As I look back on my first full year as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Insect Science (JIS), it seems like an excellent time to share an update on the state of the journal.
As you may know, JIS was founded in 2000 by Henry Hagedorn as an open-access platform for insect scientists around the world to publish their work. In the 14 yr he led the journal, he built its strong reputation as a welcoming home for research from all regions of the world. After his death in 2014, JIS became part of the Entomological Society of America’s (ESA) portfolio of publications. The newly appointed JIS Editorial Board conducted a search for a successor to Dr. Hagedorn, resulting in my appointment as editor-in-chief in February 2015.
The past 24 mo have been a time of transition for the journal. Between June and December 2014, we published a backlog of more than 200 papers that had been accepted but not yet published at the time of Hagedorn’s death. We launched a new ScholarOne submission system in August 2014 that provided a new array of tools to make the review process faster and more efficient; we also launched a new website for the journal at jinsectscience.oxfordjournals.org.
After my appointment, our dedicated corps of subject editors worked tirelessly to eliminate a backlog of 163 submitted papers that had grown in the absence of an editor-in-chief. We welcomed new subject editors that have become great assets to JIS, including Christos G. Athanassiou, University of Thessaly; Muhammad Chaudhury, USDA-ARS (United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service); Joanna Chiu, University of California at Davis; Jessica Dohmen-Vereijssen, New Zealand Plant and Food Research; Nickolas G. Kavallieratos, Agricultural University of Athens; Sunil Kumar, Colorado State University; Norman Leppla, University of Florida; Hongmei Li-Byarlay, North Carolina State University; Ted MacRae, Monsanto; Roland Muehlethaler, Museum fuer Naturkunde Berlin; Sandra Rehan, University of New Hampshire; Paola Riolo, Marche Polytechnic University; Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Rutgers Unversity; Daniel Swale, Louisiana State University; Julie Urban, the Nature Research Center; and Anne L. Nielsen, Rutgers University, who served as a short-term subject editor to help eliminate our review backlog. A full list of our subject editors is available at http://jinsectscience.oxfordjournals.org/editorial_board.html. I am grateful to all of them for their support and commitment to JIS.
The hard work of our subject editors and the JIS Editorial Board is bearing fruit. Our submissions increased by 25% in 2015 as word began to spread that JIS had become established at ESA. I am proud to report that JIS is now ESA’s fastest review journal, with a median time to acceptance of 4.3 wk and a median time to publication of 10.0 wk in 2015. Thanks to its more readily accessible website and active promotional efforts by Oxford University Press and ESA, JIS is widely read, with an average of nearly 16,000 downloads per month in 2015.
JIS continues to fulfill and build upon its founder’s vision, and today we are providing an open access platform for insect science researchers around the world to publish their work promptly and make it immediately available to all through open access. This JIS subject editors and I look forward to working with you in the coming years.