• Open Access



  • Richard M. Cowling,

  • Michael B. Mascia,

  • Hugh Possingham,

  • William J. Sutherland

Conservation science, like the biodiversity it seeks to understand and safeguard, is evolving rapidly: building in urgency, crossing political and disciplinary boundaries, changing and being changed by the human environment. It is our intention that this new journal reflects those changes. Fast, global, and policy relevant, Conservation Letters will draw on knowledge, tools, and interactions from many disciplines—geography, ecology, evolution, mathematics, economics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology among them. We want to ensure that managers and policy makers are armed with the best information that research has to offer and foreknowledge of the culture of intervention.

Conservation Letters is a forum for the rapid publication of the most novel research that will transform our perspective on important issues that are relevant across borders. Conservation is an explicitly applied discipline: research needs to be geared for implementation within specific social, economic, and administrative realities. Consequently, publication in Conservation Letters requires that all authors clearly articulate the implications of their findings for policy and practice. We aim to publish concise papers that merit urgent dissemination by virtue of their originality, general interest, and contribution to effective policy and management solutions.

We are most interested in innovative approaches to persistent problems or early detection of emerging ones, and therefore discourage papers that primarily confirm or extend results of previous work. We recognize that in some areas of conservation sample sizes will be small and controlled experiments impossible. Therefore, arguments may often rely on novel forms of analysis and synthesis.

The Editorial Office will ensure that manuscripts are handled with dispatch and that accepted articles are published quickly. For the majority of academic journals, first decisions are rendered on the scale of months, and the time elapsed between submitting and publishing can exceed a year. The Editorial Board of Conservation Letters will strive to review all manuscripts within 6 weeks and deliver submission-to-publication turnarounds of 4–5 months. As the inaugural editorial team, we are committed to providing authors with transparent and constructive decisions.

We are genuinely excited by the growth in our discipline and hope that this journal will help to elevate its quality, focus, and relevance.