Editorial policy and process | Data archiving | Preprints | Welfare and legal policy | Submission | Types of papers | Specifications | Accepted papers | Exclusive Licence Agreement | Author Services | Proofs | Early View publication | Open access | Offprints
Journal of Animal Ecology only accepts submissions online and these must be formatted correctly. When your manuscript has been prepared in accordance with the following instructions, please access the online submission site at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jae-besjournals. Instructions (and a helpline) for the submission web site are accessible from the 'Get Help Now' icon on the ScholarOne Manuscripts submission site. There are no pages charges for authors.
Journal of Animal Ecology publishes original papers on any aspect of animal ecology, from molecular to macroecology. We aim to publish papers that are novel, interesting and make a substantial contribution to our broad understanding of animal ecology. They should also offer insights into issues of general interests to ecologists. See below for the types of paper we publish.
To achieve our aim of publishing top-quality papers, we have an editorial process consisting of two stages; pre-review and peer review.
After submission, a paper enters the pre-review stage. The aim of pre-review is to identify papers that have the potential to make novel, interesting and significant contributions to broad ecological areas rather than yielding mainly taxon- or system-specific insights. Rejecting papers at pre-review that lack the potential we are looking for ultimately saves everyone time and reduces the burden on our referee community and editorial system. The pre-review assessment is based on the following criteria:
- Does the paper fall within the broad remit of Journal of Animal Ecology?
- Does the paper address a broad rather than narrow ecological subject area?
- Does the paper have the potential to make a substantial contribution to the development of a broad ecological subject area?
- Is the subject area covered by the paper topical and, hence, potentially of interest to a wide readership?
- Is the paper appropriately formatted for Journal of Animal Ecology?
- Is the paper novel and interesting?
A member of the Editorial Board undertakes the pre-review assessment, and they then communicate a decision to the corresponding author if the paper is to be rejected. Approximately 30% of papers submitted to the journal will be rejected at this stage.
If a paper is not rejected at the pre-review stage it then goes into peer review. Each paper is typically reviewed by two independent referees and a member of the editorial team then makes a decision concerning publication, either:
- Reject - the paper is not acceptable for publication and re-submission will not be considered;
- Decline without prejudice - the paper is rejected but the option is open to submit, for further review, a completely new version of the paper that has undergone considerable changes;
- Major Revision - the paper requires major changes and needs to go through the review process again with no guarantee of acceptance; or
- Minor Revision - the paper is provisionally accepted, subject to conditions that need to be addressed in producing a final version of the manuscript.
Journal of Animal Ecology endeavours to ensure critical and fair review of manuscripts, coupled with a prompt turnaround of delivering decisions to authors. The average time from submission to first decision is approximately 40 days.
The decision of the Editors is final and will only be changed under exceptional circumstances where the authors can demonstrate that the peer review process has failed. We appreciate that rejection decisions are frustrating, but authors simply rebutting review comments or expressing displeasure with the Editor's judgement will not be allowed to resubmit. Correspondence regarding rejection decisions should be directed to the Assistant Editor.
Ecology and Evolution
This journal works together with Wiley’s Open Access Journal, Ecology and Evolution, to enable rapid publication of good quality research that is unable to be accepted for publication by our journal. Authors may be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related peer reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editors of Ecology and Evolution. Authors will not need to reformat or rewrite their manuscript at this stage, and publication decisions will be made a short time after the transfer takes place. The Editors of Ecology and Evolution will accept submissions that report well-conducted research which reaches the standard acceptable for publication. Ecology and Evolution is a Wiley Open Access journal and article publication fees apply.
Data are important products of the scientific enterprise, and they should be preserved and usable for decades in the future. The British Ecological Society thus requires that data (or, for theoretical papers, mathematical and computer models) supporting the results in Journal of Animal Ecology papers will be archived in an appropriate public archive, such as Dryad, Treebase, NERC data centre, GenBank, figshare or another archive of the author's choice that provides comparable access and guarantee of preservation. Authors may elect to have the data made publicly available at time of first online publication or, if the technology of the archive allows, may opt to embargo access to the data for a period up to a year after this date.
Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the editor, especially for sensitive information such as confidential social data or the location of endangered species.
BES journals do not consider for publication articles that have already been published in substantial part or in full within a scientific journal, book or similar entity. However, posting an article on the author’s personal website or in an institutional repository is not viewed as prior publication and such articles can therefore be submitted. The journals will also consider for publication manuscripts that have been posted in a recognized preprint archive (such as arXiv and PeerJ PrePrints), providing that upon acceptance of their article for publication the author is still able to grant the BES an exclusive licence to publish the article, or agree to the terms of an OnlineOpen agreement and pay the associated fee. Following submission and peer review organized by the journal, posting of revised versions of the article on a preprint server with a CC-BY licence might affect an author’s ability to sign an Exclusive Licence to publish in a BES journal.
