Publishing observations

Many regular visitors of this forum are experienced naturalists who travel to little-known places and make a lot of interesting observations, but apparently few people ever publish their observations scientifically. For those not familiar with the process, scientific publishing might seem daunting, especially since each journal has its own style and formatting requirements. But once you get used to it, you can easily submit a short note after just a few hours of work. I’d recommend the following way to do it.
(1) Post your observations here and ask if someone else has similar ones (usually on the same species or group of species in the same region). It’s often better to pool your data in one paper.
(2) Choose an appropriate journal.
(3) Study their “Instructions for authors”, then find a similar paper they’ve already published, and use it as a template for style and formatting.
(4) Submit the paper. If it gets rejected, ask the editor to recommend a more relevant journal.
Journals published by IUCN specialist groups usually accept short notes about biology and distribution, even those based on sight records. Here‘s the list of mammal-oriented IUCN specialist groups; many of them have their journals (sometimes called newsletters). I’ve published short notes in Cat News and Small Carnivore Conservation, and am now co-authoring one for Canid Biology and Conservation. If there’s no relevant IUCN journal, there’s always some other place. You are welcome to ask me if you have any questions.
Vladimir Dinets, dinets at gmail

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