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Case study: Molecular Plant

Cell Press collaborates with Chinese Academy of Sciences to create a new era of journal partnership in the plant science field.

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Cell Press & Chinese Academy of Sciences logos

Molecular Plantopens in new tab/window is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal founded by Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Society for Plant Biology, and Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences in 2008. The journal publishes original research articles, reviews, correspondence, and spotlights on the most important developments of plant biology focusing on subjects such as plant cell biology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, development, plant-microbe interaction, genomics, bioinformatics, and molecular evolution.

In June 2014, Dr. Lin Li, President of the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, signed the collaboration agreement with Dr. Emilie Marcus, CEO of Cell Press, cosigning Cell Press as its publisher.  Cell Press began publishing Molecular Plant in 2015.

Cover image - Molecular Plant

Vision & solution

The Chinese Academy of Sciences stated that it is Cell Press’s high reputation in the global academic community and its authority in the field of life sciences that drive this collaboration. The cooperation between Molecular Plant and Cell Press presages the acceleration of its vision and goal of ranking among the top international academic journals in the field of plant science. It is an important milestone for the further expansion of its international influence and popularity among the international scientific community.

Since the collaboration, Cell Press is committed to making Molecular Plant a top-level international scientific journal. We continue to innovate and provide comprehensive and multi-channel solutions to enhance its voice and influence in the international science community. These initiatives include the following:

Collection and promotion of annual “Best of Molecular Plant” collection

We curate a collection of the best articlesopens in new tab/window published each year in Molecular Plant and share the collection with a global audience. The collection includes research reports, reviews and discussions, and articles from a wide range of topics in plant science.

Special issue

Cell Press is devoted to help Molecular Plant publish novel and exciting science findings. Each year, we published, on average, two or three special issuesopens in new tab/window focusing on trendy topics within the plant biology field, such as photobiology, plant system biology, and Maize Genetics and Genomics. In 2019, we cooperated with the Molecular Plant team to establish its sister journal Plant Communicationopens in new tab/window. We break silos, provide multiple platforms for authors around the world, and by providing readers with open access rights, are dedicated to further facilitate the widespread dissemination of Chinese plant scientific research results on a global scale, promote the development of basic and applied plant science, and create a home for high-level Chinese plant science research in an English language journal, where none previously existed.


Since the collaboration with Elsevier, Molecular Plant’s CiteScore has increased from 10.8 in 2014 to 16.5 in 2020, ranking 5th among 445 SCI journals in the field of plant science. Among similar journals in the field of molecular biology, its ranking enhanced from 35th to 24th.

The journal’s impact factor has grown steadily and surpassed 10 for the first time in 2018. In 2020, the impact factor of Molecular Plant reached 12.084 and increased 91% compared with the beginning of the cooperation in 2015. The journal’s impact factor ranked second in research SCI journals in the same field and remained first rank in Asia.

Molecular Plant is Cell Press’s first partner journal in Asia. Before that, despite having published the review journal Trends in Plant Science, Cell Press did not have a research journal with exclusive emphasis on plant science. As a journal that has been ranked among the mainstream international plant sciences in just 6 years since its inception, Molecular Plant is a rising star in the field of plant science. Meanwhile, with the rapid development of Chinese science in recent years, and the increasingly large number of published cutting-edge research articles for Cell Press and Elsevier, this journal partnership is a win-win strategy.

The cooperation with Molecular Plant has deepened our understanding of the work done in the field of plant research. At the same time, it has also opened a new chapter of close cooperation between Cell Press and the Chinese scientific community, accelerating the discovery and transformation of basic knowledge, and fostering innovation-driven science promotes rigorous scientific discoveries and improves the quality and global visibility of Chinese publications.

Example of “Best of” collection campaign for Molecular Plant 2020

Example of “Best of” collection campaign

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Wenyi Zhou Director of Journal Strategic Partnerships +86 21 6133 3081 | +86 135 0164 7107 [email protected]opens in new tab/window