Third-level headings—(italic followed by an em dash)

If statistical analyses are used, include statistical values either in the text or within tables. Include the statistic value, degrees of freedom, and p-value for each result reported (e.g., for a t-test report "t = 32.41, df = 1, P = 0.03"; for an ANOVA report "F5, 23 =26.45, P<0.001" [note two df -values as subscripts with F]). Use P for significance, p for probability.

Common Latin words (e.g., in vivo, sensu lato) are not italicized.

Footnotes are not used in the text although endnotes may be appropriate for some articles and essays. Endnotes should be numbered successively in the text and included in a section before the Literature Cited.

Literature Cited, Tables, Appendices, Figure Legends and Figures should follow the guidelines specified for AJB.

Cover/Response Letter

Include a cover letter that describes the questions addressed or hypotheses tested, the major contribution of your paper to your discipline, and how this contribution is of interest to a broad audience. List any papers on related topics by any of the authors that have been published within the past year or that are in review or in press. For a revision, include a letter detailing your response to all the review comments.

Author Agreement Form

Upon initial submission of a manuscript, the corresponding author must fill out an author agreement form and upload an electronic version at the online submission site. The author agreement form is available online at; on the Editorial Manager website at the “Attach Files” screen; and from the Editorial Office.


For questions about manuscript suitability or other editorial matters, contact Mackenzie Taylor, Editor, Dept. of Biology, Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178; Phone 402-280-2157; E-mail:


[Updated 10 December 2018]