Progress, albeit nonlinear in nature.
Buzz Aldrin wrote that "...progress is not always linear. It takes constant course correcting and often a lot of zigzagging." While launching a new scientific journal was likely not the context that Buzz had in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to publish an update on the progress that we have made at the Bulletin. Simply put, in the first half of 2023 we took a few steps back in hopes that we will be better positioned to make bigger leaps in the future. First, we reworked the systems and processes associated with manuscript handling during the review process because we were having some difficulties with this critical stage of journal function. Second, we were forced to rethink journal operations from a personnel standpoint because Dinah Ward graduated from OSU in May with a degree in English Literature. For those unfamiliar with Dinah, she was the undergraduate student employee who has acted as a managing editor, copy editor, and layout editor since the launch of the Bulletin. In anticipation of her graduation, we are now contracting typesetting services from Scholastica. The switch from Dinah to Scholastica will ultimately be faster, but came with inherent complications. The benefit of using Scholastica for typesetting is that it will allow us more flexibilty with copy-editing. Dinah will continue to copy edit Bulletin articles on a piecework basis, but will have more time to do so since she is free of her other duties. Copy editing is laborious and has to date been one of the steps in our publication process where things have gotten bogged down. Greater flexibility here will help with the publication pace of future submissions. We will also be able to bring other people on board to act as copy editors, since we are now set up to pay people who provide us with invoices for copy editing. Finally, we enlisted the help of graduate student Shelby Moshier to act as our managing editor, and she is now a few weeks into this new role. We believe that this new structure will greatly simplify our process for handling submissions.
Thanks for your patience with us while we have worked all of these details out. We currently have four articles in a special issue on Species Delimitation edited by Andrea Quattrini that we hope to publish by the end of June. In addition we have three other articles that should be published shortly after the special issue. On a slightly longer time frame, work on a Species Networks special issue edited by by Claudia Solis-Lemus and George Tiley is well underway, and a dozen-ish other manuscripts are in various stages of the editorial process. The progress on all of these has been slower than we (or the authors) would like because our attention has been devoted to working out the broader structural challenges listed above, but we are now in a position to accelerate our handling of these papers. Please watch this space for upcoming publication announcements.