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The journal should be essential reading for researchers interested in the relationships between organisms and the environment from both practical (applied) and fundamental perspectives. There is considerable flexibility in the types of articles that we publish, which include original experimental work, reviews, data papers, opinion pieces and commentaries (either as full papers or short communications) as well as book reviews and meeting reports. We particularly encourage submissions from early-stage researchers and practitioners that may be publishing a scientific paper for the first time.

Biology and Environment (B&E) is owned, managed and published by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). By publishing in B&E, authors indirectly support membership and networking activities of the RIA. In doing so, they provide two types of benefits to the scientific community: first, by advancing knowledge through the publication of new research, and second, by supporting numerous activities run by the RIA that strengthen the scientific community in Ireland. For enquiries and further information please contact

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Edited by Professor Bruce Osborne

Print ISSN: 0791-7945
Online ISSN: 2009-003X
Frequency: 1 Volume, 3 Issues/Year



biology and einvironment cover

Free compilation of all Praeger Reviews published in Biology and Environment

In 2010, Biology and Environment published the first in its series of ‘Praeger Reviews’, commissioned articles written by international experts that focus on biological and environmental research topics. A free online supplement gathering together all Praeger Reviews published to date is free to download here.

Subscription information

Institutional subscriptions available via Project MUSE. Please email

Individual 1 year subscription available here

To purchase individual hardcopy issues contact

Submission Instructions and Guidelines for Authors

The journal aims to offer a broad coverage of the subject area, including the following:

  • biology and ecology of the Irish flora and fauna
  • microbial ecology
  • animal, plant and environmental physiology
  • global change
  • palaeoecology and palaeoclimatology
  • population biology; conservation of genetic resources
  • pollution and environmental quality; ecotoxicology
  • environmental management
  • hydrology
  • land use, agriculture, soils and environment

Submissions on other relevant topics are also welcome, and papers of a cross-disciplinary nature are particularly encouraged.

It is recommended that authors consult the style guidelines, which are available here.

Papers should be submitted via Manuscript Manager – submit your manuscript here

Editorial policy is flexible as regards the nature of the papers considered for publication, which fall into the following categories:

  • Full papers (not normally exceeding 10,000 words);
  • Short communications (not normally exceeding 3,000 words);
  • Data papers (2,000–3,000 words). A data paper is a searchable metadata document, describing a particular dataset or a group of datasets, published in the form of a short article. Unlike a conventional research article, the primary purpose of a data paper is to describe data and the circumstances of their collection, rather than to report hypotheses and conclusions;
  • Forum papers (2,000–3,000 words) presenting new ideas, opinions or responses to published material;
  • Review papers (not normally exceeding 10,000 words) on topical subjects of general interest;
  • Special issues (not normally exceeding 70 printed pages) of papers on a particular theme.

Proposals for review papers, forum papers or special issues are to be put to the editors for approval before submission of typescripts. Papers are accepted on the understanding that their contents have not been published, or submitted for publication, elsewhere.

Papers may be submitted by members or non-members of the Academy.

Please note: Lines must be numbered consecutively. All line numbers should be provided on the left margin of the page, and each and every line should be numbered. Please number all pages continuously and do not restart the line numbering on each page. You may add line numbers in Microsoft Word by clicking on ‘File’, select ‘Page setup’, select the ‘Layout’ tab, click on the ‘Line Numbering’ button, check the ‘Add Line Numbering’ box, and select ‘Continuous’.

Full research papers should normally be structured as follows:

  1. Title page to include title; name(s) of author(s) and affiliation(s); up to six key words; name, postal address, e-mail address if available, telephone and fax numbers of corresponding author. Hyperlinks to personal or institutional websites can be included.
  2. Abstract (not exceeding 200 words) to provide a concise statement of the scope and principal findings of the work.
  3. Introduction to contain a clear outline of the rationale for the work and to describe the essential background information.
  4. Materials and methods to provide concise and sufficient information to allow the work to be repeated. Taxonomic affiliation and authority should be given at the first mention of a species in the text.
  5. Results to be concise, to avoid repetition of data presented in tables and figures but not to include material appropriate to the discussion.
  6. Discussion to highlight the significance of the results (rather than repeating them) and place them in the context of other work.
  7. Acknowledgements (optional)

On separate sheets

8. References listed in alphabetical order, based on the following examples (but indicating page and date spans with an en-dash, not a hyphen).

  • Bagenal, T.B.  1974  The ageing of fish. Surrey. Unwin Brothers.
  • Foss, P.J., Doyle, G.J. and Nelson, E.C.  1987  The distribution of Erica erigena R. Ross in Ireland. Watsonia 16, 311-27.
  • Moss, R. and Watson, A.  1985  The adaptive value of spacing behaviour in population cycles of red grouse and other animals. In R.M. Sibly and R.H. Smith (eds), Behavioural ecology, 275-94. Oxford. Blackwell Scientific Publications.
  • Sousa, W.P.  1984  The role of disturbance in natural communities. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 15, 353-91.

