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Research, Policy and Practice

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COVID-19 and impact on peer review: As a result of the significant disruption that is being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we are very aware that many researchers will have difficulty in meeting the timelines associated with our peer review process during normal times.  Please do let us know if you need additional time. Our systems will continue to remind you of the original timelines but we intend to be highly flexible at this time.


Pastoralism is now in ESCI

Emerging Sources Citation Index is a new edition in Web of Science Core Collection - part of ​​​​​​​Clarivate Analytics. ESCI is a multidisciplinary Citation Index covering all areas of the scholarly literature of the sciences, social sciences and arts & humanities. The selection process for ESCI is related to the process applied to SCIE, SSCI and AHCI. Journals accepted for coverage in ESCI must be peer reviewed, follow ethical publishing practices, meet our technical requirements, have English language bibliographic information, and be recommended or requested by a scholarly audience of Web of Science users.

Article publishing charges, waivers and sponsorships

Open access publishing is not without costs. Pastoralism therefore levies an article-processing charge (APC) of £865/$1355/€1105 for each article accepted for publication. Pastoralism can waive the APC for a number of articles at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. More information about APCs, memberships and waiver programs can be found here.

Editor's featured article

Livestock mobility in sub-Saharan Africa: A critical review

By Matthew D. Turner, University of Madison-Wisconsin & Eva Schlecht, University of Kassel and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Pastoralism volume 9, Article number: 13 (2019) 

Livestock mobility is a term increasingly mentioned in pastoral studies, rangeland ecology, and discussions on social dimensions of climate change and conservation. Recently, the logics of livestock mobility have been more appreciated by observers, while uncertainties persist of what it means and how it could be measured. Unexamined associations link livestock mobility with features of pastoral cultures, ecologies, and institutions. This review of the published measurements of mobility in sub-Saharan Africa shows the wide range of mobility patterns practiced by those following a pastoral livelihood. Despite growing barriers and a changing set of incentives facing herders, their movement decisions are still strongly inclined to improve the health and nutritional status of their animals, while maintaining necessary access to markets and avoiding crop damage and areas of insecurity. In short, mobility is not a way of life but results from a succession of decisions shaped by the benefits and costs of mobility. This questions the facile association of mobility with pastoralism.

The review finds that grazing mobilities are more constrained, and travel mobilities are more predictable than is invoked in the imaginaries of non-equilibrium systems and flexible movements. Only at intermediate spatial scales can travel movements be unpredictable in direction and distance -  but pastoralists can only be seen as “chasing rain clouds” within constrained geographies, as they  face not only variabilities but also regularities. 

Pastoralists’ priorities set them apart from other major interests involved in conservation and development in pastoral regions. Without an explicit recognition of these differences and a refined vocabulary about livestock mobility, livestock productivity in extensive systems will stagnate and mobility, no matter how it is measured, will decline.

Aims and scope

Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice investigates extensive livestock production systems throughout the world from a variety of disciplinary perspectives across the biophysical, social and economic sciences. The journal publishes research, reviews, reports and commentaries that influence public policy on the rangelands and livestock on which pastoralists rely for their livelihoods. These studies are not applied in the traditional sense, but through publishing basic research in this field Pastoralism acts as a forum for sharing information between scientists, policy makers and practitioners, with the aim of improving the welfare of pastoralists and better conserving the environments in which they live and the livestock upon which they rely.

The journal was founded in 2009 by Roy Behnke and Carol Kerven, social anthropologists who have each worked for forty years in pastoral and rangeland research and development in many countries. Carol is the Editor-in-Chief and Roy is the Book Review editor.

Editor's quote

Raising domesticated livestock on extensive pastures is one of the oldest human adaptations as a system of provisioning and land use. More than 40% of the earth's land area is still used as grazing land, by peoples from the tropics to the sub-Arctic, and include ranchers, nomads and farmers. The Pastoralism Journal is the only platform focused on the extensive land use of livestock-dependent production systems, covering biophysical, policy, social, economic, technical and cultural issues.

Policies and development programmes for pastoralists and their environments need to be founded on up-to-date, factual and objective information about what is happening, why and where it is happening and on the impacts. While many development agencies publish summaries and syntheses of primary material, the Pastoralism Journal provides open access to primary material upon which syntheses can be reliably based.

All the journal’s papers are free to anyone with internet access anywhere in the world, and the authorship of the journal is highly international, with 120 first authors spread across the world, affiliated to institutions in 38 different countries ranging from Argentina to Yemen.

Carol Kerven, Editor-in-Chief

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Indexing services

  • All articles published in Pastoralism are listed in the following indexing services:

    • SCOPUS
    • CAB Abstracts
    • CAB International
    • DOAJ
    • Global Health
    • OCLC
    • SCImago
    • Summon by Proquest