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Acta botánica mexicana

On-line version ISSN 2448-7589Print version ISSN 0187-7151

Act. Bot. Mex  n.117 Pátzcuaro Oct. 2016



Acta Botanica Mexicana, towards a high-quality e-journal

Acta Botanica Mexicana, hacia una revista electrónica de alta calidad

Marie-Stéphanie Samain, Editor-in-Chief

Since its first presentation by the Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (INECOL) in April 1988, Acta Botanica Mexicana has published periodically and uninterruptedly 116 numbers with original articles about botanical topics. The printed version has been sent to institutes in nearly 50 countries worldwide and its content is freely available on the Internet since 2006. It has an impact factor in the Science Citation Index since 2009 and is widely indexed in international, Latin American and Mexican journal databases.

With the present number of Acta Botanica Mexicana, we launch a new format of our Open Access journal, including the gradual implementation of new author instructions, presentation of article titles in both Spanish and English as well as dates of reception, editor decision based on reviewer's comments and acceptance on the manuscript's first page, structured abstracts, inclusion of digital object identifiers (DOIs), and a more modern and homogenous lay-out of the article contents. Since September 2016, we have also started to use the Open Journal Systems (OJS) management and publication platform, to be consulted at, in order to professionalize and speed up our editorial management.

These and other novelties you can consult on our website are required by the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) and follow international guidelines for high-quality scientific journals, whereas some others, such as the detailed instructions which are meant to guide authors through the process of preparing and submitting their manuscripts, are introduced to simplify the efforts of authors, reviewers and editors by clear rules. From the next number on (January 2017), we will only use the OJS platform to publish the journal, to reduce to zero printing costs as well as postal charges. This process will enable us to focus on further website personalization and search engine optimization, as we now use the standard format of OJS as developed by the Public Knowledge Project.

We remind taxonomists that Article 29.1 of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants ("Melbourne Code") states that publication of new names is also effected by distribution on or after 1 January 2012 of electronic material in Portable Document Format (PDF) in an online publication with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). We are currently processing the ISSN number for the electronic version of Acta Botanica Mexicana, so we can ensure effective publication of names of new taxa from the next number on.

The topics covered by our journal will be essentially the same as before. We continue to accept high-quality manuscripts about any topic related to botany and plant ecology in the broadest sense, essentially about Mexican plants and fungi, but we do also consider manuscripts of other geographical areas. Of course, we welcome taxonomical and floristic contributions, regardless their length. Apart from such more traditional studies, we also invite authors to submit manuscripts about molecular studies such as phylogenetic reconstructions, phylogeography, population genetics, ecological genetics, and genomics.

Publication of taxa new to science will continue to be our strength and from now on we will publish such articles fast track, of course only when they successfully pass the review process. All other contributions (except obituaries and book reviews) will be handled and published in order of acceptance. However, as we request reviewers to send their comments within three weeks, we expect to be able to reduce considerably the time between first submission and editor decision for all kinds of contributions.

During 28 years, our founding editor Jerzy Rzedowski served tirelessly as Editor-in-Chief, achieving together with his team international recognition for Acta Botanica Mexicana. He appointed me as Co-editor in April 2013, which gave me the opportunity to become familiar with the journal's working style and particularities until I was appointed Editor-in-Chief in May 2016 by the general director of the INECOL, Martín Ramón Aluja Schuneman Hofer, as Jerzy Rzedowski had unexpectedly resigned shortly before, and the majority of his associated editors had also left the editorial team. I am especially grateful for the unconditional support of the authorities of INECOL, as well as that of our editorial assistants and our associate editors, so we could safeguard the journal and its future. The present team continues the philosophy of Jerzy Rzedowski, now our Honorary Editor-in-Chief, by supporting authors to publish their manuscripts to fulfill the ever-increasing need to publish in journals indexed in the Science Citation Index.

This journal continues to be edited in the regional research center of the Bajío of the INECOL, located in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico, which has as main mission to generate, transfer and communicate scientific knowledge about taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny, ecology, diversity and conservation of Mexican flora. We feel extremely privileged to be able to edit this prestigious journal in the framework of our mission, even more so as we are located in the heart of one of our planet's most biodiverse areas. Nevertheless, due to severe anthropogenic pressures, many species in the biodiversity hotspots in this region are seriously threatened and may become extinct, even before we have been able to discover and describe them, or understand their development, evolution, relationships, dispersal or ecosystems. Acta Botanica Mexicana reflects the wealth of research disciplines in which this biodiversity is studied and this is also exemplified in the present number.

Serving the botanical community in Mexico and abroad, we thus hope to welcome an ever-growing group of authors, reviewers, editors and readers.

Creative Commons License This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License