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  Increasing our impact
From: Jason Hernandez <jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com> on 2012.04.04 at 11:32:06(22672)
I have been wondering: how often are Aroideana articles cited in other journals? It seems to me that at least some of our Aroid work has broader significance in botany; but given that (at least as of 2010 when I last had access) Aroideana is not, for example, available on JSTOR, this suggests to me that few botanists outside our community are aware of what we are doing. How can we increase our visibility to the botany community at large?

Jason Hernandez

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From: "D. Christopher Rogers" <branchiopod at gmail.com> on 2012.04.06 at 08:54:22(22673)
Good morning!

One of the best ways is to have a publisher that advertises your journal. I am on the editorial board of the Journal of Crustacean Biology (link below in my tag lines) and we recently switched from Allen Press to Brill, with 2012 being our first year with Brill. Because of Brill's advertising, submissions to the journal have increased exponentially. For 31 years, we have had four issues per year. This year we have sufficient submissions we are going to six issues per year. We are still rejecting plenty of manuscripts as well. I have reason to believe that Brill is not the best place for the IAS, but there may be other options, particularly if Allen wants to market Aroidenana better.

When you mention JSTOR and number of times Aroideana papers are cited by other papers, you are talking about ISI and similar impact factors. To do that, we would have to increase the number of scientific manuscripts submitted and published and decrease the number of popular articles. However, there is a significant portion of the Aroideana audience that is interested in the popular articles and not so much in the scientific. One option would be to spilt the two submission types up; maybe have only science in Aroideana, and horticulture in the Newsletter. Then you would need to work to attract more scientists to submit in Aroideana to increase its potential value to JSTOR or ISI.

It is really important to remember that the membership of IAS is composed of fairly equal parts of those who want science, those who want popular articles, and those who want both. IAS cannot afford to (and I am positive does not want to) alienate any aspect of its membership. Aroideana will probably never have a high ISI impact factor, simply because it is so very focused on the Araceae. Any botanical journal that encompasses more more families or aspects of horticulture will have a higher impact factor, simply because the pool of authors is not as limited.

I for one, really enjoy Aroideana, and I strongly suggest that you renew your membership. For 34 volumes, Aroideana has been a wonderful resource that has improved substantially over the years, especially under Derek Burch and Tom Croat's editorship.

Happy days,

Christopher

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From: Hannon <othonna at gmail.com> on 2012.04.06 at 11:31:05(22674)
Christopher's message is very well stated. It reminds me of the position the Cactus & Succulent Society of America (CSSA) has found itself in for many decades. Its Journal has a similar division of content by scientific and horticultural (and other popular) interest, and not a few articles that are semi-technical. The latter incorporate elements of science and horticulture together and I think help to bring readers from different backgrounds together. Some of Josef Bogner's early pieces in Aroideana with their iconic photos of rare aroids-- including photos of seedlings or plants in cultivation-- are examples of this type of writing. They helped stoke my interest in aroids at a time when all I had was a copy of Exotica (7th Edition).

Even though it may be difficult to maintain, the balancing act is a great strength for both of these societies. Regardless of how it may be formatted in the future, we have all been introduced to ideas and information that we might never have discovered without the open approach that has been taken. The history of Aroideana must be taken into account as well and I think it was satisfying to the science-minded and to collectors then as now.

To partly answer Jason's question, any botanist who is searching for information on aroids will find the IAS and Aroideana. Modern information systems tend to be focused on hyper-efficiency (cost and otherwise) but this does not preclude other means of searching the literature. For a variety of reasons a more pertinent question might be, how can we increase our visibility among those who have any interest in aroids at all yet do not know about the IAS? In this context the possibilities with Brill vs. Allen seem very intriguing.

Dylan Hannon

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