Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash
Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

People and Nature’s Editor-in-Chief, Kevin Gaston, reflects on the announcement of the journal’s first impact factor.

People and Nature is emphatically not a journal that is focussed exclusively or principally on measuring or quantifying things. We are equally interested in conceptual, theoretical and qualitative advances in understanding the relations that humans have with nature. In this same spirit, we consider that the progress and success of the journal needs to be viewed both through an empirical lens as well as one that captures more qualitative elements of the influence that we might have, and what our authors, reviewers and readers gain from their interactions with us.

From this standpoint we have two reactions to the announcement that the first Journal Citation Reports impact factor for People and Nature, after just three full years of publication, is 7.5.

First, we are immensely pleased by and proud of this result, which positions us 13th in the Ecology category, and 4th in Biodiversity Conservation. It is testimony to the quality and interest of the work that our authors have submitted and the trust that they have placed in us, to the selfless efforts of our army of reviewers, and to the dedication to excellence of our editorial team (academic and publishing). We hope they all can benefit from being associated with People and Nature and the undoubted success that it is clearly having. We note that 94% of authors who submitted to BES journals said the peer review experience was important when choosing a journal, with 72% rating the quality of peer review good or very good, and 79% rating the speed of peer review good or very good. Second, we want to be clear that we are committed above all else to being a journal of relational thinking about people and nature, at a time when yet deeper understanding of this topic is most desperately needed. If in pursuing that goal we achieve high impact factors, citation rates, downloads of papers and so forth, that is an excellent outcome and one we freely celebrate. But our core objective will remain.

To learn more about the last three years of publication, read our recent editorial by Editor-in-Chief Kevin Gaston, and Lead Editors Rosemary Hails, Robert Fish, Kai Chan, and Cecily Maller here.