Webbia is going back home


Webbia was born in 1905, from its beginnings revealing its international vocation thanks to milestones of scientific production in Plant Taxonomy and Geography like the contributions of Tropical Botany by Ugolino Martelli — its founder— and by Odoardo Beccari — whose centenary of death is being celebrated this year — which are still admired by specialists of Pandanaceae and Arecaceae. Despite short periods of "scientific provincialism", in recent years Webbia has regained its initial pride by rediscovering its initial vocation, i.e., to be a medium of international scientific communication.

Now a new chapter is opening in Webbia's life: trying to consolidate international visibility, to compete with other prestigious magazines, and to maintain a high level of scientific contents. Not an easy task, indeed a very difficult one. We are aware that the frenzy, or rather compulsive desire to speed up publication of scientific works and the search for bibliometric evaluations conditions scientific research also in the field of Plant Taxonomy, often establishing an uncontrolled competition often at the expense of the quality of the scientific message. For this reason, the experience that is about to begin makes us aware of the responsibility we are taking on. Hence the need to pay even greater attention to the quality of the Peer Review Process in order to obtain mutual benefit.

With this new experience, Webbia, Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography, expands its editorial offer, publishing not only articles, but also introducing specific sections dedicated to Points of Views, Reviews, Letters, Communications, in addition to the possibility of hosting files dedicated to Congresses, Symposia, and celebratory events in general. The aim is to enlarge Webbia’s audience and to stimulate the new generation of Plant Taxonomists.

Moreover, with the new Publisher Webbia becomes Open Access. Authors will be asked for a charge, which is nonetheless modest compared with the charge requested by other open access magazines. Indeed, Florence University Press is a non-profit publisher, among whose declared goals is to make scientific dissemination easy and cheap.

To conclude with, taking into account its history in the botanical publishing scene worldwide, its previous and current diffusion, what awaits Webbia is an increasingly demanding task that, we hope, can be achieved thanks to the attention of those who have supported it so far and those who will join it from now on. Therefore, thanks go to Taylor & Francis, who allowed us to start our challenge in the twenty-first century and improve our expectations and skills, and to those who have believed in us in recent years, showing interest and trust. We are confident that with the professionalism of Florence University Press we will be able to do even better, and improve the role of Webbia in the international scenario of Plant Taxonomy and Geography. A new era is coming up!!!

Riccardo M. Baldini