Ecology and Society Ecology and Society
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Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope
Section Policies
Peer Review Process
Publication Frequency
Article Fees
Open Access Policy

Focus and Scope
Ecology and Society is an electronic, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary journal devoted to the rapid dissemination of current research. Manuscript submission, peer review, and publication are all handled on the Internet. Software developed for the journal automates all clerical steps during peer review, facilitates a double-blind peer review process, and allows authors and editors to follow the progress of peer review on the Internet. As articles are accepted, they are published in an "Issue in Progress." At four month intervals the Issue-in-Progress is declared a New Issue, and subscribers receive the Table of Contents of the issue via email. Our turn-around time (submission to publication) averages around 350 days.

We encourage publication of special features. Special features are comprised of a set of manuscripts that address a single theme, and include an introductory and summary manuscript. The individual contributions are published in regular issues, and the special feature manuscripts are linked through a table of contents and announced on the journal's main page.

The journal seeks papers that are novel, integrative and written in a way that is accessible to a wide audience that includes an array of disciplines from the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities concerned with the relationship between society and the life-supporting ecosystems on which human wellbeing ultimately depends.

Content of the journal ranges from the applied to the theoretical. In general, papers should cover topics relating to the ecological, political, and social foundations for sustainable social-ecological systems. Specifically, the journal publishes articles that present research findings on the following issues: (a) the management, stewardship and sustainable use of ecological systems, resources and biological diversity at all levels, (b) the role natural systems play in social and political systems and conversely, the effect of social, economic and political institutions on ecological systems and services, and (c) the means by which we can develop and sustain desired ecological, social and political states.

Editors-in-Chief Carl Folke and Lance Gunderson summarize their vision for Ecology and Society:

We view humanity and nature as co-evolving systems that interact within the bounds of the biosphere at various temporal and spatial scales and across scales. We hope to create a rigorous scientific forum where we can discuss issues related to the linked and dynamic systems of humans and nature and generate an improved understanding of essential interactions that will enhance our capacity to actively adapt to change without eroding resilience or creating vulnerability. (Conservation Ecology Volume 6, issue 1, article 19)

We also encourage papers that make use of the unique opportunities of an e-journal: color illustrations, animated model output, down-loadable models and data sets, use of the "Response" option for interactive discussion, and other novel inventions to encourage reader interaction.

*Authors submitting to Special Features: please use the manuscript types: research, insight or synthesis.

Section Policies - Manuscript Types
   Open Submissions
  Research Support Tool
 Peer-reviewed papers that present the results of original research. The core article should not exceed 5000 words but may contain a reasonable number of appendices of any kind (e.g. traditional items such as tables, graphs, and written expansions on the main text, as well as less familiar items such as downloadable models or statistical software, computer animations of model output, and original data bases). Present the core of the research in a brief and readable form, and make details at an appropriate depth available in the appendices. We encourage authors to explore the novel uses of appendices that are possible only on the Internet. The fee for research articles under 5000 words is $975 US. Word counts are based on number of words in the abstract and body (not including the Literature Cited, tables, figures or appendices). Additional Word Fees will apply to manuscripts over 5000 words. ($100 to 6000 words, $200 to 7000 words etc..).
   Open Submissions
  Research Support Tool
 Peer-reviewed papers that present singular discoveries, specific examples, or assessments that suggest new directions, clarify old ones, or clarify ideas for a multidisciplinary audience - whether theory, concepts, methods, or practice. These must be written to be clear to those from different disciplines. Authors are encouraged not to exceed 5000 words and references are to be kept to a minimal set. These are meant to be succinct "nuggets" of insight. The degree of "completeness" required of Insight papers is less than that required of Research papers. An Insight article might offer, for example, a review for a multi-disciplinary audience but have references limited to only a very few seminal papers in the literature. Insight articles might have incompletely developed statistical evaluations because of the exploratory stage of the idea, and data and analyses might be provided only in summary. The fee for insight articles under 5000 words is $975 US. Word counts are based on number of words in the abstract and body (not including the Literature Cited, tables, figures or appendices).Additional Word Fees will apply to manuscripts over 5000 words. ($100 to 6000 words, $200 to 7000 words etc..).
   Open Submissions
 Peer-reviewed articles that integrate elements that historically have been considered separately, in order to suggest new opportunities for theory, policy, and/or practice. The papers may be 7000 words, but the more succinct the better. The fee for articles under 5000 words is $975 US. Additional Word Fees will apply to manuscripts over 5000 words. ($100 to 6000 words, $200 to 7000 words etc..). Word counts are based on number of words in the abstract and body (not including the Literature Cited, tables, figures or appendices).

