Guidelines for authors

Steps in the Production of an Issues in Ecology

  1. There is a standing request for topics for Issues in Ecology (individual or a set of related topics that bundle together as a theme); proposals are welcome anytime. Proposals should include a title, a half page idea synopsis that emphasizes audience and potential impact, and a sentence or two describing the organizer(s) and their team’s interest and qualifications.
  2. Topics are reviewed by the Board of Advisors and requests for full proposals are announced shortly thereafter for selected topics.
  3. The Editor-in-Chief works with ESA staff, the Advisory Board, and author teams to secure funding for meetings, editorial and production costs.
  4. Author teams meet and/or hold conference calls to plan and write the manuscript and maintain contact throughout the process with Editor-in-Chief or her designee. A professional science writer can be engaged at any time during the writing process to work with the authors to provide clear language and figures for non-technical audiences.
  5. The manuscript is submitted for external technical review no later than eight months from acceptance of prospectus.
  6. Reviewers ask: Is the topic adequately and objectively covered? If appropriate, are policy or management suggestions reasonable, balanced, and feasible? Review comments are returned to the Editor-in-Chief or Associate Editor assigned to the manuscript after 2 weeks.
  7. Technical comments are addressed by the author team within one month of receipt.
  8. Final text and figures are sent to ESA staff for layout.
  9. Publication (web and print) and press release.

Guidelines for Submission of Proposals (on topics pre-selected by the Advisory Board)

For selected topics, we invite a short proposal (2-4 pages) that describes:

  1. What is the need or opportunity for this topic to be presented to a diverse audience?

    Examples that illustrate criteria for defining need or opportunity include:

    • Upcoming policy debates that can be informed by elucidation of ecological principles and knowledge.
    • Potential for approaching or crossing an ecological threshold, with consequences for ecosystems or society.
    • The topic needs more attention than it has received because of importance to societal well-being.
    • The state of knowledge is such that the topic is ready for summary and synthesis.
  1. Is there a sufficient published body of knowledge that can be drawn upon to develop the the Issues in Ecology?
  2. How will diverse interpretations of the science (if any) associated with the topic be addressed?
  3. Does the list of contributing authors represent the breadth of interpretation for the given topic?

    Contributors should represent a range of expertise and disciplines, and suggestions may be made by the Advisory Board of additional authors to include. The Ecological Society encourages consideration of gender, ethnicity, and age balance in the author mix.

  4. Can the manuscript be ready for publication within 12 months of proposal acceptance?

    Contributing authors will synthesize existing information to provide a balanced representation of the state of knowledge and its importance to society. The synthesis could, but need not, produce a scholarly publication separate from Issues in Ecology, and can be the result of workshops, working groups, professional symposia, or even classroom activities.

  5. Is there a possibility for financial support for the genesis and production of the manuscript?

    ESA will make every effort to provide financial resources for each Issues in Ecology but welcomes additional support from agencies and organizations with interest in the topic. Contributing authors, reviewers, and the Advisory Board maintain sole responsibility for the content of each Issue.