By Joern Fischer
Our work in Romania is in its final stage. A few more papers are still in preparation or review, and a synthesis book remains to be written. But most papers are published – they are available here. This list of outputs looks quite nice, but hides the many rejections we’ve had to endure in the process. I thought it might be interesting to see where we did manage to get published.
One of the most telling factors for whether a paper ultimately is published or not – quality aside – is “journal fit”. Whether a paper fits to a particular journal, however, is not just a matter of whether it fits with what the instructions for authors say. Rather, I’d say most journals have their own cultures of what kinds of things they like or dislike.
Most of the work that I am involved with has a few defining properties: (1) it is rarely purely deductive, i.e. driven by a small number of carefully crafted hypotheses; rather (2) it is typically exploring systems, ecological, social, or social-ecological (i.e. it is inductive); (3) it is often interdisciplinary; and (4) it is often focused at the landscape scale. These kinds of properties fundamentally don’t lend themselves to being “liked” by some kinds of journals.
So, who publishes such work? Here is my personal “hit list”, i.e. the list of journals where we have actually published two or more papers coming from the Romania project:
- Hanspach, J. et al. (2014) A holistic approach to studying social-ecological systems and its application to southern Transylvania. Ecology and Society 19, 32.
- Hartel, T. et al. (2014). The importance of ecosystem services for rural inhabitants in a changing cultural landscape in Romania.Ecology and Society 19, 42.
- Milcu, A. et al. (2013). Cultural ecosystem services: a literature review and prospects for future research.Ecology & Society 18, 44.
- Mikulcak, F. et al. (2015). Applying a capitals approach to understand rural development traps: a case study from post-socialist Romania.Land Use Policy 43, 248-258.
- Milcu, A.I. et al. (2014). Navigating conflicting landscape aspirations: application of a photo-based Q-method in Transylvania (Central Romania).Land Use Policy 19, 408-422.
- Dorresteijn, I. et al. (2014). Human-carnivore coexistence in a traditional rural landscape.Landscape Ecology 29, 1145-1155.
- Loos, J. et al. (2014) Changes in butterfly movements along a gradient of land use in farmlands of Transylvania (Romania). Landscape Ecology, doi: 10.1007/s10980-014-0141-9.
- Fischer, J. et al. (2014). Place, case and process: applying ecology to sustainable development.Basic and Applied Ecology 15, 187-193.
- Hartel, T. et al. (2014) Bird communities in traditional wood-pastures with changing management in Eastern Europe. Basic and Applied Ecology 15, 385-395.
- Loos, J. et al. (2014) Developing robust field survey protocols in landscape ecology: a case study on birds, plants and butterflies. Biodiversity and Conservation, doi: 10.1007/s10531-014-0786-3.
- Scheele, B.C. et al. (2014). Identifying core habitat before it’s too late: the case of Bombina variegata, an internationally endangered amphibian.Biodiversity and Conservation 23, 775-780.
- Loos, J. et al. (2014). Low-Intensity agricultural landscapes in Transylvania support high butterfly diversity: implications for conservation.PLOS ONE 9, e103256.
- Dorresteijn, I. et al. (2013). The conservation value of traditional rural landscapes: the case of woodpeckers in Transylvania, Romania.PLOS ONE 8, e65236.
- Fischer, J. et al. (2014). Land sparing versus land sharing: moving forward.Conservation Letters 7, 149-157.
- Fischer, J. et al. (2012). Conservation policy in traditional farming landscapes.Conservation Letters 5, 167-175.
In terms of “analysis”, to me, this suggests that key journals for this kind of space appear to be Ecology & Society (at the interface of ecological and social sciences), Landscape Ecology (especially for the ecological sciences, but also the interface), and Land Use Policy (especially for the social sciences, but also the interface).
Biodiversity & Conservation, PLoS One, and Basic and Applied Ecology tended to be good for landscape-scale empirical papers – the kinds of papers that journals such as Biological Conservation and Conservation Biology typically felt were not ambitious, “novel” or otherwise grand enough. Conservation Letters served us well for conceptual pieces.
Perhaps this list of journal names doesn’t come as a surprise – but with “reject without review” being so common these days, I found it interesting to see which journals regularly accept landscape-scale work that leans towards generating a systems understanding rather than testing specific hypotheses.
Other papers from the project (in journals represented just once) include the following:
- Loos, J. et al. (2014) Plant diversity in a changing agricultural landscape mosaic in Southern Transylvania (Romania). Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 199, 350-357.
- Loos, J. et al. (2014). Putting back meaning into “sustainable intensification”. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12: 356-361.
- Roellig, M. et al. (2014). Brown bear activity in traditional wood-pastures in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Ursus 25, 43-52.
- Hanspach, J. et al. (2013). Develop, then intensify.Science 341, 713.
- Hartel, T. et al. (2013). Wood-pastures in a traditional rural region of Eastern Europe: characteristics, management and status. Biological Conservation 166, 267–275.
- Mikulcak, F. et al. (2013). Integrating rural development and biodiversity conservation in Central Romania.Environmental Conservation 40, 129-137.
- Fischer, J. et al. (2011). Conservation: limits of land sparing.Science 334, 593.
- Zimmermann, H. et al. (2015). Aliens in Transylvania: risk maps of invasive alien plant species in Central Romania. NeoBiota 24: 55–65.
- Scheele, B. et al. (2015). Landscape context influences chytrid fungus distribution in an endangered European amphibian. Animal Conservation, doi:10.1111/acv.12199.