As some of you might know, I am the new Editor-In-Chief for the Journal of Wildlife Management. Just to get acquainted, here are a few tidbits about me. I am the Program Manager for the Wildlife and Terrestrial Ecosystems Science Program with Rocky Mountain Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service. I consider myself a generalist having worked on reptiles, amphibians, birds, and small mammals and in a variety of vegetation types ranging from brush fields to old-growth forests. I have put in a couple stints as an Associate Editor for the Journal and a short-term stint as co-EIC with Mike Morrison when the Journal and Wildlife Society Bulletin were merged. So, I guess that I know what I'm getting into!
I replace Frank Thompson, latest in a long line of top-notch EICs. The transition from Frank to me coincides with the resurrection of the Bulletin. Frank left me in a great situation. Not only was he current on all manuscripts, but he left me with a very capable staff: Anna Knipps and Allison Cox. This is my second opportunity to work with Anna, which means that she has been with the Journal for some time now. Her experience is invaluable for keeping manuscripts flowing through the system, matching manuscripts with the appropriate Associate Editor, and securing reviewers. Allison is the Content Editor and brings knowledge of biology and statistics to the position. Indeed, this background is critical to providing authors with relevant feedback. I am also very fortunate to have an excellent cadre of Associate Editors. Their collective expertise is unparalleled as an editorial board.
Old Idea, Revitalized Emphases
The change in EIC and decoupling of the Journal and Bulletin provide a great opportunity for tweaking things a bit and exploring new directions. For one, I plan to emphasize special sections. Indeed, the Journal has had special sections in the past, but these tended to be sporadic and opportunistic rather than a regular feature. Special sections should emphasize topics that are visionary and timely, and elevate wildlife science to new levels. The way it will work is that a lead person can provide me with a prospectus of the topic and its relevance, and a list of papers to be included. If I accept the idea, the lead will act as AE for manuscripts as they go through peer review. Papers must meet the same standards as regular Journal submissions, so there is no guarantee of publication just because a manuscript is part of a special section. Several people have approached me already and I encourage you to contact me if you have a good idea. Second, I hope to include invited papers. Again, I want these to be timely, insightful, and introspective. I see these as opportunities to critically evaluate old paradigms and provide new perspectives. I want these to move our science forward. Another change that I plan to initiate is to involve advanced students as referees and even as Associate Editors. I view this as a training opportunity to engage students in the publication process. The Journal can certainly benefit by their energy and new perspectives. And finally, I plan to explore the possibility of including both Spanish and French abstracts with papers. This is, after all, an international journal!
If you have any thoughts or ideas, I'm all ears!!