Instructions for Authors

Last update: 2 December 2018

1. Scope

Tropical Plant Pathology is an international journal devoted to publishing a wide range of research on fundamental and applied aspects of plant diseases of concern to agricultural, forest and ornamental crops from tropical and subtropical environments. 

Submissions must report original research that provides new insights into the etiology and epidemiology of plant diseases as well as population biology of plant pathogens, host-pathogen interactions, physiological and molecular plant pathology, and strategies to promote crop protection.

2. Manuscript submission

Submission of a manuscript implies that:

  • the work described has not been published before;
  • it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else;
  • its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – at the institute where the work has been carried out.

Neither the publisher nor the society will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation. See also in this document: Ethical Responsibilities of Authors.

3. Minimum requirements for consideration

  • Manuscripts should contain disease and/or plant pathogen data; please note that first reports of plant diseases/pathogens are no longer accepted under any circumstances.
  • Experiments should be repeated in time at least once, unless the research results are from surveys or of non-quantitative nature. Failure to adhere to our experimental and statistical considerations will be grounds for rejection.
  • Studies on screening or evaluation of efficacy of synthetic/natural products (fungicides, biocontrol agents, plant extracts, etc.) must include field data and provide additional information on modes of action. The latter requirement can be waived if the results are based on meta-analysis using multisite and multi-year datasets and contribute novel information for management. Studies on screening of pathogen populations for drug/fungicide resistance should include in vitro as well as molecular data.
  • Studies on screening of plant host genotypes for disease resistance should not be limited to ranking locally-adapted genotypes but provide sufficiently novel information on the mechanisms of resistance or other aspects of broader interest to the international plant pathology community.
  • Submissions must adhere to the manuscript formatting guidelines - see more in this document: Manuscript preparation and References.
  • Authors should make sure the manuscript is written in good quality English. Non-native English speakers are encouraged to seek external language editing services if needed. See also in this document: English Language Support.

4. Article types

Tropical Plant Pathology considers for publication:

  • Original Articles
  • Short Communications
  • Reviews
  • Letters to the Editors.

    4.1 Original article

    These are full-length papers describing original articles (2,500-3000 words) with the following sections:

    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Material and methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Authors' contributions
    • Acknowledgements
    • References

    4.2 Short communication

    A straightforward manuscript reporting results that do not warrant a full-length article but that stand on their own (not a preliminary work). Length: up to 2,500 words. The manuscript should present the following sections:

    • Abstract
    • Main text
    • Authors' contributions
    • Acknowledgements
    • References

    4.3 Review

    Reviews are normally by invitation. However, if you wish to submit one, send a pre-submission enquiry with a tentative title, abstract and evidence of author's experience in the topic. Reviews can be of three types: narrative literature reviews, systematic reviews, and systematic reviews with meta-analyses.

    4.4 Letter to the Editor

    Points of view, commentaries or criticisms relating or responding to recent published items of interest to plant pathologists. Discussion on political, social and ethical issues and novel scientific ideas of interest to the journal's broad readership are also welcome. Length: up to 1,500 words.

    5. Submission and required files

    • The corresponding author, having all files prepared (see below), should submit the manuscript via the Editorial Manager Online system (
      • Please note that at least three author-suggested reviewers are required to complete submission. These reviewers should be selected in an ethical and unbiased way. See here general guidelines for selecting reviewers appropriately.  
      • For a new submission, a single file (.doc or .docx) containing the manuscript text, tables and figures is sufficient. There is no need, at this stage, to submit high quality figures (TIFF, PNG, etc.) or tables as separate files.
      • Authors are encouraged to submit a cover letter in PDF format or include the text of the letter in the specific field during the submission process. Do recall that a nice cover letter can help to make a good first impression to your work. See here  guidelines on how to write a good letter.
      • Digital files of high quality images and graphs, maps,  etc. should be uploaded only at the last submission after the manuscript is fully revised and close to acceptance. In any case, the typesetting team will further contact authors if uploaded or embedded figures in the doc file are of poor quality.
      • Electronic Supplemental materials should be uploaded separately – see specific section below.

