By Elizabeth Bach and Holly Jones
Winter can be a great time to reflect on ecosystem stewardship practice and explore management questions for the upcoming growing season. There are many ways to learn from each other in this field: talking with colleagues, listening to talks and webinars, following blogs like this one, and reading scientific literature. But let’s be honest, how often is the scientific literature useful to on the ground management questions and decisions? Plus, it’s super hard to search and a lot of it is in journals you must pay to access!
In response to these frustrations, shared by ecosystem managers around the world, the British Ecological Society has launched a new freely accessible journal Ecological Solutions and Evidence. The goal of this journal is to encourage sharing of work, lessons learned, and research between practitioners and scientists. This includes a unique article type called “From Practice.” From Practice articles must include at least one author who is a practitioner (i.e. not an academic scientist), are less than 3500 words (shorter is better!), and have no strict format or subject matter requirements. That means you don’t have to read (or write) in that clunky “scientific style” with an introduction, method, results, and discussion. Topics for these articles could include case studies of project successes (and failures), calls for new approaches to recurring problems in management, and perspectives on research topics most relevant to management. Many of the blogs here at the Grassland Restoration Network would be great starting points for a From Practice article.
If you, or a colleague, would be interested in learning more or writing an article, feel free to reach out to a member of the Ecological Solutions and Evidence editorial board, which includes both of us: Holly Jones (Northern Illinois University, Lead Editor) and Elizabeth Bach (The Nature Conservancy, Nachusa Grasslands, Associate Editor). We would be delighted to answer questions and offer feedback on article ideas. If you’re wary of writing an article by yourself and don’t know where to turn, we’d be happy to connect you with interested co-authors.
To make articles freely accessible, publications in the journal charges a publication fee. There is a discount for From Practice and Data articles, and there is also a generous wavier system for people whose organizations can’t financially support page charges, so don’t let cost concerns stifle interest.
But wait, there’s more! In connection with Ecological Solutions and Evidence, The British Ecological Society is launching and on-line repository for information related to ecosystem management: Applied Ecology Resources. This information may include data associated with article published in Ecological Solutions and Evidence or be a home to that data currently sitting around unused. Applied Ecology Resources is also freely searchable. The repository soft-launches on 20 February 2020, so take a look, and let us know what you would like to see more of! If you have information you think might feel at home on Applied Ecology Resources, we’d be happy to talk about how to make that happen.
Read more from the lead editors, Holly Jones and Editor-in-Chief Marc Cadotte: https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2688-8319.12000