The role of a discipline-specific journal in scientific discovery

Pamela Silver, Alan D. Steinman, Irwin Polls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The Journal of the North American Benthological Society (J-NABS) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a special issue composed of review papers that address the progress of 18 subdisciplines within benthology and the role of the Journal in the development of each subdiscipline. The objectives of our paper were to define the underlying reasons for publishing the Journal by discussing the role of scientific journals, provide a brief history of the Journal, discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid evolution of scholarly publication, and provide a synopsis of the papers in this issue. J-NABS is a highly respected journal within the areas of ecology and marine and freshwater biology. The Journal is most similar to Freshwater Biology and Fundamental and Applied Limnology based on citation patterns. Changes in scientific publishing have created significant opportunities and challenges for the Journal. Digital information technologies and the World Wide Web have changed the way people seek, read, and use information; created opportunities to reach a global audience and to facilitate free and open exchange of information; and created a need among society-published journals for new business models as traditional revenue sources (individual and library subscriptions) continue to decline. The scope of J-NABS is habitat specific and most papers in the Journal address some aspect of stream ecology. Papers published in this anniversary issue of J-NABS fall into subdisciplines in 5 broad categories: 1) the physical environment (5 articles); 2) the interface of chemistry and biology (2 articles); 3) the biota (7 articles); 4) the human factor (4 articles); and 5) a synthesis. Many authors in this issue call for benthologists to find ways to apply their work to manage, conserve, and restore aquatic habitats and organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the North American Benthological Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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