Open-access tropical conservation journal launches

March 04, 2008

On March 3, Mongabay.com, a leading environmental science news Web site, launched Tropical Conservation Science, an open-access, e-journal that publishes results of research relating to conservation of tropical forests and other tropical ecosystems. The peer-reviewed journal will accept and publish original research papers and state-of-the-art reviews in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Chinese. Four issues of the journal will be published in each year. The types of papers considered are: research articles, conservation letters and short communications.

Tropical Conservation Science intends to stimulate publications directed to conservation problems as they relate to the impact of social, economic, sociopolitical, industrial and other drivers on the distribution and conservation of tropical forests and of other tropical ecosystems. The quarterly e-journal aims to become a forum for setting forth perspectives and analysis of contrasting concepts and data regarding approaches to tropical ecosystem conservation, as well as providing a channel of communication between scientists and the public at large on topics relating to tropical conservation.

Submitted manuscripts can report any aspect of taxonomy, ecology, evolution, behavior, parasitology, epidemiology, and population genetics, among other topics, for both plant and animal communities, as they relate to tropical forest/ecosystem conservation. Manuscripts can also report on social and economic issues related to tropical conservation such as indigenous people, poverty, population growth, ecological footprint, conservation policy, and on relevant scientific, technological, cultural and religious issues, among others. The e-journal also welcomes interdisciplinary papers using the whole range of methods available, modeling, molecular biology, epidemiology, ecology and/or evolutionary theory, among others, to assess/discuss vital conservation issues in the tropics.

The editorial board comprises an internationally recognized group of scientists, including Dr. William F. Laurance of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama / USA; Dr. Cagan Sekercioglu of Stanford University, USA; Dr. Paul Garber of the University of Illinois-Urbana, USA; Dr. Kevina Vulinec of Delawere State University, USA; Dr. Chen Jin, Director of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; Dr. Innocent Rwego of Makerere University, Uganda; Dr. Aparajita Datta of the Nature Conservation Foundation, India; Dr. Júlio César Bicca-Marques of Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; Dr. Martin Kowaleski of the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Argentina; Dr. Jatna Supriatna, Director of Conservation International-Indonesia; Sarie Van Belle of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA; Dr. Christine Dranzoa of Makerere University, Uganda; Patrick Omeja of Makerere University, Uganda; Dr. Pablo Riba of Proyecto Carey, Costa Rica; Dr. Dave Pearson of Arizona State University, USA; Dr. John Bosco Nizeyi of Makerere University, Uganda; Dr. Andrew Marshall of the University of York, UK; Dr. Zhu Hua of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; Dr. Adriano Garcia Chiarello of Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Brazil; Dr. N. Parthasarathy of Pondicherry University, India; Dr. Robert Sussman of Washington University, USA; Sarah Boyle of Arizona State University, USA; Dr. Ben Collen of the Institute of Zoology at the Zoological Society of London; and Dr. Salvador Mandujano of the Instituto de Ecologia, A. C., Mexico. The executive editors are Rhett A. Butler, founder and editor of Mongabay.com and Dr. Alejandro Estrada, Senior Scientist at the field station for tropical biology "Los Tuxtlas" of the National Autonomous University of Mexico - UNAM.

"The strong editorial board and the peer-review process ensure that high-quality manuscripts will be published in Tropical Conservation Science," said Alejandro Estrada. "A key policy of Tropical Conservation Science also is to encourage scientists and advanced graduate students as well as conservationists from tropical countries to submit the results of their research for possible publication in the journal."

In an effort to stimulate interest beyond traditional academic audiences and maximize dissemination to the general public, authors and the respective communications departments of their institutions will be encouraged to submit a complementary general public summary of their results. This summary will be distributed via the popular mongabay.com Web site and RSS feeds.

"We are very excited to offer a new forum for publication of research relating to tropical conservation," said Butler. "At the same time, we see Tropical Conservation Science offering a path for scientists to reach out beyond a conventional academic audience to inform the general public of their research. Outreach is of critical importance to the success of conservation efforts and publication of papers in five major languages will also enhance this feature."

According to Paul A. Garber, associate editor of the new e-journal and professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana, "we are at a critical moment in the conservation, biological, and environmental sciences in which the publication of a journal like TCS will play a major role in integrating new theoretical, methodological, and empirical findings that will reach broad audiences and contribute to more effective and innovative policies of managing and sustaining tropical ecosystems."

"We feel very strongly that by including articles and reports in a range of languages we will reach a broader audience than most other journals, and the information in TCS will be accessible to individuals," added Estrada.

The first issue of Tropical Conservation Science will include papers by authors working in several regions and covering topics such as tropical rain forest biogeography in southern China, conservation issues in Belize, primate conservation in central Amazônia, the impact of habitat fragmentation on primate populations in southern Mexico and conservation of the tree hyrax in East Africa.
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Tropical Conservation Science is now accepting manuscripts for publication in future issues of the e-journal. Further information is available at tropicalconservationscience.org

Tropical Conservation Science

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