History of the journal

“Sylwan”, the oldest forest scientific journal in Poland and in the world dating back to 1820, is a scientific organ of the Polish Forest Society (Polskie Towarzystwo Leśne). It plays an important educational and popularizing role, increasing the level of scientific knowledge of foresters and the whole society, regularly publishing the results of the latest research in various fields of forest sciences. Since 1953, the cover and title page of the oldest editions and issues have been illustrated with a drawing of the face of Silvanus – the Roman god of forests and wild nature.

Throughout the publishing period, approximately 14,000 scientific dissertations, original papers and reports appeared in “Sylwan”.

There are three periods in the two-century history of the journal:

Period I

The initiators of the establishment of the journal were the then organizers of the government forest service in the Kingdom of Poland (Congress Poland), which remained under Russian rule: Ludwik Plater, general director of governmental forests, Juliusz Brinken, chief forest inspector and Hipolit Cieleski, secretary of the Forest Department of the Governmental Revenue and Treasury Commission.
34 annuals in 24 volumes of the journal were issued in the initial period of its functioning. They included scientific dissertations in the field of forestry, orders of the Governmental Revenue and Treasury Commission responsible for the supervision of governmental forests and patronage of the journal, as well as information on the administration of governmental forests of the Kingdom of Poland and forest calendars. Papers from all areas of forestry were published, especially on forest management methods, sometimes modelled on the publications of German and French foresters. After the November Uprising, with no government support, “Sylwan” began to appear irregularly and occasionally. For 24 consecutive years from 1835 to 1858, it was issued by a private forest company.


Period II

The journal was reactivated as an organ of the Galician Forest Society, established in 1882. During this period, it focused on issues, such as: maintaining the condition of the forest and raising the level of forest management in Galicia, extending professional knowledge and caring for the professional interests of foresters. Moreover, articles on the nature-based forestry and silviculture, forest economics and policy, forest management and dendrometric issues, forest protection, nature conservation and forest use and transport, as well as materials on the history of forestry and forestry news from other European countries were published in “Sylwan”. At the national congress of foresters in 1907, the journal was recognized as an unofficial organ of foresters of all partitions of Poland.

In connection with the changes in the organization of the Galician Forest Society after Poland had regained independence, “Sylwan” for a short time became an organ of the Małopolska Forest Society, and from 1925 of the Polish Forest Society operating throughout the country with its seat in Lwów.
From 1936, “Sylwan” began to appear in two series: A – scientific dissertations and B – original papers and activities of the Society. The journal continued the tasks set out in the previous period, representing the interests of foresters and owners of private forests. Its role in publishing scientific dissertations also increased, especially since the mid-1920s, when 8 doctoral and postdoctoral theses were published mostly by scientists from Lwów.
In total, in the period of 1883–1939, 57 annuals of “Sylwan” were issued, with consecutive numbers from 1 to 57, without reference to the numbering from the previous period.


Period III

The first issue of “Sylwan” after World War II was published in Kraków as a quarterly of the Polish Scientific Forest Society. The numbering of “Sylwan” annuals was changed to continue the numbering from the 1st annual of 1820. From 1955, “Sylwan” was issued as a monthly journal of both the Division of Agricultural Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Forest Society, and from 1966 – again only of the Polish Forest Society. In the third period, from 1947 till the end of 2020, 74 annuals of the journal were issued.
Currently, “Sylwan” is published regularly as a monthly with a circulation of 1,200 copies, in Polish and with an extensive abstract in English. General supervision over the issuing of “Sylwan” is exercised by the Main Board of the Polish Forest Society and its chairman.
The journal is indexed by Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, CAB International and Polish Scientific Journal Contents, Index Copernicus Journal Master List. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal had an impact factor of 0.691 in 2018 and 0.624 in 2019. In the current ranking (2021) by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education the journal is assigned 70 points.
In the year of the 200th anniversary of “Sylwan”, a special issue (12/2020) was published, presenting both the history of the journal and an overview of its great achievements in the most important areas of forestry and natural sciences: silviculture, forest protection, nature conservation, forest management and use.

Editors-in-chief of the journal
Juliusz Brinken (Brincken): years 1820−1833
Hipolit Cieleski (Cielecki): years 1834−1841
Kazimierz Glinka−Janczewski: years 1841−1858
Aleksander Nowicki: years 1883−1886
Władysław Tyniecki: years 1887−1891, 1896−1904
Kaźmirz Acht (Kazimierz Tarłowski) : years 1892−1895
Stanisław Sokołowski: years 1905−1919
Szymon Wierdak: years 1920−1939, 1947
Wacław Niedziałkowski: years 1948−1949
Tadeusz Włoczewski: years 1950−1955
Tadeusz Gieruszyński: years 1955−1956
Stanisław Tyszkiewicz: years 1956−1979
Zbigniew Sierpiński: years 1979−1985
Tadeusz Marszałek: years 1985−1991
Arkadiusz Bruchwald: years 1991−2020
Wojciech Grodzki: from 2021

Sylwan ISSN: 0039-7660

from 1947