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A Centennial History of The Ohio Journal of Science(1).

ABSTRACT. On the occasion of the centennial of The Ohio Journal of Science, this paper provides a short history of its development. From an inaugural issue of 16 pages in November 1900, The Journal has matured into an important serial featuring peer-reviewed articles in science, engineering, technology, and education, or their applications; book reviews; four special issues devoted to a theme; Academy presidential addresses; and obituaries of deceased members. Guided over the years by a sequence of 18 editors, The Journal has undergone title changes as its disciplinary scope broadened: The O.S.U. Naturalist (Nov-Dec 1900), The Ohio Naturalist (Jan 1901-Jun 1914), The Ohio Naturalist and Journal of Science (Nov 1914-Jun 1915), and The Ohio Journal of Science (Nov 1915-present). In the past century The Journal has developed from an Ohio natural history serial to an interdisciplinary science journal of international use and respect. Copies are sent to 1900 individuals and organizations, including 37 foreign countries.

OHIO J SCI 100 (5):115-120, 2000


The Ohio Journal of Science celebrates its centennial with the December 2000 issue. This present history expands the coverage on the fifty-year history written by Glenn W. Blaydes (1951) and extends the coverage to the beginning of the journal's centennial. Important stages in the journal's growth are presented and other noteworthy facts are given (Table 1).


The Ohio Journal of Science: Chronology of noteworthy facts.
Nov-Dec 1900 The O.S.U. Naturalist

Nov 1900-Jun 1922 Published monthly (none issued for Jul,
 Aug, Sep & Oct)

Jan 1901-Jun 1914 The Ohio Naturalist

Nov 1901-1981 Published by linotype composition and
 letterpress printing process

1903-present Official organ of The Ohio Academy of

Nov 1914-Jun 1915 The Ohio Naturalist and Journal of Science

Nov 1915-present The Ohio Journal of Science

Nov 1921 Address of Academy president first
 published in The Journal

Jan/Feb 1923 Began publishing bimonthly issues

Jan 1930 "Book Notice" (later called "Book
 Review") first appeared as a feature heading
1931 Provision made for Journal to be published
 and controlled jointly by The Academy and
 The Ohio State University

Jul 1931 Necrology Report first published in The

Jul 1931-Jul 1964 Annual Reports of the Academy published
 in The Journal; separately printed by ditto
 process (1965-1974)

Sep 1933 Symposium papers (Symposium on
 Metabolism) first published; others
 published in 1935, 1937, 1941, 1946, 1950,
 1952, 1953, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1966, 1968,
 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1984,
 1986, 1987, 1991, 1993

15 Oct 1949 Advertising officially accepted; between
 1950-1966 approximately $7250 raised for
 The Journal

1952 First Ohio Journal of Science Award for
 Excellence in Research was given to E. R.
 Caley; none given after 1953

1953 General Index for 1900-1950 for volumes 1-
 50, compiled by Ethel Melsheimer Miller

1957 Volume numbering changed from Roman
 numerals to Arabic numbers

1963 Abstracts first required for authors of

1964 List of reviewers of papers in The Journal
 first appeared (for the year 1963)

1968 Exchanges with The Journal reach 542 (129
 domestic; 413 foreign)

Nov 1972 Index 1951-1970 for volumes 51-70,
 compiled by Jane L Forsyth and Christine
 M. Gorta

1974 Solely controlled and published by The Ohio
 Academy of Science

Jul 1974 "[Note]" first appeared as a feature; first
 labeled "Brief Note" (Jan 1976)

Jan 1975 Text changed to 2-column format

Feb 1978 Program Abstracts first published as Journal
 issue: unnumbered (1978-1981), issue no. 2
 (1982-1997), and issue no. 1 (1998-2000)

Mar 1982 Began publishing five issues (Mar, Apr
 program abstracts, Jun, Sep, and Dec) per
 year; began reproduction by photo-offsetting
 through the use of computer composition
 and page layout

1983 Ohio Journal of Science Paper of the Year
 Award first given to Kennard B. Bork

Mar 1986 Size of printed pages changed from 6 3/4" x
 10" to 8 1/2" x 11"; illustrations first placed
 on issue cover

Dec 1987 Special Issue, "Symposium on Biotech-
 nology;" special issue editor, Hollis J.

