Mini Reviews provide a new format for brief overviews of trending topics

Sometimes you want to introduce an idea or review a topic that doesn’t support an in-depth review of the literature. Molecular Ecology and Molecular Ecology Resources are introducing a new article format that may be what you’re looking for: Mini Reviews. In a joint editorial published online this week, editors Joanna Freeland, Ben Sibbett, and Loren Rieseberg outline plans for the new format, which will be limited to 3,000 words and two display items. They also suggest some examples of Mini Review topics that might be appropriate for each of the sister journals:

  • A new topic or research area for which there is not yet sufficient data for a full review (MEC).
  • A focused overview of a niche topic (MEC).
  • Best practices for a particular technique or analysis (MER).
  • Emerging techniques that have been adopted relatively recently (MER).
  • Older techniques with novel applications (MER).
  • A novel insight or perspective on a topic that has previously been reviewed (MEC).
  • A connection between two or more topics that have previously been addressed in isolation (MEC).
  • The development of a novel hypothesis that could frame future research (MEC).

The journals will accept unsolicited Mini Review submissions through the usual process — just select the Mini Review format when you’re setting it up in Manuscript Central — but the editors encourage pre-submission inquiries, which can be sent to

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
This entry was posted in community, Molecular Ecology, the journal, science publishing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.