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SICB Officers

American Zoologist – From the Editor's Desk

    James Hanken, Editor

    A lot has been happening at the American Zoologist since my newsletter column last Fall. Here goes:

    Editorial Personnel
    Two more associate editors have been appointed to the journal’s 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.

    Teaching Zoology
    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 society’s 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 journal’s 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 I’m 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 present format.

    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 society’s 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 society’s 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.

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