Publications Committee Newsletter PDF (164 kb)
Volume 1. Issue 1 – January, 2006
The publication process is defined in 4 stages.
Committee Goals for 2006 are:
- 24 Preliminary Proposals,
- 12 Formal Proposals, and
- 10 Accepted Publications.
The role of Committee Members is expanded from “passive reviewer” to include “active solicitation.” Your individual goal for 2006 is to solicit 2 Preliminary Publications (per person) for consideration by the committee.
Defining the Process
Turning Ideas into Special Publications
There are 4 stages in the publication cycle that represent a progressive maturation of ideas into Special Publications:
- Preliminary Proposals: These are ideas geoscientists tell us about: “Hey, we put on a symposium on biogenic gas reservoirs of the Northern Rocky Mountains, would this interest AAPG?” We (AAPG Editor, AAPG Staff, & Committee Vice Chairs) kick around the idea in our monthly phone conference. Important note: sending in an idea does not constitute “Accepted for publication.”
- Proposals Under Evaluation: These no longer “ideas” we talk about, but are written, Formal Proposals, using AAPG’s Special Publications Guidelines Form (copied below), that have been submitted to AAPG Geoscience Director, with supporting documentation. Important note: sending in a Formal Proposal does not constitute “Accepted for publication.”
- Approved Proposals: These are Formal Proposals that have been reviewed and recommended by the committee, and which the Elected Editor has approved. Once a publication has been approved, the Elected Editor sends out a dated letter that “starts the clock.” This letter from the editor marks the moment when the Special Publication has been “Accepted for Publication.” Authors have one year to deliver their book. This stage involved the writing and reviewing of the book before it reaches AAPG HQ.
- Manuscripts in Production: Complete book has been delivered to AAPG headquarters, and is now in the publishing process. Physically publishing a book takes about a year, and is very involved. If you want to know the details, please contact Beverley Molyneaux at AAPG HQ (1-800-364-2274).
Your Role as a Committee Member
- Review Formal Proposals that I send you.
- Fill out the AAPG Review of Special Publications Proposal Form, along with any additional editorials, commentaries, diatribes, etc. But fill out the review form first Download as PDF or interactive MS Word document.
- Solicit 2 new, quality Preliminary Proposals – per person - for consideration as a Special Publications. (I am aware that some of you already have specific projects for the committee and are pre-occupied.)
- Send the idea and contact information to Jim Blankenship (or one of the below). Include: person’s name, address, phone numbers, idea for SP, and email address. Only send author’s email address, after you get the phone number first.
- Call any one of us if you have questions about a possible subject.
Send contact information to:
- Jim Blankenship: Geoscience Coordinator:
- Bill DeMis, Chairman:
- John Lorenz, Vice Chair:
- Andrew Hurst, Vice Chair:
- Carmen Fraticelli, Vice Chair:
- Terri Olson, Vice Chair:
2006 Committee Goals
- Two dozen Preliminary Proposals
- Twelve Formal Proposals
- Ten Accepted Proposals
A big part of the publication process can also be called the “harassing” process. The ugly truth is that many geoscientists can write a Formal Proposal, but they let their publication lapse because they do not understand how much time is involved. Thus the committee Chairman and vice chairs, and AAPG staff, spend a lot of time gently, then forcefully, reminding authors of due dates.
The AAPG Publications Committee has a tool kit for Compilation Editors on the AAPG’s web page (aapg.org/pubs/index.cfm - the bottom half of the page, under Special Publications) to help Compilation Editors understand what is required of them, what they need to do and when. There is even a mock spreadsheet of milestones in the publications process. Tell prospective authors about this web page address and its resources. Alas, few Compilation Editors read AAPG’s “helpful hints.” Some publications languish. Some publications are terminated for lack of progress. The Publications Committee has become increasingly ruthless at dropping projects that do not progress.
I do not want to give short shrift to the good Compilation Editors that have exceptional track records of getting fine manuscripts to AAPG HQ on time. We have some wonderful authors we have been honored to work with. These good folks do not take any of our time. They know what they are doing and they just do it.
Goals and Solicitation: The only way we will make our goals this year is by active solicitation by you, the members of the Publications Committee. “Solicitation” does not mean sending out an email to 20 people, asking them if they might “know of anyone that has a book in their back-pocket.” Solicitation means seeing a really good talk, or attending a really good technical session, or attending a really good symposium - with motivated authors. Then you, the AAPG Publications Committee member, must look them in the eye and ask them: “Would you consider submitting your work to AAPG for consideration as a SP?”
Okay, the part about “looking them in the eyes” is overstating it a bit. The point is that solicitation requires a personal touch. Do not rely solely on email because it rarely works for solicitation. It is too impersonal. Call people. Talk to people. Please do not put up an announcement in the coffee lounge and expect people to respond. Indeed, if I had the time and money, I would not send this email. I would call all y’all and speak with you individually. (But there are 35 of you. And I am informing you - not asking you to consider taking on the gigantic task of a Special Publication.)
In my next newsletter, I will be sending you contact information for AAPG 2006 Convention, plus other leads and ideas for Special Publications. Please do not wait for my next email.
Your task starts today.
Attrition and Goals: Our goal is 24 Preliminary Proposals. This means that each of us will have to solicit 2 good works worthy of consideration. Given attrition of >50%, this mean that maybe 25 or 30 will say, “yeah, I’d like to publish this.” With further attrition (“I don’t have time”, no follow through, etc.) we can count on maybe a half of this pool of authors making written Formal Proposals.
Meeting our goals for the year starts with you, and is controlled by your efforts.