Dec 1989 Special Issue, "The Ohio River--Its History
 and Environment;" special issue editor,
 William J. Mitsch

1991-1993 OAS Newsletter published as an insert in
 Journal's Jun and Dec issues

Mar 1993 Critical Perspectives in Pure and Applied
 Natural, Physical, and Social Sciences first
 appeared as a feature column

Mar 1995 Special Issue, "Science on a Deep-Ocean
 Shipwreck," featuring numerous color
 illustrations; special issue editor, Charles E.

Jun/Sep 2000 Special Issue, "Fractures in Ohio's Glacial
 Tills;" special issue editors, Julie
 Weatherington-Rice and Ann D. Christy


Although the origin of The Journal is easily traced to The O.S.U. Naturalist, two other serials, the Bulletin of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, Technical Series and The Journal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History, first provided an official means of publication for members of The Ohio Academy of Science. At the second Annual Meeting of the Ohio State Academy of Science (29-30 Dec 1892), Francis M. Webster, Academy Publication Committee member, reported the requirements for publishing Academy papers in the Agricultural Experiment Station's Technical Series. Among the conditions were that the papers: 1) cover topics germane to the Station, such as flora and fauna, economic geology, chemical analysis of soil, water, and plants, meteorology, climatology, and physical geography of Ohio; 2) be relevant to special interests of the State of Ohio; 3) reflect results of original research or observation; and 4) be unanimously recommended by the Academy's Committee on Publication (Ohio State Academy of Science 1892-1907).

At the same meeting, Seth Hayes, Director of the Museum of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History, reported that the Society's Publication Committee would publish papers read at Academy meetings in their Journal According to the minutes of the first day of the summer meeting of the Academy (2-3 Jun 1893), the Academy "constituted the Technical Series of Bulletins of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station and The Journal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History, the official organs of the Academy until some better plan [could] be devised" (Ohio State Academy of Science 1892-1907). At their third Annual Meeting (28-29 Dec 1893), the Academy Publication Committee officially approved these two serials for publishing papers. Academy papers appeared in. Volume 1, Number 3 (1893) of the Agricultural Experiment Station's Technical Series and in volumes 15-17 (1892-1895) of The Journal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History. Although these journals provided a place of publication for Academy members, increased interest in issuing an Ohio natural history serial was developing.


Editor-in-Chief John H. Schaffner, (1(1-2), Nov-Dec 1900)

Research in natural history, particularly for the vicinity of Columbus, OH, was progressing significantly through the work of professors, instructors, and students at The Ohio State University. An organized Biological Club was first formalized in 1891 when its constitution and by-laws were written. Among its goals were promoting biological knowledge and fostering a spirit of original investigation among its members. Biological Club members met as an informal group, but they lacked an avenue for publishing their work (Schaffner 1900). In 1915, the Club became a section of The Ohio State University Scientific Society, composed of the science departments at the University.

Several years before the beginning of the twentieth century, one of the Club's members, botanist William A. Kellerman, wanted to create an Ohio State University botanical journal. Other Club members, Frederick J. Tyler, Robert F. Griggs, and other students belonging to the Club, were interested in establishing a natural science bulletin. A committee, consisting of Club members Herbert Osborn, William A. Kellerman, Frederick J. Tyler, John H. Schaffner, Max Morse, and Robert F. Griggs, developed a plan to publish a natural history journal. The plan was presented to the Club and adopted with slight modification on 7 May 1900.

John H. Schaffner, botanist at The Ohio State University became the Editor-in-Chief (Fig. 1). Five associate editors, representing areas of research in archaeology, botany, geology, ornithology, and zoology, were elected annually by the Club. An Advisory Board of three members provided additional guidance. The journal was scientific and technical, covering a broad view of natural history, yet it would "endeavor to be of especial assistance to the teachers and amateur scientists of the state" (Schaffner 1900). Although The O.S.U. Naturalist was devoted to the interests of the state, it accepted other papers from time to time. The journal was not intended to be a money-making venture, but was anticipated to improve and develop as income from its subscriptions and other sources of funding were generated. Only three months and two published issues after its debut, The O.S.U. Naturalist was renamed The Ohio Naturalist in response to criticism from correspondents who wanted a title more descriptive of its scope.



