Thursday, 8 March 2012

New Journal of Cryptozoology announced

A new peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to mystery animals is being published by the CFZ Press.

The journal fills a void left by the closure of the International Society of Cryptozoology in 1998 and the cessation of its journal Cryptozoology, which folded in 1996.

According to the journal Cryptozoology, the ISC served "as a focal point for the investigation, analysis, publication, and discussion of all matters related to animals of unexpected form or size, or unexpected occurrence in time or space."

It's an exciting development for the world of cryptozoology, and a boon for Australia - two of the peer review panel members are Australians: Colin Groves (ANU) and David Waldron (Ballarat University). The panel will also include Tom Gilbert, Christine Janis, Paul LeBlond, Adrienne Mayor, Darren Naish, Charles Paxton, Brian Regal, and Lars Thomas.

Announcing the new journal, editor Dr Karl Shuker said it would "fill a notable gap in the literature of cryptids and their investigation. For although some mainstream zoological journals are beginning to show slightly less reluctance than before to publish papers with a cryptozoological theme, it is still by no means an easy task for such papers to gain acceptance, and, as a result, potentially significant, serious contributions to the subject are not receiving the scientific attention that they deserve. Now, however, they have a journal of their own once again, and one that adheres to the same high standards for publication as mainstream zoological periodicals."

Dr Shuker also outlined the accepted definition of a cryptid for the purposes of the journal: "For the purposes of relevance to this journal, a cryptid is a creature that is known to the local people sharing its domain (ethnoknown) but unrecognised by scientists. Such a creature may be any of the following:

1) A species or subspecies apparently unknown to science, including alleged prehistoric survivors (e.g. mokele-mbembe).

2) A species or subspecies presently unknown to science in the living state, but which is known to have existed in historical times and allegedly still persists today (e.g. thylacine).

3) A species or subspecies known to science but allegedly existing as a natural occurrence in a location outside its scientifically-recognised current geographical distribution (e.g. puma in the eastern USA).

4) A species or subspecies known to science but allegedly existing as an artificial occurrence (i.e. due to human intervention) in a location outside its scientifically-recognised geographical distribution (e.g. alien big cats in Britain).

5) An unrecognised non-taxonomic variant of a known species or subspecies (e.g. Fujian blue tiger; prior to its scientific recognition, the journal's logo creature, the king cheetah, was another example from this category).

In addition, papers dealing with fabulous, mythological beasts will be considered for publication in the journal if their subjects have direct relevance to cryptids (e.g. reviewing the similarity between a given lake monster from folklore and cryptids reported in that same lake in modern times)."

Read more about the journal's submission guidelines here.

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