Thursday Links: Open Access Edition

Another Thursday has been thrust upon the world, and this week I've spent some time looking into a few new water-related journals as alternative venues for research and restoration communications. I also want to highlight PeerJ and a recent PLoS One article.

Riparian Ecology and Conservation is a new open access journal brought to fruition through Versita Publishers. I had the good fortune of emailing with an editorial board member and he has assured me that the journal is rigorously peer-reviewed, focuses on expedited turn-around times, and is interested in publishing a great range of material on those ecosystems that are "on the fringe." While REC may not be the biggest fish in the wetland and riparian ecology publishing pond, I think the competition and contrast that it will provide with River Research and Applications, Freshwater Biology, Wetlands, etc. will increase the rapidity with which streamside research can be disseminated. I mean this in two ways: 1. the speed of review will be increased for those choosing to submit to REC. 2. The speed of manuscripts being assimilated into the riparian research and practice world will be expedited as papers aren't held behind paywalls and every agency, NGO and student can get a copy of the pdf via Google Scholar or the RCE website. While new journals don't get an impact factor immediately, judging from this issue of RCE's manuscripts and their editorial board, I think that RCE has the potential to take a spot with the aforementioned ecosystem and subdiscipline-based journals.


I was looking through open access powerhouse, PLoS One and found a nice 2012 paper by Soykan et al. It discusses the multi-taxonomic diversity of organisms across a semi-arid river. Julie Stromberg, whose work I absolutely adore, is a co-author (!). Regardless of the author list, this paper stands up well and is a great (and free!) article for those working in the management, science and conservation of riparian systems.


Recently PeerJ has debuted to the world as yet another high-quality open access journal. The model for PeerJ is to allow author submissions based on a single lifetime membership rate rather than per page or per article charges. PeerJ, like PLoS One, publishes a diverse array of articles, including some ecology. For those of you wondering about their quality, they recently published some work by David Orwig and co-authored by Aaron Ellison (yeah, that Aaron Ellison). I look forward to seeing how their model takes off in comparison to existing open access journals. 

In closing, open access is opening up worlds of possibility. Sort of like the late, great Scott Stamnes did: