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Environmental Sciences | Aims and Scope: Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

Aims and Scope: Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

The Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (BECT) is a peer-reviewed journal that offers rapid review and publication.  Accepted submissions will be presented as clear, concise reports of current research for a readership concerned with environmental contamination and toxicology. Scientific quality and clarity are paramount.

Articles suitable for inclusion in BECT should be short.  Complete manuscripts, including title, authors/affiliations, abstract, text, figures, tables and references, must not exceed 8 pages (single spaced, 12 point font, 2.54 cm margins).  Single panel Figures are typically equivalent to a half page and multi-panel Figures are equivalent to a full page. Tables will be assessed for size as they are presented in the submission. To facilitate evaluation of page size and formatting requirements, Figures and Tables should be incorporated into the document in a fully legible format and in a size equivalent to final publication. All manuscripts must be prepared and submitted in accordance with "Instructions for Authors".  BECT does not have the capacity to publish Supplementary Information, so manuscripts must be complete in the submitted form.

Research papers that present a variation, extension, or confirmation of topics which have already been extensively studied or are not considered to be of immediate interest to readers will be returned. BECT will not accept a series of short papers on the same or closely related topics. Review articles, abstracts, and archival papers will not be accepted for publication.

Manuscripts are expected to address one or more of the following themes:

Analytical Methodology. The editors welcome manuscripts on innovative analytical methods pertaining to chemicals of environmental interest. It is imperative that any new technique be compared with older techniques. Manuscripts describing methods that are simply repeats of older methods with a different substrate will be considered, but the onus will be on the author to explain the innovative aspects of the method.  Manuscripts presenting methods for compounds for which analytical methods have been standardized and for which copious data are available will not be considered for publication, unless the new method can be demonstrated to have clear advantages associated with economy, improved performance, and/or reductions in waste or the use of hazardous substances. Descriptions of new methods, procedures or techniques must be sufficiently detailed to permit their adoption in other laboratories. All reports of new methods must characterize analytical precision and accuracy, recoveries (in the case of extraction or pre-concentration techniques), limits of detection and quantitation, and the operating parameters used with analytical instrumentation. 

Analytical methods studies are rejected at a high rate because many of the submitted manuscripts do not significantly improve an existing method.

Environmental Distribution. Environmental distribution studies document the concentrations of chemicals in environmental media.  The editors welcome submission of studies that demonstrate how chemicals partition between environmental media in natural and anthropogenically altered environments.  Manuscripts of this type should have a clear sampling design that addresses the study objectives.  BECT will not accept papers that simply document concentrations of chemicals in the environment with limited interpretation, such as the presentation of temporal monitoring data. Note that dissipation studies should consider the potential fate of studied chemical(s) into surrounding environmental media instead of just reporting simple dissipation measurements and discussing potential human exposure. The focus of these studies should include characterizing spatial or temporal patterns of contamination, the transfer and fate of contaminants and/or characterizing exposures to chemicals in various media. All studies must have a clear and testable hypothesis that informs the sampling design. Data interpretation must use appropriate statistical techniques.  Studies linking model outputs with empirical data (i.e. model calibration or validation) are welcome.  All papers reporting chemical concentrations must specify the QA/QC procedures used, the analytical limits of detection and quantitation and the operating parameters of analytical instrumentation. The latest measurement techniques using chemical-specific separation and detection are expected.

Exposure, Bioaccumulation and Risk Assessment.  BECT invites submissions of papers with the objective of characterizing and quantifying chemical exposures in humans and wildlife.   Papers in this theme should characterize variations in chemical concentrations in environmental media (air, water, food) and provide linkages to exposure thresholds such as tolerable daily intakes, predicted no effect concentrations, environmental quality guidelines or relevant toxicological information used for hazard/risk assessment.  Bioaccumulation studies may involve calibration of toxicokinetic parameters, model development or empirical descriptions of chemical movement in organisms and/or biological food webs.  As in the case of papers with an environmental distribution theme, all manuscripts reporting concentrations must report QA/QC procedures, limits of detection and quantitation and the operating parameters for analytical instrumentation.  The experimental design and objective must be clear and the data must be interpreted using appropriate statistical methods.

Toxicology Studies.  Toxicology studies uncover the mode of action of chemicals at all levels of biological organization (i.e. biochemical, cellular, tissue, whole organism, population, community).  BECT welcomes toxicology studies using in vitro techniques, molecular techniques, toxicogenomics, tissue pathology, model organisms and non-traditional laboratory organisms.  Toxicology studies that are human-focused or use rodent models exclusively for human risk analysis and epidemiology studies are best submitted elsewhere. Toxicology studies should involve appropriate controls (including positive controls), treatments with multiple doses or concentrations and should be interpreted using appropriate statistical methods. Manuscripts will not be accepted if test doses or concentrations in exposure media or within the exposed organisms are not confirmed analytically.  Additionally, papers will not be accepted if they do not represent environmentally realistic dosages.

Wildlife Toxicology. Wildlife toxicology includes studies on the effects of environmental pollutants on populations of organisms. Where appropriate, experimental designs must be replicated, use appropriate controls or reference sites and be interpreted using the appropriate statistical analyses. Non-replicated experiments will be considered only in the case of endangered species involving post-mortem examination for cause of death or contaminant status. Biological end points may include biomarker responses, endocrine effects, immunotoxicity, genotoxicity or integrative effects on growth, reproduction, behavior, deformities or mortality.  Studies on epizootics are encouraged where clear linkages between biological effects and chemical pollutants can be established.