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June 11
Join the ​Top 10 MPMI Campaign

By Jeanne Harris, ​MPMI Editor-in-Chief

The Idea

The MPMI journal editorial board has planned a new way to engage our community, with the Top 10 Questions in MPMI. The idea is to brainstorm, as a community, to identify the top 10 unanswered questions in MPMI. These are the questions that drive our research and that we puzzle over. What are they? As we come together in Glasgow next month at the IC-MPMI to share ideas and findings it makes sense to take advantage of the diversity of people and research subjects to identify and focus these questions. The generation of ideas that comes from discussion and argument about the big questions in our field will help us to zoom in on a Top 10 list in a way that is much more productive than our working independently. The output of this series of discussions and suggestions over the course of the congress will result in an editorial by the MPMI board, followed by a series of Perspectives or Reviews each examining a different question, appearing over the course of a year or so. We plan a series of podcasts accompanying these perspectives to help showcase these unanswered questions, and provide a context: What do we know so far? What led us to these questions? Why are these questions so compelling?  Our goal is to engage the community in more of a dialogue with the journal and also to draw the focus of the journal to the big unanswered questions in the field. 

Why the Top 10 MPMI questions?

As scientists, we focus on trying to answer the big unanswered questions in our field. Journals, naturally, publish what has been figured out. As we chip away at these big questions, we publish pieces of the answer. How do we make people aware of the big unanswered questions that motivate this work? The goal is to make the MPMI journal a central place for the community to discuss and focus our attention on the big unanswered questions that motivate us and drive our research.

I think this focus on the unanswered questions is especially important for students and younger scientists, who may find it hard to identify the big questions amid a proliferation of journal articles. The editorial, perspectives and reviews that will result from this community discussion should provide an important resource for students, postdocs and junior faculty and help to strengthen their familiarity with MPMI journal and increase their connection to it. As we focus on the key questions and issues in our field, I hope that this will also draw the attention of more senior scientists, who have shaped their career around answering these questions, and that they will want to contribute to the discussion of these big ideas in MPMI, adding their ideas and perspective.

Podcasts: MPMI journal will be developing a podcast series related to the Top 10 MPMI questions. Raka Mitra (Carleton College, MN) will be interviewing people for podcasts both at the IC-MPMI and afterwards, by phone or skype.  Podcasts will be linked to the MPMI editorial and any perspective and Review articles that they are inspired by. Have a thought about the Top 10 MPMI that you want to talk about? Find Raka Mitra at the congress or contact her by email!

What do you think are the big unanswered questions in MPMI? Join the Discussion! Email Top10MPMI@ismpmi.org​ or tweet, tagging @MPMIjournal, #Top10MPMI - Or look for MPMI editorial board members at IC-MPMI! You can find us at the MPMI journal table near the registration area. Share your ideas with Raka Mitra, who is developing the Microgreens podcasts and will be interviewing people at the IC-MPMI in Glasgow! Email her about the podcasts at microgreens@ismpmi.org​.

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