Call for papers: Focus Collection on “Environmental Research Infrastructures: new scientific capabilities to address global challenges?”

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This Focus Collection (special issue), with guest-coeditors Francisco Bonet-García (LifeWatch, LTER), Hank Loescher (NEON), Philippe Ciais (ICOS), Tina Dohna (Marum), Dario Papale (ICOS), Michael Mirtl (LTER) and others to be defined, is oriented to environmental global challenges and research infrastructures. It will be published in the journal: Environmental Research Letters (I.F. 2016: 4.04).

In this Focus Collection, global environmental challenges and the emergent scientific and technological capabilities of environmental research infrastructures will be highlighted. Our aim is to describe how the science provided by international research infrastructures is helping to address some of the most significant environmental global challenges which humanity currently faces. We are looking for cooperative and interdisciplinary contributions that put together ideas from ecology, biogeochemistry, Earth science or social sciences to describe the role of research infrastructures addressing global challenges. We aim to promote the knowledge transfer among domains (consilience), helping to permeate the borders of scientific disciplines. Focal areas of interest for this collection include, but are not limited to, challenges such as: coral bleaching, plastic debris in the oceans, alterations of biogeochemical cycles, impacts on biodiversity, geohazards and extreme events, emergent pollutants, human impact on coastal areas or global urbanization process.

Paper proposals, as extended abstracts, are to be submitted to the guest editors by 5 September 2017.

Selection of Manuscripts

In order to assess suitability and relevance of manuscripts as contributions for the focus collection, we first request proposals as extended abstracts. These should include a tentative manuscript title, an author list with contact information, rationale of the paper and provisional key conclusions. The extended abstract should not exceed one page and is to be submitted to the guest editors via email at by 5 September 2017 (midnight CET). A response on selected manuscripts will be communicated by 1 October 2017, with instructions for next steps.


The review process will be done through ERL review website and follow the general guidelines as all publications of this journal.

Types of manuscripts

For this Focus Collection, all ERL types or articles will be considered. Please read carefully ERL key information before submission.


  • Due date for extended abstracts (paper proposals): 5 September 2017
  • Response on selected paper proposals: 1 October 2017
  • Final manuscripts due: 12 February 2018
  • Comments back to authors: 10 March 2018
  • Final, revised papers due: 20 April 2018
  • Publication: continuous publishing when ready

Potential paper topics

In order to explore environmental global challenges and research infrastructures’ role in them, we encourage contributions addressing the following issues:

  • Are research infrastructures ready to address global environmental challenges?

New monitoring approaches, techniques to foster data integration, new threads to collaborate, guidelines for the construction of new research infrastructures, etc.

  • Cooperation on the move

Descriptions of successful examples of cooperation among international research infrastructures. We call here for research in multidomain research on specific aspects of global challenges involving international research infrastructures.

Candidates should send a one-page proposal to by 5 September 2017. We look forward to your contributions!

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