Home » News » An interview with animal's new editor-in-chief, Dr Isabelle Louveau

An interview with animal’s new editor-in-chief, Dr Isabelle Louveau

About Dr Isabelle Louveau, Editor-in-Chief

  • 1991 : Doctorate in Biology, Rennes 1 University, France, with an 18-month internship in a research laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, State College, USA
  • 1992 : recruitment as a researcher in INRA (French National Institute of Research in Agronomy, now INRAE)
  • 2006 : Accreditation to supervise research
  • 2005-20007 : Editor, Domestic Animal Endocrinology's editorial board
  • 2015–2019 : "Physiology" section editor, Livestock Science's editorial board
  • Since 2015 : Editor, Journées de la Recherche Porcine (Swine Days' Research) organisation committee
  • 2017–2022 : Vice-president, Commission on Animal Physiology, EAAP (2 terms)
  • 2020-2023 : Editor and then Deputy Section Editor, Physiology & Functional Biology Section, animal's editorial board
  • From 2024 : Editor-in-chief, animal


Who owns animal?

The animal journal is part of a journal family (animal, animal – science proceedings, and animal – open space) owned by an international consortium comprised of two learned societies and one research institution:

All decisions regarding animal are made by the consortium. The journal is completely independent in its editorial policy and strategy. The royalties it receives (45% of income for each published article) are shared between the consortium members. These funds are then allocated to finance conferences, targeted research actions, etc. Read more here.


1. After a transition period at the end of 2019, animal implemented Gold Open Access in 2020. What consequences did you observe after this change of business model, from 2020 up to 2024?

  • We first observed a change in submitting authors' geographical profiles. Some countries cannot afford article-publishing charges and no longer submit as a result. The animal journal is a member of Research4Life, a partnership that grants waivers to teams of researchers from low-income countries. We can also offer a limited number of waivers. Despite these two schemes though, we have unfortunately lost submissions from these countries.
  • animal's impact factor did not decrease when we transitioned to the Gold Open Access model. On the contrary, it rose above the threshold of three in 2021. This threshold is a minimum requirement to publish for some institutions. As a result, some authors who previously would not submit started to send us articles. More recently, Clarivate has changed its calculation methods for impact factors. This led to a better ranking for animal amongst journals of the same category.
  • On the whole though, transitioning to a Gold Open Access model has caused a 30 to 40% decrease in the overall number of submissions. We have only recently (since summer 2023) started to observe a slight pick-up in the number of submissions.
  • As for the quality of submissions: it has spread out towards the extremes. We receive a significantly greater number of out-of-scope or sub-standard quality articles. However, we also receive more articles of excellent quality. The overall quality of acceptable and accepted articles has noticeably increased.


2. Could you tell us more about the journal's scope widening to include insects, as of 2024?

  • The decision to widen animal's scope to include insects was made by the journal's Management Board. It stems from the Board's will to adapt to the development of new livestock farming sectors, as evidenced by the ever-increasing number of communications concerning or including insect production submitted to EAAP's Annual Meetings.
  • The journal's scope has now been adapted to include insects. However, just as for all other animal species within the scope:
    • It is the production aspect and rearing factors that are of interest for animal;
    • Animal responses must be included, in particular whole-animal outcomes.
  • This new section will be cross-disciplinary and theme-based: it will be centred around insects and all aspects of insect production, unlike other sections, which are organised by disciplines.
  • The new Section Editor, as well as a Deputy Section Editor and a few editors, have already been recruited.
  • Submissions of articles about insect production are already welcome!


3. What is animal's editorial policy regarding the quality assessment of articles?

Articles are assessed through a multi-criterion evaluation. It entails:

  • Assessing overall comprehensibility, including
    • the quality of scientific content, that is the clarity of the expression of ideas and scientific concepts,
    • the quality of the English language used and its legibility;
  • Ensuring that principles of responsible publishing and ethics are respected, for instance by
    • detecting plagiarism,
    • ensuring that international authorship standards are upheld and CRediT author statement is used,
    • ensuring that any use of artificial intelligence to assist in writing be duly acknowledged;
  • Evaluating the scientific quality and the reproducibility of the research presented.

Recently, we have decided to raise our standards when it comes to statistics in articles, to foster a better understanding of studies and their analysis by readers. We will soon publish a Statistics guidebook for authors, reviewers, and editors, which will formalise our expectations and provide guidance to support authors and help them to produce robust and reproducible statistics.