It is the responsibility of authors to inform the journal at the time of submission if and where their article has been previously posted and, if the manuscript is accepted for publication in a BES journal authors are required to provide a link to the final manuscript alongside the original preprint version.
Researchers must have proper regard for conservation and animal welfare considerations. Attention is drawn to the 'Guidelines for the Treatment of Animals in Behavioural Research and Teaching'. Any possible adverse consequences of the work for populations or individual organisms must be weighed against the possible gains in knowledge and its practical applications. Authors are required to sign a declaration that their work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out (See below), but editors may seek advice from referees on ethical matters and the final decision will rest with the editors.
This journal is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics. The guidelines for peer reviewers can be found here
There are no page charges for authors.
Your manuscript will be returned to you if it is not formatted correctly. Therefore, please refer to the 'Specifications' section below to find information on the required format.
During submission, all authors must confirm that:
- the work as submitted has not been published or accepted for publication, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere, either in whole or substantial part;
- the work or any data contained within the work is not already in the public domain (e.g. in a publicly accessible pre-print repository or report). If part or all of the data is currently in the public domain you must include a full reference to the source in your manuscript;
- the work is original and all necessary acknowledgements have been made;
- all authors and relevant institutions have read the submitted version of the manuscript and approve its submission;
- all persons entitled to authorship have been so included;
- the work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out, and to accepted international ethical standards, including those relating to conservation and animal welfare, and to the journal's policy on these matters (see 'Welfare and Legal Policy' above).
Pre-submission English-language editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may wish to consider having their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. Our publisher Wiley provides this service for a fee: http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/english_language.asp. All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.
A standard paper should not normally be longer than 8500 words, including all text, references, tables and figure legends. The passive voice is preferred in describing methods and results. The active voice may be used occasionally to emphasize a personal opinion (typically in Introduction and Discussion sections). See the Manuscript Template for an example of manuscript formatting for a Standard Paper.
The editors welcome short, synthetic review articles providing novel insight and synthesis on topical subjects of general interest to the readership. Please note that we are not looking to publish papers that simply review the literature; JAE reviews still need to provide genuine advances in our ecological thinking. See here for previously published examples.
This section of the journal is designed to stimulate scientific debate. Contributions may be short articles presenting new ideas (without data), opinions or responses to material published in the journal. A cover letter is a requirement for all forum pieces.
In Focus articles are short pieces designed to draw attention to papers of high expected interest in each issue of the journal. The In Focus articles act as mini-reviews that expand the context of the paper they are featuring, and they are only commissioned by the In Focus Editor. Please see here for previously published examples.
'How To' papers
These are instructional papers that aim to serve as a practical guide for animal ecologists in using a specific experimental or theoretical model or system. A previously published example can be viewed here.
These are balanced, comprehensive and concise overviews of well-established field or laboratory study systems targeted at a broad ecological audience. These papers review the trajectory of these studies and their impact on our understanding of general ecological theory, in addition to highlighting potentially fruitful avenues for future research. See a previously published example here.
For general tips and guidance for authors or article preparation and submission visit the Wiley-Blackwell Author Services site.
Papers are expected to be no more than 10 published pages in length (8500 words maximum), unless otherwise agreed or invited by the editor.
Manuscripts must be in English and spelling should conform to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English.
- Lines must be numbered, preferably within pages.
- Use the 'cover letter' section to highlight anything about your paper that needs to be drawn to the attention of the Editors or the Editorial Office.
- Editors reserve the right to modify manuscripts that do not conform to scientific, technical, stylistic or grammatical standards.
Please upload your manuscript as MS word or LaTex (source, rather than compiled PDF) files. For your convenience, we have provided some basic template files for submission below:
Basic guidelines for uploading a LaTeX formatted manuscript to ScholarOne:
- Always upload the main LaTeX file first, selecting the file designation of Main Document.
- Then, upload each file that is related to the main .TEX file and is needed for processing, selecting the file designation of TeX/LaTeX Suppl File.
- Be sure to upload all style sheets, reference files, and at least one bibliography file, that are part of the document.
- All image files must be saved and uploaded in .EPS format in order for the file to properly format and convert.
- If changes are made to the main LaTeX document after all of the related files have been uploaded, all supplementary LaTeX files will have to be removed and re-uploaded.
