I want to use this space in each issue to mention items related to the Proceedings that are not a part of the "Editorial" section.
Many of you heard me say that I wanted the journal out by the technical meeting. Obviously, I didn't get that job done. I thought that I would explain a little of what happened. Two new events happened at the same time. The Proceedings got a new Managing Editor late in the production cycle and the Production Editor got new computer equipment with a differrent operating system and a different typesetting system. (We also had the usual problems of authors moving, going on vacation, and the like, but any editor expects and should plan for that.) I think this issue has taught me that even the best of plans have traps. I think next year, we can get the Proceedings out in time for the Fall Technical Meeting.
Franklin Leach edited this journal before passing it to me and he set the standard that I hope to meet. He is exceedingly generous with his time, advice, and files that he had developed (things like letters of acknowledgment, letters soliciting reviews, letters explaining the copyright and page charges, instructions for the abstracts and providing electronic copy-the list goes on and on). Many of you know what it is like to take on a new job and find the file cabinet empty. You not only have to start working on the backlog that has accumulated between the previous person's leaving and your arrival, but also have to develop procedures and communications to get the job going. Franklin did all that for me, so I eased into the editor's chair and made a few changes on the letters, etc. (changing his name to mine, for example). I hope I leave the file cabinet in as good a shape as I received it when it is time for me to pass the job along.
Thank you, Franklin!
The Executive Council of OAS has shown me tremendous support. I have attended two meetings so far and found that they are deeply interested and committed to this publishing endeavor. They have provided me money to hire an editorial assistant (see below) and to attend a training seminar for new journal editors. My thanks go to Connie Taylor and the entire Executive Council for making this transition easy and pleasant.
Ron Tyrl acted as interim editor between the time Franklin resigned and I was appointed. He acquired and logged manuscripts, and generally held the office together until I was elected. After that, he gave much valuable assistance, especially in recommending peer reviewers.
As I mentioned above, the Executive Council voted to allow me to hire an Editorial Assistant. I found the perfect person. Carrie McDowell is a student in the Technical Writing Program-Master's degree-at Oklahoma State University. She is in her last stages and, as the Program requires, needs a second internship. I asked her to work with me on the Proceedings and she agreed. She comes with a background in herpetology, so she knows what is involved in empirical research. She has also completed classes in editing. She choose a first internship as editorial assistant to Dr. Jack Vitek, Editor of Geomorphology. There, she edited papers and helped with the administrative duties of publishing a journal. For the Proceedings, she will also edit papers and help administer the journal. This past spring, she handled routine correspondence for me while I was teaching in Germany. We corresponded almost daily by e-mail and used FedEx to ship manuscripts back and forth. If you have had Carrie edit your paper, you know how competent and professional she is.
Drs. Otis Dermer and Robert Freeman have graciously agreed to remain as Associate Editor and Production Editor for this issue. Their great experience with the Proceedings has made the job of getting manuscripts through the process much easier. This part of the publishing process rarely receives the credit it deserves, and these two excellent Editors have been instrumental in making the journal the success it is.