Dear Readers of Castanea,
Welcome to 2012 and our new look. In collaboration with Allen Press and Pinnacle Online Publishing, Castanea is now online ( http://www.castaneajournal.org/) with many new and improved features. Following an extensive discussion by the Society Officers, Council, and advisors of how to increase the quality, accessibility, and competitiveness of the Journal of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society, we have made substantial improvements. The journal continues to be rigorously peer-reviewed by an expert team of subject editors and peer reviewers. I thank them for their service and encourage you to continue serving as peer reviewers and subject editors.
Allen Press now manages the Production Editing side of the Journal with Jean Baldwin replacing Audrey Mellichamp as our production editor. I thank Audrey for her dedication and commitment over many years in producing a very high quality journal. Once an article has been accepted, it now is available as an electronic pre-print (Early Online) on the Castanea website ( http://www.castaneajournal.org/) with a digital object identifier (doi). We believe this will be a great attraction to students and early-career faculty in disseminating quickly their research findings. Once enough articles have been accepted, the issue is considered complete, page numbers are assigned, and the print copies are distributed to members and institutions that choose this option. As a SABS member, you will be able to browse and download past years through the Castanea website. Older volumes are still available through JSTOR, which is also accessible with your membership.
A second major change is the supplementary and flexible digital archives that are now available. Full information on what can be submitted can be found in the Instructions for Contributors section of the Author Instructions on the journal's manuscript submission site ( http://castanea.allentrack2.net/). Within these guidelines, your creativity will determine what is submitted. The archives can be used to distribute large data sets, images of plants and plant communities, maps, and species lists for floristics studies. For example, you could update a floristic study by linking an addendum as a supplementary document to the original paper, thus reducing cost while retaining full data access.
Our future plans include updating some stylistic elements, both in print and online, that will improve the readability and attractiveness of the journal. Our aim in all of these changes is to better serve you, our readers, with a high-quality journal about the botany of the eastern United States.
If you have additional suggestions or ideas for the journal, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (229) 563-3099.