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Analyses

Peer-reviewed. 2,500-7,500 words excluding references; up to eight figures or tables.

Analyses summarize a voluminous contribution, such as a report or a book, and provide a critical analysis of its content, methodology and conclusions, noting points of consensus or contention within scientific communities. Articles must be accessible and relevant to those working in other disciplines.

Example: The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change: contents, insights and assessment of the critical debate

Comment

Not peer-reviewed. Fewer than 1500 words excluding references; up to one figure or table; up to ten references. No abstract.

Comments present a discussion of a book or an article that has already been published (either in S.A.P.I.EN.S or elsewhere). The “comment” article should elicit the salient features, re-tell them in a way that is understandable to a non-specialist audience, and highlight the importance of this information to other disciplines, if possible suggesting future avenues of research that may draw on the information.

Disambiguation

Peer-reviewed. Fewer than 5,000 words excluding references; up to five figures or tables.

Depending on context or discipline, a single word may refer to numerous different phenomena. Disambiguations define and illustrate the different meanings of such polysemantic terms.

Example: What is the Price of Carbon? Five definitions

Initiatives

Peer-reviewed. Fewer than 5,000 words excluding references; up to three figures or tables.

Initiatives present an innovative program or organisation that has been implemented to address a key sustainability issue. These articles should present the issue, the rationale for undertaking such an endeavor and its expected outcomes. Authors are encouraged to discuss any potential pitfalls and limitations of the initiative.

Example: China’s Urban Energy Challenge

Introductions

Peer-reviewed. Fewer than 5,000 words excluding references; up to three figures or tables.

Introductions relate a pioneering intellectual trajectory and analyze its influence on contemporary research. These articles may present the seminal work of an individual, a research team or a school of thought. The context and significance of key theories, operative concepts and/or crucial experiments should be described.

Example: Darwinian Storied Residence. An introduction to the Work of Holmes Rolston III

Methods

Peer-reviewed. Fewer than 5,000 words excluding references; up to eight figures or tables.

These articles describe how recent technical and methodological developments have modified the way research is conducted in a particular area of research and/or hold potential for other disciplines. A description of the method must be illustrated by its application(s) to an important scientific issue and its performance should be compared to other available approaches. Potential applications in other disciplines should be described.

Example: 3D Dynamic Representation for Urban Sprawl Modelling: Example of India’s Delhi-Mumbai corridor

Perspectives

Peer-reviewed. Fewer than 5,000 words excluding references; up to three figures or tables.

Perspectives provide insight on the future of a particular scientific research area. These articles typically present imminent groundbreaking research, new hypotheses or speculation. Personal opinion is encouraged as long as distinction from or convergence with generally accepted views is clearly articulated.

Example: Safety standards: An urgent need for Evidence-Based Regulation

Surveys

Peer-reviewed. 2,500-7,500 words excluding references; up to eight figures or tables.

Surveys are in-depth reviews of the literature on a particular topic that present: (i) major discoveries and recent advances; (ii) significant gaps and uncertainties; (iii) current debates; (iv) future directions for research. Cross-disciplinary comparisons of concepts are eligible. Surveys must not only summarize advances in a field, but must do so in a way that is both accessible and relevant to those working in other disciplines. Brevity is strongly encouraged.

Example: Sustainable development indicators: a scientific challenge, a democratic issue

Views

Not peer-reviewed. Fewer than 2,500 words excluding references; up to two figures or tables; up to ten references. No abstract.

Views are brief, visionary articles that present issues and/or approaches from a highly integrative perspective. Views may describe holistic approaches to multidisciplinary problems; may compare the efficacy of a given approach under different scenarios; or may be somewhat speculative, for example predicting benefits and impacts of new technologies. The style should be informative, clear, concise and entertaining, more similar to a science magazine article than a traditional scientific paper. Views are edited in-house and are not peer-reviewed, although editors may ask colleagues for advice and guidance.


Example:
Cities are at the center of our environmental future

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