The Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award recognizes exceptional and outstanding service to the American Ornithologists’ Union. Kimberly Smith served a distinguished five-year term as Editor of The Auk, from 2000 to 2004. Kim introduced such innovations as “Perspectives in Ornithology,“ “100 years ago in the American Ornithologists’ Union,“ and Spanish and French abstracts. He demonstrated an unswerving commitment to the ever-increasing quality of content, maintaining The Auk as the highest-impact journal in organismal biology. However, beyond these contributions as Editor, the Jenkinson Award recognizes Kim for his efforts and success in totally reforming the way AOU manages its publication enterprise. Publications constitute the Union’s greatest expense, by far, and are its principal contributions to the ornithological community. Upon taking over as editor, Kim encountered issues with printing and publication that had bedeviled a succession of editors and treasurers. He realized that the AOU and its authors were not receiving the benefits of modern publishing technologies. Under Kim’s leadership, the AOU brought its editorial and publishing functions “in house“ by hiring an editorial staff while contracting out printing and mailing. The results of these innovations included decreased cost per page, decreased average publication time, increased journal size, and increased quality control of the entire editorial and publication process. Kim then led the way in establishing systems that allowed electronic submission, review, editing, and revision of manuscripts, leading directly to a copy-edited manuscript ready for printing. Not only did AOU publishing go paperless, but the process put the author in direct contact with the editorial staff and allowed more authorial control over the manuscript process.
Once the AOU Publications Office was established, it was soon apparent that it added significant resources for ornithology as a whole. The AOU Publications Office was able to support the re-invigoration of Ornithological Monographs, to publish Studies in Avian Biology for the Cooper Ornithological Society, and to support establishing a book series in ornithology in cooperation with the Nuttall Ornithological Club. Kim Smith took the AOU publication enterprise from the backwaters to the forefront of ornithological publishing, and thus did an outstanding service not only for the AOU, but also for ornithology as a whole. We recognize his innovation, perseverance, and success with the Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award for 2005.
The Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award was created by the Council in 1996 in honor of Marion Jenkinson Mengel, who served the AOU as Treasurer and in other capacities for many years. It is awarded to an individual who has performed continued extensive service to the AOU, including holding elected offices but emphasizing volunteered contributions and committee participation. Recipients are selected by the AOU Executive Committee. The award consists of a framed certificate.