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From the Editor | Arthur N. Popper
 Have you ever wondered how many people actually look at and read your scholarly writ- ings? If you have, you likely realize that no matter how “great” one’s paper is, reader-
ship is (with rare exceptions) quite small. Although it is hard to document “reads,” if we use citations as a measure, the ma- jority of papers only get cited a few times (and many not at all). Another measure is the number of downloads, and in many cases, such as The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA), one can easily find the number of times that a paper is viewed.
I think we would all agree that one’s papers are seen by a very limited audience, and most often the audience has scholarly interests that are reasonably close to those of the authors. My point is to get readers of Acoustics Today (AT) to think about the readership of their scholarly works and to ask themselves whether they would like to write something that would be seen and read by a far broader and larger audience. In writ- ing such an article, authors have the potential to reach an audience who would not normally see their work. This broad audience then becomes a way to “publicize” one’s research area and bring new and exciting areas to the attention of a set of readers with very diverse interests. Put another way, this is an open invitation to members of the ASA to think about potentially writing an article for AT.
One of the best things about AT is that the audience is quite large. AT goes, in hard copy, to over 7,000 ASA members, and it is also read online by many people who are not ASA mem- bers, including students, journalists, and regulators. More- over, articles are read by people from very diverse disciplines and not just the discipline of the authors. Indeed, I often hear from ASA members that they read AT from cover to cov- er and very much enjoy reading articles introducing them to research areas that they previously knew nothing about. (Indeed, one reason I enjoy editing AT is that I am learning so much about so many things that are new to me!) So, in writing for AT, you have an opportunity to reach a uniquely broad (and well-educated) audience.
In thinking about writing an article for AT, you need to keep several things in mind. First, and most important, articles have a broad focus. With very rare exception, articles do not
6 | Acoustics Today | Winter 2018
focus on a single question or the work of one investigator or lab. Moreover, AT does not publish original research or preliminary results.
Second, an article for AT, although scholarly, is somewhat different from a scientific paper in that the audience is very broad. Thus, to be understood by our audience, authors must explain words and ideas that are likely to be totally “foreign” to a member of an ASA technical committee (TC) outside those of the authors. Although this kind of writing is a chal- lenge, many authors have told me that this challenge ulti- mately turns out to be very enjoyable and intellectually excit- ing (and educational).
Third, once we agree on an article for a particular issue of AT, we must have the article at the agreed-to time. This is because we have only a few articles per issue, commit valuable space to them, and have no way of filling that space if we do not have the promised article.
I do hope many people reading this column will be intrigued with writing an article for AT. If so, please contact me. How- ever, please, do not write the article before we “talk.” This is because AT articles are by invitation only, and I cannot accept everything offered because I try to balance coverage in the magazine so that all TCs in the ASA are represented over time.
In this issue of AT, the first article, by Samira Anderson, Sandra Gordon-Salant, and Judy Dubno (former ASA presi- dent), discusses a topic of great relevance to those of us who are more “advanced” in years, and to others who will eventually get there: how hearing changes as we age. In the second article, Steve Greenberg writes about approaches to help people learn new languages. Steve shares insights into technology that run from the language labs I had in college (with reel-to-reel tape recorders) to very sophisticated apps for one’s smart phone.
The third article illustrates one way I find articles. I am on the ASA Book Committee, and we had a proposal for a book on archaeoacoustics. I had never even heard the word and got very curious, so I wrote to Miriam Kolar and she agreed to do this article. Miriam uses some of her own work, and that of colleagues, to explain this fascinating field that merges classic archaeology and acoustics to better understand an- cient civilizations.
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