Journal of Ecology by numbers

Journal of Ecology was the world’s first ecological journal.  It was established as the official publication of the newly formed British Ecological Society (BES) in 1913 under the leadership and guidance of the Society’s first President, Sir Arthur Tansley FRS.   At its launch, Tansley identified two primary aims for the Journal, namely “to foster and promote in all ways the study of ecology”, and to present “a record of and commentary on the progress of ecology throughout the world”.  As the Journal of Ecology embarks on its second century of publication, we would like to ask you, our blog readers, for your thoughts on the extent to which it has fulfilled Tansley’s aims, and whether it has achieved any more (or less) than originally expected.

To give some context to this invitation for feedback, here are some facts and figures about what we have achieved and where we stand now.  Firstly, some information about what the reader gets:

  • In 1913 a Volume of Journal of Ecology, consisted of four issues and cost 15 shillings to non-BES members.  That is equivalent to about £55 (approximately $85 or €65) at today’s prices.
  •   A standard member’s subscription to the Journal is now £30 per annum (approximately $46 or €35) per volume of six issues, making a subscription far better value now than it was in 1913.  A concessionary subscription is only £15 per annum.
  •   (….and average earnings have increased at more than five times the rate of inflation since 1913)
  •   ….and there are now more than ten times as many papers per Volume as there were in 1913!

Secondly, some stats about the standing of the Journal for the authors of papers:

  • Submissions increased 2.8-fold from 2003-2010
  • The Journal’s Impact Factor has risen strongly during the last decade, and now stands at 5.260
  • Ranked by Impact Factor, Journal of Ecology is 11th out of 129 ISI-listed journals in ecology, and 9th out of 187 ISI-listed journals in plant sciences
  • On average, first decisions on submissions currently take 33 days, and accepted manuscripts are published online within 39 days of acceptance, and published in print within 108 days of acceptance.
  • The Journal’s Associate Editorial Board is drawn from the global ecological community, and we constantly strive to increase its scope, range of expertise and gender balance to reflect current research activity and the make-up of the ecological research community.
  • We publish papers by researchers based throughout the world, and on work carried out in all regions from the poles to the tropics, in all types of habitat and on all topics of ecological interest.

Let us know your thoughts on what we publish, how we are performing, and what new initiatives you would like to see us embark on in the future.

If you are interested in reading more, please see the Editorial article “Tansley’s vision for Journal of Ecology, and a Centenary Celebration”

Post by Mike Hutchings and Erika Newton

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