Journal History

Short history of Rangifer

The editorial organisation of Rangifer was established in 1981, and the first issue was published that same year with NOR’s secretary general Sven Skjenneberg (1923-2009) being the editor located in Harstad, northern Norway. He was assigned the mandate for Rangifer to give primarily Nordic researchers in reindeer and reindeer husbandry possibilities to publishing results relatively fast and to function as a connecting link for researchers and advisers in reindeer husbandry to the best of the industry. The latter was achieved by having extensive abstracts in three languages. There was also a wish to publish in English but the transition to complete English editions happened not before 1991. The journal extended its scope successively and in 1993 changed to a completely new sub-title: Research, Management and Husbandry of Reindeer and other Northern Ungulates. This new rubric signified the journal’s new perspective but also reaffirmed its roots in reindeer science and reindeer husbandry. The first papers on caribou and on non-Rangifer cervids appeared already in 1985 and in 1986 the proceeding of the 4th International reindeer/caribou symposium were issued. Within the first ten years, Rangifer had become a journal of circumpolar Rangifer. The next stage to be a journal for all northern ungulates was natural and NOR’s board agreed to allow Rangifer to accept and publish papers also on northern ungulates. The main goal publishing four issues a year proved too ambitious and the journal issued mainly two issues per year until 2008 when the normal issue changed to an online edition with consecutive publishing of accepted articles.

The development of the journal was motivated in creating a high quality forum for scientific publishing in all themes and fields related to the reindeer animal and reindeer husbandry as a culture and industry, including papers on other northern ungulates, to increase the accessibility of such research.

Rangifer Special Issue was issued from 1986. Twenty special issues have been published so far. The first Rangifer Report was published in 1995 and the last No. 14 in 2010. Sixteen Nordic conferences on reindeer and reindeer husbandry research have been arranged so far. NOR's original mandate from 1981 was modified in 1989, 1992 and 2003. The secretariat moved in 1994 to the city of Tromsø, which is northern Norway's cultural and academic centre.

From 1981 to 2001, the editions of Rangifer were printed mainly in Harstad and after that, mainly in Tromsø. After Skjenneberg’s retirement in 1994, the secretariat of the Nordic Coucil for Reindeer Husbandry Research (NOR) moved to the city of Tromsø, northern Norway’s cultural and academic centre with Rolf Egil Haugerud being NOR’s secretary general and editor of Rangifer including volume 32 (2012). For more information about the background and history of Rangifer and the Nordic Council for Reindeer Husbandry Research (NOR) please go to:

At NORs annual general meeting in October 2012 the formal closure of NOR was announced. However, it was decided that the publication of Rangifer will continue. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Reindeer Husbandry Unit, has now taken over the publication responsibility. New editor-in-chief is Birgitta Åhman (Professor in Reindeer Husbandry, SLU) and new editor is Eva Wiklund (Associate Professor in Meat Science, SLU).
Since 2008, Rangifer is an open-access journal based at a web platform at The University Library of Tromsø , Norway, an arrangement that will continue as before.

The logo of NOR and Rangifer was kindly permitted used by its originator the artist Terje Grøstad and has been the logo since 1981. It was originally designed for the International Reindeer/Caribou Symposium at Røros, Norway, in 1978.