Monday, June 17, 2024

Functional Ecology now a fully open access journal – British Ecological Society

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Today we’re pleased to announce that our journal, Functional Ecology, is moving to a fully open access publication.

All papers submitted to Functional Ecology from 9 July 2024 will be open access on publication.

Functional Ecology (FE) publishes papers that significantly advance our mechanistic understanding of ecological pattern and process from the organismic to the ecosystem scale. Until now, researchers could access most of the research published in FE only through institutional subscriptions. Authors could also opt to publish their research openly by paying an article processing charge (APC). This ‘hybrid’ approach led to inequities in access and publication that will be reduced when FE becomes a fully open access journal.

A transition to open access

All papers submitted to the journal from 9 July 2024 will be open access on publication. From 1 January 2025 the paywall will be removed from all existing content too. The scientific review process for research submitted to the journal will not change. Waiver requests are handled by the journal’s editorial office staff, with no input from academic editors, so as to ensure clear editorial independence.

Open access is increasing across scholarly publishing as a publishing model,​ and in FE, over half of papers are already published open access. Moving the journal to fully open access now allows us to transition FE in a way that will work for authors and readers alike and ultimately aligns with BES goals of inclusivity by allowing anyone, anywhere to access the research​.

Professor Lara Ferry, Executive Editor for FE, said: “I am excited for these changes for Functional Ecology as this allows us to deliver, even more strongly, on our commitment to publishing papers that benefit the field. The work of our authors can only benefit the field if readers, all readers, can get access.

“We know changes like these can sometimes feel stressful for authors, and don’t always feel equitable. I am really pleased with the mechanisms Functional Ecology has created, like the waivers, to ensure that their good work will still be published under this new model. I firmly believe that authors from all parts of the world will feel a benefit with Functional Ecology’s change to Gold open access.”

Andrea Baier, Director of Publishing at the BES, said, “Over half of papers published in the journal are already published open access and we are confident that most potential authors will have access to a source of funding for APCs, such as institutional or departmental funds, grant funding or transformational read-and-publish arrangements.”

Article processing chargers and waivers

Corresponding authors unable to cover the cost of the APC may be able to access a waiver under the Research4Life programme, through which researchers from the most resource-poor nations receive a full or 50% APC waiver. This scheme is supported by Wiley, the journal’s publisher. The BES also has APC waivers for our publications and these can be applied for from the journal either in advance of, or upon, submission. You do not need to be a BES member to access these waivers. More information on BES waivers and discounts can be found here.

APCs for Research Articles, Reviews and Perspectives will be £2,500. There will be no APC for Editorials, Research Highlights and Forum Papers. BES members will receive a 20% discount on APCs.

For information on Functional Ecology’s move to open access, please see the journal website.

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