    6. Pre-analysis workflow

    After submission, the Journal Editorial Office Assistant, who may contact the author and ask for some clarifications or adjustments, performs an operational check. Finally, the Editor-in-Chief or a Senior Editor pre-analyses the submission (prior to assign a Section Editor) to check whether:

    • The manuscript falls within the scope;
    • The minimum requirements are met;
    • The results are novel and contribute to advance the field;
    • The quality of language is acceptable for review; 
    • The manuscript format is prepared following our Instructions for Authors

    6. Experimental and statistical considerations

    These instructions should be used as a guideline/outline. Researchers should ideally consult with a statistician before designing an experiment and analyzing the data.

    • When conducting observational or planned research choose the most appropriate hypothesis tests for categorical or continuous variables and/or characterize the variability (uncertainty) by means of confidence intervals. These procedures are required to provide evidence of the robustness and reproducibility of the research findings.
    • In Material and Methods describe details on how the data were collected including sampling design and size, number of experimental units (replicates), randomization, blocking and balancing. It is imperative that all experiments are repeated at least once and which criteria was used to pool the data from two experiments for analysis. For field experiments, at least two trials should be conducted. These can be two years/seasons or two distant sites (different environment) within a same year/season. Manuscripts without evidence of proper design and repetition in time will be rejected.
    • When analyzing the data, select the most appropriate inferential methods according to the number of groups compared (two or more), independence (non-paired or paired data), type of factor (quantitative or qualitative), and nature of the response variable (continuous, count, categorical or nominal).
      • When comparing two groups, report P-values using proper t-tests (non-paired or paired) or the equivalent non-parametric tests if assumptions for parametric tests are not met. Alternatively, or additionally, provide 95% confidence intervals for visual inference or calculate the effect-size, in the form of absolute or standardized mean difference between treatments to facilitate interpretation and practical significance of the results.
      • When comparing three or more groups, use parametric analysis of variance (ANOVA) for qualitative data and linear models if the data are continuous (weight, size, area, etc.). For data described as a proportion (incidence), or counts (lesion number) give preference to fit generalized linear models with the appropriate link function to these data. Original data can be transformed prior to analysis, with justifications for the transformation chosen, when using parametric tests. Discrimination among three or more groups can be made using linear contrasts or multiple comparison tests. Duncan's multiple range test will not be accepted.
      • Non-parametric tests should be used for ordinal data or disease rating on a 0 to n scale (e.g. 1 = no disease, 2 = leaf distortion; 3 = leaf discoloration, etc.). For ordinal ratings based on disease severity ranges (e.g. Horsfall-Barratt scale), convert the scores to the midpoint of the interval prior to parametric analysis using ANOVA.
      • If there are sufficient time points or number of levels of a quantitative factor (ex. concentration, temperature etc.), do not use a means separation test to discriminate among levels of the factor. Instead, fit linear or non-linear regression models to the data. Alternatively, for time-dependent (longitudinal) data, consider calculate the area under the curve and compare the mean area among treatments using a means separation test.
      • For correlation analysis, Pearson's correlation test should be used under the assumption of normality, otherwise use the equivalent non-parametric method such as Spearman's rank correlation.
      • When reporting results of hypothesis tests, give preference to report exact P-values (e.g. t was significant at P = 0.012) or use significance levels when P-values are very low (P < 0.001). For data to be presented in a table or a plot/graph make sure to indicate the measure of variability (standard deviation, interquartile range, etc) or inferential statistics (confidence intervals) for values displayed in a table column (or between parentheses) or as error bars in plots.
      • Provide the correct citations to all software and packages used for analyzing and preparing data for presentation.

  • 7. Nomenclature and culture collections

    • Nomenclature of scientific names should adhere to current international standards for each class of organisms.
      • Plants: The International Plant Names Index, <>
      • Fungi: Index Fungorum, <>
      • Bacteria: <>
      • Nematodes: <>
      • Viruses: according to the International Code for Virus Classification and Nomenclature, published by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses - ICTV, <>
        • Scientific names should be in full the first time they appear in the body of the text and abbreviated and without authorities later. Whenever a scientific name appears at the beginning of a sentence it must be given in full.
        • New names for fungi should be deposited in Mycobank, Index Fungorum, Fungal Names or other internationally accepted registration websites and the deposit number informed together with the proposition of the new name.
        • Source and deposit of cultures and herbarium specimens should be indicated.
        • Voucher cultures and specimens documenting their research as well as nucleotide sequences should be deposited at certified or recognized international institutions.
          • Accession numbers and place of deposit must be indicated in the text.

