• Open Access

Evolutionary Applications Summer 2011 Editorial


  • Louis Bernatchez,

  • Michelle Tseng

Before the new academic year begins and before the beautiful northern hemisphere summer leaves us for shorter days and cooler nights, we thought it would be a good time to touch base with our authors and readers regarding recent developments in Evolutionary Applications.

First, we would like to warmly thank Troy Day, Jessica Hellman and Carol Lee for their time and dedication to the journal. All three editors have come to the end of the editorial terms. Troy, Jessica and Carol were part of the original eight Associate Editors who were responsible for getting the journal up and running and we wish them all the best with their future endeavours.

We extend a warm welcome to our newest editors: Bernie Crespi, Arnaud Estoup and Outi Savolainen. Bernie uses genetic, ecological and phylogenetic approaches to address the evolution of social behaviour, human health and disease, trophic interactions, speciation and adaptive radiation. Arnaud’s focus has been on the population genetics and evolutionary biology of non-equilibrium species. He is particularly interested in the development and application of methods for historical inference using molecular markers, and the evolution of life-history traits in the context of biological invasions. Outi’s broad expertise includes the genetic basis and population genomics of climatic adaptation in forest tree populations, as well as the genetics of speciation.

Impact factor

In 2010, we received our 2009 (and first) ISI Impact Factor of 4.7 and were ranked 9th in Evolutionary Biology. We were delighted with this result and thus ecstatic to see recently that our 2010 impact factor had climbed to 5.1, which is 8th in Evolutionary Biology. Papers published in Evolutionary Applications have been cited in over 100 journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Science and Nature.

Journal statistics

We received 164 submissions in 2010, which was almost double what we received in 2009. Accordingly, our acceptance rate dropped from 53% in 2009 to 34% in 2010. We increased the journal page budget considerably in 2011, but the submission rate has also increased, so we expect the acceptance rate to remain similar to that of 2010.

The average time to first decision for all papers is 40 days. The average time from acceptance to first publication is also approximately 40 days. We are striving to reduce the time to first decision, but at the same time do want to give reviewers ample time to conduct a thorough review, and do need to allow Associate Editors sufficient time to make a proper recommendation on the paper. We thank authors for their patience during the peer review process.

Data archiving

Like most major journals in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2011 is the first year that authors in Evolutionary Applications have been asked to make the data underlying the results of their study publically available. A list of potential data repositories is listed on the journal website. We have not experienced any hiccups with data archiving, and thank authors for kindly collaborating with us on this. In addition to ensuring that scientific data will remain available for generations to come, data archiving has numerous other benefits for authors and the scientific community (Whitlock et al. 2010).

Subjects covered and special issues

The main topics covered in 2010 papers are found in Table 1. In 2010, we also published two special issues: Synthesizing ecology and evolution for the study of invasive species 3(2); Evolution in Agro-Ecosystems 3(5–6). One special issue was published in 2011: In light of evolution: Interdisciplinary challenges in food, health, and the environment [4(2)].

Because we continue to receive more submissions than we can publish, we are being very selective regarding the manuscripts that we review and stress that only those papers that make contributions to basic evolutionary biology and that explicitly address how the results of the study inform practical issues will be considered for publication. By ‘explicitly’ we mean that the significance of the study to applied questions needs to be documented with concrete examples and detailed sentences supported by relevant references. Lack of emphasis on the applied aspects have been a major determinant of editorial rejection, so we urge authors interested in submitting their work to Evolutionary Applications to clearly stress the applied importance of their work in the Abstract, Introduction and Discussion of their manuscripts.

We are particularly keen to publish papers from these underrepresented areas: evolutionary medicine (including human population genetics and genomics), climate change, forestry and microbial biology. Also, do not hesitate to contact us about suggestions you may have for future special issues.

Journal accessibility

After being freely accessible for 3 years, 2011 is the first year that Evolutionary Applications is available by subscription only. The journal continues to not charge authors any page charges or fees for colour figures. We understand that library budgets are tight and we ask that authors and readers continue to show support for the journal by recommending the journal to their librarian. A link to facilitate library recommendations is available on the journal webpage. Articles from Special Issues and Virtual Issues will continue to remain accessible free of charge. Additionally, members of SSE and ESEB have full access to Evolutionary Applications as a benefit of their society memberships.

New developments

We have begun referring papers that are declined for publication in Evolutionary Applications to the new open access journal Ecology and Evolution. Please see http://www.ecolevol.org for more information on this exciting new journal.

Thank you for your continued support

We are extremely grateful for the support that authors and readers have shown to this journal. We encourage you to continue submitting your best work to Evolutionary Applications. Of course, without the voluntary efforts of hundreds of reviewers and our dedicated team of Associate Editors, the journal would certainly not have attained the rapid success that it has. Thank you all!