Multiple publications by an author in the same year should be distinguished alphabetically, e.g. (Bagenal 1974a).

Hyperlinks to papers in the reference list can be included.

9. Tables headed by descriptive legends that make their general meaning understandable without reference to the text.

Figure and plate legends.

10. Illustrations.

Figures and plates should be numbered in separate sequences.

Each illustration should be in a separate file and should be named Fig. 1, Pl. I etc., as appropriate.

Captions should be listed separately in a word document.

Please provide electronic versions of illustrations as .jpg/tiff/eps/ai files

Illustrations should be at the final printing size (i.e. 150mm wide for two-column illustrations and 72mm wide for one-column illustrations).

Please supply images at a minimum resolution as follows:

600dpi for lineart images.

300dpi for grayscale or colour images.

The format of other contributions will vary. Short communications will not normally exceed 3000 words; forum papers should be 2000-3000 words, and review papers should not normally exceed 10,000 words. Authors are recommended to approach the editors before submitting review papers and opinion articles.

Each paper will normally be reviewed by two referees, who will be requested to assess the scientific merit of the work and, if appropriate, suggest ways in which it may be improved. Ethical considerations may be taken into account and the editors’ decision on acceptance of papers is final. The review procedure will not normally take more than ten weeks. Authors may suggest names of possible referees when submitting a paper. Please provide full contact details for any referees suggested.

Acceptance of papers in Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy is on the understanding that they have not been published, submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere, and that they will, if accepted, become the copyright of the journal. If, due to funding reasons, a paper or report has appeared in some form previously, a disclosure of this fact should be made with submission.

Proofs will be sent to authors for checking and must be returned to the Academy within seven days of receipt.

Subventions to defray publication costs should be sought by authors in a position to obtain them. The Academy gratefully acknowledges subventions from the following institutions towards the publication costs of papers by members of their staff: Teagasc; Environmental Protection Agency; National University of Ireland, Cork; National University of Ireland, Dublin; National University of Ireland, Galway; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Trinity College, Dublin.

Now incorporating Tearmann: The Irish Journal of Agri-environmental  Research.

Publication ethics

Authors submitting papers to an Academy journal should ensure that

  • they adhere to all research ethics guidelines of their discipline, particularly where human or animal subjects are involved
  • they contact the Editor to identify and correct any material errors upon discovery, whether prior or subsequent to publication of their work
  • authorship of the paper is accurately represented, including ensuring that all individuals credited as authors participated in the actual authorship of the work, and that all who participated are credited and have given consent for publication

Submissions to the journal are assessed using plagiarism-check software.

ORCID Number

When submitting your paper to one of the Academy’s journals, please include your ORCID number. An ORCID Number (Open Researcher and Contributor Identification Number) is a non-proprietary alphanumeric code used to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and contributors. It is used to address the issues that a particular author’s contributions to the scientific literature or publications in the humanities can be hard to recognise based solely on names, especially as inconsistent spelling and different writing systems can hinder this further. It provides a persistent identity for humans, similar to that created for content-related entities on digital networks by DOIs. An ORCID Number is a way of ensuring that all of your research is linked identifiably to you.

If you do not have an ORCID number, registration for an ORCID number is a quick and easy process, and can be completed here: We are also happy to answer any questions you have regarding this, or to give you support you in registering for one should you need it.

Open access

The Royal Irish Academy is committed to the dissemination of scholarship. To that end, it endorses the principles of open access, and is committed to work with and to assist authors and investigators make known their research findings in RIA publications.

The RIA aspires to pursue Green Access as a basic access model. We also participate in JSTOR’s register and read programme which allows individuals to read up to 78 articles a year without charge.

Authors can archive a post-print version of their paper, once the journal in which it appears is published.  We request that authors give the citation to the source and link to it. We can supply a DOI to make this linking easier.

Gold Access

There is no submission or publication fee for papers published in the Academy’s journals. However, Open Access brings with it a cost implication. To maximise access to original research, authors now have the option to make their papers freely available from the time of online publication, on payment of an open access charge (APC), which varies based on the size, content and complexity of the article. If an author wishes to take up this option, contact the Publications Office once a paper has been accepted for publication. For such papers, the final published version may be deposited in repositories immediately.

Funder mandates

The Royal Irish Academy will help authors  meet your funders’ mandates on access and licensing. Contact the Publications Office to discuss requirements once an article has been accepted.

Data Protection

When submitting to one of our journals you agree for the Royal Irish Academy Publications department to store and use your data. For more information on how your data is used see our Privacy and Data Protection policies, and the Publications Transparency Statement.