UI Library and Rangeland Center Collaborate to Produce Open Access journal

Thursday, February 6 2014

The University of Idaho Library and Rangeland Center have joined forces to produce a new open access, peer-reviewed and refereed journal. The Journal of Rangeland Applications offers free and open access to summaries of published findings from original research in a broad array of topics related to rangeland management, with an emphasis on Western North America.

This unique journal bridges the gap between science and application by presenting summaries of published research on the biophysical, ecological, social, and economic aspects of rangeland management and conservation. These summaries distill the findings and identify how the research can be applied in a practical manner to promote wise land and grazing management decisions.

“For land managers, it can be very time consuming to read experimental research articles,” said Karen Launchbaugh, a professor of rangeland ecology who edits the journal. “Most often the research is written for scientists. There is a need for scientifically rigorous articles that are written for land manager, and that is the gap we are trying to fill with the Journal of Rangeland Applications.”

The UI Library’s Digital Initiatives team, working with Open Journal Systems, an open source software package, provides the design and publishes the journal on its website.

“Our role in publishing the JRA is to increase knowledge by providing free and open access to information,” said Annie Gaines, scholarly communications librarian. “In this instance, it’s so important; rangeland managers have little access to scholarly work published in conventional journals, which is often restricted to users who have to pay large subscription fees.”

Nearly half of the state of Idaho is comprised of rangeland, the unforested and uncultivated lands that dominate western North America. Properly managed rangelands provide wildlife habitats and livestock forage, clean water, renewable energy, and beautiful open spaces for recreation.

Volume 1 of the Journal of Rangeland Applications is now available on the library website at http://journals.lib.uidaho.edu/index.php/jra/index. Partners in the publication include the University of Idaho Rangeland Center, University of Idaho Library Digital Initiatives, The Rangeland Partnerhsip and the Owyhee Initiative. For more information, contact Annie Gaines at againes@uidaho.edu, or Karen Launchbaugh at klaunchb@uidaho.edu.