As this week is Open Access Week it seems a good point to reflect on our decision to launch People and Nature as an Open Access journal. People and Nature is the 6th journal in the BES stable and the only one that is fully Open Access. As a broad-scope interdisciplinary journal we felt that an Open Access model was the best way to ensure that we reached the broadest possible audience, regardless of geographic region, role or discipline and this was a key driver in our decision. Our primary audience is academic researchers but we have published several papers that have some policy or management relevance (a recent example being Making Brexit work for the environment and livelihoods: Delivering a stakeholder informed vision for agriculture and fisheries) and we know that access to research is often difficult for those not working in academic institutions.  

We don’t have data on the roles of the people reading the journal, but what we can say is that our content is being read widely and globally. From December 2018, when we published our first two articles, until the end of August 2019 our content had been downloaded in 170 countries around the world. Our first issue, published in March 2019 has an average of 2235 downloads per article, again up to the end of August this year 

We are of course aware that not everyone has funding to pay for open access and we do make waivers available where appropriate. Ability to pay should not be a barrier to publication.  

More broadly, the British Ecological Society supports Open Access principles and although People and Nature is our only fully Open Access journal, Open Access is available on all the other BES journals. We also partner with Wiley on Ecology and Evolution, another fully Open Access journal.  

We’re excited by the initial progress of People and Nature and the broad reach we are having is surely driven in part by our Open Access business model. Want to see what all the fuss is about? Read our latest content here – did we mention you can read it for free!