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ACS324.1 Journal of Environmental Quality Editorial Board. (Reports of CSSA Divisions, Branches, and Committees, 2002).

Introductions. The JEQ Editorial Board meeting was held in the Sagamore Ballroom 5 of the Indianapolis Convention Center, Tuesday, 12 Nov. 2002, 3:00 p.m. Present at the meeting were:
J.L. Hatfield, ASA Editor-in-Chief
W.A. Dick, SSSA Editor-in-Chief
G.M. Pierzynski, Editor
Susan Ernst, Managing Editor
Eric Sherman, Associate Production
  Editor
Technical Editors:
N.T. Basta
D.L. Corwin
W.J. Hickey
J. Thomas Sims
D.B. Jaynes

Associate Editors:

A. Alva
L.F. Bergstrom
R.D. Briggs
R.A. Burke
W.J. Chardon
M.H. Ebinger
M.P. Elless
M.J. Goss
K.N. Jayachandran
M.G. Johnson
M.B. Kirkham
J.L. Kovar
T.F. Morris
V.D. Naif
M.R. Noll
S.A. Prior
A.P. Schwab
M.J. Shaffer
J.J. Sloan
R. Stehouwer
M.L. Thompson
B. Xing
R. Zhang


Editor Gary Pierzynski thanked retiring associate editors and the entire editorial board. Those retiring after one term are: R. McLaughlin, D. Mallants, H. Di, F. Larney, M.B. Adams, L. Ashbaugh, D. Kuykendall, I. Verstraeten, I. Rao, S. Arthur, K. Loague, E. McCoy, and A. Gold. Those who left before their terms expired are: B. Delvaux and R. Mikkelsen. Associate editors reappointed to a second three-year term are: M. McLaughlin, W. Wenzel, D.Y. Lee, D. Wallschlager, and M. Elless. Richard Lowrance was reappointed for a second one-year term.

Newly appointed associate editors who were appointed midyear 2002 and whose terms will be from 2002 to 2004 are: A. Alva and R. Lanno.

Newly appointed associate editors whose terms will be from 2003 to 2005 are: M. Thompson, T. Morris, A. Rogowski, R. Stehouwer, S. Bradford, J. Kovar, A., McFarland, L. Puckett, L. Lee, J. Santo Domingo, N. Lepp, S. Brown, D. Sullivan, G. McIsaac, K. Scheckel, S. Papiernik, S. Gupta, and S. Yates.

JEQ received approval to add two technical editors in 2003, for a total of six. Dan Jaynes and Steve McGrath retired as associate editors and will begin duties as the two new technical editors in 2003. Tom Sims retired as technical editor after one year to assume duties as President-elect of SSSA. Andrew Sharpley was appointed as a technical editor for a three-year term to replace Tom Sims.

Journal Promotion--Sara (Procknow) Uttech

Sara Uttech opened by stating that she can create press releases for journal articles worthy of promotion. The press releases can be submitted to EurekAlert!, an online press service created by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that distributes science-related news to reporters and news media around the world. In general, the path by which a release would be created would start with an associate or technical editor picking out a manuscript on a subject of broad interest or a "hot topic" in science. The author would then write a summary of the research, which Sara would turn into a press release.

Comments from board members were supportive of Sara's efforts. One board member stated that other journals may not necessarily have better science, but they effectively promote their research, and that Sara's efforts would help JEQ better promote itself. Another board member stated that associate editors could encourage authors to send local media contacts to Sara to help boost the distribution of the press releases.

Sara mentioned that technical editors could sign up for the pre-publish table of contents available at the JEQ website to seek out manuscripts on subjects that might be suitable for press releases. Gary mentioned that all associate and technical editors should keep an eye out for such manuscripts, and mention them to Sara.

Manuscript Tracker--Dave Lohnes

Before having Dave Lohnes address the board, Gary stated that the journal is committed to Manuscript Tracker, and that the goal of the journal is to have a 100% submission rate through Manuscript Tracker within one year.

Dave started by saying that he would have a printable instruction manual for the system within one month. He also noted that he was working on providing editable requests for reviews, as there had been some comments that the language in the requests was not quite correct (the requests demanded, rather than requested, a review).

Board members requested clarification on the use of rich-text format for reviews, better instructions regarding auto-notices, and creating passwords. A board member asked that she not be required to use to different passwords for the JEQ and SSSAJ Manuscript Tracker systems. Another board member noted that there were problems with converting word-processing files to PDF files, and requested better instructions on this topic.

Tom Sims noted that Manuscript Tracker was a good system, and especially helpful with non-U.S. submissions.

Impact Factors--Warren Dick

Warren Dick gave a brief introduction on impact factors and the ISI database. He noted that the JEQ impact factor had dropped in 2000, and again in 2001. However, he noted this drop may have been because ISI did not receive a copy of each issue of JEQ, and suggested that someone at the ASA headquarters should be responsible for sending a copy of each issue to ISI.

Jeff Volenec added a cautionary note about interpreting impact factors, citing both the JEQ example and an example from Crop Science demonstrating that the impact factors can be misleading.

Budgetary Issues--Tom Sims

Tom Sims noted that the journal is currently barely breaking even from a budget standpoint. He noted that there will be higher page charges for manuscripts submitted in 2003, but also welcomed ideas from the board on how to increase profitability. One board member suggested that the journal seek more advertisers, but Sue Ernst noted that most advertisers preferred to use the ASA-CSSA-SSSA newsletter, CSA News, due to its larger circulation. The editorial board agreed that the editor should be advised of the budget as the papers are completed each year.

Managing Editor's Report--Susan Ernst

A. Production. Work for Volume 31 of JEQ is almost complete. The number of total pages for 2002 is keeping pace with the pages published last year. A summary of papers published, total pages, etc., for 2002 compared with the five previous volumes is shown in Table 1.

The 2002 issues of JEQ contained the following total published pages: No. 1, 372; No. 2, 336; No. 3, 364; No. 4, 356; No. 5,348; and No. 6,392, for an average of 361 pages per issue.

All issues were completed and mailed as follows: No. 1, 22 January; No. 2, 6 March; No. 3, 6 May; No. 4, 15 July; No. 5, 13 September: and No. 6, 13 November. The No. 3 issue (May-June) included the List of Reviewers and the 2001 Editorial Board Minutes; and the No. 6 issue (November-December) includes the author and subject indexes for 2002.

To date we have 40 technical reports, 2 short communications, and 3 book reviews scheduled for the No. 1, 2003 issue.

Disks. The number of papers on disk is at 100% for the year. We prefer Word but we can convert WordPerfect files. We recently started using Word because it is compatible with a special editing tool we are using, which our typesetter provided.

International Submissions. Papers published in JEQ continue to be about 50% international. See Table 2, which shows data for the 1999-2002 issues.

Electronic Version of JEQ. JEQ continues to be published electronically by HighWire Press, Palo Alto, CA, under a 3-yr contract (2001-2003). The online JEQ is available at http:// jeq.scijournals.org/. Table 3 shows the hits to the A-C-S journals on the HighWire site, April-September 2002.

Executive Summaries. The executive summaries are popular with JEQ readers and authors. Dr. Loyd Stone is our Associate Editor in charge of coordinating all the summaries for each issue of JEQ. The number of summaries is steadily increasing. The average for 2001 was approximately 75% and the average for 2002 has increased to 84%. See Table 4.

PDF Proofs. Starting in 2003 we will begin sending authors PDF galley proofs. We have tried this system with two other journals and it has worked very well. The turn-around time is reduced significantly, and we save the mailing costs. However, our printer charges more for this service, but we calculated that we will save some money by using PDF proofing.

B. Circulation. Subscribers can choose either print, electronic, CD-Rom, or any combination of these. See Table 5 for the numbers of each, for the last two years. Note that the total subscribers for 2002 to date is 2546. This is a net loss of 319 compared with last year.

