Roles of Editorial Board Members of the JPP

The Journal is lead by the Editor in Chief, who makes all final decisions on the suitability and acceptance of submitted papers.

Handling of all submissions, initial quality control, and quality check of the English language is done by the Managing Editor.

Members of the Steering Editorial Board will normally be asked to provide input on major ethical or policy issues the Journal may encounter.

The four Main Senior Editors (one mycologist, one bacteriologist, one virologist, and one Phytoplasma expert) will jointly decide on the suitability of submissions for the Editors’ choice section of the journal, besides fulfilling their normal Senior Editor tasks (see below). Submissions are routinely assigned by the Managing Editor to the appropriate Senior Editor.  Main Senior Editors can appoint new Senior or Associate Editors without consultation with the Editor in Chief, and enlist any researcher as a reviewer for the Journal.

Senior Editors are responsible for the assignment of papers to the appropriate Associate Editor and to ensure the review process moves forward. Only in exceptional cases, will the Senior Editor also act as an Associate Editor and assign papers directly to reviewers. The SE will review the evaluations given by the reviewers and the decision of the Associate Editor, integrate the two in writing and communicate the final decision to the authors.  
The tone of the evaluation shared with the authors need to be constructive and help them improve the manuscript, independent of the decision. Ultimately, it is the prerogative of the Editor in Chief to accept or reject a paper based on the decision provided by the Senior Editor. With the recent change in leadership, the Journal asks each SE to recruit at least one Associate Editor, and to submit a review paper to the Journal within three years. While authors have the option to submit their work as an “Editors’ choice” paper, that is a paper whose content is particularly timely or innovative, a SE also has the option to identify any paper as an Editors’ choice paper.
All Editors choice papers will be finally reviewed by the main SE Editors and the Editor in Chief. A normal workload for a SE is 15-25 papers at any given time. Senior Editors can appoint scientists to the role of Associate Editor without approval by the Editor in Chief, and enlist any researcher as a reviewer for the Journal.

Associate Editors (AE) are in charge of identifying two reviewers, assign them the submissions and ensure a revision is provided in a timely manner. It is the responsibility of the AE to summarize the reviews and provide a justification for the final decision on the paper, to enable the SE to decide on a course of action.
The tone of the evaluation shared with the authors need to be constructive and help them improve the manuscript, independent of the decision.  If the two reviews are greatly discordant, it is encouraged to identify a third reviewer. Authors are now encouraged to suggest the name of three potential reviewers.
If support is required to find proper reviewers, please use “The Springer Nature Reviewer Finder”, only if additional support is required consider to invite the Author’s suggested reviewers. In any case please take care to always invite a mix of suggested reviewers and self-selected reviewers.
While authors have the option to submit their work as an “Editors’ choice” paper, that is a paper whose content is particularly timely or innovative, an AE also has the option to identify any paper as an Editors’ choice paper. The option of publishing an article in the Editors’ Choice section needs to be communicated to the SE in the AE’s decision that is uploaded to the Journal website. All Editors’ choice papers will be finally reviewed by the main SE Editors and the Editor in Chief.  If absolutely necessary, an AE can also serve as a reviewer.  In that case, the AE will have to first assign the paper to himself and provide a full revision in his role as a reviewer, and then will have to provide a summary of both reviews in his role as an Associate Editor.
With the new leadership, AEs are asked to submit a paper to the Journal within three years. A normal workload for an AE is 3-6 papers at any given time, or 5-10 Disease Notes.  AEs need to justify rejections of requests by SEs: a large number of unjustified rejections may lead to dismissal of the AE from the board, pending a decision by the Steering Editorial Board. AEs can enlist any researcher as a reviewer for the Journal.

Although it is to be hoped that revision time be as fast as possible, it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify reviewers that may be willing to help. Informally, it would be ideal to come to a final decision on a submission in no later than six months.