Posted by: oikosasa | January 15, 2013

Oikos in 2013: advancing synthesis in Ecology

Oikos’ Editor in Chief, Prof. Dries Bonte, presents some interesting news and wishes you all a wonderful 2013:

DriesA survey among readers revealed that Oikos is considered as a solid, high quality journal publishing broad ecological topics, often controversial papers and synthesising papers.  Synthesis in Ecology is already for long time our branding, but it is not always clear for readers and authors what is actually meant by that. For us, bringing synthesis is the only way to make serious advance in ecology. This can be achieved by merging different methodological, disciplinary, taxonomical or geographical aspects of ecology to create novel insights that move beyond providing the n-th case study on a certain ecological topic. While this rather confirmative research is intrinsically highly valuable, and inevitable to eventually create synthesis, Oikos will continue to prioritise the publication of the most novel, synthesising contributions. In a world flooded by scientific journals, such initiatives are essential to remain updated with the newest advances and insights in the field.

One new direction Oikos is heading for is the publication of meta-analyses as a separate section. Chris Lortie, our senior expert editor will be in charge of these incoming papers, evaluate proposals and invite original contributions. Dustin Marshall remains responsible for handling incoming Forum papers.

Authors publishing manuscripts that create synthesis –either meta-analyses, forum or regular papers- in Oikos will receive from 2013 onwards a real incentive, by providing fast publication, highlights of their work in the issue and social media, and open access. These papers will be highlighted as editor’s choice, and a box on the synthesis will be provided on each of these papers. In the near future, we will ask all authors to provide such a synthesis box at submission. When feasible, virtual issues centred on these synthesising contributions will be published.  In the near future, you can expect for instance such a guest-edited issue on Surf and Turf papers, and some more other exciting proposals have been received. More news on these will follow on our Facebook-page and on the Oikos-blog of course. On the other hand, Oikos will refrain from publishing rebuttal papers, but instead welcome balanced commentary papers that progress the field as a forum.

Oikos will further invest in the blog to show what Oikos is, communicate with readers, to serve authors with promotion of their papers. The base will be posts about papers in Early View that are provided by the authors. It could be photos, a background story to the study, a popular summary.  Essentially we seek for the blog answers on the following questions:  how did you get the idea, how long have you spent working on the project, any mistakes, why that species/system/field site etc.

As you can read, we do continue our investments to bring Oikos at the front in publishing the most exciting work in the field of ecology. We received about 1000 manuscripts in 2012 (of which we can print approximately 220 to keep the backlog rather limited). The editorial work is consequently only possible by having an extremely dynamics and motivated team, starting with the senior editors and 50+ handling editors that take fast and well-considered decisions on the incoming manuscripts, technical and managing editors processing all incoming and accepted papers, and of course, all our readers and authors that are engaged in the publication process by providing peer review of the highest quality. I truly thank you all for your work to support Oikos as a leading journal in ecology. My best wishes for 2013!!

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