Editors-in-Chief: John H. Schaffner (1(3), Jan 1901-1(8), Jun 1901); James S. Hine (2(1), Nov 1901-3(1), Nov 1902); Francis L. Landacre (3(2), Dec 1902-3(8), Jun 1903); John H. Schaffner (4(1), Nov 1903-7 (8), Jun 1907; James S. Hine (8(1), Nov 1907-8 (8), Jun 1908); John H. Schaffner (9(1), Nov 1908-14 (8), Jun 1914).

The Ohio Naturalist continued to serve as the official organ of The Biological Club of The Ohio State University during the early 1900s. Interest in the journal grew and the editorial staff promoted it through the distribution of sample copies in hopes of attracting subscribers. One volume, consisting of eight issues, cost $0.50. With issuance of Volume 2, a correspondence department was established as an outlet to publish letters from interested readers. As the Naturalist became increasingly popular, its editors realized that more papers were needed and decided that longer papers were welcome. To accommodate this expansion, the subscription of a volume rose to $1.00 with the first issue of Volume 4 (1903).

An increased association between The Ohio Naturalist and The Ohio Academy of Science was developing. In the December 1903 issue of The Ohio Naturalist, a note stated that "by special arrangement The Ohio Naturalist is sent to members of The Ohio State Academy of Science who are not in arrears for annual dues" (Schaffner 1903).

The role of the Naturalist as a publication source for the Academy was taking further root. At the 28-29 November 1902 Annual Meeting of the Academy, its Publication Committee reported that several papers presented at the previous Annual Meeting (29-30 Nov 1901) were not printed in the proceedings of the Annual Report, but were published in Volume 2 (1902) of The Ohio Naturalist. At its 27 November 1903 Annual Meeting, the Academy resolved that The Ohio Naturalist should be made an official organ of the Ohio State Academy of Science; should publish Academy papers, announcements of meetings and lists of publications for sale; and should be sent to dues-paying Academy members for which the Academy would pay the Naturalist $0.50 per issue. This resolution was incorporated into the Academy's by-laws and the Academy contribution for each issue was subsequently changed to $0.75 (Moseley 1904).

In response to the formation of the Physics Section in the Academy in 1912, the possible establishment of future sections outside the realm of natural science and the broadening scope of the Academy, the Academy Executive Committee first suggested that the name of The Ohio Naturalist be changed in 1914-1915 to The Ohio Naturalist and Ohio Journal of Science, a change that was accepted but then further changed in 1915-1916 to The Ohio Journal of Science. The staff of The Ohio Naturalist approved these recommendations and also agreed that The Journal should continue to serve as the Academy's official organ of publication, and that the Biological Club should continue to be its publisher.


Editor-in-Chief John H. Schaffner (15(1), Nov 1914-15(8), Jun 1915).

According to the subtitle of The Ohio Naturalist and Journal of Science, the serial still maintained a predominant role as a "journal devoted more especially to the natural history of Ohio." Likewise it continued to serve as the official organ of the Biological Club and The Ohio Academy of Science. Academy leaders, however, were interested in reviewing the control and financial management of the journal. A Committee on Financial Management of The Ohio Naturalist and Journal of Science was constituted to study these concerns. In 1914 the committee recommended that "The Academy ask the Biological Club to consider under what conditions they would be willing to transfer to the Academy the financial control and publication of The Ohio Journal of Science" (Blake and others 1915).

In 1915 the financial management committee submitted another report, suggesting that the Academy should eventually finance and control its own journal. In the meantime, the Academy had to find a way to finance the journal. The committee recommended that the arrangement established with the Biological Club be continued and that The Journal be controlled by The Ohio State University Scientific Society and be supported with one dollar of the Academy dues paid by each member. This arrangement could be terminated at the request of either party. The Academy Publication Committee would represent the Academy on the Editorial Board of The Journal, beginning November 1915 (Blake and others 1916). A committee of five, called the Committee on the Relation of the Academy to The Ohio Journal of Science, was proposed to study possible ways and means by which the Academy could take over The Journal.