Title page. This should contain:
- A concise and informative title (as short as possible). Do not include the authorities for taxonomic names in the title. Titles with numerical series designations (I, II, III, etc.) are acceptable provided the editors agreement is sought and that at least Part II of the series has been submitted and accepted before Part I is sent to the printer. Such series must begin in one of the journals of the BES.
- A list of authors' names with names and addresses of Institutions.
- The name, address and e-mail address of the correspondence author to whom proofs will be sent.
- A running headline of not more than 45 characters.
Summary/Abstract. This should summarise the main results and conclusions of the paper using simple, factual, numbered statements. It must not exceed 350 words.
- Summaries/abstracts are key to getting people to read your article.
- Summaries should be understandable in isolation from your article.
- Summaries should have 5 points, ideally, listing; (1) the background, (2)the goal of the study, (3) what was done in the study, (4) what was found and (5) what this means.
- Advice for optimising your Summary/Abstract (and Title) so that your paper is more likely to be found in online searches is provided at: authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/seo.asp
Key-words. Listed in alphabetical order, the key-words should not exceed 10 words or short phrases. Please pay attention to the keywords you select: they should not already appear in the title or abstract. Rather, they should be selected to draw in readers from wider areas that might not otherwise pick up your paper when they are using search engines.
Introduction. This should state the reason for doing the work, the nature of the hypothesis or hypotheses under consideration, and should outline the essential background.
Materials and methods. This should provide sufficient details of the techniques to enable the work to be repeated. Do not describe or refer to commonplace statistical tests in Methods but allude to them briefly in Results.
Results. This should state the results, drawing attention in the text to important details shown in tables and figures.
Discussion. This should point out the significance of the results in relation to the reasons for doing the work, and place them in the context of other work.
Acknowledgements. In addition to acknowledging collaborators and research assistants, include relevant permit numbers (including institutional animal use permits), acknowledgment of funding sources, and give recognition to nature reserves or other organizations that made this work possible. Do not acknowledge Editors by name.
Data Accessibility. It is mandatory to archive the raw data underlying the analyses (see here) and to include a data accessibility section. In order to enable readers to locate archived data from papers, we require that authors list the database and the respective accession numbers or DOIs for all data from the manuscript that has been made publicly available. See below or Data Archiving, 2014 for more details on the layout. Where data is not archived, authors need to still include a data accessibility section and in it explain why data wasn't archived (e.g. sensitive locality data).
The publishers would like to receive your artwork in electronic form. Please save vector graphics (e.g. line artwork) in Encapsulated Postscript Format (EPS), and bitmap files (e.g. half-tones) in Tagged Image File Format (TIFF). Ideally, vector graphics that have been saved in a metafile (.WMF) or pict (.PCT) format should be embedded within the body of the text file. Detailed information on the Wiley-Blackwell digital illustration standards is available at: authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/illustration.asp
Figures should not be boxed (superfluous bounding axes) and tick marks must be on the inside of the axes. Where possible, figures should fit on a single page in the submitted paper. In a final version they will generally be reduced in size by about 50% during production. Wherever possible, they should be sized to fit into a single column width (c. 70mm final size). To make best use of space, you may need to rearrange parts of figures (e.g. so that they appear side by side). Please ensure that symbols, labels, etc. are large enough to allow reduction to a final size of c. 8 point, i.e. capital letters will be about 2 mm tall. Lettering should use a sans serif font (e.g. Helvetica and Arial) with capitals used for the initial letter of the first word only. Bold lettering should not be used. Units of axes should appear in parentheses after the axis name. Please note that line figures should be at least 600 dpi and half-tones (photos) should be at least 300 dpi.
Colour figures/photographs are free online; however, it is the policy of the Journal for authors to pay the full cost for their print reproduction (currently £150 for the first figure, £50 for each subsequent figure). If authors opt to reproduce figures in colour online but black and white in print, they should write their legend to accommodate both versions of the figure. Authors requiring colour in the print version should indicate their requirements on the Colour Work Agreement Form. Please note that the ORIGINAL HARDCOPY form must be returned in all instances (a scanned version cannot be accepted). Therefore, at acceptance, please download the form and post it to the Production Editor (Penny Baker, Wiley-Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK.)
Please include enough detail so that the figure can be understood without reference to the text. In the full-text online edition of the journal, figure legends may be truncated in abbreviated links to the full screen version. Therefore, the first 100 characters of any legend should inform the reader of key aspects of the figure. Figures should be referred to in the text as Fig. 1, etc. (note Figs 1 and 2 with no period).
Each table should be on a separate page, numbered and accompanied by a title at the top. These should be referred to in the text as Table 1, etc. Please do not present the same data in both figure and table form.
