I’ve been asked to pen a few words about my new role as the reviews editor for the Journal of Zoology to try and give a flavour of what I will be looking for in this role. As a long-time reader and occasional contributor to this journal, I am most proud to have been given the opportunity to help out with this excellent avenue of communication.
For a long time, I have felt that reviews are an extremely important aspect of scientific publication and I wish that more journals also provided a venue for them alongside research papers. A good review does not just present a statement on the state-of-the-art, but can suggest new ideas and conclusions from the data, and can help guide a discussion or direct future research. Reviews are also critical to introducing people to areas in which they are inexperienced, be they students starting an investigative career or senior professors branching into a new field.
In this new role, I hope to bring in papers from across the full range of zoology, both recent and ancient, and on any aspect of whole organisms or large scale aspects from the Animalia. As a palaeontologist, I generally have a wide-ranging brief and have published papers on aspects of macroevolution, anatomy, behaviour, history of science, taxonomy, ecology and biogeography. All of these subjects, and indeed many others, are welcome (I did once publish a paper on volcanology in my youth, but I have to admit that might be pushing it). Even papers not directly about zoological subjects may be considered, such as the aspects of flower anatomy that are critical to animal pollinators would be of real value to many zoologists, even if the primary subject matter would be rather more plant-focused than most would prefer. Various forms of discussion, think pieces and certain speculations all fall under this banner and I would be happy to consider them.
There is a vast scope to zoology, with hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history and millions of species of animals both extant and extinct. Bringing together clear syntheses of key aspects of their biology, ecology and evolution is a major part of the scientific process, and I hope that we will see some interesting and important reviews in the coming issues. Please do contact me if you have an idea you wish to discuss and a proposal for a piece.
David Hone, Queen Mary University of London, email@example.com