Phil Burton is now one of two editors of the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. On the table in front of him is a copy of the journal.

UNBC professor spearheads journal

Phil Burton, a botanist by training, teaches in Terrace, B.C. and specializes in forest ecology

A University of Northern BC (UNBC) professor based in Terrace is now one of two editors of the monthly scholarly journal Canadian Journal of Forest Research.

Phil Burton, a botanist by training, teaches in Terrace and specializes in forest ecology in addition to duties here as a program administrator for the university.

This is a volunteer position and Burton’s been one of 47 associate editors of the journal, all also volunteers, since 2011.

Between them, the editors pour over approximately 500 submissions a year with 15 published each month.

It’s now Burton’s job, along with the other co-editor, to forward submissions to the right associate editor who has expertise to deal with a submission’s topic.

But first I would check it over to ensure it meets the scope of the journal – anything that contributes to the understanding and management of the world’s forests,” he said last week.

The journal has the word “Canadian” in its title but the other co-editor is American and submissions come from all over the world, Burton added.

Iran, Hungary, China, Finland,” says Burton in reeling off a few of the countries from which writers submit manuscripts.

I would call it No. 1 in quality and No. 2 in citations,” Burton added in describing the latter as the frequency in which the journal articles are referred to in the writing and research of other academics and professionals.

He said Canadians should not be surprised at the journal’s reception around the world given the importance of the forest to Canada and how Canadians have spread forest expertise internationally.

At one time the journal and other Canadian academic and scientific publications came under the umbrella of the federal government but the publications were sold off in 2010 and are now publihsed by a not-for-profit entity called Canadian Science Publishing.

Burton’s volunteer commitment is for five years and that will be in addition to his UNBC responsibilities. In Terrace for three and a half years, Burton spent nine years before that working with the Canadian Forest Service from offices at UNBC’s main Prince George campus.