    8. Technical names, numbers and unit system

    • Only technical names or names of active ingredients should be used. Commercial names of products or of the companies which produce them cannot be used. Chemical formulas should be written on one line and follow standard nomenclature.
    • International system of units (SI) should be used, such as mg, g, m, mm, L, mL, μL, h, min, s, mol, kg/ha. If a non-standard abbreviation is to be used, it should be defined in full when cited in the text for the first time.
    • Numbers nine or below must be written out except as part of a date, a fraction or decimal, a percentage, or a unit of measurement. Use Arabic numerals for numbers larger than nine. Avoid starting a sentence with a number, but if doing so write the number out.

    9. Permissions to use copyrighted information

    Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.

    10. Manuscript preparation

    Manuscript text should be presented in double-spaced paragraphs and 12-point font size throughout all sections, including references. Pages and lines should be numbered consecutively. Page margins should not be too narrow (2.5 cm preferably).

    10.1 Title page

    The title page should include:

    • A concise and informative title not exceeding 30 words.
    • The name(s) of the author(s): first and last names in full.
    • Corresponding author name and e-mail address - If available, the 16-digit ORCID of the author.
    • The affiliation(s) of the author(s).
      • Use superscript numbers to indicate affiliation.
      • Affiliation should include department, institute, zip code, city, state/province and country.
      • Multiple affiliations for an author can be used if that is the case or when the author has moved, in this case use the primary affiliation where work was performed and the "present address".
      • Names of the institution, department, etc. when originally in roman alphabet should be written in the original language. Do not translate institutional names to English, unless there is an official translation.

    10.2 Abstract

    The abstract should not exceed 300 words and not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.

    10.3 Keywords

    Please provide 3 to 6 key words; do not repeat words in the title. Order by scientific names of hosts and/or pathogens and other key words, all in alphabetical order.

    10.4 Main text and sections

    1. Note that naming of the main sections of the text (Introduction to Discussion) are required for Original Articles only, not for Short Communications, although the order of the elements is the same. For reviews and letters to Editor, subheadings lead to better organization and facilitates reading. The text of the subheading should be short and specific to the content.
    2. Introduction: Description of the background that led to the study, justification, hypothesis which is being tested, if applicable, and objectives.
    3. Material and Methods: Detailed description of the materials and procedures used in the research in a way that enables other researchers to repeat exactly the work if willing to do so. Authors should specifically:
      1. Separate and name subsections for better organization
      2. Not include city and country when citing manufacturers
      3. Not include trademark symbols when citing commercial products
      4. Deposit and provide reference numbers of DNA sequence data
      5. Explain thoroughly the data analysis procedures, ensuring they are correct and reproduced.
      6. Consider making raw data and computational codes available at a repository (or uploaded as supplemental information) for reviewers and latter for readers upon acceptance
      7. Results: This section describes the obtained data and results in a concise and direct manner. As general guidelines:
        1. Whenever the case, begin text presenting inferences based on hypothesis tests
        2. Avoid repetition of methodology and state the significance of results
        3. Call out data tables and figures with data sequentially. These may appear embed in the document right after the paragraph they are called out.
        4. Discussion: The findings of the study should be placed in the context of relevant literature. It must not read as literature review with ideas and statements included solely to increase the size of the manuscript.
        5. Author contribution statement: see specific section below.
        6. Acknowledgments: a single paragraph to thank people and institutions that provided technical, financial and intellectual support.
    1. References: listed alphabetically and following our formatting standards. See more in this document: References.

    10.5 Author contribution statement

    Authors must provide a short description of the contributions made by each listed author (please use initials). This should be placed in a separate section before the Acknowledgments. See example below:

    AA, XX and TT planed, designed and executed experimental work, AA and XX conducted data analyses, AA, XX, TT and ZZ wrote the manuscript.

    10.6 References

    10.6.1 General instructions

    Only articles that are published or available online (Online First, Online Early, Early view, etc) in peer-reviewed journals may be cited. Please note that citation of thesis, conference proceedings or technical reports - are no longer accepted. When referencing a personal communication of a non-author of the manuscript, authors must provide appropriate evidence (e-mail). Authors may cite unpublished data of their own. In this case, provide author's initials and last name followed by "unpublished data".

