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In 2018, Kew Bulletin publishes the first paper in a new series ‘The Kew Review’. We are pleased to present a Conifers of the World review article by Aljos Farjon, outlining the history, taxonomy, ecology etc. of the group, as well as ideas for future research. Aljos specialised in gymnosperms during his long botanical career including publishing several books on the group (e.g., Farjon 1998, 2008, 2010), chairing the conifer specialist group of the World Conservation Union, as well as receiving the Engler Medal in silver from the IAPT. Whilst he has now ‘finished’ working on gymnosperms, his love for trees endures and has recently written an award-winning book on the ancient oaks of England (Farjon 2017). We will have more ‘Kew Reviews’ in future issues, and would be happy to receive ideas for prospective review articles from interested authors.
As Editor-in-Chief (EiC), I am supported by an excellent Editorial Board, but the traditional editorial system of Kew Bulletin results in the EiC undertaking most tasks for the article workflow during the review process. Later this year, the journal will adopt the ‘Associate Editor’ model with the EiC assigning papers for the review and revision process; of course, the EiC will undertake an initial assessment on each submission and a final check before publication, whilst the high standards of copy-editing undertaken by a dedicated production team at Kew and Springer will remain. The new arrangement will allow Associate Editors to ‘target’ specialists for both reviews and to encourage submissions in their specialised subject areas and, conversely, allow authors to correspond directly with Editors with an in-depth understanding of subject areas, especially particular taxa and regions. Initially, to ensure continuity and a smooth transition, the Associate Editors will be drawn from the current Editorial Board, as well as some additional RBG Kew experts. In the future, however, we will encourage a broad range of scientists from across the globe to participate, especially early career researchers from the species-rich tropical countries which feature in most of the journal’s papers (e.g., c. 95% of 2017 papers were ‘tropical’ — see Utteridge 2017).
Kew Bulletin encourages the inclusion of conservation ratings following the IUCN Red List categories and criteria (IUCN 2012, 2017), and a significant opportunity with the new editorial system is the addition of a dedicated conservation Associate Editor to the Board. This will facilitate the development of tools to expedite the publication of conservation ratings on the IUCN Red List (http://www.iucnredlist.org/) by completing data sheets and attaching them to the manuscript as Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM). The spreadsheets will contain the required and recommended fields that should accompany a full global Red List assessment. Multiple assessments can be added to each sheet and will be in a format that can be integrated into IUCN data systems, although further interaction with IUCN may be required to ensure publication on the Red List. This will be in place later in the year, and is another positive development that will enhance Kew Bulletin going forward.
- Farjon, A. (1998; 2nd ed. 2001). World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.Google Scholar
- ____ (2008). A Natural History of Conifers. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.Google Scholar
- ____ (2010; 2nd ed. 2017). A Handbook of the World’s Conifers Vols. 1 – 2. Brill, Leiden & Boston.Google Scholar
- ____ (2017). Ancient Oaks in the English Landscape. Kew Publishing.Google Scholar
- IUCN (2012). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Second edition. IUCN, Gland and Cambridge.Google Scholar
- IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee (2017). Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 13. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Committee. Downloadable from http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf Utteridge,
- Utteridge, T. M. A. (2017) Editorial. Kew Bull. 72 (1): art. 18.Google Scholar