The International Journal of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves
For researchers interested in the 701 biosphere reserves designated by UNESCO’s MAB Programme, an in-depth review initiated by Professor Martin Price in 2013 and continued by Dr. Pamela Shaw in 2015, revealed that a wealth of information across a wide range of disciplines was being published. However, given differences in terminology and the great diversity of publications involved, the materials developed were not always available to individuals involved in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). In addition, obtaining articles at no cost was not a simple matter for biosphere reserve staff and volunteers who were not affiliated with academic institutions. Beyond this, a mechanism to bring together information on a range of community-based and applied practical activities currently undertaken within many biosphere reserves, was simply not available.
Launched in 2017, the International Journal of Biosphere Reserves publishes research related to biosphere reserves and their four UNESCO mandated functions: conservation of biodiversity, research and education, sustainable development, and climate action. The mission of this journal is to provide a forum for the collective body of multidisciplinary research occurring in biosphere reserves across the globe, each of which serves as catalysts for innovations in balancing the needs of humans and nature.
The journal is a digital, open-access, subscription-free publication, making this a cost-effective publication, reducing the ecological footprint of the journal and allowing for full-colour/full-spectrum production across a range of digital formats. This journal is part of a wave of new journals that are abandoning the confines of paper publications and embracing a digital future that includes video, audio, full-colour mapping, and interactive formats that are not limited by the challenges of publication costs and hard copy dissemination. This format also allows for a much shorter delay between submission and publication.
The journal is fully interdisciplinary and instead of focusing on a selected scientific research sub- area, it is a resource for sharing information across disciplines and into practice, promoting the cross-pollination of ideas and creating new research connections. It can therefore be regarded as a contribution to the implementation of the Lima Action Plan for the MAB programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) (2016-2025). This calls for not only applied research in biosphere reserves, but also for an active and open interdisciplinary network of scientists and knowledge holders working in and with biosphere reserves, with a joined research and knowledge exchange agenda.
A publication in the journal may be a research article, note, case study, video, photo essay, or in another digital format. Topics can include any aspect of work, from applied to theoretical research, community engagement, student focused projects, or innovative programs.
For information about guidelines, visit the journal website at www.biospherejournal.org. Submissions must be emailed to Dr. Pam Shaw, Research Director at the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, at Pam.Shaw@viu.ca