Why does Annals of Forest Science no longer accept e-only material?

The editorial procedures of Annals of Forest Science change continuously for the better (we hope!). After having put an emphasis on access to data associated to publications, we made another albeit smaller chage: we no longer accept e-only material.

What is e-only material? During the historical times when journals were still printed, the editors insisted that some additional material that was presented in support to the points made by the authors were too long to justify a full print. This material was therefore made available only on the web site of the journal, as additional, “e-only” material, in order to save print space and reduce the costs of processing and editing sometimes large stuff (tables, figures, additional text, protocols, pictures, etc…). Readers (subscribers in most cases) had access to the material. But unfortunately, this material was usually not that well documented and identified (it was not always granted a digital object identifier-DOI) and the authorship and related right issues were not clearly addressed.

Due to these limitations, and due to the fact that the printed versions of the papers play only a very minor role today, we decided that such material should be better identified and protected, with two main options to replace e-only material:

1. integration into the main text of the paper as an annex to the main text; this annex is therefore included in the paper, and disseminated with the paper;

ii. integration into as an independent data set deposited into a public repository together with the data related to the paper or alone; the data set will therefore be granted a DOI, be referred through the associated meta-data as a production of the authors of the data set, linked to the paper for easy connection; in this case, the whole document will be identified as a production of the authors, the rights of the authors will be protected with a suitable licence (usually a variant of the CC-BY licences, see: creativecommons.org). In this case, the information will be structured along the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles (see: https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/). See our blog post on how to share your datasets: Guidelines for authors: how to share your datasets?

We believe these two options will much better value the additional material to a paper by assuring easy access and long term persistence.

Please see our instructions for authors and templates for detailed guidelines on how to include your data as annexes. The annexes should be provided as a section in the main body of the manuscript before the references. In addition, the annexes should continue the consecutive numbering of the tables and figures in the main text (do not number the annex figures or table “A1, A2, A3, etc.”).

Should you have any question on this issue, do not hesitate to contact us at: annforsci@inrae.fr.


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