*Authors submitting to Special Features: please use the manuscript types: research, insight or synthesis.
Guest Editorial
   Open Submissions
  Research Support Tool

Peer Review Process
The Editor-in-Chief makes an initial appraisal of each manuscript. If the topic and treatment seem potentially appropriate for the journal, the manuscript is assigned to an associate (or subject-matter) editor who oversees the review process. Once the review process has been completed, the associate editor recommends acceptance, revision, or rejection of your manuscript. The final decision is made by the Editor-in-Chief.

Ecology and Society has a "double blind" review process: authors are not told who reviewed their paper and reviewers are not told who wrote the paper. Peer reviewers are informed of the identity of the authors after the manuscript is either accepted or rejected. After a decision is reached, a reviewer is free to contact the authors privately about the manuscript.

A decision on the manuscript generally may be expected within 2 months of submission; delays in obtaining reviews may prolong this process. Manuscripts are sent out for review electronically, and all correspondence takes place via e-mail. Although the peer review process is accelerated by the use of electronic communication, traditional high-quality, peer-review standards are applied to all manuscripts submitted to Ecology and Society.

Publication Frequency
Regular issues are published 4 times annually, with issues available as 'in progress' as soon as articles are published. Special feature issues are published separately throughout the year.

Open Access Policy
This journal provides open access to all of its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Authors, or where required by law, their employers, retain copyright.
As of 15 February 2017 articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may copy and redistribute the articles and adapt the work for non-commercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited.

Permission to reuse does not extend to material belonging to others that has been cited within an article.

Special Features - Description and Guidelines for Proposals
Special features are a set of manuscripts subject to peer review that cover a similar topic, and that are solicited, collected and edited by a Special Feature Editor. Unless otherwise agreed upon, special feature articles are published as they are ready across multiple issues and then compiled and presented on a special page dedicated to that feature. The Editors-in-Chief may add additional manuscripts that are relevant to the special feature at their discretion.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for a special feature, please e-mail the following information to the Managing Editor (

  • Define the focus and objectives of the special feature;

  • Identify the Special Feature Editor(s);

  • Give the titles and abstracts of papers to be submitted as part of the special feature (minimum of 8 papers and 1 editorial); and

  • Indicate the source of funding for the special feature. Article fees may be paid for individually by the respective authors, or collectively by the Special Feature Editor

Special Feature Editor Role and Responsibilities

A Special Feature Editor is a Subject Editor selected by the EIC(s) to oversee the review of a special feature issue. The responsibilities of a Special Feature Editor include:
  • Finalizing the focus and objectives of the special feature, together with the Editors-in-Chief;

  • Deciding upon a deadline for manuscript submissions to the special feature with the help of the managing editor;

    Keeping the special feature on time,
    • all submissions should be received within a 3 week window

    • Reviewers found in a timely manner

    • Resubmission of revisions are due within 4 months

    • Editorial (if included) must be submitted within 3 months of a decision on the final paper

  • Special Feature Editors must collect and submit a minimum of 8 high quality papers to trigger the review process; and

  • Making financial arrangement with the Managing Editor to cover the cost of publishing a special feature through either institutional funding or direct collection of fees from published authors. Articles will be charged at the going rate see "Article Fees"

Article Fees
Resilience Alliance is not for profit. Articles published in E&S are available free to readers. Therefore, to cover our costs there is a charge for publication.

The base fee for an accepted article is $975 US for the first 5000 words. Articles between 5000 and 6000 words will be charged an extra $100 US and another $100 for articles between 6000 and 7000 words, etc... that is, an extra $100 for every 1000 words. There is no charge for manuscripts that are not accepted for publication and no submission charge. A limited number of full or partial waivers may be granted if all authors live and work in developing countries. Waivers may also be granted to students if they are the sole author on the paper. Waivers must be granted before submission.

Word counts are based on number of words in the abstract and main text only (not including the Literature Cited, tables, figures or appendices). Payment must be received before an article can be published. Please address questions regarding the fee policy to:

If your manuscript has been accepted for publication in our regular issue, we will send you an invoice. If your manuscript has been accepted for publication in a special feature, either the author or the editor will be sent the invoice depending on how the feature has been arranged.


Authors may withdraw their article at anytime prior to copy editing for a partial refund. Once the copy editing process has been initiated, no refund will be issued.

Abstracting and Indexing

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

SCImago. (2007). SJR SCImago Journal & Country Rank. Retrieved July 12, 2011, from

Ecology and Society has an H Index of 45, an ISI 2010 impact factor of 3.310, and a 5 year impact factor of 4.644.

Publishing forms and permissions
Prior to publication, an email will be sent to all authors asking them to confirm their authorship details (name, affiliation, email) and to accept the authorship agreement. The paper cannot be published until all authors comply.