C. Promotion. We would like to promote JEQ using author-written Interpretive Summaries to promote our journals and our research through several avenues: (1) News Flash: Semimonthly email newsletter to members; (2) CSA News: Monthly newsletter to members and department chairs; (3) EurekAlert! from AAAS: A press releases service to 4000+ science journalists; and (4) website: Our websites feature links to the interpretive summaries, when available. See the Journal Promotion section above.

D. Follow-up from 2001 Meeting, None required.

E. Editorial Comments.

New Production Charge. With papers submitted in 2003, there will be a new structure for assessing page and production charges. For papers submitted before 2003, authors are not charged for the first six pages, and are charged $170 per page beyond six. Starting with 2003 papers, members will not be charged for the first four pages, and will be charged $170 per page beyond four. Nonmembers will be assessed the full production charge of $170 per page for all pages.

Manuscript Processing. We greatly appreciate any help the Associate Editor provides regarding the technical aspects of a manuscript. Style errors will need to be corrected eventually, so any work the Associate Editor can do toward this end will make things flow smoother for the final editorial production. Please refer authors to the Publications Handbook and Style Manual, which is available in hard copy or online at http:// www.asa-cssa-sssa.org/style98/and to the Instructions to Authors, published in each issue and available online at http:// jeq.scijournals.org/misc/ifora.shtml

Accepted Manuscript Files from Authors. When a manuscript is accepted, we need a printed copy and a Word file of the accepted version of the paper for editorial production. Because the author sends Headquarters a printed copy of the accepted paper, they might as well send in a disk of the Word file. The option to upload the file to Manuscript Tracker is currently not necessary. We need to find the most efficient way to handle this request; currently we receive printed copies and Word files from the Associate Editor, the technical editor, and/or the author. Multiple copies are confusing. We believe it would be best to start having the request for printed copy and disk come from Headquarters only. So the TEs and AEs should not request these any longer.

Useful Websites. Here are a few useful websites you might want to visit. Reviewer database: http://www.asa-cssa-sssa.org/ review/; Style Manual: http://www.asa-cssa-sssa.org/style98/; Editors' Handbook: http://www.asa-cssa-sssa.org/edithandbook/; Forms and Resources: http://www.asa-cssa-sssa.org/edit_forms/; Online References: http://www.asa-cssa-sssa.org/edit_forms/ references.html

Printing and Typesetting. Printing and typesetting of the journal continues at Capital City Press, Montpelier, VT, under a contract due to expire the end of 2005. They continue to do a great job.

Acknowledgments. Production of the journal continues, but only with the help of many people. Thank you to Editor Gary Pierzynski, the technical editors, and the associate editors.

Many thanks to Eric Sherman, who has worked with JEQ for 3 yr. Early this year he was promoted to associate production editor. He has been a great help with the journal.

Thank you to Meg Johnson, editorial assistant, who logs in accepted manuscripts, sends out new books received, and keeps us organized.

An addition to our editorial team is Penny Magana, editorial assistant. She manages the reprint orders, which includes handling paperwork, invoicing, and pasting up reprints for our in-house printers. We are happy to have her with us.

Editor's Report--Gary Pierzynski

A. Status of Manuscripts and Summary of Published Papers. The number of submissions in 2002 set a new record and continues a trend that has occurred since 1997. The number of paper submissions of all kinds including book reviews, letters, etc. was 421 (1997), 486 (1998), 506 (1999), 561 (2000), 569 (2001), and 574 (2002). This indicates the journal remains strong and is the choice of many researchers looking for an outlet for their work. Online manuscript submission was available for all of 2002 and a total of 61% of papers were submitted electronically in 2002. A total of 47% papers were submitted from outside of the United States.

A summary of action on manuscripts received during the past 4 calendar years is provided in Table 6.

