The Journal of Ethnobiology (JoE) is a quarterly, peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Society of Ethnobiology. Founded in 1981, JoE is the oldest ethnobiological journal in the world to publish original interdisciplinary research on past and present inter-relations between humans and their biological worlds.
Sustained by a large global community of scholars in ethnobiology, JoE is committed to push the boundaries of knowledge through the publication of robust ethnobiological research with great societal impact and high policy relevance. As one of the world-leading scientific journals in ethnobiology, JoE has a particular interest in research that has the potential to increase the voice of ethnobiologists in global conversations about environmental change, planetary sustainability and Indigenous Peoples’ rights, among others.
The journal’s 2019 Impact Factor is 1.092 (according to the Journal Citation Reports).
JoE is a broad-scope journal publishing work from across research areas looking at human-nature inter-relations, in all their complexities and magnificence. We are committed to publish high-quality research that looks at our planet through an ethnobiological lens, bringing into focus the multi-dimensional relationships among humans and their biological worlds both in the present and in the past.
International in scope, the journal is committed to publish collections of papers on socially and ecologically relevant topics, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, food security, environmental history and resource management. Publishing special issues and special sections is rooted in the journal’s DNA, in order to chart and evaluate the research foci of a fast developing interdisciplinary field. These issues allow for and encourage the explicit integration of ideas and scholars from diverse ethnobiological communities.
JoE is fully committed to facilitate global conversations and further the international scope of our discipline by publishing papers by scholars from around the world. Journal of Ethnobiology aspires to represent the vast and growing number of ethnobiological research that is taking place internationally.
JoE’s publishing model is hybrid, offering several open access options for authors.
In 1981, the Society of Ethnobiology launched JoE in recognition of the pressing need to publish inter-disciplinary, original research focused on the inter-relationships between humans and nature. Back at that time, there were scientific journals that focused on ethnobotany or cultural anthropology, but there was not a single scientific journal publishing ethnobiological research in its broadest sense. JoE was therefore conceived as a uniting forum for grounded exchange of knowledge, research and ideas within the ethnobiological community.
From its humble beginnings as a bi-annual publication, with an average of ~6 papers per issue, JoE now publishes four full issues per year, averaging ~9 papers in each issue. Beginning with that very first issue of the journal in 1981, and continuing today, each collection of papers is a window into the breadth and integration of knowledge that characterizes our discipline.
JoE builds on the Society of Ethnobiology’s reputation for excellence in scientific publishing and long-standing commitment to foster appreciation of the richness of ethnobiology worldwide. As a result, articles published in JoE over the last four decades have contributed to shape the international knowledge landscape of ethnobiology, featuring research that spans the whole globe.
JoE’s readership is as wide and diverse as ethnobiology itself, with readers spanning from both the natural and social sciences. Not surprisingly, a glance at the papers published in the Journal reveals the depth and breadth of topics, extending from studies in archaeology and the origins of agriculture, to folk classification systems, to food composition, plants, birds, mammals, fungi and everything in between.
Research areas published in JoE include but are not limited to neo- and paleo-ethnobiology, zooarchaeology, ethnobotany, ethnozoology, ethnopharmacology, ethnoecology, linguistic ethnobiology, human paleoecology, and many other related fields of study within anthropology and biology, such as taxonomy, conservation biology, ethnography, political ecology, and cognitive and cultural anthropology.
JoE does not limit itself to a single perspective, approach or discipline, but seeks to represent the full spectrum and wide diversity of the field of ethnobiology, including cognitive, symbolic, linguistic, ecological, and economic aspects of human interactions with our living world. Articles that significantly advance ethnobiological theory and/or methodology are particularly welcome, as well as studies bridging across disciplines and knowledge systems. JoE does not publish uncontextualized data such as species lists; appropriate submissions must elaborate on the ethnobiological context of findings.
Members of the Society of Ethnobiology have free access to the Journal of Ethnobiology through BioOne, a unique aggregation of high-impact bioscience research journals. The Journal of Ethnobiology does not charge page charges, but we do encourage authors to become members of the Society.
Journal Access via Research4Life
BioOne, a proud participant in a philanthropic initiative Research4Life, has made its journal aggregation, BioOne complete, available at no cost to more than 2,5000 institutions all around the globe. The dissemination adds to the visibility and prestige of BioOne Complete journals (like the Journal of Ethnobiology!), and provides students and researchers from across the globe with access to critical and current research.
For a full list of countries eligible for free access and to learn about the registration process
What is the typical length of time from submission to publication in the Journal of Ethnobiology?
The Journal’s overriding goal is to move papers through the system as quickly as possible. For high-quality submissions with positive reviewer responses, authors can expect 2–3 months from submission to final acceptance. Here is a summary of the general process:
- Within a week of on-line submission, the Editors conduct an initial review to decide if the paper be will sent out for external review or sent back to the authors either as a final rejection or with ideas on how to improve before re-submitting.
- If moved to external review, the paper is then immediately assigned to one of our editors, depending on the topic.
- Reviewers (2–3) are generally given 4 weeks to complete the review. Soon after the reviews are back, the Chief Editor makes a decision on major or minor revisions or rejection.
In cases where the initial submission needs considerable work, there can be an extended review process. At the Journal of Ethnobiology we are committed to diversifying the voices of ethnobiology. This means going the extra distance to help young scholars, scholars for whom English is not their first language, or researchers who do not have access to the training needed to produce high-quality academic publications. Thus, unlike other high-calibre journals that might reject papers outright or after one round of revisions, we often work extensively with our authors to produce a quality product that they and the Journal can be proud of. In some cases, this conversation can span multiple submissions and a few years. How, then, should we calculate turnaround times for those cases?
A worrying trend among academic journals is to give a “reject and resubmit” decision for all papers—no matter how minimal or extensive the revisions required. By requesting a “new submission”, journals can improve their statistics vis à vis handling times. That is, this process allows them to print very short turnaround times from submission of the now much revised paper, to publication.
At the Journal of Ethnobiology, we are not interested in playing with these optics. We would rather focus on producing the highest quality ethnobiological journal that we can. To us, that means producing a socially-just journal that is diverse, scholarly, and has wide-reaching impact—giving each article the time it needs.
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