James Hanken, Editor
A lot has been happening at the American Zoologist since my newsletter column
last Fall. Here goes:
Two more associate editors have been appointed to the journals staff in order to
handle the large number of symposia from the 1998 SICB Annual Meeting in Boston that are
slated for publication in the journal. Lou Burnett, Jr. and Doug Erwin bring tremendous
talent and acumen to their respective tasks, and I consider us very fortunate that they
have agreed to work for the journal. In addition, David Borst, Bruce Jayne and Tom Klinger
have been appointed to the editorial board as representatives of DCE, DVM and DIZ,
respectively. A search for a representative from DSEB is in progress. These new members
replace four stalwarts whose five-year terms expired at the end of 1997: Martin Schreibman
(DCE), Frank Fish (DVM), Paula Mabee (DSEB), and Jim McClintock (DIZ). I especially want
to thank these latter four individuals for their considerable help and expertise, which I
have drawn on in large quantities as editor.
Journal issue number 2 of 1998 will contain the inaugural installment of what hopefully
will be a long-standing, regular feature in American Zoologist: comparative
textbook reviews in all the subdisciplines of zoology represented by our societys
many divisions. The topic of the first review is comparative vertebrate anatomy (a.k.a.
vertebrate morphology). Comparable reviews have been commissioned for comparative
endocrinology, comparative physiology and invertebrate zoology, and I hope to soon line-up
commitments for several other divisions. Reviews will be listed in the journals
table of contents under the heading, "Teaching Zoology." Please look for this
new feature, and do your best to call it to the attention of non-members who might find it
a worthwhile read. I also would appreciate receiving suggestions for future installments
and other related comments.
New Journal Cover
As mentioned in an earlier column, we are exploring the possibility of adopting a new
front cover design and format for the journal. I recently have begun working with Tara
Schuley from Allen Press, who has considerable experience in this area. In fact, she
shepherded recent cover transformations for two ornithological journals, The Auk
and The Condor, which have received rave reviews (or so Im told). I will
continue to keep you informed regarding our progress in this direction, and we will
certainly provide all society members with abundant opportunity to both review and express
a preference for our various options before any decision is made to deviate from our
Journal Web Site/Home Page
The much anticipated American Zoologist worldwide web site is nearing completion!
Thanks to the talented and skillful leadership of webmaster (and associate editor) Beth
Brainerd, who will work closely with the electronic communications specialists at the SICB
Business Office, the journal should have a first-class home page. Initially it will
feature the following information: tables of contents for current and past issues,
advertising information and rates, journal subscription and society membership
information, instructions to authors, rosters of current editorial personnel and members
of the editorial board, and supplementary data for published papers. Once the site is up
and running, it can be expanded as needs and opportunities arise.
Search for New Editor Underway
My decision to step down as editor of American Zoologist was officially announced
at the societys Annual Meeting in Boston. My term, however, will not end until the
close of 1998, which is still many months away. As stipulated in the societys
constitution, the editor is appointed by the Executive Committee after consultation with
the editorial board, which I chair. Consequently, SICB president Alan Kohn has asked me to
work with the board in recruiting a new editor and making a formal recommendation to the
Executive Committee. I already have begun working with the board on this task, and we will
be soliciting suggestions and nominations of potential replacements from society members.
Hopefully, the next editor can be identified and appointed no later than next summer or
early fall, to facilitate a smooth transition of the main editorial office from Boulder
beginning in 1999. Anyone with specific recommendations or other pertinent information is
urged to contact me or any member of the editorial board. More information will be
provided in the newsletter next Fall. Thanks very much.