Evolving toward Evolutionary Systematics
expand article infoMatthias Glaubrecht, Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa, Martin Husemann
‡ University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Open Access

Not only nature is evolving, but also museum journals with a long tradition in knowledge transfer. Founded nearly one and a half centuries ago, in the year 1884, at about the same time as quite some other museum journals around the world (Glaubrecht et al. 2008), the “Mitteilungen aus dem Hamburgischen Zoologischen Museum und Institut” looks back on a quite successful era of publishing important research contributions of scientists at or associated with Hamburg’s Natural History Museum. With new beginnings in many respect after World War II, in the year 1952 a second journal at this museum was founded, viz. the “Entomologische Mitteilungen des Zoologischen Museums Hamburg”, which focussed on articles on insects and other arthropods. Now, after their founding institution has seen tremendous change over the many decades of its existence, we feel that it is time to make a new start with these two traditional journals, evolving them into a new era of scientific knowledge transfer, fusing both “Mitteilungen” from the Hamburg museum into one modern journal.

Given the most recent development in evolutionary biology and systematics in general and in our newly founded institution, the Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak) at the Universität Hamburg, it seemed a small, albeit logical step to decide for “Evolutionary Systematics” as title for our re-launched journal to publish collection-based research; see Glaubrecht (2017), in the accompanying article following this Editorial, on our journals’ history and on the definition of this term. We aim to establish “Evolutionary Systematics” as an international, peer-reviewed, life science journal, devoted to whole-organism zoology. Next to its aims with respect to scope and content its new title accommodates on the one hand the overwhelming use of English, serving as lingua franca now even in German sciences. On the other hand it is to signal that we aim at continuously shifting the focus of our new journal toward evolutionary systematic contributions, thus emphasizing an evolutionary biology perspective as reflection of the main research focus of our museum.

Evolutionary Systematics” will publish original research and review articles in the field of Metazoan taxonomy, biosystematics, evolution, morphology, development and biogeography. Its focus is on disciplines of organismic zoology, at all taxonomic levels. Its scope encompasses primary information from collection-related research, specifically taxonomic descriptions and discoveries, revisions, annotated type catalogues, aspects of the history of science, and contributions on new methods and principles of systematics. Articles with their main focus in ecology, functional anatomy, physiology, or ethology are acceptable as well, however only if of clear systematic or evolutionary relevance and perspective. We clearly consider nomenclature, taxonomy and morphology far from being outdated or antiquated. Instead, these disciplines provide the firm ground for all other biological studies and theoretical analyses.

With the revised scope of our new journal “Evolutionary Systematics” we hope to further accentuate new perspectives of zoosystematics and evolutionary biology, including molecular systematics as another important and meaningful methodological approach helping to elucidate, for example, phylogenetic relationships. We are convinced that those studies contribute towards the Linnean task of inventorising biodiversity (see e.g. Glaubrecht 2007) and, therefore, help to reconstruct the evolutionary history of organisms, eventually increasing our knowledge of the living world that surrounds us. In this context, we would like to invite contributions also from the wider scientific community and by authors interested in those subjects, while not necessarily being formally associated with the Hamburg museum. In addition, we encourage authors to deposit their voucher material or at least part of it in our museum collections at the CeNak in Hamburg, as one of the most important repositories for types and other natural history specimens not only in Germany. We also house a DNA and tissue bank to deposit DNA samples and/or tissue samples for use in molecular genetic analyses, thus providing means of verification for sequences of those taxa submitted without voucher material e.g. to NCBI GenBank or BOLD.

With our new journal “Evolutionary Systematics”, which provides open access to its content immediately upon publication under the conditions of Creative Commons Attribution License (permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited), we are happy to have joint forces with Lyubomir Penev and his professional team at Pensoft Publishers, once again now after having already successfully established together “Zoosystematics and Evolution” as an international journal of the Berlin Natural History Museum (see Glaubrecht et al. 2008). As was evidently the case for the latter, with the journal’s impact factor at 0.8 and 0.93 in its first two years of evaluation, we do hope that readers and authors will also find much of interest in “Evolutionary Systematics”, with its first issue and volume to be published at the end of 2017.

Matthias Glaubrecht

Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa, Martin Husemann

– Editors, for the Editorial Board of

Evolutionary Systematics


  • Glaubrecht M (2007) Die Ordnung des Lebendigen. Zur Geschichte und Zukunft der Systematik in Deutschland. In: Wägele JW (Ed.) Höhepunkte der zoologischen Forschung im deutschen Sprachraum. Festschrift zur 100. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Zoologischen Gesellschaft in Köln, Sept. 2007. Basilisken Press, Marburg, 59–110.
  • Glaubrecht M (2017) In continuation of a long tradition. A brief history of the journals of the Hamburg Natural History Museum. Evolutionary Systematics 1.