The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an international community of conservation professionals

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The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an international community of conservation professionals who seek to share knowledge and promote the practice of conservation through global and regional conferences, and the publication of two peer-reviewed journals: Conservation Biology and Conservation Letters. The vision of the SBC includes developing awareness of the intrinsic value of the Earth’s ecological systems and biodiversity, and collaboration among scientists in order to share information and mutually affect policy decisions involving the environment. Two genres found in every issue of Conservation Biology that contribute to the fulfillment of SCB’s vision are editorials and scholarly articles. These genres facilitate the transmission of information and ideas between scientists in the conservation biology discourse community as well as professionals in complementary fields in order to develop and advance the science of conservation biology.

 

            Several leading conservation biologists publish their research in Conservation Biology and the journal has become a platform for communication among conservation specialists. One such specialist in the conservation biology discourse community is Dr. Mark Burgman. Dr. Burgman is an Australian ecologist, an honorary professor at the University of Melbourne, and a Conservation Biology editor. Dr. Burgman also won the Eureka prize in 2005 for his work in biodiversity research. In addition to conservation professionals, the readership of Conservation Biology may also consist of economists, government employees, educators, students, and the increasing number of individuals of the general public who are concerned about environmental issues such as climate change and pollution.

           

            A typical issue of Conservation Biology contains editorials, essays, contributed scholarly papers, and book reviews. The subject matter of each article is related to conservation biology, however the range of topics varies. Editorials may address mildly philosophical topics such as “Moral Dimensions of Human-Wildlife Conflict” (Lute, Navarette, Nelson, & Gore, 2016) or, intensive subjects such as “Use of Ecoacoustics to Determine Biodiversity Patterns across Ecological Gradients” (Grant & Samways, 2016).

 

            The editorial piece “Promoting Transparancy in Conservation Science” is a non peer-reviewed article in Conservation Biology in which authors Parker, Main, Nakagawa, Gurevitch, Jarrad, and Burgman (2016) discuss the need for transparency in the design, implementation, and publication of conservation science research projects. Parker et al. suggest that “a greater capacity to include results in data syntheses” and “[reporting] of basic information such as sample sizes, directions of effects, and measures of variation for all or a subset of the results” are important components of research by which absolute transparency would benefit (p. 1149). The specialized vocabulary and formal tone used by the authors in this article suggest that they intend to address an audience of their peers and those involved in scientific inquiry to announce their perspective on effective research methods and categorical conveyance of results. Although Parker et al. use citations to illustrate their objective in this article, they are providing their point of view and arguing its merit. This confirms that despite formal tone, citations, and specialized vocabulary, an opinion is being presented and the genre of the publication is indeed an editorial. The lead author of this piece, T.H. Parker, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Whitman College. Parker has also authored “Apparent Survival Estimates for Five Species of Tropical Birds in an Endangered Forest Habitat in Western Ecuador” (2006), and “Promoting Transparency in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology” (2016). Parker’s credentials and publications demonstrate his credibility as a contributing member of the conservation biology discourse community and justify the consideration of his ideas and research.  

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