With the release of the last issue of volume 18, the Journal of Paleolimnology reached another significant milestone of ten years of publication. We began as a quarterly in 1988. Shortly thereafter (in 1991), we expanded to two volumes a year, and last year our page budgets were expanded again by an additional 30%, with four issues published per volume. In many ways, the expansion and the success of the journal has paralleled the tremendous surge of interest that this exciting field continues to enjoy. Despite the successive increases in page budgets, competition for space is very keen, and continues to be a major challenge. Looking back at the last ten years, we are proud of the efforts that have been made by our authors, referees, and publishers to make this journal such a success. It has been an exciting and productive decade.
The steady expansion and diversification of paleolimnology behooves us to continue to evolve and expand aspects of the journal to meet the challenges of the next millennium. We hope that these changes will enhance the value of the journal.
Below, we briefly summarize some of the recent changes that we plan on implementing in our eleventh year of publication. As always, we invite your comments and constructive criticisms.
i) Rapid Communications -- a new "fast-track" section of the journal for select contributions.
While the publication lead time (the time from formal acceptance of a manuscript to the time it is published) for regular papers in the Journal of Paleolimnology is still averaging a very respectable 8 months, we do recognize that occasionally a submission may warrant accelerated editorial handling and more rapid publication. To accommodate these topical and very important contributions, we are initiating a new category of submission: Rapid Communications. At the back of this issue, we have outlined the guidelines for preparation and submission of manuscripts that may be considered for this Rapid Communications category. Clearly, Rapid Communications must be important, timely, of broad general interest to paleolimnologists, and, above all else, short! Our goal is to provide a vehicle by which a few select high-impact papers can be published rapidly.
ii) A New Series of Review Articles: The D.G. Frey & E.S. Deevey Reviews
While at a conference last year, we began thinking of a way to honor the memories of Dave Frey and Ed Deevey. In addition to their early work for our journal (both were on the editorial board), they were internationally respected paleolimnologists.
With the journal's 10 year anniversary, we plan to initiate a new series of review articles. These will be invited review articles, written by world leaders in the field of paleolimnology. We anticipate inviting approximately one such review article for every volume of the journal. In short, the D.G. Frey & E.S. Deevey Review Articles would be prestigious, high-profile, invited papers.
These review articles would be numbered -- such as D.G.Frey & E.S. Deevey Review #1 -- followed by the title of the paper; then in a subsequent issue D.G.Frey & E.S. Deevey Review #2, and so on.
Kluwer are very supportive of this new initiative, and in keeping with the honored status of these articles, the publishers have agreed to offer 100 (rather than 50) free reprints to the authors, realizing that these papers will be in much higher demand than regular contributions. In addition, there will eventually be the possibility of collating these papers into a book, again further honoring the memory of these two great scientists and friends. We very much feel this will be an important series of papers, that would continue to honor the memories of Dave and Ed.
We should stress, though, that in no way will these invited reviews replace our regular (submitted) review articles. Regular review articles are, and will continue to be, an important part of the journal.
iii) World Wide Web (WWW) Facilities Continue to Grow
As most of you know, the Journal of Paleolimnology WWW page address changed last year, in part to keep up with the expansion of users and the journal itself. The new url is: index.html
In addition to our own journal WWW page, Kluwer Academic Publishers also offers a useful web site (www.wkap.nl), which includes additional information on this journal (as well as other journals and books). The Kluwer WWW site also supports a search engine, where one can search past issues of the journal by submitting a key word or author. All these services are free of charge.
iv) Subject and Author Index
Although the web pages and the search engines are effective ways to locate articles, many people (ourselves included) would like an index of authors and key words published directly in the journal. Quite often we are looking for a paper by a specific author or on a specific subject, and we are not near a computer with easy access to the Internet. With this in mind, we plan to collate an Author and a Keyword Index, which will be published in the last issue of 1998 (i.e. covering the first 20 volumes of the journal).
v) Electronic Version of the Journal
In 1997, the Journal of Paleolimnology was chosen by Kluwer to be one of their "test" journal to go "on line" (i.e. available in electronic format). As an example of this "on line" service, you can already access the Kluwer WWW page and download one issue of the journal. Starting in 1999, libraries will be offered the option to also receive the journal in an electronic format, although the paper copy will of course also be available.
These continue to be exciting times for paleolimnology, and we hope the new additions and features to the journal, coupled with our expanded page allotments, will allow us to meet these challenges effectively. As always, we very much invite your comments and concerns.
Happy Birthday, Journal of Paleolimnology!! And here is another "cheer" for the next 10 years!!!John P. Smol
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Please send comments or questions to: John Smol