Botanical society of america annual reports, 2003 Officers A. President (Scott Russell) Botanical Society Of America

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Long-term Conference Planning

On May 28-29, 2003, I met with the BSA Executive Director and Meetings Manager to discuss long-term planning issues for the annual Botany conference and to develop some strategic directions. We had a very productive meeting in Kirksville, MO, and detailed report has been submitted to the Executive Committee. More information will be forthcoming.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeffrey M. Osborn

G. Meetings Office (Johanne Stogran)*

See Program Directors Report

H. Editor, American Journal of Botany (Karl Niklas)*

The American Journal of Botany
  August 15th 2002 - July 15th 2003 Annual Report

1.  Publication statistics:          02 - 03        01-02     00-01     99-00     98-99     97-98     96-97     95-96
Manuscripts received                   351            356      347      325      301        325         323        325

Total pages                          1,944        2,189    2,184   1,804    1,820     1,802      1,728     1,618
Publications                               2152           232       224       189      181        212         181        176

2.  Current manuscripts:         02 - 03        01-02     00-01     99-00    98-99     97-98     96-97     95-96
Accepted or at Allen Press         166            116         147         166         113         105          92          95
Out for review                         67            110           45           47        73           68          42          46
                                                    233           226         192          213         186        173      134       141

3.  Production statistics:          02 - 03       01-02   00-01   99-00     98-99      97-98     96-97    95-96
Time to first editorial decision     
           excluding split reviews    1.2            1.2          1.1         1.2         1.1         1.0       1.1         1.0
           including split reviews      2.33        2.1          3.5         7.4         6.9        6.7         6.0        6.0

Time to publication                4.84         4.5         7.4         8.3   7.7        7.5         6.0        6.0

1  On average, 162 pages per issue; 17.9 papers et al. per issue; 9.0 pages per paper (decline in average length of publications, i.e., 9.4 pages in 2001 - 2002). 
   Decline in pages reflects in part the electronic publication of supplemental materials.
2  201 research articles + 5 brief communications + 3 special papers = 209 +  6 book reviews = 215 manuscripts.
   Decline in publications reflects decreased solicitation of Invited Papers (to help reduce backlog). 
3  ~17% of all manuscripts received a 'split decision'; 50% of these are rejected (same percentages as in 01 - 02). 
4  Receipt of final manuscript to appearance in print.  Time from submission to appearance in print is ~ 9.7 months (a decrease from 11.5 in 2001 - 2002).

4.  Highlights:
Manuscript backlog < 100 manuscripts.  Turn-around time from receipt of final manuscripts to appearance in print remains steady (compared to 2001 - 2002).  Special Papers and book reviews are being solicited, e.g., a special 90th anniversary issue planned for 2004.  AJB mentioned in Science, Nature, and Science News. ISI AJB 2002 ranking is 19 out of 135 plant science journals (for comparison, note that Systematic Botany = 26, Annals of Botany = 36, International Journal of Plant Sciences = 45, Canadian Journal of Botany = 69).  However, the AJB impact factor declined to 2.263 (from 2.463 in 2001) as has that of many other botanically oriented journals, e.g., Annals of Botany and Canadian Journal of Botany)). 

5.  Recommendations
Budget for current issue size, especially in terms of the 90th anniversary AJB issue.  Budget to increase the salary of Beth Hazen (our best and hardest working junior copy-editor) by 5% for 03 - 04.  Adopt, as planned, an online system for electronic manuscript/review submission and author online-tracking of manuscripts.  Change the by-laws to identify two AJB co-Editors-in-Chief (one for the electronic version and another for the printed version).  Budget for travel and incidental expenses so that the new Editor(s)-in-Chief can travel to Ithaca for AJB staff tutorials.  Appoint the Editor(s)-in-Chief to a (restructured) Executive Committee.  Use e-mail solicitations to encourage subscription and advertise the society journal (as does Blackwell and other publishers). Use business office staff to help produce the Plant Science Bulletin.

Respectfully submitted,

Karl J. Niklas
Editor-in-Chief, AJB
(kjn2 @

I. Editor, Plant Science Bulletin (Marsh Sundberg)*

12003 Editor’s Report, Plant Science Bulletin

Volume 48

  1. Four issues, 164 pages, were published on schedule. The press run ranged from 3800 to 4312 copies. It was distributed quarterly, packaged with the American Journal of Botany to those members receiving hard copy of the Journal and mailed separately to members receiving only the electronic version of AJB.

  1. Production cost for volume 48 was $12,568.97 – approximately $77 per page.

  1. Feature articles included:

    1. Why Botany (Donald Kaplan); The Future of Botany at the Undergraduate Level (Gordon Uno); Preparing a Grant Proposal for NSF (Judith Skog) (summaries of annual meeting “open forums”) (1)

    2. Reflections (Ray Evert); Some Practical Bioethics for Botanists (Arthur Galston) (2)

    3. Plant Blindness: We have Met the Enemy and He is Us (David Hershey) (3)

    4. The Sarah P. Duke Gardens (Nancy Oliver) (4)

  1. 118 books and CD’s were received for review; 66 reviews were published. Both numbers are down slightly from the previous volume, but the percentage of books reviewed continues to increase.