    10.6.2 Citation

    • Must follow the author/date style, without comma separating the elements.
      • When information is prominent, author's name is within the parentheses. Example, "An ordinal scale was used to rate disease intensity (Horsfall and Barrat 1945)".
      • When author is prominent, author's name is outside the parentheses. Example, "On the other hand, Horsfall and Barrat (1945) proposed a simpler ordinal scale with 12 scores following logarithmic increments".
      • For two-authors citation, spell out both names separated by "and" (Horsfall and Barratt 1945)
      • For citations with three or more authors, name the first author followed by "et al".
      • Multiple references in a same citation (using parentheses) should appear in chronological order separated by semicolons.
        • For references published in the same year, order them alphabetically within the same year by author's surname.
        • For two or more works by the same author in a citation, list them chronologically, with the years separated by semicolons. (Example: Barreto et al. 2006a; 2006b; 2008).

    10.6.3 Reference list

    • Ordered alphabetically by the first author surname.
    • For multiple references for the same author, ordering is as follows:
      • first, as single author in chronological order
      • second, with only one co-author in alphabetical order by the second author
      • third, references with more than two co-authors, in alphabetical order by the second or subsequent authors.
      • In case of more than one publication by the same authors (or authors in the same order) in the same year, add a lowercase letter after the year in alphabetic sequence.
      • Journal titles should not be abbreviated.

    Journal article
    Reis RF, Goes A, Timmer LW (2006) Effect of temperature, leaf wetness, and rainfall on the production of Guignardia citricarpa ascospores and on black spot severity on sweet orange. Fitopatologia Brasileira 31:29-34

    Arnold AE, Medjía LC, Kyllo D, Rojas EI, Maynard Z, Robbins N, Herre EA (2003) Fungal endophytes limit pathogen damage in a tropical tree. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 26:15649-15654

    Book chapter
    Campos VP, Villain L (2005) Nematode parasites of coffee and cocoa. In: Luc M, Sikora RA, Bridge J (Eds.) Plant parasitic nematodes in subtropical and tropical agriculture. CAB International, Wallingford. pp. 529-580

    Agrios GN (2005) Plant Pathology. 5th Ed. Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam

    Edited book
    Kimati H, Amorim L, Rezende JAM, Bergamin Filho A, Camargo LEA (Eds.) (2005) Manual de Fitopatologia. Vol. 2. Doenças das Plantas Cultivadas. 4 Ed. Ceres, São Paulo

    Online reference
    CONAB. Cana-de-açúcar, safra 2006 -2007. Available at: Accessed on October 12, 2008

    11. Tables

    • Tables should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
    • Tables are to be numbered consecutively using in Arabic numerals.
    • Each table must start on a new page and be placed after the References section.
    • A concise title should be provided above the table.
    • Each column must have a title in the box head.
    • Footnotes typed directly below the table should be indicated preferably in lowercase superscript numbers, but lowercase letters may be used when the column titles contain numbers.

    12. Figures

    • Figures should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.
    • Legends should be placed below the figure.
    • The size of the figures should fit one or two columns.
    • Special care must be taken with the quality of the images. The commonly used procedure of taking pictures with a digital camera placed above a microscope eyepiece normally yields poor quality images with shaded periphery that are inadequate for publication.
    • Details of interest can be shown in pictures with arrows accompanied and explanations of the details in the legend.
    • Figures published elsewhere are accepted only if extremely necessary, if proven public domain or accompanied by the permission of the copyright owner(s). Please be aware that some publishers do not grant electronic rights for free and that Springer will not be able to refund any costs that may have occurred to receive these permissions.

    13. Electronic supplementary material

    Electronic supplementary material will be published in the online version only. It may consist of

    • Information that cannot be embedded in PDF files such as: animations, video clips, sound recordings
    • Electronic form data, produced or gathered from other sources for the analysis, of various sizes such as raw experimental data, sequences, spectral data, etc. These data should not be shared as PDF but in the original file: spreadsheets, database, etc.
    • Computational codes in the original format, preferably with sufficient comments allowing anyone to reproduce the analysis.
    • Before submitting research datasets as electronic supplementary material, authors should read the journal's Research data policy. We encourage research data to be archived in data repositories wherever possible.


    • Supply all supplementary material in standard file formats.
    • Please include in each file the following information: article title, journal name, author names; affiliation and e-mail address of the corresponding author.
    • To accommodate user downloads, please keep in mind that larger-sized files may require very long download times and that some users may experience other problems during downloading.


