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From the Editor-in-Chief--greetings and goals for the New Year.

The Appraisal Journal continues to meet its goal of being "the leading periodical for thoughtful appraisers in the free world." (Editor-in-Chief John P. Dolman, January 1976) I have been privileged to be associated with the Journal for many years, first as a member of the review panel, then as a member of the editorial board. I am most proud, however, of having been accepted as a regular contributor for more than 20 years. Nothing I have done in appraisal has approached it in terms of being professionally and personally rewarding. The appointment as Editor-in-Chief is an honor; following the likes of recent editors such as Gibbons, Akerson, Dolman, Kafes, Reynolds, Korpacz, Marchitelli, Swango and, most recently, Bonnie Roerig, is daunting to say the least. I will do my very best to meet the expectations of the position and to live up to the standard set by these illustrious predecessors.

Each issue of the Journal begins with a mission statement: "to provide a peer-reviewed forum for information and ideas on the practice and theory of valuation and analyses of real estate and related interests ... some articles are for the development and expansion of appraisal theory while others are useful in the evolution of practice." Accomplishment of this mission relies on two elements. First, articles are reviewed and selected for publication by our member review and academic review panels. A "double blind" review system is used; that is, neither the reviewer nor the author knows the other's identity. Effort is made to identify reviewers with specialized expertise with the topic while taking care not to use those who might be too close to it to allow them to remain impartial. The process is rigorous.

Getting the ideas out there, however, is just the beginning. Once published, attention shifts to responses from our readers, with their reactions of merit advanced through publication as letters to the editor. The importance of this second step--the peer review after publication (considered by many to be the true peer review)--cannot be overemphasized. We are not satisfied with the level of response we have received in recent years. We know from conversations with the authors that the articles are generating reactions; the reactions just are not finding their way to us for publication. To this end, one of the goals we have set for the Journal is to encourage this correspondence. If you agree with an idea presented in an article, say so. If you disagree, submit your rebuttal. If an author is contacted with comments about a piece, he or she is encouraged to direct the discussion to us. An idea is not capable of moving into the mainstream until it has been subjected to a thorough probing. Our letters to the editor provide that forum.

Among the duties and responsibilities of The Appraisal Journal Editorial Board is the mandate to address both commercial and residential topics of interest, and to maintain a balance of technical and conceptual articles. Recent issues have fallen short of expectations regarding residential topics. Although we have always welcomed submissions on these subjects, relatively few have been received. Consequently, our second goal will be to place in each issue at least one quality article dealing with topics of interest to our residential constituents. I personally will contact potential authors and encourage them to prepare a piece for submission. If you have written one, submit it. If you are not certain it is up to standard, submit it anyway. We will work with you. A lot is happening in the residential arena. New issues have emerged and ways to deal with them are being formulated. Let's get the ideas before our readership so these new approaches can be subjected to the peer-review process and be advanced.

Other measures under consideration this year will be expansion of our Academic Review Panel, new regularly featured columns, and more book reviews.

After appointment to Editor-in-Chief, I sought ideas from members, other journal editors and academics, on ways to improve our product. One of the best pieces of advice I received was, "we can't afford to mess with the Journal too much." (Wolverton) Our journal is indeed a venerable institution. It is my intention to ensure that it maintains its professional prominence while becoming increasingly accessible, intellectually stimulating, practical, and interesting. I am confident our superb staff, including Margo Wright, Nancy Bannon, and Kim Morris, will make that happen.

David C. Lennhoff, MAI, SRA

Editor-in-Chief and Chair of the

Editorial Board
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Author:Lennhoff, David C.
Publication:Appraisal Journal
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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