Roger Sheley, Editor in Chief – Rangeland Ecology & Management
I thought many SRM members might be interested in some thoughts about the long-term direction for REM. I know I would appreciate any ideas you have for improve our journal. If you do have some thoughts to share, please email me at email@example.com. Once I crawl out from under this stack of draft journal manuscripts, I will consider your constructive comments! Here is a beginning of ideas.
1) Enhancing our international appeal and improving our service to international authors and audiences in order to have a positive impact on Rangelands Worldwide. To support this effort, I am working to build the critical mass of international leaders in Rangeland Science and Management combined with some key people in the USA and SRM to provide advisory to the Board and the Editor-in-Chief to continue to improve the scientific and managerial value of REM worldwide.
2) Increase the quality of the science REM publishes, mainly by increasing the value and desirability of REM to authors; and working closely with them to make their papers a good as possible. For the most part, we will need our papers to have a stronger international appeal by asking authors to consider better describing the wider ecological theory/concept about which their work advances. This allows broader generalizations and implications for readers regardless of their specific rangeland system. I also intend to provide a series of tips currently called “Making Good Science Great Papers” and continue working with Associate Editors (AE’s) to improve their feedback to authors. Also, I am specially designing the AE group to achieve our desired improvements in REM quality.
3) Continuing to broaden the scope of topics that are pertinent to rangeland ecosystems and their management. Rangelands are diverse and complex and require a comprehensive understanding of its varied components and ecological processes. In particular, we have included two new AEs that deal with the ecological role of humans in sustainable rangeland systems, and they will help us lure socioecological papers. They have been incredibly helpful to our authors. I would also like to enhance our contemporary knowledge of rangeland economics by promoting a series of papers that address contemporary economics of land management and production. By contemporary, I mean understanding the value of all of the good and services provided by rangelands in monetary terms. Along with improving the diversity of our natural science paper contributions, I have/will begin to institute methods for luring these socioecological and contemporary economics of rangelands into our publication. You probably noticed the socio-ecological special issue last year. It was awesome. If you have an idea for a Synthesis Paper or an entire Special Issue, please send me an email.
4) Increasing the value of REM to Land Managers and Livestock Producers by soliciting more land-scape scale papers, and by working with authors to better slant their practical papers toward managers/producers interests. I will continue to ask for more “implications for management” from researchers, and I will enlist particular scientists to draft synthesis papers and pull the components and pieces of knowledge/science together into a more holistic and useful synthesis manuscript aimed at helping managers put the pieces of the management puzzle together. I will also work to publish key decision-making papers for managers and producers.
5) Since REM is both a science and management journal, I am working through the literature on indices; in addition to the impact factor (IF), to better portray the true impact of REM. IF was developed for staunchly scientific journals that promote only cutting-edge science to other scientists. We do a lot of that, so IF is ok; but it fails to capture the true and most profound impacts associated with producers and land managers. In order to make the case that REM is very impactful, we will need an index that captures the role and mission of REM. This should be an index that the Board can use to truly monitor the impacts of REM, and should provide a mechanism to show prospective authors that our journals are a great place to publish.
6) Elevate the recognition of the authors, reviewers, and Associate Editors. I have initiated part of my plan to elevate the recognition of authors through the REM Editor’s Choice program (a big thank you to Rangelands). I have proposed SRM AWARDS and will move this idea along soon. And, this year, I would like to institutionalize a program to recognize AEs for their excellent contributions to SRM, REM, and our profession.
My goal here was to provide a brief and partial update about where REM is headed to stimulate your thinking and comments about what else I should be working toward to make sure REM remains, and advances, as the premier journal of the science and management of Rangelands into the future. I look forward to your ideas and thoughts. They are very helpful to me.
Again, I want to thank you all for giving me this opportunity. It is wonderfully rewarding to be able to use my education, experiences and ideas to help SRM and people trying to promote the wise and careful use of our Rangelands for future generations.