Focus and Scope
Immediate Science Ecology (ISE) publishes standard research articles that are either empirical studies (mensurative or manipulative) or reviews (including narrative reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses). The primary intended readership is ecology and evolutionary biology. Consequently, regardless of the taxa studied, submissions may relate to fundamental theories and hypotheses currently recognized as legitimate avenues of research. To accelerate discovery in ecology, this journal seeks articles in particular that can be classified as discovery, documentation, and (rapid) development since these papers are either very difficult to publish in traditional journals or are handled very slowly. Articles must assume the attributes associated with current conventions in most ecology journals with clear introductions, methods, results, and include a referenced interpretation of significance. However, studies that are preliminary and exploratory in nature are welcomed here such as honor’s thesis projects or trial experiments conducted by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Standard empirical studies or reviews that clearly address rapid development within a field are also considered, and these submissions are likely similar to other studies in traditional journals but communicated more rapidly through this channel.
In many respects, cost and speed of review are unfortunately critical elements hindering the effective communication of ecological research. Inquiry, discussion, and availability should instead be the salient elements that identify the products of our research. Limitations associated with cost are mitigated under this new journal model of limited editorial review only in two respects. Junior scientists publish open-access content free of charge. Energetic costs in terms of lengthy refutations with haphazard and often arbitrary peer-reviews are also avoided. Only editors review these papers within 10 days of submission at most. Speed of review is also a limitation in ecology since many journals can hold submissions in review for at least one month, but often for much longer. This delay is also avoided and provides a niche similar to more expensive but yet exemplary models of publication such as PlosOne. In summary, the purpose of ISE is to provide a set of niches currently unavailable to practioniers in ecology with the goal of promoting more rapid dissemination of discovery.
These articles can be mensurative or manipulative. Data must not have been previously published in another journal. Similar to the norms in ecology, the article must include an Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion or Interpretation. However, an unwritten norm in ecology is that the Introduction is often at least two paragraphs in length, with the first introducing the larger significance of a topic, e.g. invasive species/changing climate/disturbance are a global phenomenon and generally negatively impact ecosystems/communities/species… etc. while the second paragraph is a more specific presentation of the topic at hand and tested by the study. At ISE, we are willing to consider a slightly abbreviated format, i.e. a single introductory paragraph providing the immediate scope of the paper without the general broad paragraph that is sometimes redundant, provided it is well written. The same applies to the Discussion, as we wish to avoid over-interpretation biases – speak directly to the significance of what was directly tested in the study.
Finally, and most importantly, all studies must identify both in the keywords and in the submission process the category of article with respect to accelerating and forwarding discovery and inquiry in ecology.
Discovery articles are preliminary or exploratory in nature. These can include but are not limited to datasets that are not necessarily extensive; preliminary or trial experiments that are appropriately but not heavily replicated; or studies that may have not entirely succeeded in demonstrating treatment effects. We envision good honor’s theses as a perfect example of a Discovery article wherein a new idea was tested but perhaps not as thoroughly as preferred. The editorial board will examine these articles carefully to ensure that both the design and data are adequate in terms of providing the ecological readership with sufficient information to assess whether the study effectively elucidated the process in question.
Documentation studies can be confirmatory or refute previous studies or hypotheses already published. We envision these articles as excellent studies that repeated or tested a method that is well established in the discipline, but tested in a different system, or with a nuanced methodology. Alternatively, these articles could be effective tests of a method or hypothesis that failed to detect support for the hypothesis, thereby making them difficult to publish in conventional journals. ISE welcomes these reports of ‘negative’ results, as the EEB community needs to know the full extent of research conducted — not just the positive results.
Finally, Development articles are the standard study, similar to that published in mainstream journals (i.e. novel, well executed etc.) but communicated here immediately, i.e. publication within 10 days. We see this particular category of articles as a direct analog to PlosOne publications, but more affordable in cost for graduate students or researchers with reduced funding.
|Open Submissions||Indexed||Peer Reviewed|
Reviews are a useful and necessary process in any discipline. Hence, we encourage authors to consider submitting reviews to ISE as well. Narrative reviews are accepted; however, these must provide a clear synthesis of the specific topic, or, propose novel avenues of research. Systematic reviews, including meta-analyses, are preferred because the methodology and criteria for selecting articles reviewed within is replicable. The same structure as experimental submissions is required for reviews, including identification of whether the work is Discovery, Documentation, or Development.
|Open Submissions||Indexed||Peer Reviewed|
Commentaries and Replies
ISE also welcomes very short articles including epirical commentaries and replies, critically but constructively commenting on research published in other journals. Commentaries on ideas, or concept papers are also important, but are best directed to Ideas in Ecology and Evolution (IEE). Critiques of empirical work are welcomed here, particularly if the quantitative aspects are re-analyzed, evaluated, or if you have complimentary data that supports/rejects other papers. Simply designate the submission as a commentary and we will read the source paper, and editorially review your submission only. Importantly, if you have since re-analyzed or further developed your own ideas on a previously published paper, please submit them here. This is not an uncommon process in science, is actually very natural, and is part of the scientific process, yet is currently not publishable in other venues.
|Open Submissions||Indexed||Peer Reviewed|
Peer Review Process
To ensure ‘immediate’ and rapid handling times, only editorial reviews are applied to all submissions. Reviews are applied for readability, clarity, technical correctness, and appropriate scope and interpretation. Datasets must also be clearly described with sample sizes and replication described to provide the means for the editors and subsequent readers to calibrate the extent to which the study examines a methodology or tests a hypothesis. Reporting of effect sizes is also strongly encouraged in addition to p-values. Post-publication review is provided by an online comment function. Download statistics are also provided in the event that one needs these to leverage her/his publications for merit-based evaluations.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
All published articles are listed with a volume and page number in spite of being online only. DOIs are also provided. ISE utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.
ISSN: 1929-2201 Immediate Science Ecology