Editors-in-Chief/Editors: John H. Schaffner (16(1), Nov. 1915-17(8), Jun (1917); Frederick H. Krecker (18(1), Nov 1917-29(6), Nov 1929); Herbert Osborn (30(1), Jan 1930-32(6), Nov 1932); Laurence H. Snyder (33(1), Jan 1933-41(6), Nov 1941); Glenn W. Blaydes (42(1), Jan 1942-50(6), Nov 1950); Earl L. Green (51(1), Jan 1951-53(3), May 1953); Richard H. Bohning (53(4), Jul 1953-56(4), Jul 1956); Henry L. Plaine (56(5), Sep 1956-62(3), May 1962); David H. Stansbery (62(4), Jul 1962-64(5), Sep 1964); Jane L. Forsyth (64(6), Nov 1964-73(2), Mar 1973); David K. Webb, Jr. (73(3), May 1973-73(4), Jul 1973); Jane L. Forsyth (73(5), Sep 1973-74(2), Mar 1974); Milton A. Lessler (74(3), May 1974-81(5/6), Sep/Nov 1981); Tim M. Berra (82(1), Mar 1982-85(5), Dec 1985); Thomas E. Wissing (86(1), Mar 1986-88(5), Dec 1988); Lee A. Meserve (89(1), Mar 1989-95(5), Dec 1995); Thomas W. Schmidlin (96(1), Mar 1996-00(5), Dec 2000).

New visions for publishing The Journal and broadening its scientific scope beyond a natural history focus were emerging. The Ohio Journal of Science began publication under the aegis of The Ohio State University Scientific Society in 1915 and expanded its coverage to reflect all the scientific and technological activities of the Academy. The management of The Journal continued under an Editorial Board consisting of representatives of different scientific departments at The Ohio State University. The Board elected annually the editor-in-chief (later named editor) and associate editors.

In 1916 the Committee on the Relation of the Academy to The Ohio Journal of Science issued a divided report. The majority supported a continuation of the present relation, while a minority favored "that the present relationship of the Academy and The Ohio Journal of Science be terminated, and a committee be appointed to consider the question of some form of Academy publication, as ample and representative as our income" (Committee on The Ohio Journal of Science 1917). The Academy recommended that the Committee formulate the majority and minority plans so that Academy members could express their opinions on them, and that one representative from each Academy Section be appointed to serve on the Editorial Board of The Journal (Committee on The Ohio Journal of Science 1917).


When The Ohio State University Scientific Society disbanded in 1927, control of The Journal transferred to The Ohio Journal of Science Board of The Ohio State University until 1932, when the Joint Administrative Board of The Ohio Journal of Science became active. In its report of 4 April 1931, the Special Committee on the Academy's Relation to The Ohio State University made the recommendation that The Ohio Journal of Science be published and controlled jointly by The Ohio Academy of Science and The Ohio State University. Under this plan, The Ohio State University would establish an agreement that would be legally responsible for the University's interest in The Ohio Journal of Science (Rice and Hyde 1931). The Academy Executive Committee and other involved committees approved the working plan under which the Joint Administrative Board of The Ohio Journal of Science would operate (Rice 1932). The first Joint Administrative Board consisted of Charles G. Shatzer and Edward L. Rice, representing the Academy; and Frederick C. Blake and Edgar N. Transeau, representing the University. Herbert Osborn was elected editor. At this time two changes were made: the calendar year became the fiscal year of The Journal and an Editorial Staff of 14 was selected to represent diverse subjects and various sections of the State.


As with many publishing ventures, The Journal experienced financial vagaries in subsequent years, resulting notably from increased costs of printing and distribution. Increases in subscription rates were not always adequate for sustaining the publication of The Journal. Among other sources of income were the sales of reprints and journal back issues, contributions, grants, advertising, and ultimately page charges, which were first instituted in 1975. Through the years, The Ohio State University and the Academy increased their contribution toward the costs of producing The Journal, although additional funds were occasionally necessary for reducing the backlog of manuscripts awaiting publication.

Among financial assistance from sources outside the Academy were: $2050 from the Charles F. Kettering Foundation for volumes 54, 56, and 57; $8450 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1965 to reduce the backlog of approved manuscripts; and $7300 raised from advertising between 1950-1966.


The eventual termination of The Ohio State University's association with The Journal and financial exigencies of The Journal in the 1970s initiated management and funding changes. Discussions on the partnership of OSU and the Academy in financing and administering The Journal gained prominence within the Academy's Executive Committee and Council. In 1971, Academy Executive Officer John H. Melvin represented the Committee in discussions with the University about the future of The Journal. When the University terminated its association and fiscal contribution to The Journal on I July 1974, the Joint Administrative Board ceased to exist. Consequently, the Academy Executive Committee assumed the duties of the Board, and approved a new editorial policy, appointed new editorial staff, and considered how to finance The Journal. During this period of transition, Battelle Memorial Institute gave a $6000 one-time grant to assist with publishing The Journal. Academy members provided continued support from membership dues and page charges.

