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SICB Officers

American Zoologist

From the Editor's Desk

Jim Hanken, American Zoologist Editor

My first year as editor of American Zoologist (1996) was nothing if not exciting. A series of changes in journal policies and procedures announced in my column last fall have already begun to bear fruit. Here I provide news of recent events and additional opportunities involving the journal, as well as discuss other aspects of journal operations of which all Society members should be aware.

Editorial Personnel: New appointments to the journal's editorial staff were announced in my last column. Several additional appointments made since then bring both the roster of Associate Editors and the Editorial Board to full strength. Indeed, the journal now has a lean, mean editorial machine. New appointments are as follows: Associate Editors - Greg Wray, State University of New York at Stony Brook; Paul Verrell, Washington State University at Pullman; and Kirk Miller, Franklin & Marshall College; and DCPB Representative to the Editorial Board - John Phillips, University of British Columbia. The entire complement of editorial personnel is listed in the American Zoologist masthead 1997, issue no. 1. In making appointments, I rely heavily upon advice and recommendations provided by the Society's divisional officers. Anyone wishing to offer suggestions for future appointments is encouraged to contact me, either directly or via one of these officers.

Time to Publication: Due to the diligent efforts of all involved (especially Associate Editor Todd Gleeson), the proceedings from the symposium on aquatic locomotion that convened at the SICB 1995 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., were published in 1996, issue no. 6. This represents an interval of only 12-13 months following the oral presentations. While the journal's publication schedule will not permit all symposia to be published as rapidly as this one, this feat does demonstrate the journal's ability and intention to respond quickly and efficiently once all manuscripts are in hand. We already are on schedule for a repeat performance in 1997 involving one, and possibly two, symposia from this past winter's meeting in Albuquerque. Congratulations to symposium organizers George Lauder and John Long, and to all the invited contributors, for producing such excellent proceedings.

Article Length: Effective with all symposia from the Albuquerque meeting, the standard length of journal articles has been raised from 10 to 12 printed pages. This change will provide authors with the opportunity to develop their ideas more fully (and presumably produce a more valuable paper) without incurring a financial penalty. As before, authors will be expected to bear the cost of additional printed pages at the prevailing rate (currently $135 per page).

Cover Image and Page Format: This year we will explore the possibility of adopting a new journal cover image and page format. No substantive changes will be made, however, without first providing all Society members with abundant opportunity to both review and express a preference for our various options. These efforts also will be coordinated with the newly appointed subcommittee that is charged with considering the possibility (and wisdom) of changing the journal's name, in light of the recent change in the Society's name. Comments regarding the journal name should be directed to Howie Lasker.

As stated in my previous column, we would very much like to hear from members of the Society and learn their reactions to these and other developments. We also would appreciate receiving suggestions of additional ways in which the journal can better serve the needs and interests of the science of zoology and its practitioners. In any event, I wish everyone a rewarding and productive year.

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