Welcome to the “new” Annals of the Entomological Society of America. So, what’s new? The scope of this venerable journal (109 years and counting) has changed. The partnership between the Entomological Society of America and Oxford University Press has prompted an examination of the publishing niches of our various journals. Oxford is helping us develop a more broadly-based international audience, and part of this effort is the refurbishing of Annals to appeal to a wider readership and enhance communication across entomological disciplines. If you examine the publication statement of scope now on the journal’s web page, you will see words and phrases like “interdisciplinary dialogue,” “controversial issues,” “debate,” “topics of importance to society.” Of course, we still want good research articles, but note that one of the most important criteria for acceptance has become “breadth of interest.” This means that we are looking for research articles that will be of interest to entomologists beyond a specialty.
We especially want to reach out to the membership of ESA to help build the new Annals. Are you developing a program symposium for the 2017 meeting in Denver? After all, the Denver meeting will feature symposia that “cut across multiple ESA sections” and as such may be particularly good candidates for special collections or special issues of Annals. Would your contributors be interested in following up the symposium with a group of related manuscripts published together in Annals after the meeting? Have you been in the audience of a stimulating colloquium at the last meeting that could be organized into such an offering? Did your dissertation, or that of one of your recent graduate students, include a timely and well-constructed overview of an entomological discipline or research focus that you might want to see published as a review paper? All of the above are subject to the peer review process, of course.
Do you have an issue you’d like to see discussed in a journal, such as the impact of invasive species on native insects, or whether GMO technology is deleterious or beneficial in terms of its impact on insect communities? Does using insects as biocontrol agents really work, and does it justify introducing nonnative predators or parasites? We would be happy to publish point–counterpoint essays on topics such as these. We also welcome letters to the editor that may stimulate discussion and generate such essays.
In the current issue, Dr. Dana Nayduch has put together a group of papers on the role and contribution of molecular entomology to the study of vector–microbe interactions, specifically focused on fly–microbial interactions. This series came about because she suggested it and was willing to organize it. Have you a suggestion for a similar collection on some topic? Can you recommend someone (perhaps, but not necessarily, yourself) who could act as guest editor for it?
In short, we want Annals to be more interactive with its readership, to be a journal that entomologists in general want to read and contribute to, that provides a forum for entomologists of widely divergent specialties to share their insights across disciplines and build the future of our science. The general sense of the word “annals” is a chronicle of discoveries and records during a single year. Personally, I’d like it very much if people would begin to think of Annals of the Entomological Society of America as the chronicle that stimulates discussion about the discoveries and insights taking place every day in the entomological sciences.