Presently the editor, an Academy member selected by the Academy Executive Committee to serve for five years, hires a part-time assistant editor. A four-member Editorial Board consults with the editor on various issues, such as recommending reviewers for manuscripts and books. The editor reports on the status of The Journal monthly to the Academy Chief Executive Officer, who transmits the report to the Academy Board of Trustees.

During its 100 years of publication, The Ohio Journal of Science has developed into an internationally respected journal. The Journal features peer-reviewed articles in science, engineering, technology, and education, or their applications; book reviews; Academy presidential addresses; and obituaries of deceased members. In addition, four "Special Issues," each focusing on a theme, were published as the Dec 1987, Dec 1989, Mar 1995, and Jun/Sep 2000 issues. To date nearly 33000 pages of text have been published in 623 issues comprising 100 volumes. Both members and non-members of the Academy may submit manuscripts for consideration in The Journal. Although papers on Ohio subject matter are given special consideration, other meritorious scientific papers are accepted for review. Journal articles are indexed in leading scientific abstract journals such as Biological Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, GeoRef and Zoological Record. A proposal made in 1966 to change the journal's title to Journal of Science was unsuccessful, but an effort to add a subtitle, An International Multidisciplinary Journal, to the masthead of The Journal's title in March 1996 did succeed.

The Journal faces continued challenges, such as offering online text and competing with numerous specialized science periodicals. However, backed by visionary Academy officers and editorial leaders, and a diverse membership, The Ohio Journal of Science is solidly poised for its second century of publication.


John Henry Schaffner (8 Jul 1866-27 Jan 1939), born in Agosta, Marion County, OH, was the son of farm parents Daniel and Anna (Miller) Schaffner. His family early moved to Clay County, KS, where they first lived in a sod house. Young Schaffner was musically gifted and his curious mind was nurtured through instructional recreations provided by his parents.

Schaffner's advanced education embraced studies at Baker University, KS (A.B., 1893; M.S., 1896); the University of Michigan (A.M., 1894); the University of Chicago (1896-1897); and the University of Zurich, Switzerland (1907-1908). His early teaching experiences were as an assistant in botany (1894-1895), University of Michigan and professor of natural science (1895-1896), South Dakota University. In 1897, he joined botanist William A. Kellerman at The Ohio State University where Schaffner spent his entire professional career in botany. He advanced through the academic ranks as an assistant (1897-1899), assistant professor (1899-1902), associate professor (1902-1911), professor (1911-1928), and research professor (1928-1939). He served as chairman (1908-1918) of the Department of Botany. Among Schaffner's botanical legacies were his diverse studies and resulting 330 publications on systematics, evolution, ecology, genetics, cytology, physiology, morphology, and laboratory procedures.

Schaffner's home life was enriched by his first wife Mabel Brockett (1869-1906) who also assisted him in the laboratory, his second wife Mary Morton Sample (died 1914), and his third wife Cordelia Garber (1887-1987) and their three children: Grace Odile, John Garber, and James Daniel. John Schaffner wholeheartedly contributed his talents and time to the fledgling Ohio Academy of Science, championing the cause of its journal, now called The Ohio Journal of Science, and serving as Academy president (1919). A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, John Henry Schaffner died at age 72 in Columbus, OH.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. For suggestions and comments the author thanks Tim M. Berra, Jane L. Forsyth, Lee Meserve, Thomas Schmidlin, David H. Stansbery, Ronald L. Stuckey, and Thomas E. Wissing. Jane Forsyth and Ronald Stuckey also provided other helpful editorial assistance. Special thanks are extended to David Miller and Susan Whitfield for preparing the illustration.

(1) Manuscript received 3 March 2000 and in revised form 24 July 2000 (#00-04).


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Blake FC, Hine JS, Walton LB. 1916. Report of the Committee on the Financial Management of The Ohio Naturalist and Journal of Science, pp. 233-234. In: Annual Report of the Ohio Academy of Science Twenty-fifth Meeting Quarter-Centennial Anniversary 1915. Proc Ohio Acad Sci 6: 205-406.

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WILLIAM R. BURK, John N. Couch Biology Library, CB#3280-Coker Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
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Publication:The Ohio Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2000
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