Nature Research welcomed their first social science editor in 2011, inspired by the recognition that addressing the pressing societal challenges of climate change will require integrating scientific and technological development with an ever greater understanding of the underpinnings of human behaviour and the structures and dynamics of human societies. Nature Climate Change now boasts a strong body of papers in psychology, economics, sociology, political science, and anthropology that sit alongside papers in the natural sciences and broaden the scope and interest for the wider community. Now, Nature Research has set a course towards substantially expanding social science content in our journals, with editors from backgrounds in psychology, economics, policy, political science, and sociology joining teams of physical and life science editors at Nature Energy, Nature Plants, and Nature Sustainability. The launch of Nature Human Behaviour in 2017, and the growth of our social science editorial team at Nature Communications in 2018, provide venues for an even broader spread of research topics and a wider range of publishing options.
Social science disciplines have strong identities, and often favour different research methods and approaches. Research traditions within the same field can also vary significantly, going from qualitative, interpretative research methods to deductive-quantitative approaches. Researchers from each field typically publish in their own journals, operate through their own societies and attend their own conferences. Our goal is to provide outlets that serve all of these communities, within the same pages, because we believe that when academics transcend traditional discipline boundaries, their research outputs can be richer and more impactful.
I am delighted to take these efforts one step further with our Behavioural and Social Sciences online community, which we hope will serve as a forum for sharing and discussing ideas and opinions across the behavioural and social sciences landscape. The community is open to anyone to join, and all members can blog, post videos and images, and comment. We hope that potential authors will find the Resources about our journals, policies, and the publication process helpful, and that our Research Digests and Behind the Paper posts help readers keep up with the exciting science we're publishing (and the "true story" behind it). Most importantly, this is a space where our behavioural and social science editors get to interact with authors and readers in an informal and immediate way - we want to hear from you about how we're doing, and how we can do better. So please share you thoughts in our Dialogues channel, let us know about your conference travel in On the Road, and comment on the posts from our editors and each other.
We look forward to hearing and learning from you.