HomeVolume Spring 2006
Message from the President

Sarah A. Woodin

As I reported in the fall newsletter, 2005 was the year of the journal for your officers. We celebrated the signing of our partnership with Oxford throughout the meeting, both with additional drink tickets sponsored by Oxford and presentations throughout the meeting by Dr. Cathy Kennedy the senior journal editor at Oxford. We simultaneously introduced our new editor-in-chief Harold Heatwole who is taking over from John Edwards and the University of Washington Consortium who have served us well for over five years. We celebrated all of this plus 30 years with the journal by Claudia deGruy at the opening reception. Claudia had the misfortune to lose her copies of the journal during the floods in New Orleans so we were very pleased to be able to give her a complete set; this seemed only fitting after devoting so much of her time to its success.

As I said in an earlier newsletter, I am very excited to have Oxford onboard as our partner. They bring a long and distinguished history of scientific publishing to us and are in the forefront of modern day academic publishing. As part of our agreement with Oxford, members accrue a number of benefits including online access to all past and current issues of both American Zoologist and Integrative and Comparative Biology, a significant discount on books published by Oxford, and online publishing of papers in ICB once they have completed copy editing. Additionally as we join Oxford in partnership, all manuscripts will be dealt with electronically so that authors can track their progress, deal with reviewer comments, communicate with the editor in charge etc easily from anywhere. This will greatly increase the transparency of the editorial process. I am in particular looking forward to papers being published online as their editorial process is completed. Thus if you submit a paper from a symposium and it is through the editorial process within a few months, it will be available online at that point. When the rest of the papers for the symposium are ready, the symposium will appear in print but no longer will one paper delay the others. With this change, we will return to having manuscripts due either at the meeting or within several weeks of the meeting to allow their publication within the calendar year of the meeting, making them much more timely as publications. Oxford has a very close relationship with High Wire which in turn has a close relationship with Google Scholar which is making Integrative and Comparative Biology much more visible on the web.

I greatly enjoyed the meeting in Orlando, apparently so since I never went outside until after the meeting was over! As had been assured by the superb work of Kate Loudon and the Division Program Officers plus Sue Burk and her staff, the venue was excellent, problems were resolved almost before anyone realized there was a problem and the talks were excellent.

Finally, what is the status of SICB? I find the society to be growing, active intellectually, supportive of its young scientists, moving forward into exciting new arenas, and full of wonderful smart people who help make SICB work. Several potential giant potholes are on the horizon as support for symposia becomes more and more problematic-notice the new Symposium Fund Support category' on the dues page but we are starting the process of looking for other funding sources and as usual clever, generous and ingenious folks (Tom Daniel and Bob Full in this case) have come forward to help. At the meeting in Orlando in additional to superb science two very exciting things happened. One I admit is a bit arcane, we changed our financial year. We had used a calendar year and when meeting in December this made sense; however, by changing the meeting time to early January we then were approving the budget for a meeting that was already happening, poor for planning. Our new calendar year will be July 1 to June 30, a more rational choice that your officers will appreciate. The second and much more intellectually exciting event was the approval of a new division, the Division of Comparative Biomechanics. One could argue that SICB has been the home society for this group for a number of years but this formalizes that relationship and makes it easier to celebrate which we will do in Phoenix when Mimi Koehl, in honor of the new division, gives the opening plenary lecture and we celebrate the career of a major contributor to this field, Steve Vogel, with a symposium in his honor. I am looking forward to seeing all of you at the meeting in Phoenix, until then I'll be having a glorious time on sabbatical in Europe but Brett unfortunately knows where to find me.

See you in Phoenix,