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Do-it-Yourself or Contractor? Co- Publishing and Journal Start-Up Joe DiTomaso Editor.

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Presentation on theme: "Do-it-Yourself or Contractor? Co- Publishing and Journal Start-Up Joe DiTomaso Editor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Do-it-Yourself or Contractor? Co- Publishing and Journal Start-Up Joe DiTomaso Editor

2 Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) The WSSA is a non-profit professional society (>1000 members) that: –Promotes research, education, and extension outreach activities related to weeds; –Provides science-based information to the public and policy makers; –Fosters awareness of weeds and their impacts on managed and natural ecosystems. Society Mission

3 Need for a new journal Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) has two journals, both published by Allen Press –Weed Science (1350 copies) –Weed Technology (2000 copies) Both focus primarily on weeds of croplands Other journals on invasive plants in non-crop areas, but all deal with their biology or ecology, not management –Non-crop areas include rangelands, woodlands, forests, parks, coastal areas, waterways No journal provides a central theme specific to understanding the science, management, sociology, and policy issues associated with the emerging field of invasive plants WSSA could increase leadership in this expanding area and broaden its horizon to all areas of unwanted plants and expand society membership –academicians, field practitioners, governmental agencies, policymakers, and educators

4 Definition of invasive Although WSSA has not developed an official definition of an invasive plant, Invasive Plant Science and Management (IPSM) considers invasive plants to include “those species that primarily invade non-agricultural communities. This can include species that overlap between the two ecosystems, but does not include strictly cropland or urban weeds.”


6 Laying out the floor plan Establish a committee to determine the need and interest for a new journal (2006) –Survey WSSA members –Survey other societies and organizations with a focus on invasive plants Develop a financial plan to estimate the risk of launching a new journal –Economic analysis Consulted with Allen Press on all aspects

7 Survey Monkey Conducted from May to June 2006 Used a market survey consultant company (Jefferson Davis) 18 questions asked Survey site sent to well over 1000 individuals belonging to WSSA and affiliate members, other professional scientific societies, non- governmental organizations, and government agencies Questions addressed: –Memberships –Interest level –Area of study or responsibility –Preferred topics –Cost acceptability –Other journals they subscribe to or use –Experience –Willingness to submit or review manuscripts, or serve on editorial board

8 Objective of the survey Was there national interest? Who would be the audience? What type of research or papers should be published? Could the journal reach out to non-WSSA members? –Other scientists in ecological societies –Restorationists –Land managers –Policy makers How should the journal be published if there was interest? –On-line, hard copy, or both –How many issues a year –Subscription price and how to bundle

9 Survey results 793 responses 316 WSSA members (40%), 466 non-WSSA members (remainder did not indicate) Very interestedSomewhat interestedNot interested 62%28%10% Likely to subscribeContribute papersServe as reviewers 467 (66%)287 (41%)195 (28%) Of those interested:

10 Survey results Majority of potential new readers wanted –Print-version with on-line access –Published quarterly –Peer-review papers on: Case studies Reviews Primarily original research in biology, ecology and management, but also articles on policy, compliance and regulatory legislation Priced between $65 and $80

11 WSSA Board After reviewing survey results, in 2006 Board committed resources to initiate development of marketing plan for journal ($15,000) Hired Raym Crow from Chain Bridge Group Using all available information developed: –Best, Most Likely, and Worst Case models for 5-year plan WSSA hired a financial consultant to review the recommendations and report produced by the Chain Bridge Group

12 Recommendations WSSA enter a fee-for-services agreement with Allen Press similar to other WSSA journals WSSA collects –All author charges –Author off-prints and royalties WSSA pays Allen Press for: –Managing editing –Copyediting –Publishing services Allen Press pay WSSA –18% of gross revenue annually

13 Factors considered critical to success of IPSM Obtaining institutional subscriptions sales (e.g., libraries) by Year 3 (major profit driver) –Requires effective journal launch and strong marketing campaign Weed Science – 489 Weed Technology - 444 Bundling all three society journals to encourage institutional sales A submission queue of publishable articles for at least first 2-3 issues

14 Projected 5-yr profit and loss statement Year 1 2 3 4 5 Gain/(Loss) Trading margin Cumulative Gain/Loss (79,444) (39,170) (22,952) (5,494)4,184 -244% -87% -37%-7% 4% (79,444) (118,615) (141,567) (147,061) (142,877) Under the “worst case” scenario forecast

15 Model of cumulative net income Reach annual operating breakeven in Year 5, but would take 10 years to completely recover from society’s investment

16 Infrastructure Development In 2007 the WSSA Board approved the development of a new journal Karen Ridgway at Allen Press was assigned as Publishing Manager and given the task of planning and implementing the development of the journal Board hired Janet Clark as the project manager Board appointed me as the first editor Allen Press assigned Tracy Candelaria as the managing editor

17 Recommendations Offer IPSM at no additional cost to WSSA members in Year 1 Set membership dues so journals can be distributed as part of member benefit Maintain reasonable subscription price for non-WSSA individuals to increase interest in WSSA and provide high-quality information Work closely with Allen Press in marketing effort to individuals in diverse organizations and disciplines Work closely with Allen Press to pursue stand-alone and bundled sales of IPSM to institutions Promote journal at appropriate meetings throughout the year (Project Manager, Editor and Allen Press)

18 Allen Press Marketing Activities for IPSM E-advertising on WSSA journal silo site Periodically emailed “call for papers” Announcements to listservs Announcement flyer for mail distribution Develop 48” wide banner stand Purchase booth for display at conferences and meetings Ink pens and clips inscribed with “IPSM at” Sticky note pads resembling miniature version of first issue Print extra copies of journal for distribution at meetings Press releases



21 Journal Design Cover design and layout of articles Determine contents to be included Prepare author instructions for submission Train Editor Develop timeline to launch by January 2008 Set up Editorial Board (Associate Editors) Develop website to process manuscripts Solicit manuscripts Advertise launch

22 Contents Peer reviewed research findings with clearly identified management applications Case studies Management-centered reviews Symposium papers with a clustered theme Notes and commentary papers Scholarly reviews of biological and ecological restoration in –Wildlands –Natural areas –Aquatic, wetlands and riparian settings –Forests –Non-Crop lands Invasion Alerts Papers on policy issues and regulatory developments

23 Associate Editors Lars Anderson John Cardina Chris Dionigi Jodie Holt John Madsen Bruce Maxwell Scott Nissen Tim Prather Phil Westra Edie Allen Matt Brooks Ruth Hufbauer Kelly Lyons John Randall Andy Sheppard WSSA Members Non-WSSA Members


25 Where are we now? 1.5 years later

26 Current situation 102 manuscripts submitted since June, 2007 64% acceptance rate Average of 12 articles in first 3 issue, printed quarterly 110 pages per issue As of Sept 22, 2008


28 Category of papers accepted or in review

29 Research paper area of emphasis

30 Percent of papers in the area of control

31 Regions where work was conducted or study focus area

32 March 2006 Feb 2008 Visit Allen Press, design journal, AE contacted June 2007 Aug 2007 Nov 2006 April 2007 Nov 2007 May 2007 Launch of Issue 1 Contract signed with Allen Conduct survey Manuscripts solicited 28 manuscripts submitted First sent to press WSSA Board final approval, project manager hired WSSA Board approves financial plan Editor appointment July 2006 Feb 2007 March 2007 5-yr financial plan developed

33 Other Staff Janet Clark (WSSA) Tracy Candelaria (Allen Press) Karen Ridgeway (Allen Press) Thanks to the Associate Editors and many reviewers who make it all possible

34 Issues to address in future Subscription to journal among WSSA and non- WSSA members –Increase WSSA membership and journal subscriptions Library subscriptions –Financial success of journal When and how do we get the journal included in ISI Web of Science with an impact factor? –Credibility and high quality submissions

35 Stage 1 successfully completed –Thanks to many people in the society and the Board of Directors Stage 2 starts –Produce a high quality, well-cited, high impact journal that is sustainable in content and economically profitable to the society

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