Steve Preston is leaving

November 17th, 2014

Steve Preston, JAWRA Associate Editor for Water Quality Modeling, has completed his term and asked to be relieved. Steve and I talked about this last summer, and he graciously agreed to wait until the new Editor-in-Chief was announced. Steve will continue to handle his currently-assigned manuscripts. Steve has been a real workhorse in dealing with tough modeling issues, and we will miss his expertise. Please join me in thanking Steve for a job well done!

I will leave it to Jim Wigington to decide how to replace Steve.

Changes to expect?

November 12th, 2014

Some of you may be wondering what changes you will see when Jim Wigington becomes Editor-in-Chief on January 1st. The short answer is, not too many, at least immediately.

Jim I talked a lot last week at the AWRA Annual Conference. We are quite in synch on the handover. I’m already cc’ing Jim on most decisions and consulting with him on some of the more difficult ones. So, there should be no surprises. Jim, of course, has to form his own opinion about each manuscript, but I wouldn’t expect any radical reversals. If Jim ever wonders, “What the heck was Lanfear thinking?” I will be around for him to consult.

With Managing Editor Susan Scalia and ScholarOne Manuscripts(TM), our administrative system remains intact, humming right along. This is different from every previous transition, where the incoming Editor had to build his own tracking system. For papers already in the ScholarOne, Jim easily will be able to see the processing and decision history.

I expect Jim will increase our rejection rate. This would have to happen in any event, because we have more submittals and a fixed number of slots. Jim also may try to place some emphasis on attracting more biological papers, but I’ll let him explain his thinking later.

Regarding email, the address will, at least for a time, be redirected to both Jim and me. I will then provide my personal address to anyone who needs it.

A message from the incoming Editor-in-Chief

November 12th, 2014

I am very honored and excited to be the new JAWRA Editor-in-Chief (EIC). As I assume the role of editor-in-chief, JAWRA is very healthy. With a steadily increasing impact factor, JAWRA’s wide range of articles encompasses the biophysical and human dimensions of water systems. My goal is for JAWRA to continue to grow in rigor and influence so that it is prepared to contribute to the world’s ever-increasing water resources challenges.
I have been blessed to have a wide range of water resources experiences during my career. After working for three and half years as an assistant professor of forest hydrology at Oklahoma State University, I went to work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development in Corvallis, OR. During my 28 year career with EPA, I led a wide range of interdisciplinary research efforts ranging from the effects of acidic deposition on aquatic ecosystems to connectivity within stream and river systems. My colleagues and I have published the results of this work extensively. I am currently a research and consulting hydrologist residing in Redding, California. I am also a courtesy faculty member in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.

– Jim Wigington

New JAWRA Editor-in-Chief named

November 1st, 2014

At its meeting this afternoon the AWRA Board of Directors approved the appointment of Parker J. (Jim) Wigington as the new JAWRA Editor-in-Chief, effective January 1, 2015.

I am absolutely delighted with this selection.  I will invite Jim to post his qualifications here, but let me say Jim is the ideal person to carry on the progress we have made over the past decade.  Jim and I already have been working towards a smooth transition. Congratulations, Jim!

Copy editing

October 24th, 2014

One of the advantages of publishing in a high-quality journal is you get professional copy editing. Like a new car dealer, we want your paper to shine when you bring it out on the street!

During the review process, we strive to make sure your meaning is clear. Once we reach that point, our partners at Wiley can handle minor grammar corrections.  Keep in mind, though, our copy editors are English majors, not hydrologists! So, it’s very important to read the proof copy to make sure they have not inadvertently changed your meaning.

We appreciate reviewers showing authors how better organization may help bring out the point of a paper. And, we certainly need to know if the English is so bad it will cause problems for our copy editors. However, it generally is not necessary for a reviewer to provide detailed copy editing; it only duplicates a service we already provide.


Editor-in-Chief status

October 9th, 2014

Just to avoid rumors, let me give you an update. The new JAWRA Editor-in-Chief has been selected and is awaiting final ratification by the AWRA Board of Directors at their November 1 meeting. An official announcement will be made shortly thereafter.

I know who was selected and am absolutely delighted. We already are working towards a smooth transition.

What is the most rewarding experience as Editor?

September 15th, 2014

[Another in the series on editing.]

That’s easy: When reviewers take a good manuscript and provide comments that make it a great manuscript!

What is the most distasteful experience in editing?

September 15th, 2014

[Another in the series on editing.]

Doesn’t happen often, but dealing with ethical issues is the worst. Once a red flag is raised, it gets my complete attention. Perhaps it’s to our disadantage, but we in the water field are not afflicted with the big-bucks research pressure and temptations like medical research. However, we still have problems of “honorary” authorship, duplicate submissions, and plagiarism. There are no winners when these situations are discovered.

Speaking of plagiarism, it’s amazing how stupid some authors can be. Our Associate Editors and our reviewers follow the literature quite thoroughly. We also have tools available to us for cross-checking manuscripts.

How has ScholarOne Manuscripts™ changed your workflow?

September 15th, 2014

[Another in the series on editing.]

I became Editor in 2006, and we switched to ScholarOne Manuscripts™ in 2007, so I’ve seen both sides. There is no comparison: it’s John Henry against the steam drill. First year, the new system knocked seven weeks off our time-to-first decision. I consider this a major competitive advantage in attracting quality submissions.

I’ve heard some criticism in the publishing blogs about authors becoming frustrated by the automated systems, unable to get timely help. JAWRA Managing Editor Susan Scalia, however, has been wonderful in helping steer everybody smoothly through the system. I think we’ve struck a good balance between automation and a personal touch.

How important are Featured Collections?

September 10th, 2014

[Another in the series on editing.]

A featured collection is a group of 3 or more related papers on a topic organized by guest associate editors and published together in an issue. Most Featured Collections are connected to an AWRA conference. I work closely with conference organizers to make this happen. The conference connection allows top authors to present cutting-edge research in an oral presentation and follow up with a fully peer-reviewed paper.

More so than most journals, JAWRA is intimately tied to our Association’s conference program. I’d even say Featured Collections are our signature characteristic, a key publishing advantage. Papers in Featured Collections are cited at about twice the rate of papers not in collections.