    • If supplying any supplementary material, the text must make specific mention of the material as a citation, similar to that of figures and tables.
    • Refer to the supplementary files as “Online Resource”, e.g., “… as shown in the animation (Online Resource 3)”, “… additional data are given in Online Resource 4”.
    • Name the files consecutively, e.g. “ESM_3.mpg”, “ESM_4.pdf”.


    • For each supplementary material, please supply a concise caption describing the content of the file.

    Processing of supplementary files

    • Electronic supplementary material will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.

    14. After acceptance

    Upon acceptance of your article you will receive a link to the special Author Query Application at Springer’s web page where you can sign the Copyright Transfer Statement online and indicate whether you wish to order OpenChoice and offprints. Once the Author Query Application has been completed, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.

    15. Color illustrations

    Publication of color illustrations is free of charge.

    16. Proof reading

    The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor. After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.

    16. Online First

    The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the DOI. After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.

    17. Copyright transfer

    Authors will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher (or grant the Publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights). This will ensure the widest possible protection and dissemination of information under copyright laws.

    18. Open Choice

    Open Choice allows you to publish open access in more than 1850 Springer Nature journals, making your research more visible and accessible immediately on publication. Benefits:

    • Increased researcher engagement: Open Choice enables access by anyone with an internet connection, immediately on publication.
    • Higher visibility and impact: In Springer hybrid journals, OA articles are accessed 4 times more often on average, and cited 1.7 more times on average*.
    • Easy compliance with funder and institutional mandates: Many funders require open access publishing, and some take compliance into account when assessing future grant applications.

    Article processing charge

    Open access publishing is not without costs. As of January 7 2019 an article processing charge (APC) of 2480 EUR/ 3140 USD/ 2080 GBP net will be charge from authors who wish to make their articles open access in the journal. The APC will be levied after article acceptance.

    If you are looking for funding support open access please see our funding and support page for more information:

    Copyright and license term – CC BY

    Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, the author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

    Creative Commons Attribution License:

    19. Research data policy

    The journal encourages authors, where possible and applicable, to deposit data that support the findings of their research in a public repository. Authors and editors who do not have a preferred repository should consult Springer Nature’s list of repositories and research data policy.

    General repositories - for all types of research data - such as figshare and Dryad may be used where appropriate.

    Datasets that are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite: authors, title, publisher (repository name), and identifier.

    Springer Nature provides a research data policy support service for authors and editors, which can be contacted at

    This service provides advice on research data policy compliance and on finding research data repositories. It is independent of journal, book and conference proceedings editorial offices and does not advise on specific manuscripts.

    20. Ethical responsibilities of authors

    This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.

    Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation can be achieved by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include:

    • The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.

    • The manuscript has not been published previously (partly or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work (please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the hint of text-recycling (“self-plagiarism”).

    • A single study is not split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (e.g. “salami-publishing”).

    • No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support your conclusions.

      • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (“plagiarism”). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions are secured for material that is copyrighted. Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.

      • Consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the responsible authorities - tacitly or explicitly -at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.

      • Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.

      • Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, corresponding author, and order of authors at submission. Changes of authorship or in the order of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.

      • Adding and/or deleting authors and/or changing the order of authors at revision stage may be justifiably warranted. A letter must accompany the revised manuscript to explain the reason for the change(s) and the contribution role(s) of the added and/or deleted author(s). Further documentation may be required to support your request.

      • Requests for addition or removal of authors as a result of authorship disputes after acceptance are honored after formal notification by the institute or independent body and/or when there is agreement between all authors.

      • Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential proprietary data is excluded.

    If there is a suspicion of misconduct, the journal will carry out an investigation following the COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, the allegation seems to raise valid concerns, the accused author will be contacted and given an opportunity to address the issue. If misconduct has been established beyond reasonable doubt, this may result in the Editor-in-Chief’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

    • If the article is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.

    • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, either an erratum will be placed with the article or in severe cases complete retraction of the article will occur. The reason must be given in the published erratum or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the paper is maintained on the platform, watermarked “retracted” and explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.

    • The author’s institution may be informed.

    21. English language support

    If you need help with writing in English you should consider using a professional language editing service where editors will improve the English to ensure that your meaning is clear and identify problems that require your review. Two such services are provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service and American Journal Experts.

    Nature Research Editing Service

    American Journal Experts

    Please note that the use of a language editing service is not a requirement for publication in this journal and does not imply or guarantee that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted.