Updated Journal Aims and Scope

Following some excellent feedback and comments at our most recent BES Editor’s Strategy Day (see photo below), we have updated the wording of our journal scope. The updated scope reads:

Journal of Ecology publishes original articles on all aspects of the ecology of plants (including algae), in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. We will publish papers concerned solely with cultivated plants and agricultural ecosystems if such articles address important ecological or evolutionary questions. Studies of plant communities, populations or individual species are accepted, as well as studies of the interactions between plants and animals, fungi or bacteria.

We aim to bring important work using any ecological approach (including molecular techniques) to a wide international audience and therefore only publish papers with strong ecological messages that advance our understanding of ecological principles. The research presented must transcend the limits of case studies. Both experimental and theoretical studies are accepted, as are descriptive or historical accounts, providing they offer insights into issues of general interest to ecologists.

Whilst the kinds of submissions we will accept has not changed, the aim in updating our scope is to accentuate the positive, and clarify the types of articles that we are interested in publishing. Rather than say what we don’t publish, the updated scope says what we do publish.

Notice that we retain a primary interest in plants in the broadest sense, but emphasize that papers must ‘address important ecological or evolutionary questions’. This phrase is a key criteria for consideration of papers on cultivated or agricultural plants.

I should add that we are still particularly keen to receive manuscripts that address one or more of the 100 Fundamental Ecological Questions posed by Sutherland et al. (2013) in the Journal, or the 50 Priority Research Questions in Palaeoecology by Seddon et al. (2014).

The Editors look forward to receiving manuscripts that fall within the Journal scope.


David Gibson, Executive Editor

Some serious strategizing by BES Editors (Charles Darwin House, London, April 2016)


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