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.

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.