Marco Malavasi (on behalf of the IAVS Young Scientists Section)
During the 61st Symposium of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) in Perth (2014, Australia), a bunch of young vegetation scientists came together moved by the need to share their research experience and start new potential collaborations. Nowadays, thanks to the effort of its members and the support of the IAVS community, the IAVS Young Scientists are an official section of the IAVS, by now including more than 160 members, governed by bylaws and led by a steering committee.
“Young Scientists” are loosely defined as those persons who are at an early stage in their career in Vegetation Science, regardless of age or enrolment status at a university. Among its purposes, this section aims at promoting the connectivity between young scientists of the IAVS, creating a network to improve personal and scientific communication, encouraging young people to present their achievements and research, and exchanging experiences and initiatives. This is particularly needed in the current academic systems, where young scientists are facing harsh and competitive conditions, with bibliometric parameters being overemphasized and societal relevance being undervalued (Dijstelbloem et al. 2013).
Accordingly, four years after the section establishment, a Virtual Special Issue has been assembled to commemorate IAVS young and emerging scientists from around the world. Such Issue compiles seventeen papers written by the IAVS Young Scientists as the first authors and published in both the Journal of Vegetation Science and Applied Vegetation Science since 2014.
We hope that this Virtual Special Issue will serve as support for young vegetation scientists. If you wish to join the section, please do so by contacting us. Everyone is welcome to join (http://iavs.org/Working-Groups/Young-Scientists.aspx).
Links to Virtual Species Issues:
Dijstelbloem, H., Huisman, F., Mijnhardt, W. & Miedema, F. (2013). Science in Transition, available at http://www.scienceintransition.nl/english