The acceptance rates for papers submitted for the years 1995 through 2001 (the most recent year for which the records are essentially complete) were 57% (1995), 55% (1996), 54% (1997), 57% (1998), 49% (1999), 49% (2000), and 43% (2001). The data are insufficient to provide an estimated acceptance rate for 2002 because many papers submitted in 2002 are still in review.

B. Symposia Proceedings and Book Reviews. Symposia proceedings have become an important part of the journal and the JEQ editor is constantly looking for proposals related to publication of symposium proceedings. The papers published as symposium proceedings are reviewed in the same way as volunteered technical papers. The purpose is to keep the quality of these papers at a high level. Often a single associate editor will be assigned to work with symposia organizers to edit all the papers from a single symposium. No symposium papers were submitted to JEQ in 2002 and none are currently assured for 2003.

Book review submissions remain strong. One of the strengths of JEQ is its book review section and emphasis will continue to be placed on obtaining good quality book reviews. Dr. Mary Beth Kirkham is the associate editor in charge of book reviews and she has done a good job in finding reviewers for books sent to us from publishers. Many publishers send a copy of a book to the JEQ editor who then first asks if someone on the editorial board wants to review the book. If no one volunteers, Dr. Kirkham then tries to find someone else to complete a review. The volunteer gets to keep the book as payment for their review.

C. Subject Matter Categories. Papers have been published under specified subject matter categories since the first issue of 1991 (Table 7). The titles of subject matter categories can change periodically and several new categories were begun in 1999. In 2000, an additional change was the "Vadose Zone Processes and Water Quality" category was replaced by "Vadose Zone Processes and Chemical Transport." The four categories with the largest number of papers in 2002 represented 47% of the total papers published. These four categories were "Heavy Metals in the Environment" (25 papers), "Surface Water Quality" (24 papers), "Organic Chemicals in the Environment" (22 papers), and "Landscape and Watershed Processes" (21 papers).

D. Review Time for Manuscripts. Gary addressed the issue of the time manuscripts spend in review. He mentioned that in some cases, reviews take far too long, and noted three common problems. First, he suggested that associate editors need to assign submitted papers for review as soon as possible. Second, associate editors need to follow up with slow reviewers. Board members suggested that an auto-notice could be incorporated into Manuscript Tracker to help with this problem. Third, Gary requested that associate editors act on papers quickly after receiving revised manuscripts from authors.

The use of Manuscript Tracker has helped review times somewhat. For papers submitted in the first six months of 2002, the average length of time for a paper to complete a first review (i.e., rejected or returned to authors for revision) was 107 days for papers submitted through Manuscript Tracker and 118 days for papers submitted as printed copies. The acknowledgment letter that authors receive when they submit a manuscript indicates that they should hear something within 3 months. The data indicate we are only able to accomplish this with 38% of our papers (Table 8). The letter has been changed to 4 months to reduce the number of author queries (which consumes a considerable amount of time for the editor and technical editors), but associate editors need to make a concerted effort to reduce review time.

E. Miscellaneous. A board member asked how much energy he should commit toward helping an author improve the manuscript, rather than simply reviewing what was originally submitted. Gary suggested that while helping to improve the paper may be a worthy effort, review editors should carefully consider the costs, particularly with regard to review time.

Gary then stated his goal that all manuscripts be submitted through Manuscript Tracker by January 2004. He noted that review times have been cut by about 1 month in many cases. Board members were in favor of this goal and Gary will advertise this change in 2003. Gary asked that all review editors use the Manuscript Tracker system, even in cases where the author has submitted printed copies for review rather than PDF files.

Next, the discussion turned to the JEQ policy on modeling papers that do not have any data. One board member noted that Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T) does not accept these papers, and that JEQ should not, either, so as to avoid becoming a "dumping ground" for rejected ES&T manuscripts. The board then had an active discussion on the definition of "modeling paper," and attempted to come to a resolution as to how much data should be considered the minimum acceptable amount.

ACTION: It was moved that the JEQ Editorial Board should use ES&T's policy for modeling papers without real data. Seconded. Carried.

