Since January 1, 2022, Annals of Forest Science is published under a full open access model. All papers published from now on will be fully and immediately accessible to readers and users worldwide, under pdf and xml formats. Authors will be free to archive and disseminate the papers they authored as they wish. They will keep all rights over the papers, which will be published under a CC-BY license (with some adjustments if required). This should enable a larger impact of the papers we publish and a faster dissemination of the research results in the rapidly expanding field of Forest and Wood Sciences.
This is only one among several moves undertaken by Annals of Forest Science to become fully Open Science compliant in agreement with the Open Data policy of BMC-Springer. Indeed, Open Science is not restricted to providing Open Access to publications. Research data play a central role in Science in general. Annals of Forest Science strongly supports the Open Access to Data and authors are encouraged to deposit the data sets in sup- port of their papers in an open data repository of their choice (usually, the one provided by their institutions). This has many advantages: the data sets are given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and considered a full, cit- able scientific production. Any reuse comes at the condition of proper citation of the data set. Moreover, to fully recognize the importance and value of documented and structured data sets, Annals of Forest Science publishes also data papers that describe important and useful data sets in order to facilitate access and reuse of such data.
Annals of Forest Science is also aware of the importance of the review by peers of the submitted manuscripts, which is central to the scientific quality of a journal. The contribution of peers remains usually invisible (except to authors and editors) and poorly recognized. To better value this central contribution, Annals of Forest Science will develop a “transparent peer review process” during 2022 and propose it to authors and reviewers next year.
Another innovation in Open Science is the recognition of the importance of preprint servers that provide access to manuscripts before publication in any journal. Such manuscripts are “work in progress” and still under construction. Annals of Forest Science accepts the submission of manuscripts that were formerly made available as preprints, under the condition that authors cite the preprint and provide a link to the preprint server (which should also integrate a link to the final paper once published).
Annals of Forest Science is fully aware of the importance of having such preprints reviewed by the scientific community and therefore takes into account, during the review procedure of submitted manuscripts, earlier re- views by peers. We have already established a strong partnership with an initiative aimed at reviewing and recommending high quality preprints: the Peer Communities In … (PCI) and particularly with the Peer Community in Forest & Wood Sciences. As such, Annals of Forest Science is a “PCI Friendly Journal” and takes into account the recommendations made by the relevant PCI during the review process.
Through these innovations and gradual changes (we started quite some years ago), we wish to build around Annals of Forest Science a community of readers, authors, reviewers, and editors that all con- tribute to the dissemination of high-quality research results and products in the field of Forest and Wood Sciences. Indeed, this is a hot area with many discussions related to the adaptation of very diverse forests to a rapidly changing world. Forests are expected to provide sustainable ecosystem services under severe constraints at global scale. This requires further research and transparent debates.
The move to Open Access implies a deep change of the economic model of the journal: the publication costs will no longer be covered by the subscribers, but by the authors through their institutions, or through general agreements of their institutions and Springer-Nature (in the latter case, the cost is covered through a general contract between research institutions and the publisher).
Annals of Forest Science is devoted to publish only high quality science meeting the highest standards in terms of scientific integrity. This was our major commitments over all these years and will remain the central motivation of the editorial team of the journal during this new step in the life of Annals of Forest Science.
Our vision is that Annals of Forest Science will contribute to the development of an active and open research community for Forest & Wood Sciences over the next years!
This blog post is based on the Editorial written by Erwin Dreyer et al. in Annals of Forest Science, 2022. Link to full editorial: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13595-022-01119-x