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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Environmental Bioindicators (EBI) to Environmental Indicators (EI) and other Developments: the Evolution of a Journal

 

Reprinted Editorial from Volume 4, Number 4


Reprinted Editorial from Volume 4, Number 4

Environmental Bioindicators (EBI) to Environmental Indicators (EI) and other Developments: the Evolution of a Journal

EDWARD J. ZILLIOUX

 

New scientific journals commonly go through a growth period where changes are made in an effort to find the best combination of format and content to match the mission statement and objectives so carefully crafted at its birth, as well as how to best reach its intended audience. This journal is no exception. With this issue, we have completed four years of publication. While we can look back on our successes, we also must see where we can make improvements to grow and better serve our readership. We are now embarking on major changes that will make this happen. This effort is being guided by a Transition Team made up of active members and headed by the International Society of Environmental Indicators (ISEI) President, Diane Henshel.

Change in Title

At the 17th International Conference on Environmental Bioindicators in Moscow, Diane Henshel announced that the EBI Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors has approved a journal name change from Environmental Bioindicators to Environmental Indicators, to take effect with the first issue of 2010. This is a change in name only and does not affect the journal’s mission or objectives. That is, we accept manuscripts on the basis of an indication on the status of environmental health. The source of such indication could be changes in chemical or physical attributes of the environment as well as biological. Papers accepted in the past have included chemical indicators (e.g., Terauda and Nikodemus, 2006) and hydrological indicators (e.g., Epting et al., 2008). Nevertheless, it is clear that the use of the term “bioindicators” in the journal title has limited consideration of Environmental Bioindicators by chemists, physicists and other non-biologists as a venue for publication even though their work may clearly address environmental health. We anticipate that this change in name will help to boost our current rate of manuscript submissions.

Change in Publishing Venue

In today’s market, reaching our intended audience on an international scale necessitates on-line publishing with some form of open access. This could be accomplished as an adjunct to a paper copy or as an on-line stand-alone electronic version. Although there are still important decisions to be made as we enter the closing weeks of 2009, it is safe 284 Zillioux to report that the first issue of 2010 (Volume 5, Issue 1), will be in an electronic format that will vastly expand our readership and the number of times articles are downloaded. It is anticipated that this will increase our recognition, paper submissions, and ultimately membership in ISEI, as well as other individual and library subscriptions to the journal.

Change in Management and Editorial Staff

In 2009 we had the first ever election of a full slate of Society officers (see EBI 3(3–4), 221–223). Not surprising, the time taken for each officer to step into their designated roles has not been uniform or, as yet, fully realized. The duties of each officer as well as of the Chairs of Standing Committees were developed by the Nomination and Election Committee and published prior to the election in EBI 3(2), 139–141. With the advent of our new on-line publishing venue, all officers as well as members of the Transition Team and other member volunteers will have increased roles to play to assure success of the new venture. To that end, we ask all members to join in active participation by contacting and letting ISEI President Diane Henshel,dhenshel@indiana.edu, know of your interest and level of commitment.

 

A completely new editorial staff will be selected based upon a polling of all ISEI members. This will not necessarily affect the Editorial Board, although changes will occur there as well. Jim Newman and I will resign as co-editors-in-chief at the beginning of 2010 to allow new blood to lead the on-line editorial tasks, which will be quite different than those we currently use. Jim and I will continue to be actively involved through our positions as co-executive directors of EBI Foundation, Inc., which continues to manage and support both EI and ISEI.

A Brief History of Earlier Changes and Milestones

During the past four years, numerous changes and/or milestones have occurred in the structure of the journal and in the development of the Society. In addition to the election of society officers reported above, I have listed a further sampling of milestones below:

  • New Associate Editors and members of the Editorial Board have been added as the need has been recognized. The Editorial Board is still fairly lean and more members will be added and changes made in the near future.
  • EBI Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp.110–111: the formation of ISEBI and the establishment of its new journal is reported in the summary of the 13th International Conference on Environmental Bioindicators and the First Annual Meeting of the new International Society of Environmental Bioindicators, held in Prague, 2005.
  • EBI 1(2), 157–158: a new section, “News, Announcements and Upcoming Meetings” (thereafter “News & Notes”), is added.
  • EBI 1(2), 159–173: a new section, “Brief Communications,” is added. This section is intended for non-peer reviewed reports on developments of interest to the EBI readership.
  • EBI 1(3), 223–226: a new section, “ISEBI Update,” is added to provide the president’s update on news of the society. Recorded in this initial column is a summary of the first business meeting of ISEBI held at the annual conference at Linthicum Heights, Maryland, April 2006. The first president (Ed Zillioux) and vice president (Jim Newman) were elected by voice vote. Editorial 285
  • EBI 2(1), 47–51: a new section, “Research Notes,” is added intended for publishing brief notes on original research, not required to conform to the standard format of a full paper, but subject to standard peer review.
  • EBI 2(1), 35–46: the first of a continuing series of Annual Conference Roundtable Discussion Groups summary reports is published.
  • EBI 2(3), 215: the first change in the society dues structure is implemented to account for lower incomes in developing countries. Further changes are in the planning stage for 2010.
  • EBI 2(4): the first special issue dedicated to a single topic area, Radiotracer Techniques, is published. Later special issues were dedicated to Environmental Bioindicators of Climate Change (4(1)), and Selenium as a Bioindicator of Susceptibility to Mercury Exposures (4(3 and 4)).
  • EBI 3(3–4): the winners of the “Top Ten Papers,” are announced (pp.223–224) with the republishing of complete abstracts (pp.207–216). The papers were chosen from the first 2 ½ years of publication by E-ballot open to the EBI Editorial Board and ISEBI members. Further recognition of excellence is planned to honor future winners chosen in competitive elections.

In summary, EBI has had a productive initial four years, but the time has come to make major changes to continue its growth and ensure its longevity. On 21 September 2009, I invited by e-mail all ISEI officers and Editorial Board members to provide ideas to the Transition Team or to become an active member of the Team. A few have volunteered and are now working with the original members. I now encourage all of our society members to become involved. In the days to come, you will be asked to nominate society members who would be willing to participate in the on-line editorial process. An Editor-in-Chief needs to be identified who, in turn, will put together his or her editorial team, selected from the membership nominees.

 

And, finally, I thank all members and readers who have stayed with us through the first four years. Now let us all look forward to many more years of Environmental Indicators.

References Epting RJ, Robison CP, Reddi RC. 2008. Gauge and hydrologic statistics: indicators for lake classification. Environmental Bioindicators 3: 193–204. Terauda E, Nikodemus 0. 2006. Element inputs by litterfall to the soil in pine forest ecosystems. Environmental Indicators 1: 145–156.

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