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SICB Officers

American Zoologist – From the Editor's Desk

    James Hanken, Editor

    This newsletter column will be shorter than my previous two, which were devoted largely to announcing a series of new initiatives regarding journal policies and procedures that we were about to embark on. Many of these initiatives are now in effect and should (or soon will) be obvious to readers and/or contributors. Here I provide a status report and advance notice concerning several forthcoming issues of the journal and review progress regarding one specific initiative that is being pursued at the present time.

    Publication schedule — Thanks to the continued diligence and hard work of our cadre of associate editors, processing of symposium manuscripts from last winter's Annual Meeting in Albuquerque is moving along quickly on several fronts. We are on schedule to publish proceedings of one of these symposia in vol. 37 (1997), issue no. 6, which will represent an interval of only 12-13 months following the corresponding oral presentations. Proceedings from three other symposia are nearly finished (submitted, reviewed, revised and accepted for publication) and they are tentatively scheduled for publication in the first half of 1998 (vol. 38). Proceedings from the remaining symposia are in various stages of completion and will be scheduled for publication as soon as they are complete. The tentative publication schedule for the first four symposia is as follows (organizers' names in parentheses):

    • "Developmental Endocrinology of Non-Mammalian Vertebrates" (Thommes & Epple), 37(6).
    • "Animal Behavior: Integration of Proximate and Ultimate Causation" (Drickamer), 38(1).
    • "The Biology of Lipids: Integration of Structure and Function" (Gibbs & Crockett), 38(2).
    • "Responses of Terrestrial Invertebrates to Variation in Temperature and Water Availability: Molecular, Organismal and Evolutionary Approaches" (Harrison & Phillips), 38(3).

    It's not too soon to begin making room for these issues on your bookshelves; between the increase in standard article length approved by the society last year, and the large number of papers contained in several of these symposia, each of these issues should be pretty hefty.

    Textbook reviews — One of the initiatives approved earlier by the journal's editorial board is the regular publication of reviews comparing and assessing current textbooks in the subdisciplines of zoology that are represented by our society's many divisions. Including this feature in the journal on a regular basis would accomplish many goals, especially those of helping to diversify the contents of each issue and of furthering our important, but often neglected, role in promoting and enhancing science education. Earlier this year I began to implement this practice by soliciting a comparative review of textbooks in vertebrate morphology. The corresponding manuscript was submitted just recently and, if all goes well, the resulting paper should be published early next year.

    In the last few weeks I have contacted the elected officers of several other divisions to solicit names of potential authors of comparative reviews of textbooks in these subdisciplines. I am now in the process of working my way through the large lists of names that were offered in response, and I hope to begin soliciting additional reviews shortly. I'm confident that these reviews will be an excellent addition to our journal's many offerings. Nevertheless, I would very much appreciate hearing from members of the society regarding their views on this particular initiative, both before and after the reviews begin to appear.

    I wish everyone a pleasant winter holiday season and look forward to seeing many of you in Boston this coming January.

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