As editors, we mark the launch of Conservation Science and Practice, a journal of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), with the following remarks framing the purpose and aspirations of the journal. Our aim is to share scholarship on and experiences of the practice of conservation. We define conservation practice as the application of conservation principles or theory across conservation issues, from planning and directly managing nature to influencing public policy and private behaviors—at scales from local communities to international governing bodies. We are striving for Conservation Science and Practice to be a forum for sharing lessons learned from research and practice to reciprocally informing and improving both arenas.
The publication model for Conservation Science and Practice sees the editorial team make five commitments:
We commit to publishing all robust manuscripts submitted that fall within the remit of conservation science and practice. The journal will not insist on criteria of generality or novelty.
We commit to including manuscripts that report on negative, unintended, or unexpected results. We explicitly acknowledge that learning from failure is as important as recognizing successes. We seek to share lessons learned from conservation initiatives where the envisioned objectives were not fully achieved, building the critical, but currently limited, evidence base of conservation knowledge.
We commit to sharing this literature in the most accessible manner possible.
Conservation Science and Practice is open access and freely available to readers online and will pursue registry with ISI and Scopus at the earliest possible date.
Conservation Science and Practice is committed to being continually mindful of barriers to knowledge sharing and strives to reduce these in every aspect of publication. This includes social, professional, linguistic, and financial barriers.
We commit to actively partnering with Conservation Biology and Conservation Letters as affiliated journals to create an interwoven family of SCB journals.
We commit to developing editorial leadership that actively seeks issues and areas in need of knowledge sharing and works to build scholarship of value to all people involved in the conservation of nature.
Conservation Science and Practice establishes its niche within the standards of a scholarly journal. Conservation Science and Practice is a place where professionals, students, and volunteers involved in conservation initiatives can document and share knowledge gained through experience in areas like conservation planning, implementation activities, and evaluation of outcomes. Published articles will inform the research and practitioner communities of knowledge gaps and research advances, as well as share experiences and lessons learned on how conservation partnerships succeed or fail.
Conservation Science and Practice will adhere to principles and codes of conduct of academic scholarship and the SCB. The journal acknowledges that the relationship between values, evidence, and practice is complex but places a strong emphasis on drawing conclusions based on evidence. Conservation Science and Practice will not be a platform to politicize conservation issues or advocate the values of individuals, agencies, or organizations.
Conservation Science and Practice will strive for rapid publication, providing articles online immediately after accepted page proofs are ready. Monthly issues will comprise all articles accepted that month. Special issues on topics the editorial board deems of particular interest will be available. Article formats will include Contributed Papers, Reviews, and Perspectives articles, along with Practitioner Dispatches, an innovative forum of 1,300 words or less. Manuscript types and guidelines are available online. The journal will be published online only.
Our commitment to promoting knowledge sharing and learning aims to overcome persistent cultural, institutional, professional, and socioeconomic barriers. Our editorial team is geographically, disciplinarily, professionally, and demographically diverse. Through this diversity, we aspire to strategically implement journal practices that make it as easy as possible for practitioners to share their knowledge in a peer‐reviewed format, with one of our aims to bring peer review credibility to the considerable depth of knowledge that our community is accruing in addressing the world’s conservation challenges.
Our efforts to reduce barriers will also include strategies to reduce language barriers (e.g., optional native language abstracts). In particular, we seek to expand opportunities for practitioners and scientists from non‐English‐speaking or lower‐income countries to contribute their experiences and insights. A writing mentorship program is being developed to support potential contributors seeking help in the presentation of their work in English or into a scientific writing style likely to pass technical review.
We are also working to reduce logistical barriers. The common submission platform shared with our partner journals Conservation Biology and Conservation Letters allows manuscripts to be automatically transferred to Conservation Science and Practice for consideration if they are returned to authors because they do not meet the scope of the affiliated journals. Our commitment is to build the base of conservation scholarship and encourage submission of work about real‐world, on‐the‐ground conservation work that might not otherwise be the subject of traditional academic scholarship.
We, the Editorial Board, are excited to begin this journey with Conservation Science and Practice. In working to establish this journal, we have received huge support from the SCB leadership, sections and working groups, and membership. We have consulted with science leaders from some of the world’s largest established conservation organizations and agencies, as well as a sample of smaller organizations operating at local scales, and found tremendous support for Conservation Science and Practice. We believe that this journal marks a cultural shift toward a widely accepted professional commitment to documenting and sharing knowledge that promotes learning and effectiveness. It is an honor and a privilege for us to help launch this new endeavor. Please join us in supporting Conservation Science and Practice to broaden and deepen our collective capacity for enhancing the science and practice of conserving nature.