Copyright permission forms are required if manuscripts include work published elsewhere, (including the internet) or work that belongs to someone else - even if you've altered the work. Our forms can be downloaded at Complete the form and have the owner of the work sign. Send a copy to with the number of the manuscript in the subject line. (We will also accept the forms of other major publishers.)

Guidelines for Reviewers
Using the online review system

Reviewers must use this site ( to agree to review, request a time extension, read the assigned manuscript and submit their review.

Passwords are provided in most email correspondence with the journal. If you have forgotten your password, simply press the "forgotten your password?" link below the login prompt and follow the steps to have your password emailed to you.

To access the manuscript assigned to you, login to your user interface, click on the 'reviewer' profile and then on the manuscript title.

To submit your review, click the "Edit or Submit Review" button on the main manuscript page. The form for submitting your review consists of three parts (please complete all three):

  1. a cover letter to the editor, providing a brief, candid summary of your opinion of the paper,

  2. the rating sheet, and your recommendation whether to accept, reject, or request revision, and

  3. comments for the author (please do not include your recommendation to accept or reject the paper in this section).

We recommend that you type your review out and save it in a separate word processing program and then paste it into our review form to prevent loss of information in the possible event of a connection time-out.

At anytime, reviewers may contact the Journal office for more information on how to use the website, or help obtaining a new password.

Manuscript number
Please make note of this number and use when corresponding with the Managing Editor or Subject Editor about the manuscript .

Manuscript type and length
Different manuscript types have different style and length requirements. If a manuscript exceeds the posted word length limit, please bring it to the Subject Editor's attention.

This manuscript is a privileged communication. Please do not show it to anyone or discuss it, except to solicit assistance with a technical point. If you feel a colleague is more qualified than you to review the paper, do not pass the manuscript on to that person without first requesting permission to do so. Your review and your recommendation should also be considered confidential.

In fairness to the author(s), you should return your review within 3 weeks. If it seems likely that you will be unable to meet this deadline, please request an extension or notify the journal of your inability to complete the review in the specified time using the "Request Extension" button.

Conflicts of interest
If you feel you might have any difficulty writing an objective review, please use the decline to review by selecting the "Unable to do the review" button on this page. If your previous or present connection with the author(s) or an author's institution might be construed as creating a conflict of interest, but no actual conflict exists, please mention this issue in the "Comments to the editor" section at the beginning of your review.

Comments for the author(s)
What is the major contribution of the paper? What are its major strengths and weaknesses, and its suitability for publication? Please include both general and specific comments bearing on these questions, and emphasize your most significant points.

General Comments:

  • Importance and interest to this journal's readers

  • Scientific soundness

  • Originality

  • Degree to which conclusions are supported by the data

Specific Comments:

  1. Presentation

  2. Does the paper tell a cohesive story? Is a tightly reasoned argument evident throughout the paper? Where does the paper wander from this argument? Do the title, abstract, key words, introduction, and conclusions accurately and consistently reflect the major point(s) of the paper? Is the writing concise, easy to follow, interesting?

  3. Length

  4. Does the manuscript greatly exceed the posted word limits? What portions of the paper should be expanded? Condensed? Combined? Deleted? Is the division between the main article and the appendices appropriate?

  5. Methods

  6. Are they appropriate? Current? Described clearly enough so that the work could be repeated by someone else?

  7. Data presentation

  8. Are all of the figures, tables and appendices necessary for the understanding of the article? When results are stated in the text of the paper, can you easily verify them by examining tables and figures? Are any of the results counter-intuitive? Are all tables and figures legible and clearly labeled? Well planned? Too complex?

  9. Statistical design and analyses

  10. Are they appropriate and correct? Can the reader readily discern which measurements or observations are independent of which other measurements or observations? Are replicates correctly identified? Are significance statements justified?

  11. Errors

  12. Point out any errors in technique, fact, calculation, interpretation, formatting or style. (For style, we follow the "CBE Style Manual, Fifth Edition", and the ASTM Standard E380-93, "Standard Practice for Use of the International System of Units".)

  13. Citations

  14. Is the Literature Cited section correctly formatted (see Author Guidelines). Are all (and only) pertinent references cited? Are they provided for all assertions of fact not supported by the data in this paper?

  15. Overlap

  16. Does this paper report data or conclusions already published or in press? If so, please provide details.

  17. Discussion and Speculation

  18. We have recommended that authors split their discussion into two sections. The first, entitled Discussion, should focus on the rigorously supported aspects of their study. In the second, entitled Speculation, authors are invited to engage in "grounded speculation". Is the division, if followed, appropriate? Should information presented in the Discussion be moved to the Speculation section? Are the ideas presented in the Speculation section reasonable given the scope of the study?

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087