What is the San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science E-Journal?

San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science (SFEWS) is an academic, peer-reviewed electronic journal that addresses the extraordinarily complex and often problematic water resources issues in California. The journal showcases papers that describe the physics, chemistry, geology, and biology of the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a region where resource-management issues of national significance represent a major part of the habitat of endangered species, while also providing the water supply for 8% of the population of the U.S.

The journal was established in 2003 by the Institute of the Environment, in collaboration with two other partners: the University of California Office of the President’s California Digital Library eScholarship publication service, which provides the electronic platform for the journal, and the Delta Stewardship Council, which provides financial support (grants to UC Davis of >$1.8M over the past 8 years). The journal has five objectives and serves as a forum for commentary, discussion and debate about basic and applied research pertaining to the science and resource management of the Bay–Delta region.

California water issues are steeped in controversy, the resolutions of which are important to both the state and the nation. Many of the controversies have a technical basis, and many of the most important and contentious debates are about science. The Institute of the Environment links science and technology to policy, providing the intellectual basis for interactions between researchers, regulatory agencies, policymakers and the public.  SFEWS has supported this initiative for the past 15 years as an open-access publication that does not charge authors to submit manuscripts nor readers to access articles. Because the journal’s audience is broad, comprising not only the scientific community but also water agency staff, policymakers, and other stakeholders within California’s complicated water arena, bridging new science with policy is important. Both the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of SFEWS are affiliated with the Institute of the Environment, and thereby Institute of the Environment scientists manage every aspect of the journal, from day-to-day operations to long-term strategy.

As an unbiased neutral initiative, SFEWS provides credible scientific information and essays from policy leaders and influencers on timely water issues, linking new science to policy, with great impact. Although it retains a regional focus, SFEWS is widely read. In the first 10 months of 2019, 4,420 articles were requested per month.  Using data from 2014 through 2017, the search engine Scopus’ CiteScore for SFEWS ranked 82nd of 203 journals in the Water Science and Technology category for 2018.  SFEWS is ranked fifth among 53 open access journals in the aquatic sciences, according to the Science Journal Ranking index; and in the top 25% among all 218 aquatic science journals ranked by that index. According to eScholarship statistical data on usage for 2017-18,  SFEWS is the #1 contributor of scholarly research for the Institute of the Environment, and the #3 contributor of scholarly research for UC Davis and the University of California, campus-wide.

Editor-in-Chief: Samuel Luoma

Managing Editor: Lauren Muscatine

SFEWS Website