A list of databases with relevant accession numbers or DOIs for all data from the manuscript that has been made publicly available should be included in this section. For example:
- Species descriptions: uploaded as online supporting information
- Phylogenetic data: TreeBASE Study accession no. Sxxxx
- R scripts: uploaded as online supporting information
- Sample locations, IMa2 input files and microsatellite data: DRYAD entry doi: xx.xxxx/dryad.xxxx
Journal of Animal Ecology does not publish Appendices in the printed version. However, Supporting Information that is referred to in the text may be made available in the online version of the article. Guidelines for the preparation of Supporting Information are available here.
For the printed version, any Appendices should be listed under 'Supporting Information', and added after the References, with the opening statement: 'The following Supporting Information is available for this article online' followed by brief captions for the Appendices/Figs/Tables to be included. These should be numbered Appendix S1, Fig. S1, Table S1, etc.
Any literature referred to in the Appendix or online Supporting Information should also be referenced in the Appendix or online Supporting Information so that it is a self-contained piece of work. This may mean duplicating references if any literature is cited in both the main text and the Supporting Information.
All Supporting Information should be submitted online as part of the main manuscript. Please name your online supporting files as ‘online supporting information' and upload them with the main document. This allows the submission web site to combine all the relevant files together but keep them separate when it comes to publication stage.
References in the text to work by up to three authors should be in full, e.g. (Johnson, Myers & James 2006). If there are more than three authors, they should always be abbreviated thus: (Nilsen et al. 2009). When different groups of authors with the same first author and date occur, they should be cited thus: (Jonsen, Myers & James 2006a; Jonsen, James & Myers 2006b), then subsequently abbreviated to (Jonsen et al. 2006a, b). The references in the list should be in alphabetical order with the journal name in full. The format for papers, entire books, chapters in books, and PhD theses is as follows.
Underwood, N. (2009) Effect of genetic variance in plant quality on the population dynamics of a herbivorous insect. Journal of Animal Ecology, 78, 839–847.
Jonsen, I.D., Myers, R.A. & James, M.C. (2006) Robust hierarchical state–space models reveal diel variation in travel rates of migrating leatherback turtles. Journal of Animal Ecology, 75, 1046–1057.
Nilsen, E.B., Linnell, J.D.C., Odden, J. & Anderson, R. (2009) Climate, season, and social status modulate the functional response of an efficient stalking predator: the Eurasian lynx. Journal of Animal Ecology, 78, 741–751
Otto, S.P. & Day, T. (2007) A Biologist's Guide to Mathematical Modeling in Ecology and Evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
Conway. G. (2007) A Doubly Green Revolution: ecology and food production. Theoretical Ecology: Principles and Applications, 3rd edn (eds R. May & A. McLean), pp. 158–171. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Stevenson, I.R. (1994) Male-biased mortality in Soay sheep. PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, Cambridge.
References should only be cited as 'in press' if the paper has been accepted for publication. Other references should be cited as 'unpublished' and not included in the list. Work not yet accepted for publication may be cited in the text and attributed to its author as: author name (including initials), unpublished data. Where the authorship of an 'in press' article overlaps with the authorship of the submitted paper the 'in press' article should be uploaded with the manuscript as a ‘supplementary file for review’.
We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.
EndNote reference styles can be searched for here:
Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here:
Citations from the World Wide Web
Citations from the world-wide-web are only allowed when alternative hard literature sources do not exist for the cited information. Authors are asked to ensure that:
- Fully authenticated addresses are included in the reference list, along with titles, years and authors of the sources being cited.
- The sites or information sources have sufficient longevity and ease of access for others to follow up the citation.
- The information is of a scientific quality at least equal to that of peer reviewed information available in learned scientific journals.
Units, symbols and abbreviations
Authors are requested to use the International System of Units (SI, Système International d'Unités) where possible for all measurements (see Quantities, Units and Symbols, 2nd edn (1975) The Royal Society, London). Note that mathematical expressions should contain symbols not abbreviations. If the paper contains many symbols, it is recommended that they should be defined as early in the text as possible, or within a subsection of the Materials and methods section.
Give the Latin names of each species in full, together with the authority for its name, at first mention in the main text. If they appear in the Summary/Abstract, use the common and Latin name only in the first instance, then the Latin or common name thereafter. If there are many species, cite a Flora or checklist which may be consulted for authorities instead of listing them in the text. Do not give authorities for species cited from published references. Give priority to scientific names in the text (with colloquial names in parentheses, if desired).
