Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

GAIA has a proven record of high-quality articles, a well-established international reviewer network, and a reputation of academic excellence.

GAIA is published in colour print and provides an exceptional opportunity to illustrate scientific work in the form of pictures, charts, or maps.

GAIA is listed in the Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Articles in GAIA are published in both English and German.

GAIA is a quarterly publication. Please find the shipping dates below.

GAIA is an ancient Greek word for the Earth
GAIA: The word Gaîa touches on a myth that affected the beginning of philosophy and science. "Mother Earth" is a formula for bearing and conceiving, giving and taking, up and down. A guarantor of the cycle of life, Gaîa represents the foundation of the law that is preliminary to human dispositions.

 

Section Policies

Forum

In the Forum section, original papers are published including essays, pointed expressions of opinion and reactions to articles that have appeared in recent GAIA issues.

As such, the Forum aims to challenge current understandings by providing a “forum” to articulate substantiated opinions and controversial issues, to identify new problems, and to establish actual contexts. Generally, articles are double-blind peer reviewed.

Review criteria for Forum papers:

1. Factual statements need to be scientifically proven: All factual statements, propositions, and analytical causal relations that are mentioned in the manuscript need to be scientifically proven. However, ideas, concepts, and relationships may be unusual and innovative.

2. Articles need to be up to date and relate to current problems: The article should relate to a current debate in science (but then relate to an action that will follow from it) or to politics.

3. Logical coherence, consistency, accountability: The article needs to justify poignant opinions, questions, or conclusions. Those justifications should be easy to follow, logical, and fair towards arguments that contradict the statements. Achieving this also largely depends on the style and linguistic standard of the article.

4. Clear statements with a provocative or inquisitive character: The Forum aims to encourage a deeper reflection on a subject, and aims to motivate readers to react and respond to the articles. Frequently, we deliberately try to find articles that give pros and cons. The ideal article is an article that has a provocative message, that is based on good science, and that explains its argumentation in a way that is easy to follow.

Articles – including references – should not exceed the length of 24,000 characters (including spaces).

Editors
  • Martina Blum
  • Tobias Mickler
  • Ulrike Sehy
Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Research

Original scientific articles of environmental and sustainability re­search are published in the Research section. Additionally, Research contains review articles that place environmental prob­lems and development in a broader context. Articles are subjected to a double-blind peer review and cross-read by at least one person foreign to the subject. Expert opinions are based on the arti­cle’s scientific quality (e.g., theory, methods, literature relevant to the subject), on the quality of presentation (e.g., length, concise­ness, style), on the novelty of empirical data, methods, theoretical analyses, interpretation and approaches to problem-solving besides the article’s relevance for environmental sciences.

The non-expert reviewer will determine the transdisciplinari­ty of the synthesis, relevance in terms of action and comprehensi­­bility of the manuscript.

General review papers are usually written upon invitation and in agreement with the editorial office. Authors who wish to submit review papers on their own initiative are advised to contact the editorial office in advance.

Research papers and review papers should not – including ref­erences – exceed the length of 32,000 and 40,000 char­acters, respectively (including spaces).

Editors
  • Martina Blum
  • Almut Joedicke
Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Books

The Books section is dedicated to the presentation, discussion and review of new publications relevant to GAIA ’s subject matter. Contributions to the Books section are usually written upon invi­tation and in agreement with the editorial office. Authors intending to write a book review on their own initiative are advised to contact the editorial office in advance.

Articles are examined by at least one of the editors of GAIA. If required, further expertise is requested.

Articles should not exceed the length of 3,800 characters (including spaces).

Editors
  • Tobias Mickler
Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed
 

Peer Review Process

Papers submitted to GAIA are subjected to double-blind expert peer review. Papers submitted to the Research section are, additionally, cross-read by at least one person foreign to the subject. Invited papers are subjected to the same review­ing process and an invita­tion is no guarantee of publication. Currently, the rejection rate is about 50 to 60 percent.

GAIA has a quick turnaround and minimizes time from submission to publication. Usually reviewers take about three week's time to conduct their reviews. Over-all turnaround time for evaluation of manuscripts, including the Editor's decision as well as a list of hints for the revision, normally does not exceed four months from the date of receipt.

Reviewers are recruited according to their expertise and quality of previous reviews. Non-expert readers are mostly members of GAIA's Scientific Advisory Board.

Articles published in GAIA are chosen for their scientific content as well as their ease of comprehension and significance to readers of various scientific disciplines. 

Expert opinions are based on the arti­cle’s scientific quality (e.g., theory, methods, literature relevant to the subject), on the quality of presentation (e.g., length, concise­ness, style), on the novelty of empirical data, methods, theoretical analyses, interpretation and approaches to problem-solving besides the article’s relevance for environmental sciences.

The non-expert reviewer will determine the transdisciplinari­ty of the synthesis, relevance in terms of action and comprehensi­­bility of the manuscript.

Please consider as well the guidelines for reviewers (pdf-file).

 

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

GAIA recognizes its responsibilities in upholding ethical standards and pursues best practices in scholarly publishing. GAIA supports the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG) regarding Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice. GAIA also fully supports the Core Practices, Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). A selection of key points is provided in our Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement (in preparation).

GAIA will take all appropriate measures against publication malpractices, including alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum or, in the most severe cases, the complete retraction of the affected work.

 

Open Access

GAIA follows the Green Road to Open Access

  • Authors can archive a version of the article (PDF) for free public use on personal or institutional websites and/or in any open access institutional repository immediately after publication.
  • No embargo period.
  • Authors retain copyright: All articles are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license CC BY 4.0.
  • We strongly encourage researchers to deposit their articles in a repository. Information on repositories can be found here: https://scholarlycommunications.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2016/05/31/what-is-a-repository/
  • This policy is fully compliant with Plan S.

GAIA Hybrid Option

Additionally, we offer GAIA Hybrid Option: With this option authors can publish their articles with full open access via our full text content provider IngentaConnect against a basic charge.

Pricing for GAIA Hybrid Option

Our services include organization of the review and publishing process, copyediting, layout and graphics. GAIA articles are abstracted and indexed in various scientific databases (including Web of Science; Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Science; Science Citation Index Expanded; Social Science Citation Index; Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA), CAB Abstracts, EBSCO and Scopus) and our editors attend relevant conferences and meetings to market our journal and thus the publications of our authors. Further costs are involved in the process of printing, distribution and hosting. To maintain our high standards of quality while covering our costs we offer GAIA Hybrid Option per published article as follows:

  • Forum section: 400 EUR (VAT not included)
  • Research section: 850 EUR (VAT not included).

 

Special Issues / Focus Sections

GAIA publishes a maximum of one special issue (SI) per year.

  • Special issues are produced and published independently of the regular GAIA issues. They are published through the collaboration of both GAIA editors and guest editors. Editorial and production costs of special issues will be borne by the guest editor(s).
  • There is the option of publishing a special issue online only (SI online only).

GAIA publishes a maximum of two focus sections per year.

  • These focus sections appear within regular GAIA issues. They are published through the collaboration of both GAIA editors and guest editors. Additional expenses to cover editorial and production services will be borne by the guest editor(s).

If you are interested in publishing a special issue or a focus section, please contact the editorial office at sehy@oekom.ch.

Information on conditions and fees can be found >here.

 

Publication Frequency

GAIA is published four times a year.