As a matter of clarification, note that ES&T's policy is to not accept modeling papers that do not have real data.

Gary concluded his report with several comments on international submissions. He noted that often these papers come from authors for whom English is a second language. He noted it is the responsibility of the review editors to help correct language and grammar problems, but also noted that releasing a paper due to language issues is an acceptable move.

F. Editor's Goals for 2003.

a. Make the transition to 100% electronic submissions by 1 Jan. 2004.

b. Work with associate and technical editors to have all associate editors using Manuscript Tracker for all aspects of all manuscripts.

c. Reduce average review time for manuscripts.

d. Work with Budget and Finance committees to improve JEQ budgetary matters. In particular, change production charge policy to a nominal charge (~$25/page) for the first six pages of a published paper and $170/page thereafter for members and nonmembers.

e. Improve impact factor.

f. Increase subscriptions.

Comments from Technical Editors

Dennis Corwin commended associate editors for the high volume of manuscripts handled. He also asked associate editors to consider focusing more energy on asking authors to improve their manuscripts from a style standpoint.

Nick Basta emphasized that it is not always necessary to wait for a third review, and that the review process can be sped up by recommending acceptance following two positive reviews.

Concluding Remarks--Gary Pierzynski

Gary mentioned that he was open to suggestions regarding new associate editors. He also followed up Dennis Corwin's remarks by asking associate editors to make sure authors are using SI units. He concluded that the board members were doing a good job and that the journal is in fine shape.

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Table 1. Summary of papers published in JEQ, 1997 to 2002.

Contribution           2002   2001   2000   1999   1998   1997

Reviews and Analyses      1      3      3      2      2      2
Technical Reports       195    227    210    211    177    196
Environmental Issues      3      1      3      1      4      6
Short Communications      7      5      5     12      4      6
Symposia                 35     14     28     22      8      4
Letters/Replies           0      0      0      1      0      2
Book Reviews             15     22     28     28     23     25
Total pages            2168   2262   2136   2100   1620   1772

                              Average length per paper

Reviews and Analyses   11.6   14.2    8.3    5.7    5.2   13.6
Technical Reports       8.3    8.3    7.8    7.8    7.6    7.6
Environmental Issues    5.8   12.3    6.7    9.3    6.7    9
Short Communications    3.3    4.4    4.4    3.5    3.9    3.2
Symposia                8.3   10.3    8.5   10.1    7.6    6.9

Table 2. Percentage of papers published in JEQ submitted
from outside the USA, 1999 to 2002.

               Percent international

Issue        1999   2000   2001   2002

                         %

Jan.-Feb.     25     60     41     43
Mar.-Apr.     35     32     38     59
May-June      28     48     64     59
July-Aug.     45     49     34     13
Sept.-Oct.    26     33     30     51
Nov.-Dec.     42     28     41     57
Avg.          34     42     41     47

Table 3. Hits to the home page journal sites on HighWire
Press, April-September 2002.

Journal title         April   May    June   July

JEQ                    4025   3842   3287   3510
Agronomy Journal       6004   5099   4295   4536
Crop Science           6146   6004   5015   5089
SSSAJ                  6442   5623   4784   5087
Vadose Zone Journal    --      --     --     --

Journal title         August   September   Avg.

JEQ                    3515      4209      3731
Agronomy Journal       4381      5636      4992
Crop Science           5313      6046      5602
SSSAJ                  5118      6384      5573
Vadose Zone Journal     --       2735      2735

Table 4. The percentage of papers with executive summaries
for the 2002 issues.

Issue        No. of executive summaries

                         %

Jan.-Feb.                70
Mar.-Apr.                80
May-June                 85
July-Aug.                88
Sept.-Oct.               92
Nov.-Dec.                88
Avg.                     84

Table 5. Summary of subscribers for JEQ, 2001 and 2002.

