Journal of Ecology 2020 highlights

2020 has been a year like no other. We wanted to use this blog post to thank all our authors, reviewers and editorial board members for ensuring that, in spite of global challenges, the journal continues to go from strength to strength. Here are some of our highlights from the year, and some things we’re looking forward to next year.  

Record breaking submissions 

2020 has been a record breaking year in terms of submissions, with the journal on course to get close to 1200 this year. This is an around 20% increase on last year which is incredible. It has meant though that our editorial board has been particularly busy this year, and we want to say a big thank you to all our amazing Associate Editors and Senior Editors for coping so well with such a big workload.  

We have also published over 200 fantastic articles this year, and you can read the latest issue here. Our content is on course to be downloaded over a million times this year and our Impact Factor remains strong at 5.76. Our most downloaded article of the year so far is an Essay Review entitled “Fire as a fundamental ecological process: Research advances and frontiers” and our most cited paper this year is another Essay Review – “The role of microphytobenthos in soft‐sediment ecological networks and their contribution to the delivery of multiple ecosystem services” 

Changes to our Editorial board 

This year has seen Richard Bardgett take on the role of Executive Editor for the journal, taking over from David Gibson, who is staying with us as Senior Editor. Another of our Senior Editors, Mark Rees will also be stepping down from the journal as Senior Editor next year as he’s come to the end of his term. Both David and Mark have been instrumental in shaping the journal over the past several years and we’d like to thank them for all their efforts in helping to craft our fantastic journal.  

We would also like to welcome some new additions to the team. Yvonne Buckley has recently joined us as a Senior Editor. Yvonne has been an Associate Editor on the journal for many years and brings some great ideas and enthusiasm to the team. You can find out a bit more about Yvonne in this interview.

Also joining the team this year is Jason Fridley as our new Reviews Editor. Jason is another longstanding AE and has hit the ground running, commissioning several stand alone reviews and working hard on the latest Grime Reviews series. Get in touch if you’re interested in writing a review for the journal – as you can see above, they are often our most well read and cited articles!

Welcome to our new Associate Editors 

This year we also recruited 25 new Associate Editors to the journal via an open recruitment process carried across the BES journals, including our new Blog Associate Editor Rhosanna Jenkins. Meet our new Associate Editors here. We’re excited to have everyone on board and given the growth in submissions we’re sure there’ll be plenty to get stuck into! 

Transparent peer review 

In November 2019, Journal of Ecology began a Transparent Peer Review trial. If authors choose to remain in this model then when their paper is published, the peer reviewer reports, author responses, and the editor decisions are also published on Publons. Reviewers have the option of being named or remaining anonymous. The benefits of the scheme are to helps make the peer review process more accountable, creating opportunities for peer review training, and specific and qualitative recognition for reviewers who choose to sign their reports. Keep an eye on the blog for further updates on this. 

Virtual Issues 

This year we’ve published several Virtual Issues collecting together key content from the journal on particular topics. These have covered freshwater ecologyepidemiology, and celebrated the work of this year’s Eminent Ecologist Bernhard Schmid

Calls for contributions  

Looking to the future we’re currently inviting submission to a Cross Society Special Feature on Restoration Ecology to coincide with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Find out how to submit here

We’re also looking for proposals for out latest Grime Reviews series on “What can remote sensing do for plant ecology?” For full details and to submit a proposal visit our website

As usual we’re also seeking proposals for our Biological Flora series. This year for the first time we are also considering International Biological Flora submissions. You can view the full database here! Please visit the Biological Flora page to contribute and account and for more information.  

Forthcoming Special Features 

We have several Special Features in the pipeline for next year on topics including facilitation, common garden experiement, resilience and metabolomics. Watch this space for details! 

If you’re interested in proposing a Special Feature, please get in touch with Rhiannon in the Editorial Office.  

Here’s to 2021! 

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