Publishing integrative landscape research: Analysis of editorial policies of peer-reviewed journals

Gunther Tress, Barbel Tress, G. Fry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Integrative research concepts such as interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity are gaining currency in landscape research as well as in the broader context of environmental science. Hence an increasing number of projects apply these approaches. Nonetheless, several epistemological and structural barriers hamper the operationalization of integrative research. Difficulty in publishing results from integrative research is referred to as one of the key problems for operationalization. Researchers and authors claim that it is difficult to publish findings from integrative research in international peer-reviewed journals and that suitable journals cannot be found. This paper analyses the editorial policies of international peer-reviewed journals towards publishing work resulting from integrative efforts in the field of landscape research. It investigates whether an editorial publication bias against integrative papers exists in scientific journals publishing landscape research articles. The study is based on an analysis of the aims and scope sections as published on the websites of 156 selected journals publishing landscape-related papers and on an E-mail survey of the editors of these journals. The editors were asked whether they accept integrative papers and what criteria they use for selecting reviewers. The majority of editorial policies as published on the journal websites ask explicitly or indirectly for integrative paper submissions. Almost all journal editors accept integrative papers and more than half of the editors select reviewers in part due to their knowledge of integrative research processes. We discuss the question of bias against integrative papers by editors, reviewers and authors and suggest some reasons why publishing integrative research can be difficult. This is due to the additional time needed to compile and write up integrative results, conceptual differences across research fields, lack of common terminology and difficulty in selecting the right journal. This study found no evidence to support the claim of an editorial bias against publishing integrative landscape research papers. The majority of editors of our sample welcome integrative research papers and encourage authors to submit their results from integrative landscape research to peer-reviewed journals. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)466-475
    Number of pages9
    JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


    • aims and scope
    • bibliometrics
    • interdisciplinarity
    • journal editors
    • publication bias
    • transdisciplinarity


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