Vegetation Ecology Lab / 植群生態研究室

Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University

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The difference between the volume and the issue of the journal

Scientific journals usually have numbered volumes (one volume per year). But the journal is usually being published several times per year by individual issues. See the photo below - the Journal of Vegetation Science is published six times per year, so one volume contains six issues. When citing the paper in the References section of your manuscript, you need to include volume number, but usually not the issue number.

In recent years, more and more journals are switching into online-only publishing (they are not printing physical copies anymore). With this, they often also switch into so-called “continuous publishing”, i.e. instead of waiting with papers to be included into issues published several times per year, they are publishing the final version of the paper continuously online. In that case, issues often no longer exist (but volume usually still do). The range of pages is then replace by so-called “e-locator”, e.g. PLoS ONE, 15, e0239359.