Journal policies

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For those authors wishing to submit to a specific BES journal, please visit the journal homepages for more detailed guidelines.

Access to British Ecological Society (BES) journal content

Over 100 years of BES journal content is available online, with content published between 1912 and 1997 available through JSTOR and content published from 1998 onwards on Wiley Online Library.
Access to BES journal content from 1998 onwards is made freely available two years after issue publication on Wiley Online Library.

BES member access

BES members can access all BES journal online content on Wiley Online Library for free.  For just £7.50, the full archives dating back to 1913 are available through JSTOR. For more information or to subscribe now, please visit the membership pages on our website. Please contact our membership team if you require more information.

Developing world access

Free online access to the BES journals is available within institutions in the developing world through the AGORA Initiative with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the HINARE Access to Research in Health Programme and the OARE Initiative (Online Access to Research in the Environment) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

There is more information on these partnerships is available on the Wiley website.

Open access

All five BES journals offer authors the option to make their research articles fully open access. This open access option (known as 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 (US$3000; BES members $2250) to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in PubMed Central.

How do I make my article open access?

As the author of an article, you can decide to publish your article open access once it has been accepted for publication. After acceptance you will receive an email from Author Services with a link to your ‘My Publication’ page. From here you can choose for your article to be published OnlineOpen in return for your payment of an open access publication fee (US$3000; BES members $2250) by clicking on ‘Make my article OnlineOpen’. Alternatively, you can complete the payment of the open access publication fee directly via the OnlineOpen Form.

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform the Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper open access. OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. All go through the journal’s standard peer-review process and are accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

OnlineOpen articles will be made freely available on the publisher website immediately following publication. The final, published PDF of these articles can also be posted by authors on a website, institutional repository or other free public server.Funder policies

Using the OnlineOpen option, BES journals are compliant with the policies of RCUK, Wellcome Trust, NIH and a number of other funding agencies. For more information on these policies, please visit the Wiley website.

A number of funders and institutions have arrangements with our publisher Wiley to pay the open access publication fee on behalf of their researchers.

You can find out if your institution or funder will pay your open access fee by visiting Institutional and Funder Open Access Payments.

Copyright and licencing

Authors publishing in BES journals need to sign an Exclusive Licence to Publish form, which allows authors to retain copyright. Sample forms can be found in the author guidelines for each journal.

In accordance with the changes to UK funder mandates, authors publishing open access papers in BES journals can opt to publish their papers under a number of Creative Commons licences, CC-BY, CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-ND. For more information on any of these licences, please visit the Creative Commons website.

Authors will be contacted by Wiley once their paper has been accepted by a BES journal and provided with more information on all of these options.

Data archiving policy

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, as a condition for publication, that all data (or, for theoretical papers, mathematical and computer models) supporting the results in papers published in its journals will be archived in an appropriate public archive, such as Dryad, Treebase, NERC data centre, GenBank or 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 publication or, if the technology of the archive allows, may opt to embargo access to the data for a period of up to a year after publication.

Exceptions, including longer embargoes, may be granted only in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the editor, especially for sensitive information such as confidential social data or the location of endangered species.

For further details about archiving data associated with papers published in the BES journals from 2014 .

All BES journals are members of and subscribe to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). If you have a specific query, please contact the editorial office of the relevant journal.

Preprint Policy

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, bioRxiv 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.

Research Ethics

Animal welfare and legal policy

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 ecosystems, populations or individual organisms must be weighed against the possible gains in knowledge and its practical applications. Authors must state in their manuscript that their work conforms to the legal requirements of the country in which it was carried out, and should provide permit numbers (when available) in the methods or acknowledgements section. Editors may seek advice from reviewers on ethical matters but the final publication decision will rest with the editors.