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About the Journal

Journal of Plankton Research publishes innovative papers that significantly advance the field of plankton research, and in particular our understanding of the wider role of plankton in ecosystem dynamics, ecology and evolution.

Hypothesis-driven work is particularly welcomed; purely descriptive or confirmatory papers will generally not be considered. Region-specific findings should be set in a broad general context that advances scientific understanding. Investigations carried out using interdisciplinary methods are particularly encouraged.

JPR seeks to publish the highest quality scientific papers, with rapid publication, and with high standards of technical presentation.

David Cushing Prize
The prize honours the memory of David Cushing, Founding Editor of Journal of Plankton Research. It is awarded annually for the best paper by an early career stage scientist published in the journal during the previous year, where the first author is aged 30 or younger. The value of the prize is £300/$465. The name of the award winner will be published in the journal and on the web-site, and the winning paper will be made freely available online. Self-nomination is available as part of the online submission procedure. It is hoped that this prize will help to foster the interesting and high quality papers by young scientists that David Cushing so actively supported and that it will be a lasting legacy to the enormous contribution of the Founding Editor.

To see this year’s prize winner and a list of past winners click here.

Categories of papers
The Journal of Plankton Research publishes papers in each of the following five categories:

  • Original articles - traditional research papers of significance and broad interest to the field of plankton research. Text not normally exceeding 7000 words. Max. 12 printed pages inclusive of text, appropriate references, figs, and tables.
  • Horizons articles* - topical and provocative reviews; Manuscripts for consideration should be short, approximately 2500 words. Max. 8 printed pages inclusive of text, appropriate references, figs, and tables.
  • Review articles – more comprehensive reviews and syntheses on topics of wide general interest within plankton research. Potential authors are advised to contact the Editor regarding topic and proposed length.
  • Responses -comments on, or replies to published papers, particularly Horizons articles, are actively encouraged. They should be submitted within 6 months of appearance in the Journal of Plankton Research; approximately 500 words. Max. 2 printed pages.

*The aim of "Horizons" is to be somewhat provocative, to set hypotheses and to suggest methods for testing them. Based on a concise review of the current issues in a particular field of plankton research, the intention is to stimulate new research and to indicate new directions. Short comments on 'Horizons' articles are encouraged. For examples of recent “Horizons” articles see: Horizons Articles.

Journal of Plankton Research also publishes “Themed Clusters” of papers and occasional Special Issues on appropriate topical themes. These may be based on submissions at special sessions at scientific meetings or workshops. For example, “Themed Section: The Continuous Plankton Recorder - towards a global perspective”, J. Plankton Res., 32: 619 - 1713 and “A century of work on Oxyrrhis marina, a re-emerging model protist”, J. Plankton Res., 33: 549 - 675.

Please contact the Editor-in-Chief with proposals for themed clusters of papers or potential Special Issues.


Year Impact Factor Si: Marine & Freshwater Biology Si: Oceanography
2015 2.150 27 out of 103 18 out of 61
2014 2.407 21 out of 102 15 out of 61
2013 2.263 28 out of 102 17 out of 58
2012 2.435 19 out of 100 15 out of 60
2011 2.079 27 out of 97 20 out of 59
2010 1.749 33 out of 92 22 out of 59
2009 1.612 31 out of 88 22 out of 56
2008 1.707 29 out of 87 20 out of 50
2007 1.897 23 out of 86 16 out of 50
2006 1.617 25 out of 79 17 out of 48

This information is taken from the Journal Citation Reports, published annually as part of the Science Citation Index by ISI.


The Journal of Plankton Research is covered by the following major indexing services:

Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts
Biological Abstracts
Biological and Agricultural Index
BIOSIS Previews
CAB Abstracts
Current Contents® /Agriculture, Biology, and Environmental Sciences
Ecology Abstracts
Elsevier BIOBASE - Current Awareness in Biological Sciences (CABS)
Global Health
Journal Citation Reports /Science Edition
Oceanic Abstracts
Oceanographic Literature Review
Protozoological Abstracts
Science Citation Index Expanded
Zoological Record

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