                                  No. of
                                subscribers

Version                         2001   2002

Print                           2468   1961
Print and electronic             103    149
Print and CD-Rom                 118    161
Print, CD-Rom, and electronic     39     41
CD-Rom                            41     52
Electronic                        39     89
Electronic and CD-Rom             57     93
Total subscribers               2865   2546

Table 6. Summary of action taken on manuscripts received from
1999 through 2002.

                           2002
                        Categories

Action taken   MS ([dagger])   BR ([dagger])

Received            540             34
Accepted            105             15
Rejected            169              0
Withdrawn             3              0
Released              0              0
In process          263             19

                 2001       2000       1999
                Cate-      Cate-      Cate-
                gories     gories     gories

Action taken   MS    BR   MS    BR   MS    BR

Received       535   33   527   34   472   36
Accepted       229   15   260   22   231   29
Rejected       302    0   241    0   225    0
Withdrawn        1    0     0    0     0    0
Released         0   18    10   12    16    7
In process       3    0    16    0     0    0

([dagger]) MS = manuscripts submitted and BR = book
reviews solicited.

Table 7. Summary of number of technical papers published in each
subject matter category from 1996 to 2002. ([dagger])

                                  Vol. 31   Vol. 30   Vol. 29   Vol. 28
Category ([dagger])                2002      2001      2000      1999

Heavy Metals in the Environment     25        29        26        24
Plant and Environment
  Interactions                      16         7        10        20
Organic Chemicals in the
  Environment                       22        25        21        31
Water Quality                       --        --        --        11
Surface Water Quality               24        36        30        24
Ground Water Quality                 6        16        20         7
Land Reclamation                    --        --        --         0
Ecosystem Restoration                6         2         9         0
Soil Processes and Chemical
  Transport                         --        --        --        12
Vadose Zone Processes and
  Chemical Transport                 7        10        18         7
Biodegradation and
  Bioremediation                     9        15        14         7
Waste Management                    20        38        24        26
Atmospheric Pollutants and
  Trace Gases                       18        13        14        11
Ecosystem Processes                 --        --        --         1
Wetlands and Aquatic Processes      12        13         8         8
Landscape and Watershed
  Processes                         21        15        11        --
Ecological Risk Assessment          10         8         4         2

                                  Vol. 27   Vol. 26   Vol. 25
Category ([dagger])                1998      1997      1996

Heavy Metals in the Environment     34        28        13
Plant and Environment
  Interactions                       9         5         7
Organic Chemicals in the
  Environment                       19        27        12
Water Quality                       33        38        27
Surface Water Quality               --        --        --
Ground Water Quality                --        --        --
Land Reclamation                     5         6         1
Ecosystem Restoration               --        --        --
Soil Processes and Chemical
  Transport                         26        30        28
Vadose Zone Processes and
  Chemical Transport                --        --        --
Biodegradation and
  Bioremediation                    11        12        11
Waste Management                    13        22        18
Atmospheric Pollutants and
  Trace Gases                       12         3        23
Ecosystem Processes                  3        11         4
Wetlands and Aquatic Processes      10         7         3
Landscape and Watershed
  Processes                         --        --        --
Ecological Risk Assessment          --        --        --

([dagger)] Subject matter categories are periodically changed. The
"Water Quality, "Land Reclamation," "Soil Processes and Chemical
Transport," and "Ecosystem Processes" categories were eliminated
halfway through 1999. Added at the same time were "Surface Water
Quality," "Ground Water Quality," "Vadose Zone Processes and Chemical
Transport," and "Ecological Risk Assessment."

Table 8. Summary of times required to return a first review of a
paper submitted to JEQ.

Time     2002   2001   2000   1999   1998   1997

months                 % of papers

 <2        11      8      8     17     12     13
2-3        27     27     30     32     35     34
3-4        24     32     32     24     31     26
4-5        17     12     16     11     13     11
5-6        13      9      8      9      5      7
 >6         8     12      6      7      4      9


--Eric Sherman, Associate Production Editor, Susan Ernst, Managing Editor, and Gary Pierzynski, Editor,
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