Behind the Scenes @Biotropica: Annual Editor’s Report (Part 2)


Last week I started posting the annual report the Editors prepare for the ATBC Council and Editorial Board summarizing the previous year’s issue of Biotropica, our status, and our directions for the coming year.  For some reason, these reports are rarely shared with a journal’s readership.  This is Part 2 of the Editor’s Report for Volume 45 (Editorial Year 2013).  Today we address some of the data provided by our publisher that try to address who has access you journal, the number of authors reading our papers, and , some of the ways we try to measure our impact on the field.  The first part is the more technical (=boring) side of running a journal with a publisher (in our case Wiley), while the second starts to get at some of the more interesting stuff I care about as an editor. And the next few posts are where the real core of the report are —  the details of who submits to us, the decisions we make, the time to decision, etc., so stay tuned for that.

I. Volume 45 Memberships & Subscriptions: Contact the editor if interested to discuss further.

II. Volume 45 Readership & Metrics of Impact

  • Citations in 2013: Articles published in Biotropica were cited 4905 times in 2013 (up from 4638 in 2012, 4680 in 2011, and 4272 in 2010).
  • Impact Factor: The 2013 Impact Factor will be released 29 July 2014. In 2012 Biotropica‘s Impact Factor was 2.351, up from 2.229 in 2011.  The 5-year IF is 2.57.  Based on 2012 IF the journal was ranked 57/136 in Ecology; journals with similar foci range from 2.24 (Biodiversity and Conservation) to 1.4 (Journal of Tropical Ecology to 4.69 (Conservation Biology). [NB: see below for an update on 2013 IF]
  • A number of our articles have received extensive media coverage (more on this later in the report)


Next week: Part III; Published Articles, Submissions, and Decisions.


NB on the 2013 IF: The 2013 IF was released after the report was presented. Biotropica’s 2013 IF is down a little: 2.08 for 2013 vs 2.35 for 2012. However, the where Biotropica stands relative to other journals in the Ecology category is more or less the same: 46% in 2013 (65/140) vs 42% in 2012 (57/136) because there are several new journals in the “Ecology” category.  As a result of the 2013 dip the 5-year IF also dropped a bit, but it’s really negligible (2.46 for 2009-2013 vs. (2.56 for 2008-2012).   As some of you are probably aware, I’m not a big fan of Impact Factors and don’t pay much attention to them as an author – they tell you something very limited about a journal, and the use of Impact Factors as a shortcut to gauge article / researcher quality and article impact is, in my opinion, an egregious misapplication of the metric that we need to work to eliminate (see this post by Carly Strasser and links therein). Meanwhile, I am glad to see a metric I actually care about — Cited Half-Life — is still >10. This means half the citations we received last year were from articles published in the 10 year time period 2004-2013.  How can this be interpreted? Our articles have staying power and reflect solid research that are useful to readers over long time periods; shorter “Cited Half-lives” suggest journals publishing in areas that are currently hot topics but in which interest wanes over time.  For comparison, the **fancy ecology journal** Cited-Half Life is 6.4 while that of **fancy conservation journal** is 3.2. Our Half-life could actually be much longer, by the way – ISI only report “>10”, but one can use their data to calculate the true cited half-life.]