Noelene Duckett, Editor, The Rangeland Newsletter  Email:

Paul Novelly, Editor-in-Chief, The Rangeland Journal. Email:


As noted in the last newsletter, ARS members have access through the CSIRO Publishing website to the full archive of The Rangeland Journal, as well as the ‘Current Issue’, ‘On-line Early’ full papers and the ‘Just Accepted’ abstracts.

The Journal’s website at CSIRO Publishing ( also lists the most “read” papers, based on the number of downloads in the last 60 days from papers published on the website within the last 12 months.   Obviously, we don’t know who is downloading the papers (Australian or international readers, ARS members or non-members etc.), but the statistics tell us what topics appear to be of interest to the Journal’s broad international readership.

So what papers in The Rangeland Journal, Volume 43, 2021 have attracted most interest, and what might be interesting about them?

Paper No. 1 on the list (On ‘sandalwood’ by McLennan et al.) was associated with significant interest in the media – including a Landline segment, and an article in the on-line “newsletter” The Conversation (   The Conversation article (published 7 October, 2021) received 68 comments from readers. If you access the Conversation website and search “sandalwood”, the article and the comments it generated are still available.  Conversation readers are drawn from a wide cross-section of Australian society (not simply “rangelanders”), so it’s interesting to read their comments, and see what the average Conversation reader thinks of aspects of Australia’s rangelands.

Paper No. 2 by Hacker & McDonald (‘Prospects for sustainable use of the pastoral areas of Australia’s southern rangelands: a synthesis’) was commissioned by the ARS.  The paper has proven popular, and we welcome suggestions for other commissioned papers.  Obviously, the topic of commissioned papers is more wide-ranging than standard papers, but give it some thought.  In particular, what compendia of information on Australia’s rangelands warrants publication and preservation in TRJ, so that the information is readily available, can act as a resource for authors writing about specific aspects of the rangelands, and lead to more interest in the Journal?

Paper No. 3 is an interesting topic (Drake et al, Australian native seed grains), perhaps a little out of the ordinary for the Journal, but quite thought provoking.  And, as an aside, this was a very well-written paper from first submission, had the minimum number of revisions before acceptance for publication, and would serve as a very good guide for anyone thinking of writing a paper for the first time.

The listed papers also include some from the two Special Issues (SI) of TRJ published in 2021.  These include the Drought Special Issue, (‘Managing drought and improving business resilience in Australian rangelands’ – numbers 4 to 7 and 9 on the list), and the CSCS Special Issue (‘Application and development of the Rangeland Comprehensive and Sequential Classification System’ – number 10 on the list).

There are nine more papers on similar topics in the CSCS SI, and four more in the Drought SI (including my favourite (PN) ‘Building cultural capital in drought adaptation: lessons from discourse analysis’ by Gillian Paxton).  All full papers are available through the website to members and are worth reading, with a mix of interesting science, thought provoking ideas and concepts, and a bit of rangeland history.  And both SIs have an interesting introductory preface that brings the SI contents into context.

The Journal is always interested in topics for Special Issues, and we welcome ideas.  There are conditions and costs associated with SIs, so they are generally sponsored by an organisation.  However, send us your ideas, and perhaps someone on the ARS Publications Committee can identify a sponsor.

Finally, Paper 8 on Moroccan small ruminant systems is one of those papers whose titles seize readers’ interest.  It is a feature of The Rangeland Journal that it is considered an “international journal”, with a mix of Australian and international papers.

So, these were the ten most downloaded papers.  But, if you were to make your own list of the ten “most downloadable papers from 2021”, what papers would it contain?  This is more than a hypothetical question.  Apart from reflecting good rangeland science, papers in The Rangeland Journal should reflect the interests of a broad spectrum of the readership.  So, please, let us have your views, and perhaps we can present an alternate list for discussion in the next edition of the Newsletter.

The ten most downloaded papers from Volume 43, 2021 of The Rangeland Journal, based on the number of downloads in the last 60 days to 29 March 2022 were:

1.     Prolific or precarious: a review of the status of Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum [R.Br.] A.DC., Santalaceae).  R. C. McLellan, K. Dixon, D. M. Watson – The Rangeland Journal 43 (4)

2.     Prospects for sustainable use of the pastoral areas of Australia’s southern rangelands: a synthesis. Ronald B. Hacker, Sarah E. McDonald – The Rangeland Journal 43 (4)

3.     The use of Australian native grains as a food: a review of research in a global grains context. Anna Drake, Claudia Keitel, Angela Pattison – The Rangeland Journal 43 (4)

4.     Queensland’s multi-year Wet and Dry periods: implications for grazing enterprises and pasture resources. G. McKeon, G. Stone, D. Ahrens, J. Carter, D. Cobon, S. Irvine, J. Syktus – The Rangeland Journal 43 (3)

5.     An online system for calculating and delivering long-term carrying capacity information for Queensland grazing properties. Part 2: modelling and outputs. B. Zhang, G. Fraser, J. Carter, G. Stone, S. Irvine, G. Whish, J. Willcocks, G. McKeon – The Rangeland Journal 43 (3)

6.     Mapping drought declaration areas from 1936 to 1964 for Queensland, Australia   S. A. Irvine – The Rangeland Journal 43 (3)

7.     Northern Australia Climate Program: supporting adaptation in rangeland grazing systems through more targeted climate forecasts, improved drought information and an innovative extension program. David Cobon , Chelsea Jarvis, Kate Reardon-Smith, Laura Guillory, Christa Pudmenzky, Thong Nguyen-Huy, Shahbaz Mushtaq, Roger Stone – The Rangeland Journal 43 (3)

8.     Resilience of the pastoral component of Moroccan small ruminant systems in mountain areas  Soufiane El Aayadi, Abdelilah Araba, Magali Jouven – The Rangeland Journal 43 (4)

9.     GrazingFutures: learnings from a contemporary collaborative extension program in rangeland communities of western Queensland, Australia. Joe Rolfe, Lindsey Perry, Peter Long, Caitlyn Frazer, Terry Beutel, Jane Tincknell, David Phelps – The Rangeland Journal 43 (3)

10.  A new net primary productivity model and new management strategy of grassland classification based on CSCS in China  Huilong Lin, Haili Ma, Charles Nyandwi, Qisheng Feng, Tiangang Liang – The Rangeland Journal 43 (6)