Starting this year, former Associate Editors (AEs) together with present AEs are being asked to take a larger role in advising the Elected Editor on many policy issues through the new AAPG Charles H. Taylor Fellowship.
This effort will not overlap with those of other AAPG groups having publication responsibilities.
AAPG publications, important to the petroleum geoscience community, are an essential AAPG member service. To create and deliver the best publications in a challenging and changing publishing environment, the Elected Editor needs the advice and support of knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers, such as the AAPG Publications Committee members and the AAPG BULLETIN’s Board of Associate Editors.
The Publications Committee manages the AAPG book series, where speeding book chapters to publication is a priority; AAPG will soon introduce a service for early electronic publication of book chapters. And the Publications Committee recently instituted a formal Books Editorial Board to ensure that our books have the same high-quality scientific review as the BULLETIN.
But the BULLETIN is AAPG’s publication flagship, and, in many ways, journals are the most complicated challenge for society publishing, due to:
- Increasing demands on the time of potential authors.
- Shrinking library budgets.
- Numerous competing journals – some from well-heeled commercial publishers.
- All of the fast-changing opportunities of the digital age.
The BULLETIN’s AEs provide editorial and technical review support, but for many tasks associated with the BULLETIN, more systematic and sustained volunteer support is needed.
The Charles H. Taylor Fellowship
The Fellowship, designated as a special committee chaired by the Elected Editor, was established by the Executive Committee at its February meeting. Comprising all former and current members of the Association’s editorial boards, the Fellowship’s mission is to help ensure that the BULLETIN remains the premier scientific journal of energy geoscience by providing advice on BULLETIN strategy.
The Fellowship also is a way for AAPG to say “thank you” to the more than 280 living former associate editors who have given their time and energy to the BULLETIN over the past several decades.
Members of the group will be recognized as AAPG Charles H. Taylor Fellows with a suitable certificate and annual meeting ribbon.
What’s In a Name?
Charles Henry Taylor, the first editor for the Association, serving from 1917 through 1919, was a key figure in AAPG history. According to Wallace Pratt, E.L. DeGolyer, J.E. Thomas and Charles H. Taylor were instrumental in founding the Association.
Taylor was the older, sober organizer who gave form to the effort. His 1964 obituary called him the “father of the AAPG.”
Fellowship is a term for people with a community of interest, and the term is commonly used to designate distinguished individuals in academic contexts. Both of these connotations are appropriate for members of an editorial board association.
Fellowship To-Do List
Several issues need immediate attention, and some work already is under way.
An initial priority is improving editorial board operations, identifying suitable board and reviewer performance metrics and standards, planning for turnover and broadening of the board, monitoring of BULLETIN performance (including time-to-decision and other efficiency measures), and updating our reviewer database.
AEs and newly appointed senior AEs will be asked to take on a more meaningful role in scientific editing, leading to better papers and more satisfied authors. But taking on this role will entail more thorough AE training on the BULLETIN’s online manuscript-management system, Rapid Review, along with discussion of uniform reviewing and editing policy and standards.
The Fellowship will lead an improved and thorough vetting of award recommendations for papers and books for the major publication awards (these recommendations are transmitted by the Editor to the Advisory Council) and also will instigate recognition of discipline-specific notable papers in the BULLETIN, as well as recommend reviewing and editing awards.
The Fellowship will take an active role in identifying and soliciting topics for theme issues and may recommend review articles to be commissioned. The Fellowship will devise a new strategy for E&P Notes that will link this part of the BULLETIN more closely to Sections and Regions.
A major task will be helping to identify opportunities in electronic publishing and reviewing, including implementing ahead-of-print online publishing later this year.
Outreach to young industry authors also is planned.
Charles H. Taylor Fellows Annual Meeting and Dinner
A subcommittee of the editorial board concluded that the most effective way for the Fellowship to operate is through an annual face-to-face working meeting – preferably not in conjunction with other Association meetings – supplemented by subcommittee conference calls.
Videoconferencing will be provided to accommodate those who want to participate in the annual meeting but who cannot travel.
The meeting allows the Fellowship and the Publications Committee to meet jointly, permitting much-needed, in-depth study of publication issues and coordination between BULLETIN and book publishing, as well as an opportunity to train AEs in use of the Rapid Review system and to discuss reviewing and editing policy.
The initial annual working meeting is scheduled for February 2013 in Houston. Although the Fellowship will report to the Elected Editor, with a membership of more than 280 the Fellowship will be self-governing. Arrangements will be worked out at the Houston meeting.
Much of the Fellowship work will be conducted by subcommittees.
More information and subcommittee assignments will be discussed at the Editors Appreciation Breakfast at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Long Beach, Calif., on Monday, April 23, at 7:30 a.m. in the Regency E.
The Houston 2013 working meeting also will feature a dinner, which will be AAPG’s opportunity to thank the editorial board fellowship for service. The dinner also will provide an opportunity for recipients of reviewing and editing awards and certain categories of publication award to be recognized, as well as for AEs to be thanked when their term of service ends.
AAPG will fund the initial 2013 Fellowship annual meeting, although the aim is to make the operation revenue neutral.
Fellows can contribute to a soon-to-be-established AAPG fund in support of the fellowship.
The Elected Editor will match gifts, dollar-for-dollar, totaling up to $10,000 through Dec. 31, 2013.