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Our Journals

ESA journals are an important outlet for scientists, researchers, professionals and academics to publish their in ecology and closely related sciences. Our peer-reviewed research journals Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Ecological Applications, Ecosphere and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment are top cited resources for cutting edge science, comprehensive and integrative papers, synthesis and analysis, commentary and opinion, and rapid publication. In addition, ESA’s quarterly publication The Bulletin of the ESA covers the business of ESA as well as ecological events, news, education-related articles, career advice, commentary, opinion, and reports of interest to the ecological community.

We saw significant editorial change for the journals in 2020. Dartmouth’s Kathryn Cottingham took over at the helm of Ecology in January. Dave Schimel, the long-time editor-in-chief of Ecological Applications, completed his term in December, and Juan Carley from Grupo de Ecologia de Poblaciones de Insectos (GEPI), IFAB- (INTA-CONICET) in Bariloche, Argentina, was selected by the ESA Governing Board to lead Applications beginning in January 2021. Additionally, Sue Silver, inaugural editor-in-chief of Frontiers, retired from her position in May 2020. Sue grew the journal’s impact, unique position, content, and member value over her time, leading it to the highest impact factor and rank in our family of journals. Richard Wallace from Environmental Studies and Marine Science with the Whittaker Environmental Research Station at Ursinus College, Pennsylvania, took over as the Frontiers editor-in-chief in January 2021 as well.

The Pace of Publishing

COVID-19’s impact on publishing was immense pressure on production due to transition to work-from-home and significant challenges to global infrastructure for typesetting, printing and delivery. The biggest impact was from an influx of submitted manuscripts for peer review. Our flagship journal, Ecology, founded in 1920, continues a sturdy publishing history with 297 articles published in 2020. Ecological Applications published 189 articles, Ecological Monographs 32, Frontiers 54, and The Bulletin 166 in 2020. All ESA subscription journals offer Gold Open Access options for individuals to choose and Creative Commons license. Of course, Ecosphere is ESA’s premier open-access journal, publishing 310 articles in 2020, the most of all journals, and all of them open-access.

ESA had a 15% increase in submissions across our journals from 2019. and nonetheless successfully met the publishing demand

Impact Factors and Rankings

The 2019 Journal Impact Factors were released in June 2020. Our journal Impact Factors have remained steady, with some variation among the smaller journals. Ecological Monographs, Ecology and Ecosphere all had increases in their Impact Factors. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment and Ecological Applications have remained relatively stable in their Impact Factors.

  Impact Factor Rank per Category
Ecology 4.700 22/168 Ecology
6/380 Environmental Science
Ecological Applications 4.248 28/168 Ecology
59/265 Environmental Science
Ecological Monographs 7.722 8/168 Ecology
Ecosphere 2.878 60/164 Ecology
Frontiers in Ecology
and the Environment
9.295 4/168 Ecology
5/265 Environmental Science


Impact of Articles from ESA Journals

Articles in ESA journals having a strong social media presence reported through the altmetric scoring system.

Ecology had 13,003 mentions in 2020 compared to 3,353 in 2019.

Rank Attention Score Research Output
1 2,083 Octopuses punch fishes during collaborative interspecific hunting events (Dec. 2020)
2 883 Potential role of bird predation in the dispersal of otherwise flightless stick insects (May 2018)
3 774 Animal-borne video from a sea turtle reveals novel anti-predator behaviors (Nov. 2020)
4 605 Worldwide hemisphere-dependent lean in Cook pines (May 2017)
5 581 Please, more tears: A case of a moth feeding on antbird tears in central Amazonia (Jan. 2019)

Ecosphere had 3,910 mentions in 2020 compared to 783 in 2019.

Rank Attention Score Research Output
1 462 Climate change and disruptions to global fire activity (June 2012)
2 384 Bees collect polyurethane and polyethylene plastics as novel nest materials (Dec. 2013)
3 357 Congruence between future distribution models and empirical data for an iconic species at Joshua Tree National Park (June 2019)
4 279 The mismatch between current statistical practice and doctoral training in ecology (Aug. 2016)
5 250 Socioecological disparities in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina (Sept. 2017)

Ecological Applications
Applications had 3,685 mentions in 2020 compared to 807 in 2019.

Rank Attention Score Research Output
1 646 Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline (April 2015)
2 488 Interrelated ecological impacts of climate change on an apex predator (Feb. 2020)
3 406 A room with a green view: the importance of nearby nature for mental health during the COVID‐19 pandemic (Nov. 2020)
4 300 Extinction vortex dynamics of top predators isolated by urbanization (March 2019)
5 209 What is known and unknown about the effects of plastic pollution: A meta‐analysis and systematic review (Jan. 2020)

Ecological Monographs
Monographs had 1,023 mentions in 2020 compared to 552 in 2019.

Rank Attention Score Research Output
1 185 Fire evolution in the radioactive forests of Ukraine and Belarus: future risks for the population and the environment (Feb. 2015)
2 171 Enhancing insights into foraging specialization in the world’s largest fish using a multi-tissue, multi-isotope approach (Jan. 2019)
3 123 Overfishing and the ecological impacts of extirpating large parrotfish from Caribbean coral reefs (April 2020)
4 114 Connected macroalgal‐sediment systems: blue carbon and food webs in the deep coastal ocean (May 2019)
5 110 Diel predator activity drives a dynamic landscape of fear (June 2018)

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Frontiers had 4,628 mentions in 2020 compared to 3,298 in 2019.

Rank Attention Score Research Output
1 1010 The role of species charisma in biological invasions (April 2020)
2 806 The environmental cost of animal source foods (June 2018)
3 711 Bright lights in the big cities: migratory birds’ exposure to artificial light (April 2019)
4 665 Rewilding of Fukushima’s human evacuation zone (April 2020)
5 653 Predator control should not be a shot in the dark (Sept. 2016)

ESA Bulletin
The Bulletin had 73 mentions in 2020 compared to 35 in 2019.

Rank Attention Score Research Output
1 269 Scientific Writing Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Undergraduate Writing in the Biological Sciences (Oct. 2016)
2 43 Some Simple Guidelines for Effective Data Management (April 2009)
3 27 Facts or Fairy Tales? Peter Wohlleben and the Hidden Life of Trees (Aug. 2018)
4 22 Better Safe than Sorry: Planning for Safe and Successful Fieldwork (July 2014)
5 20 Relationships of Environmental Justice to Ecological Theory (April 2007)