First articles of Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) are online

Editorial provided by Jürgen Dengler

Vegetation Classification and Survey, the latest academic journal by the International Association for Vegetation Science, is officially launched with the publication of six research papers, accompanied by an inaugural Editorial, explaining the mission and key features of the novel scholarly outlet. Published by Pensoft on the scholarly platform ARPHA, the gold open access journal focuses on vegetation survey and classification at any organisational and spatial scale and has no restrictions on methodological approaches. Moreover, it has Permanent Collections on ecoinformatics and phytosociological nomenclature.

In the Editorial, the four Chief Editors, Florian Jansen, Idoia Biurrun, Jürgen Dengler and Wolfgang Willner, address the advantages and challenges of open access (OA) and share the ways VCS will handle those. They do not agree with the naïve view that with “gold open access” everything is good in scientific publishing, just because the published content is freely accessible to anybody. Instead, they acknowledge that article processing charges (APCs) put barriers to many authors, not only from developing countries, to publish their good results, whereas the Gold OA business model, in general, might incentivise quantity over quality. They emphasize that a fundamental change in the attitude of science funders is needed to overcome the drawbacks of current gold OA implementations. Meanwhile, VCS through the ownership and control by IAVS ensures high scientific standards and low APCs with considerable discounts for all those with financial constraints. Read more at

Together with the Editorial, the first six research papers are published, coming from five different continents and thus proofing the international profile of the journal:

Tang et al.: Forest characteristics, population structure and growth trends of Pinus yunnanensis in Tianchi National Nature Reserve of Yunnan, southwestern China.

Abutaha et al.: Plant communities and their environmental drivers on an arid mountain, Gebel Elba, Egypt. and accompanying Plain language summary

Hunter & Hunter: Montane mire vegetation of the New England Tablelands Bioregion of Eastern Australia.

Zervas et al.: A phytosociological survey of aquatic vegetation in the main freshwater lakes of Greece.

Attorre et al.: Finite Mixture Model based classification of a complex vegetation system using a large dataset.

Zeballos et al. The lowland seasonally dry subtropical forests in central Argentina: vegetation types and a call for conservation. and accompanying Plain language summary