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 second journal along with Ecological Solutions and Evidence 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 policy or management relevance (see our latest Policy Virtual Issue which brings that together the 12 most influential papers in the journal that put policy at the forefront of decsion making for people and nature) 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 with downloads from 233 countries. From our first issue in December 2018, we have now published 13 issues and this year alone articles in the journal have been downloaded 34,5000 times.
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, 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!