Methods in Ecology and Evolution 2015: The Year in Review

Happy New Year! We hope that you all had a wonderful Winter Break and that you’re ready to start 2016. We’re beginning the year with a look back at some of our highlights of 2015. Here’s how last year looked at Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

The Articles

We published some amazing articles in 2015, too many to mention them all here. However, we would like to say a massive thank you to all of the authors, reviewers and editors who contributed to the journal last year. Without your hard work, knowledge and generosity, the journal would not be where it is today. We really appreciate all of your time and effort. THANK YOU!

mee312268_CoverOpportunities at the Interface between Ecology and Statistics

There was only one Special Feature in the journal this year, but it was a great one. Arising from the 2013 Eco-Stats Symposium at the University of New South Wales and guest edited by Associate Editor David Warton, Opportunities at the Interface between Ecology and Statistics was one of the highlights of 2015 for us. It consists of seven articles written collaboratively by statisticians and ecologists and highlights the benefits of cross-disciplinary partnerships.

Virtual Issues

Our first Virtual Issue of 2015 focused on Advances in Phylogenetic Methods. It was published to coincide with the Evolution conference in Brazil and showcased recent developments elated to evolutionary inference using phylogenetic trees.

Monitoring Wildlife_100x131_Final-Web-Ready-3This was followed in October by the Monitoring Wildlife Virtual Issue. This was a joint Virtual Issue with the Journal of Applied Ecology and the Journal of Animal Ecology. It included eight Methods articles on new methods in monitoring, with focuses on citizen science, acoustic monitoring, electronic tags, camera surveys and more.

The last Virtual Issue of 2015 was our annual Open Access week Virtual Issue – a compilation of all of the Open Access articles that we have published since the previous OA week. There are more than 20 OA papers in this virtual issue, covering a broad range of topics.

Robert May Young Investigator Prize 2014

We announced the winner of the 2014 Robert May Young Investigator Prize in April. Laure Gallien (WSL Institute) was the worthy winner for her excellent article ‘Identifying the signal of environmental filtering and competition in invasion patterns – a contest of approaches from community ecology’, co-authored with Marta Carboni and Tamara Münkemüller. The article shows that the infrequent detection of competition can arise from three important methodological shortcomings, and provides guidelines for future studies of invasion drivers at the scale of the community.

Kevin Arbuckle (University of Liverpool) and Christine Howard (Durham University) were highly commended for their papers ‘A simple measure of the strength of convergent evolution’ and ‘Improving species distribution models: the value of data on abundance’ respectively.

The 5th Anniversary

Symp ad w_bannerAlso in April, we celebrated the 5th Anniversary of the launch of Methods in Ecology and Evolution with a joint Symposium in the UK and Canada. There were 8 presentations in each location, with speakers discussing satellite remote sensing, evolution in cancer cells, reproducibility, plant sexual systems, metabarcoding and much more. It was a testament to the breadth of topics that the journal covers.

The whole event was live streamed and it was watched by over 1000 people on the day. We had viewers from Sweden to Saudi Arabia and from New York to New Zealand and received a lot of praise for giving the world free access to the talks (as well as for the gender balance of the event). In case you missed any of them, they’re still available on our YouTube Channel.

The Editors

We had to say goodbye to some excellent Associate Editors in 2015. We wish them all the best of luck with their future endeavours and thank them for their contributions to the success of the journal.

In their place, we have added four new Associate Editors though and we are really excited to welcome them to the Board. In Luísa Carvalheiro (University of Brasília), Anne Chao (National Tsing Hua University), Natalie Cooper (Natural History Museum, London) and Susan Johnston (University of Edinburgh) we have four wonderful new Editors and we are really looking forward to working with in the coming years.

Social Media and the Blog

2015 was a big year for our social media channels. We hit 8000 followers on Twitter, 5000 on Facebook and 1750 on Google+. All three have regular posts about the latest Methods articles, make sure to follow us to keep up to date with the journal.

The Methods blog was hugely popular last year, too. It was viewed over 57,000 times by people from 171 different countries. To put that into context, if the blog was a concert, it would sell out the Royal Albert Hall almost 11 times! More than 3000 people clicked through to Methods in Ecology and Evolution articles, showing that a blog post is an excellent way to make people aware of your article.

Our most popular blog post of the year was Ten Top Tips for Reviewing Statistics by Mark Brewer. More than 10,000 of you read Mark’s advice on reviewing stats; we hope that it has helped to make you more confident as referees. Other popular posts from last year included What is Beta Diversity? (a wonderful explanation of the topic by Andrés Baselga) and There’s Madness in our Methods (ideas on how to improve inference in ecology and evolution from Associate Editor Jarrod Hadfield) – both of which were read over 2000 times.

In September we launched a new article category: Publishing Tips and Tricks. We’ve had five posts in this category so far, giving advice on topics such as choosing preferred reviewers and maximising the exposure of your research. Watch out for more posts like these in 2016.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the Methods blog in 2015.

Looking Forward to 2016

2015 was a fantastic year for Methods in Ecology and Evolution, and we’re hoping that the success will carry on into 2016. Make sure to follow us throughout the year to keep abreast of the latest methodological advances in ecology and evolution. Remember, all members of the British Ecological Society have access to every Methods article as soon as they’re published and you can join the society for as little as £42 per year (or £21 if you’re a student, retired or if you’re based in a country classified as ‘Low Income’ by the World Bank).

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