Annals of Forest Science will be published under a Continuous Article Publication procedure from 2017 on.

This may well be seen as a minor move in the editorial policy of Annals of Forest Science, but may nevertheless be of importance for our authors and readers. Starting from beginning 2017, Springer-Nature will use a Continuous Article Publication (CAP) procedure for the papers in Annals of Forest Science.

What is CAP going to change? The basic idea is that once accepted, produced by Springer and validated by the authors, the published papers will no longer spend an inderminated time in a Purgatory called “on-line first articles” where they are indeed openly visible and citeable, but with a preliminary identification (in particular, a transient pagination which changes once the paper is definitely included into an issue). In Annals of Forest Science, the residence time in this purgatory varied between a few weeks and a year!

This will no longer be the case. Produced and validated papers will imediatly be assigned to an ongoing issue, and ranked sequentially as a function of time (no elaborate table of content required). A a result, we expect a simplified procedure and a faster publication in the current issue until we decide to close the issue, publish and disseminate the table of content and open the next issue. Page numbering will be slightly different too, under the form “volume, issue, rank in the issues, pages”. The attribution of a DOI will be similar than during the current procedure.

Does this mean that we will no longer be able to produce Topical issues? Well, the answer is yes and no. Indeed, the issues will be purely chronological, and the articles ranked in the order of their acceptance. To compensate for this, Topical Collections were created.  A Topical collection is a virtual issue, in which all papers contributing to a given topic are listed. We already started some topical issues recently (see the website at with 5 topical collections currently open). The assignation to a topical collection may be required by an author during the initial submission. It may also be decided by the editorial board at the end of the review process.

Furthermore, topical collections may be advertised on the present blog, on the Annals of Forest Science website and on any suitable outlet. We may even launch printing of such topical collections on request, at a moderate cost, should you wish to produce a printed version of a series of relevant papers.

CAP therefore creates more flexibility for the management of the journal production. An example can be seen with Agronomy for Sustainable Development, another Inra journal published by Springer Nature ( that moved to CAP beginning 2016. But will the transition from one production system be complicated? Well, no, and you probably will only notice the change in pagination. We will prepare the last 2016 issue by beginning Septembre 2016. This issue will contain all current e-only papers. During 3 months, no paper will be published: they will all appear in the new January 2017 issue. And that is all for us; there is probably more work behind the stage for the people at Springer Nature, but his will be transparent for users including editors, authors and readers.

So, looking forward to the January 2017 issue!


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