The first 100 years of Journal of Ecology


Contributing Authors: Mike Hutchings, Scott Chamberlain

As a part of the celebrations surrounding publication of its Centenary Volume, the Journal of Ecology – the world’s first-established ecological journal – is starting a blog.  The blog will enhance the value of the Journal to its authors and readers by creating a new forum for discussion of its published content.  New social networking tools provide opportunities for discussion and debate, and give us the opportunity to supply extra information, interesting points of view and visual summaries to complement the formal scientific record in the Journal’s pages.  We hope that this new service will be a stimulating discussion platform and that it will become a frequent and useful stopping-off point for scientists and non-scientists who wish to keep abreast of new insights, thoughts and opinions about the latest research developments in plant ecology.  The blog is intended to generate more active and instantaneous debate than is traditional for scientific journals – to take the Journal beyond its primary function of being the outlet for the latest and best advances in research.  Sign up to follow the blog now to get future posts delivered straight to your email inbox, your RSS reader, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

We have just held a very successful symposium to celebrate reaching the milestone of the 100th Volume, and you can read the published papers from this meeting in issue 1 of Volume 100 (click here for this issue, and here for an e-booklet).  We have invited the contributors to that symposium, and members of our Associate Editorial Board, to contribute to the blog, describing why their research has taken the course it has followed, or to describe how papers published in earlier issues of the Journal have influenced and inspired their thinking.  We would also like to hear stories from other readers along these lines.

Scott Chamberlain has come on board as the blog editor.  Scott has his own blog and also blogs for INNGE.  He will oversee the blog content and write posts.  Although we intend to seed the initial blog posts, we regard this as your opportunity to make your voice heard in discussing the latest information in our field.  So, please contribute your thoughts, so that the Journal of Ecology blog becomes the first and best place to have your views expressed and read. 

Why blog about Journal papers?

  • Time constraints on consuming science:  You can only read so many papers in a day.  This blog will help to provide a quick summary of new papers in the Journal, so you won’t miss any of those that may interest you.
  • A jumping-off point into Journal of Ecology:  If you haven’t read a particular paper in Journal of Ecology, you may do so after reading a blog post about the paper here.
  • The author’s point of view:  You rarely get the author’s story on a paper in a journal.  We will interview authors to provide additional insight not available in the Journal, and personal stories behind the research.
  • Getting the conversation started:  Lively and very interesting discussions occur online about research. We hope to get conversations started about research in Journal of Ecology, whether it happens in the comments section on the blog, on Twitter, Facebook, or G+.

We have outlined our initial ideas for the blog below, but we welcome further ideas from you.  What will you see on the blog?

  1. Lay summary/photo posts:  Providing a quick, bite-sized overview of a paper, these posts may come from the blog authors or from the editorial board, and will describe interesting papers in the Journal with lay summaries, and/or with images from research in the field or lab.
  2. Guest posts: These posts will be written by ecologists either on the Journal of Ecology Editorial Board, or an author of a paper published in the Journal.
  3. Interview posts:  We hope to provide insight about the research and the researcher beyond that which can be found in the Journal. These posts will provide summaries of interviews with authors of papers in the Journal.
  4. Live blogging at conferences:  We will be live blogging from conferences, including the British Ecological Society annual meeting, and the Ecological Society of America annual meeting.
  5. Data posts:  It’s always a nice change of pace to look at visualizations after reading a lot of text.  We will provide posts summarizing data on the Journal and interactions with readers to mix things up between intellectually stimulating text posts.

What do you think?  Please comment below, or on twitter (@JEcology), Facebook, or Google+, and tell us what you think about our types of blog posts.  Do you want to see other types of posts?  Are you especially interested in any of the above types of posts?  Are there any ways of following this blog that you think we should have links for?

2 thoughts on “The first 100 years of Journal of Ecology

  1. So it sounds like the blog will be focused primarily on the journal content, and on the authors of that content?

    • Hi Jeremy,

      We will highlight research in the journal as a basis for discussions about general ecological questions/problems. Through interviews, pictures from research in action, and more, we hope to add additional value for readers.


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