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Scientific Journals Overview

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service welcomes submissions to its online peer reviewed publications focused on the practical application and integration of applied science to wildlife conservation and management—the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management (first published in 2010) and the North American Fauna monograph series (first published in 1889). We welcome submissions to both journals from all scientists—from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or otherwise. These journals are in the public domain and electronic, from submission through review and online publication (paper copies are not distributed). There are no page charges for authors and access is unlimited and free of charge.

The Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management and the North American Fauna are not intended to replace existing peer review journals, but are intended to facilitate publication and dissemination of results for applied conservation science. The Service continues to support and encourage its scientists to publish here or in other peer-reviewed journals at their discretion. Papers published here are subject to rigorous peer review, and must achieve the same fundamental level of scientific rigor as those published in other peer review journals. Studies must be vigorous, well presented, properly designed, statistically sound, and conclusions must logically follow from the data and analyses presented and be couched in a broad conservation context that takes into account the existing state of knowledge. However, they may differ from traditional peer review journals in that they do not necessarily require papers to allow for wide scale inference, appeal to a broad audience, or be perceived as being novel. Similarly, the overarching goal of the journals is not to achieve a high scientific impact factor, but instead to publish rigorous applied science to meet the needs of the conservation community.

Furthermore, we recognize that within the confines of the work environment, many agency personnel must focus on fairly narrow topics or specific management problems. The resulting products may be fundamentally sound, but not publishable in traditional peer reviewed outlets because the topics or presentations are not sufficiently broad to appeal to editors of commercial journals. While such papers may have limited application or ability to draw broad scale inference, the data are often critical to conservation efforts and meeting agency management obligations. Further, the publication of these manuscripts may facilitate subsequent meta-analysis and broad scale synthesis across taxa or geographic areas, and thereby allow inference at larger scales. The current need for data relating to climate conditions and global climate change provides a timely example. As researchers strive to document climate changes and predict future climate outcomes, there is a constant search for historic data upon which to base comparisons. The reality is, such data frequently exist, but have often not been published or widely disseminated. Thus, scientists and managers often encounter a lack of data to which they can compare their results or use to design conservation strategies. The Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management and North American Fauna provide a mechanism for rigorous peer review, professional publication and wide dissemination of these types of scientific data and analyses as well as more traditional applied conservation studies.

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