ISLE, ASLE’s flagship journal of ecocritical research and environmental writing, has been published since 1993. For sixteen years the journal appeared only in traditional paper format. When ASLE joined forces with Oxford University Press (OUP) in 2008, the back issues of ISLE were scanned and made available in an online archive, and all issues since 2009 have been published in a combined print and online format. At present, there are 77 issues of ISLE available online, including the most recent: issue 27.2/Spring 2020.
We are pleased to announce that ISLE is evolving toward an online-only format that is in keeping with ASLE’s environmental ethos. The journal will continue to appear in both paper and online formats through 2020 (volume 27). Beginning in 2021, OUP will publish only an online version of ISLE. This will save a tremendous amount of paper and ink, by avoiding the cost of printing thousands of copies and shipping them around the world to subscribers. Indeed, many of our members have already chosen this option for sustainability and portability reasons.
Another benefit to members will be in volume of content: strict page limits will disappear in this format, allowing us to publish more articles per issue. ASLE will also receive a positive financial boost from the publishing changes to the journal and will be able to invest in other valuable projects, such as symposia and subvention and translation grants. This shift to online-only will make the journal, and our organization, more sustainable in multiple ways.
Many ASLE researchers already rely primarily on the electronic version of ISLE while searching for particular articles or topics, so we anticipate the transition to online-only in 2021 will not disrupt scholarly activity. While some users may miss having additional green-brown-red-blue “Earth tones” on their bookshelves in future years, these same loyal readers may be happy to avoid sore backs caused by lugging around even more heavy back issues when moving!