This is a time of profound and diverse change for everyone, and the scientific community in particular. We are still coming to terms with what this might mean as the situation develops rapidly. The editors at journals such as Nature Ecology & Evolution are making changes to support our research communities and accommodate the alterations in our own routines.
Some of the changes that scientists are experiencing include having to adapt rapidly to online teaching, needing to prioritise childcare and home-schooling, redirecting research efforts towards Covid19-relevant topics, volunteering to help vulnerable people in their communities, attempting to maintain collaborations and essential research management from a distance, readjusting to the prospect of minimal data collection over the coming months, and dealing with the mental stress of isolation and living through this crisis. This will affect different people in different ways, but it is likely that most people will have substantially less time over the coming months to devote to writing and reviewing. That said, there may be some people who have a little more time for data analysis and manuscript writing, at least in the short term, so it is possible that we will experience an increase in submissions.
As editors, we understand that priorities have changed drastically and that we all need to try to get through this together by being as understanding and flexible as possible. We therefore completely understand if commitments you have made need to be altered or abandoned. If possible, we ask that you just keep us updated of any changes. We also ask that authors are patient as we try to juggle our own altered work circumstances and the possible reduction in reviewer availability. We will do our best to take a pragmatic approach and keep the system running, albeit on a reduced basis.
Keep safe and well,