The journal's goal is to provide a rapid-publication, online-only, open-access alternative to ESA's other journals, while maintaining the rigorous standards of peer review for which ESA publications are renowned.

Aims and Scope

The scope of Ecosphere is as broad as the science of ecology itself. The journal welcomes submissions from all sub-disciplines of ecological science, including multi- and interdisciplinary studies relating to ecology (e.g., ecohydrology, land-atmosphere interactions, Earth system science, complex systems, conservation ecology), as well as submissions from all sections and chapters in ESA (e.g., environmental justice, traditional ecological knowledge, applied ecology, education).

Subject Tracks

In addition to the wide array of general ecological research, Ecosphere invites submissions to the following subject tracks:

Emerging Technologies: papers using a wide array of approaches and technologies to gather data, address ecological questions, or test hypotheses, such as applications of machine learning; robotics and devices; integrated software solutions; and new developments or refinements in traditional technologies, statistical methods, simulation models, and image analysis.

Disease Ecology: research into ecological systems that support transmission and infection broadly across plants, non-human animals, and humans in both natural and built environments.

Agroecology: research into the ecology of agricultural systems (including managed forests, plantations, and farms), and the interface between agricultural and non-agricultural environments.

Because Ecosphere has a broad editorial mission, we encourage the following types of article submissions:

  • Articles typically follow the format of a traditional research paper (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions). Although there are no page limits, concise writing is expected. All parts of a manuscript, including appendices, are to be included as part of the manuscript file. Supplementary material in Ecosphere may consist of raw data sets or computer software and are linked from the article to the material in Ecological Archives.
  • Concepts and Theory papers conceptually advance the field of ecology. These papers are expected to go well beyond works being reviewed to include discussion of new theories and conceptual frameworks that lead to new research directions and resolutions of old questions. These papers may be primarily conceptual, supported by published data, and without the presentation of new data.
  • Synthesis and Integration papers are intended to provide a synthesis of a field or subfield AND an integration of those findings. These papers can begin by reviewing a topic but then the papers must go beyond the review to provide a new synthesis and blending of those ideas and data in new ways.
  • Innovative Viewpoints are thought-provoking articles that advocate important future directions, new ideas, or emerging frameworks. Viewpoints can also revisit historic ideas with a modern twist. Novel, cutting-edge linkages between ecology and other disciplines that have the potential to transform science or impact policy are encouraged. Papers submitted as Innovative Viewpoints should be defended with citations or data sufficient to warrant publication. Authors interested in submitting Innovative Viewpoints should first e-mail a one-paragraph proposal (<300 words) to the Editor-in-Chief. All submissions will be peer-reviewed and subject to the same publication cost as other manuscript types.
  • Comments and Replies: A Comment points out errors of fact or interpretation in an article that previously appeared in a published issue of an ESA journal, although we will consider Comments on papers published in other journals. Submissions should not contain more than 16 manuscript pages. Be sure to refer to the special procedures which have been established for preparation and review of comments and responses to comments. No abstract is necessary.
  • Special Features are intended to address various aspects of a theme that are likely to be of broad interest to ecologists. Ideally, a feature should inform a large audience about an unfamiliar topic or an area in which there has been considerable recent progress or it can reexamine an issue in new ways. An advantage to an online journal is that papers in a Special Feature do not need to be published in the same issue. The papers will be linked using on-line keywords. A typical Special Feature will consist of 4-10 papers preceded by a short Introduction. A synthesis paper may be used to summarize key findings across papers and identify new research directions. Proposals for Special Features should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief prior to the submission of manuscripts.