This issue completes the eighth and final volume for which I have served as Editor of The Condor (volumes 103–110; 2001–2008). In retrospect, it has been a remarkably quick 8+ years. The world of scholarly journal publication has shifted dramatically over the past decade, moving from a largely paper enterprise to a largely electronic endeavor. It has been my privilege and my mandate as Editor to shepherd The Condor through these transitions.
As Editor from August 2000 through October 2008, I made decisions on 2065 manuscripts, based upon the comments and views provided by literally thousands of reviewers, to whom I am grateful for their time and effort. The annual acceptance rate for manuscripts during that period was remarkably stable, averaging 38% and ranging from 32%–39%. I am especially grateful to the officers and board of the Cooper Ornithological Society for their support, and honored to have been entrusted by them with the responsibility of serving as Editor.
Production of the 32 issues of The Condor that comprise volumes 103–110 would not have been possible without superlative work from a diverse and highly talented staff. It was my remarkable good fortune to have a succession of four excellent Managing Editors: Hugh D. W. Powell, Melanie K. Rathburn, Thalia Sacht-leben, and Alexa L. Bontrager, along with a series of stellar Editorial Assistants: Bethany G. Atkins, Mark R. Johnson, Steve C. Edwards, Marisa E. Gillaspie, Claudette Byrd-Rinck, Damian Fagan, Nicolette M. Swift, and Nichole C. Patrick. Two Book Review Editors admirably and competently provided a steady flow of informative and interesting book reviews: Barbara Kus (2000–2004) and David L. Swanson (2005–2008). We began providing Spanish abstracts for all manuscripts beginning with the 2001 volume, and our original team of translators provided the abstracts for Condor papers across all eight volumes: Lucio Malizia, Cintia Cornelius, and Daniel Cadena. To all of the foregoing, I offer my deepest and sincerest thanks for making it all happen.
Over the initial two years of my tenure as Editor, we shifted the editorial process for Condor manuscripts to fully electronic for nearly all aspects of handling papers and reviews, with the sole exception of requiring an initial paper copy (along with an electronic copy) for new submissions. The reason for continuing to require an initial hardcopy submission was to ensure accurate reproduction of figures (and complex tables) as a manuscript moved through the electronic stages of review, revision, and publication.
Beginning with the 2001 volume, The Condor became available in a fully electronic version to institutional subscribers as part of the innovative BioOne online journals (<http://www.bioone.org>), a nonprofit collaboration among scientific societies. Shortly thereafter, the Cooper Ornithological Society began to provide electronic subscriptions of The Condor to individual members. Also starting in 2001, we began posting each issue's Table of Contents and Abstracts (in English and in Spanish) on the Cooper Ornithological Society homepage (<http://www.cooper.org>) as soon as each issue was assembled. In 2002, the Cooper Ornithological Society's effort to provide a complete web-based archive of the first 102 years of The Condor (1899–2000) came to fruition with the establishment of SORA (Searchable Ornithological Research Archive; <http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora>), which has grown to become the archive for 13 ornithological journals.
With the 2008 volume, our new publishing partnership with The University of California Press has debuted, providing the journal with new electronic capabilities, including an Ahead-of-Print process that enables electronic publication of accepted papers well before the completion of each quarterly issue. Electronic Ahead-of-Print papers are posted on Caliber, the University of California Press journals website (<http://caliber.ucpress.net>). The transition to University of California Press was not without complications, which caused production of the journal to fall behind schedule. The numerous unforeseen challenges and problems that can accompany such transitions have been resolved over the course of the 2008 volume, which will ensure a return to on-time production with the 2009 volume.
Having successfully completed our transition to the University of California Press, an entirely new editorial structure will commence with the 2009 volume, aimed at producing very rapid decisions and rapid publication. Michael Patten of the Oklahoma Biological Survey and the University of Oklahoma is the incoming Editor-in-Chief and will preside over a 30–40 person editorial Board of Reviewing Editors. As of late August 2008, all new manuscripts for The Condor are submitted online to Editor-in-Chief Patten through Manuscript Central (<http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ucpress-cond>). With the new submission process in place, the last vestige of paper transaction has disappeared from the submission-through-publication journey for Condor manuscripts. To Michael and all who will be working with him, I extend my best wishes for success, and my hope that they find the endeavor as rewarding an experience as I have had during the past eight years.