Providing strategic publishing leadership

Taylor Fellowship Committed to Excellence

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

With the main goal of ensuring that AAPG remains a premier energy geoscience publisher, 50 members of the newly formed Charles H. Taylor Fellowship met in Houston for its inaugural meeting.

Stephen Laubach
Stephen Laubach

This first annual Charles H. Taylor Fellowship Meeting, held in February under the leadership of AAPG Editor Stephen Laubach, formally established a consultative body comprising current and former members of AAPG’s Editorial Board – and each future meeting will continue to build upon this group’s work in advising and assisting the Elected Editor in guiding and operating all aspects of the association technical and scientific publication effort.

The one-day meeting had a far-reaching agenda, capped off with a formal dinner, during which the Fellows were officially inducted.

Specific details that were addressed included:

♦ The Future of the BULLETIN – Strategic Planning.

As the second-oldest energy geoscience journal in existence, the BULLETIN has an excellent reputation, very strong supply of submissions and a high citation index. AAPG Editor candidates Mike Sweet and Colin North led the Fellows in discussing the challenges facing all scientific journals, such as escalating production costs and the need for speedy publication timelines for academicians, with suggestions made to address the challenges.

A working group was planned to help monitor BULLETIN performance and vet publishing and reviewing developments in the industry.

♦ Best Editorial Board Practices.

The need for high-quality peer reviews exists for all AAPG scientific publications. The Associate Editors and reviewers volunteering their time for AAPG have wide-ranging specialties that have changed through industry ups and downs.

Led by AAPG Honorary Member Barry Katz, Fellows discussed plans to update current reviewer databases and to manage turnover and broadening of the editorial board as a whole.

♦ Book and Journal Publications – Future and Strategic Plan.

Led by Terrilyn Olson and Colin North, the challenges facing AAPG publications range from competition during the current era of rapid technological change, citation indices and AAPG structure and content providers.

Focusing on the various committees and current structure of AAPG, the group set plans in place to enhance coordination with all arms of the Association for the recruitment of journal papers and books.

♦ Outreach Initiative Planning for Potential Authors.

The importance of recruiting journal articles and books played a large role in the Fellows’ afternoon discussion. The focus was on best practices to bring paper submissions to AAPG from students and young professionals, busy industry practitioners and international authors in AAPG’s expanding regions.

Outreach specifically was planned as a training session that will take place at the 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition in Pittsburgh, on how to do a review for AAPG, what is involved in producing an AAPG book and how to write a paper for an AAPG journal.

♦ AAPG Publication Awards Processes.

Leading a lively discussion centered on the practices and procedures for selecting the publication awards AAPG presents each year, Mike Sweet and David Pyles reviewed past vetting methods, and utilized the Fellows’ feedback to create plans to improve the process used by AAPG to select publication awards.

There was a vigorous discussion about what constitutes “best” paper or book. Was it the best written? The one with most novel ideas? The paper most likely to have a big impact on the science?

The “best” was defined by the group as having:

  • Clear presentation of ideas (illustration, organization, writing style).
  • Scientific validity.
  • Global impact.
  • Innovative ideas or application.
  • Utility of application to petroleum geology.

Integral to the discussion was the nominations process for the Dott, Pratt and Sproule publication awards to propose to the AAPG Executive Committee for the 2014 awards ceremony at the Annual Convention and Exhibition taking place in Houston.

That list of award winners will remain confidential until the proper time of notification and announcement.

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