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The Canadian Field-Naturalist

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Canada's most important scientific natural history journal. Continuous publication since 1880.

Established in 1880, The Canadian Field-Naturalist features both articles and notes on original research and observations on the natural history of northern North America (including distribution, faunal analyses, taxonomy, ecology, and behaviour). Issues also include news and comment (Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club annual meetings and awards, tributes and review papers), book review, and new title sections. Since 1984, it has presented edited status reports for individual species designated by the Convention on Species of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

CFN is supported entirely through club membership and subscriptions, page and reprint charges.

The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club (OFNC) was formed in 1879 by scientists from embryonic federal departments, including the Geological Survey and the Dominion Experimental Farm, and leading amateurs. This type of mix remains its strength to this day.

From its early days, the OFNC emphasized publication. For 7 years beginning in 1880, it issued the Transactions of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club annually. With volume 2 in 1887, the transactions became a subtitle of volume 1 of The Ottawa Naturalist, a monthly publication. With volume 3 of The Ottawa Naturalist in 1889 the emphasis changed from local members' reports to national ones, and in 1919 the journal was renamed The Canadian Field-Naturalist (starting with volume 33 which was volume 35 of the Transactions but this subtitle was subsequently dropped).

The number of issues per year was gradually reduced from 12 to 9 to 6 and eventually to 4, the latter beginning with volume 67 in 1953. However, the number of pages increased reaching a record high in 1988 (volume 102) of 798 pages. Since 1967, the OFNC has published a separate natural history journal for the Ottawa area: Trail & Landscape, now also issued four times a year.

Submissions to The Canadian Field-Naturalist and its predecessors have always been peer reviewed, first by Publishing Committee, later sub-editors, then assistant editors. In 1885, the designation associate editors was adopted. Currently, most submissions also go to at least one additional reviewer.

Associate editors are listed in every issue and, since 1982, additional reviewers have been acknowledged annually in the Editor's Report. A formal publication policy was published in The Canadian Field-Naturalist 97(2): 231-234. "Advice for Contributors" is published in one or more issues annually.

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This page was revised on 19 February 2009
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