Page 57 - Summer 2018
P. 57

for an author to have his/her work criticized, but having that criticism be impolite just results in bad feelings and uncon- structive dialogue. Also, we strive for rapid communications with our authors, reviewers, and other concerned parties. Having your communication ignored is galling to anyone, and if you want to show that you value your customers and stakeholders, as our publications do, getting back to them quickly is one way to do it.
Ease of submission and revision (i.e., the “author experience” as publishers call it), is another area where we are working to make things cleaner and easier. It is one area where we have had more complaints than for other areas, and we are sensitive to these concerns. To begin with, we have upgraded our LaTeX templates for the numerous authors who use this package. Since the launch of the new templates in August 2017, we have had relatively few complaints and questions.
The second item in the submission process is the list of au- thor questions on the Editorial Manager submission system. These were constructed rather quickly when we made the transition from the Peer X-Press system to Editorial Man- ager, and, admittedly, these questions have some redundan- cies and inconsistencies. These are presently being redone by the publications staff, and we hope to have the improved list working very soon.
The “author checklist” is another area where we have had some negative feedback, and, again, we take this input seri- ously. For new submissions, we try to keep this list to the minimum of items needed for a decent, reviewable manu- script and to only return manuscripts for major omissions. For revised submissions, we have more requirements that are needed because the manuscript is likely to be eventu- ally accepted. We carefully review both the new submission checklist and the revision checklist at least twice a year.
Finally, there was a delay in manuscript processing that we used to incur when our publications staff were at ASA meet- ings or otherwise unavailable. That delay has now gone away because we have developed detailed procedures with docu- mentation (which we are continuing to expand) and have backup coverage in place for our publications staff. This is the type of “process progress” we like to have happen.
Our fourth list item, full features, is one that we are close to having fulfilled at this time. Multimedia capabilities, supple- mentary material, open access, publish ahead of print, and (soon) immediate publishing of Special Issue papers are all realities for both JASA and JASA-EL. We will continue to keep abreast of the continuing changes and emerging tech-
nologies and work with AIPP and ASA to implement them if they are of use.
Our final “qualitative item” on the list is working with in- ternational authors, both in attracting them and in dealing with English language difficulties. The ASA designation “of America” denotes our origin and headquarters location but belies the fact that the ASA and its publications are now very international as is usual for modern technical societies. We wish to attract more and more international authors and have been working on strategies to do so.
But one problem that we (and all single-language journals) have is that some manuscripts from nonnative English- speaking authors may be poorly written. As a consequence, technical journals can miss out on excellent material due to a secondary consideration (language skills). If a manu- script’s language is such that an editor, reviewer, or reader can’t understand significant parts of it, its technical con- tent is totally negated. Fortunately, AIPP has author ser- vices (, including English language editing, for reasonable fees that authors can use, and in the near future, we will be advertising it more prominently on our JASA and JASA-EL websites. We are also looking at oth- er possible support programs, although these are still in the formative stages. The bottom line message here is that we value our international authors and will be making greater efforts to attract and retain them.
Broader Journal Quality Initiatives
Up to now, we have discussed rather specific, fine-tuned re- sponses to particular concerns and parts of the publication process. But there is a lot of activity and effort expended on a broader scale, and here we describe what some of these efforts are. They fall into diverse categories, but all share the common aspect of helping to improve our journals’ quality and our authors’ experience in publishing.
One of the most important groups we consider when dis- cussing publications strategy is early-career authors and readers. (For this discussion here, we define early career as graduate students, postdocs, assistant professors, and non- academic professionals in their first decade of employment.) Two very positive developments aimed at our early-career authors are the ASA “Publications Workshop” and our pro- gram of an early-career publication award that is under de- velopment.
The Publications Workshop, inaugurated at the ASA New Orleans meeting in Fall 2017, was designed to give the par-
Summer 2018 | Acoustics Today | 55

   55   56   57   58   59