Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Launching British & Irish Botany

After months of preparation, the new platform for BSBI members and fellow botanists to publish their research is finally here! The website for British & Irish Botany is here, it's live and we are open for submissions - in fact there are five submissions already in the pipeline from authors who just couldn't wait!

British & Irish Botany (B&IB to its friends - we are confident there will soon be many!) is the replacement for New Journal of Botany which ceased publication at the end of 2017. Our new publication is open access: free to publish in, free to view and it will be accessible to everyone, not just BSBI members. We listened to what you said you didn't like about New Journal of Botany and we've tried to come up with a replacement that will better suit your requirements.

New Journal of Botany (NJB) had much to recommend it but several factors prevented it from being the success we had hoped for, perhaps the main two being fewer submissions from academic botanists (because there are fewer academic botanists around and huge pressure on those still active to publish in a journal with a high Impact Factor) and a submission system that many of you found unnecessarily convoluted and time-consuming, again resulting in fewer submissions. 

So with British & Irish Botany (B&IB) we've gone for the most user-friendly submission system possible and a very short set of author guidelines! You can just upload a Word doc with some jpegs already embedded in it if you like. And if that still sounds like too much of a faff, you can just send the submission to us and we'll do everything for you. We is Editor-in-Chief Ian Denholm and me, Louise Marsh, as Editorial Assistant, supported by an Editorial Team. Here's an idea of the sort of submissions we're interested in

Ian gave a talk about B&IB to BSBI's Publications Committee earlier this month and then he gave the same talk to delegates at BSBI's Recorders Conference. You can download a pdf of Ian's talk here and it's also on the Recorders' Conference webpage. When he reached slide number 18 there were audible gasps and mutterings of "Really?" and "But how..." Yes, it's absolutely true: each year, B&IB will cost us less than 12% of what we were paying annually for NJB, at least in its early years. That's a lot of money than can be re-directed to those projects which the recent BSBI review told us our members thought were important. So you should all get the kind of journal you've told us you want for much less financial outlay and much less bother for authors. 

You will need to register before you can submit or review a paper or read any of the content. The registration process is quick and painless, takes about five minutes and you can put 'none' in the affiliation box if that suits you best. You are asked to agree to the Privacy Statement, where we promise that we will never make your details available for any non-journal purpose or pass it on to any third party; then you are asked if you'd like to be notified whenever a paper or issue is published or the journal wants to announce something. We're not planning to make a whole lot of announcements so you can opt out of that. 

Once you've registered you can change your mind and opt out of notifications if you prefer. And if you hit any problems that our extensive testing didn't flag up, just email us at bib@bsbi.org and we'll try to sort it out for you. 

We'll keep you posted on these pages when the first paper is published and we hope to have an issue published by the end of the year. Watch this space and keep an eye on the B&IB website!