Several important changes for The Condor have occurred over the past year, driven in large part by the increasingly pervasive role of the Internet in our professional lives. The most substantial and exciting accomplishment is the completion of the Cooper Ornithological Society's effort to provide a complete web-based archive of the first 102 years of The Condor. All issues of The Condor from 1899–2000 (volumes 1–102) have been scanned and are now available to anyone interested in the biology of birds. The content is fully text-searchable, and individual articles can be downloaded as PDF or DjVu files. There is no charge for access to the archive or for its use. The Condor Archive Project was initiated and implemented by the chair of the Cooper Ornithological Society's Publications Committee, Blair Wolf <email@example.com>, and funded by the Society's endowment. Other partners in the project are Princeton Imaging (scanning) and the University of New Mexico Library (interface development and archive host). With the caveat that the archive site will continue in a test mode until all of the kinks and quirks are worked out, the site can be accessed through the Cooper Ornithological Society website < http://www.cooper.org>, where you will find the link to the Condor archive. Over the coming year, the archive site will be expanded to become the primary site for archives of ornithological literature, when The Condor will be joined by past issues of Pacific Coast Avifauna, Studies in Avian Biology, Auk, Ornithological Monographs, and Wilson Bulletin.
Another important (and free) link that we continue to provide from the Cooper Society's website is to the Table of Contents and Abstracts for each issue of The Condor from the beginning of 2001 (Volume 103) through the forthcoming issue (which is generally several months in advance of actual publication). Abstracts and contents are posted both in English and in Spanish, and can be accessed from the Cooper Ornithological Society website.
The Condor editorial office greatly increased the extent of electronic processing of manuscripts over the past year, to the point where nearly the entire process is conducted electronically after receipt of your manuscript. The result has been further reduction in the time required to move manuscripts from submission to actual publication, and to make The Condor as timely as possible. The median time from initial receipt of your manuscript to actual publication is just under 11 months, and has been as fast as 7–8 months. To ensure that your papers are handled as efficiently as possible, be sure to carefully follow the most recent Information for Contributors, published in the February issue of the journal and posted on the Society's website.
One of the key bottlenecks in the handling of manuscripts is the time it takes reviewers to complete their task. With electronic transmission of manuscripts from the editorial office to reviewers and electronic return of reviews to the editorial office, most of our reviewers manage to complete their reviews well within the prescribed timeframe. Provision of timely, thorough peer-review is critical to the scientific enterprise, an integral part of what it means to be a professional scientist, and a key step toward ensuring the quality and credibility of the science published in The Condor.
Last but not least, the several small changes made in layout of the journal in 2001 culminated this year with the debut of a modest overhaul of the cover and reorganization of the front material. The goals were to provide more aesthetic balance to the former, and to make it easier for readers to find important information about the journal and the Society in the latter.
Looking forward to 2003, one of the few certainties is the inevitability of change. It is my hope that 2003 will be as positive and productive as 2002 has been for all of us.