When a special piece of equipment has been used it should be described so that the reader can trace its specifications by writing to the manufacturer; thus: 'Data were collected using a solid-state data logger (CR21X, Campbell Scientific, Utah, USA)'.
Mathematical expressions should be carefully represented. Suffixes and operators such as d, log, ln and exp will be set in Roman type; matrices and vectors will be set in bold type; other algebraic symbols will be set in italic. Make sure that there is no confusion between similar characters like 'l' (ell) and '1' (one). Also make sure that expressions are spaced as you would like them to appear, and if there are several equations they should be identified by eqn 1, etc.
Numbers in tables
Do not use an excessive number of digits when writing a decimal number to represent the mean of a set of measurements (the number of digits should reflect the precision of the measurement).
Numbers in text
Numbers from one to nine should be spelled out except when used with units; e.g. two eyes but 10 stomata and 5°C.
At the conditionally accepted stage all authors are asked to submit their final manuscript text in word format with figures and tables conforming to the specifications above and must include all required forms (nb Colour Artwork form for any colour figures).
After a paper has been accepted for publication it will be uploaded online within ~2 working days, BEFORE copyediting, typesetting and proofing. The paper will be assigned its DOI (digital object identifier) at this stage so that it can be read and cited as normal. Any final, minor corrections can still be made to the paper at the proofing stage.
Authors of accepted manuscripts will be required to grant Wiley-Blackwell an exclusive licence to publish the article on behalf of the British Ecological Society. Signing an Exclusive Licence Agreement is a condition of publication and papers will not be published until a signed form is received. (Papers subject to government or Crown copyright are exempt from this requirement.) Once a paper is accepted, the corresponding author will receive an email from Wiley-Blackwell prompting them to login to Author Services, where they will be able to complete the licence agreement on behalf of all co-authors. You can download a copy of the Exclusive Licence Form here to view the terms and conditions. Do not complete this PDF until you are prompted to do so by Author Services. Please read the licence form carefully before signing: conditions are changed from time to time and may not be the same as the last time you completed one of these forms.
Funder arrangements A number of funders, including Research Councils UK (RCUK), the NIH and Wellcome Trust, require deposit of the accepted (post-peer-reviewed) version of articles that they fund, if these are not already published via an open access route. The BES journals are all compliant with these mandates and full details of the arrangements can be found here.
All authors are required to register for Author Services. Author Services enables authors to track their article, after acceptance, through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production. The author will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. Authors can nominate up to 10 colleagues to have complimentary access to the article once published on line. Visit our Author Services site for more details on online production tracking, tips on article preparation and submission, and more.
Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript. Visit our Author Services site for more details on online production tracking, tips on article preparation and submission, and more.
The correspondence author will receive an e-mail alert when the proof, an Acrobat PDF (portable document format) file, can be downloaded from the e-proofing site. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) from the following web site: www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen, and printed out for any corrections to be added. Further instructions will be sent with the proofs. Proofs will be posted if no e-mail address is available; in your absence, please arrange for a colleague to access your e-mail to retrieve the proofs.
Alterations in the text, other than printers errors, may be charged to the author. Proofs must be returned by e-mail or fax within 3 days of receipt to the journal's production editor: Fax: +44 (0) 1865 476772, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Foreign contributors might consider nominating someone in the
Early View Publication
Journal of Animal Ecology is covered by the Early View service. After the proofing stage, the 'Accepted Article' version will be replaced online by the Early View version. These are final, complete, full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print issue. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors' final corrections have been incorporated. To register to receive an e-mail alert when your Early View article is published, click here and log-in to Wiley Online Library.
Because Early View articles are in their final, complete form, no changes can be made after online publication. Articles are given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows them to be cited and tracked before allocation to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article. More information about DOIs can be found at http://www.doi.org/faq.html
OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. The charge for OnlineOpen publication is $3,000 (discounted to $2,250 for papers where the first or corresponding author is a current member of the British Ecological Society). For the full list of terms and conditions, click here.
Following acceptance, any authors wishing to send their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form and will be given the option of signing a range of different Creative Commons licences, depending on author choice and funder mandate.
Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.
Free access to final PDF offprint of the published article will be provided to the corresponding author, and will be available via Wiley-Blackwell Author Services only. Please therefore register for free access to Author Services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the Service offers. If you require paper offprints these may be ordered online. Please click on the following link, fill in the necessary details and ensure that you complete all of the required fields: http://offprint.cosprinters.com/blackwell. If you have queries about paper offprints please email C.O.S. Printers Ltd.
Please note that the PDF file can only be distributed and used in accordance with the licencing agreement agreed with the publisher.
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