  1. Both PDF and HTML electronic versions are posted on the BSA web page.

Volume 49

  1. Two issues, 76 pages, have been published on schedule with press runs of 4000 copies 48(2). The fall issue is in preparation.

  1. Feature articles included:

    1. no feature in 49(1)

-Walter and Bessie Bellingrath 49(2)

-upcoming articles include: the Lewis and Clark Herbarium and the Status of Botany at U.S. Colleges and Universities.

3. 51 books have been received for review; 35 reviews were published.

Individuals interested in submitting feature articles or in suggesting future article topics should contact the editor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Marsh Sundberg, Editor,

Plant Science Bulletin

J. Webmaster (Bill Dahl)*

Annual Report 2002 – 2003

Webmaster, Botanical Society of America

To be presented to the Botanical Society of America Business Meeting

July 29, 2003 – Mobile Alabama

  1. Overview of Changes

In October 2002 the Executive Committee agreed that the position of Webmaster be shifted to the business office under the position of the Executive Director. We (Scott Russell and I) began transfer of duties to a business office function in November of 2002. This process is approximately 80% complete for the main BSA site. We have completed the process for the BSA conference site and are about 50% complete on the American Journal of Botany site. I’d like to thank Scott for his support and encouragement in this process.

The Executive Committee also considered the importance of the BSA websites to the Botanical Society as a means of moving towards its mission of promoting the science of botany. It was felt we have the base and potential to provide a strong support system for the science and as a means of supporting plant/biological/botanical education. It was agreed we would alter the format of the main BSA site and provide a vibrant and colorful image for the science of botany. It was also agreed we would seek to expand services for members. A highlight to date came in early June when we added access to the American Journal of Botany archives (1914 – 1997) by providing a link through the main BSA site to JSTOR.

As part of the process, it was felt the Webpage Committee, the Education Committee/Teaching Section and all the sections would need to become active as a support system for developments undertaken by the business office (the non-botanical folks). I’m pleased to say the Committee is becoming involved and that the pace of development will increase over the coming months.

  1. Statistics – BSA site

When viewing statistics, it is important to remember that the website is a tool with two main purposes: 1.) It acts as a means of storing and communicating information to the BSA membership; and 2.) It acts as a medium for the dissemination of information that supports our wider mission. Consider the fact that the vast majority of people visiting our website are not botanists. They are coming to research, explore or find out something about botany. The website’s job, if it is aimed at our mission, is to promote botany by getting people to the website and having them stay and explore what we/it has to offer. Over time our goal is to ensure more people are coming to the site, they are visiting more pages and they are staying longer.

For the month of June the Botanical Society of America’s website had 423,993 successful hits (50,813 visitors). The “successful hits” trend for the period January 2002 through June

2003 is highlighted in the figure at the right. The trends for all visitor related statistics are similar.

The June of 2003 the site registered 3.51 gigabytes of data downloaded by visitors. This represents the highest usage of

the site since its establishment. The

previous high was June of 2002.

As we reintroduce the tracking of statistics as a webpage feature we will also look to other meaningful indicators that the site is supporting our mission.

For example:

  • In June the average length

  • of stay per visitor session

  • increased by 19% on the

  • time registered for May. If people are staying longer, hopefully they are learning more and we are promoting botany.

  • In May 57% of visitors entered and went on to more than one page. In June this increased to 70%. If they are going to more pages within the site hopefully they are …..

The BSA office team is excited about developing the BSA with the involvement of the committees and sections. The potential and possibility for establishing a base that can create impact on our mission (and the promotion of the science of botany) is botanically limitless.

Website statistics are now online in the reports section of the website at:

  1. Statistics –Conference and American Journal of Botany

    1. Conference site activity:

June 2001 June 2002 June 2003

Visitors 3,967 7,046 1,752

Gigabytes Transferred 1.17 1.56 .78

We have established the Botany 2004 website at:

    1. American Journal of Botany activity:

We are in the process of establishing these numbers for the 2002-2003 year. The results will be posted with other BSA web statistics as noted above.

We currently have 1505 members and 182 institutions activated for online connection to the American Journal of Botany.

  1. BSA Online Teaching Images

Collection of information for this site has also lapsed over the past nine months. As with all other web statistics, these will soon be posted on the BSA site. It is, however, important to note that this site will form a vital component as we continue with the development of the main BSA site. You’ll note that one of the features of the revised main site is that all images have one-line explanations that appear when the cursor is over the image. All images also link to a botanical explanation for that specific image (most currently link to the cover story that appeared in the American Journal of Botany).

Over the next few months we will add information alongside each image in the collection and ensure the online teaching images are mentioned at the final explanation page for each image link.

With this in mind we need more high quality images. Please, if you have images you are willing to share, let us use them to promote botany through the BSA website and Online Teaching Images.

  1. Added Features

Over the past nine months we focused on development for members and institutional subscribers by adding the following features to the website, many of which had been in the planning for some time:

    1. Online payment for dues, subscriptions and the purchasing of BSA paraphernalia.

    2. Established and connected a new BSA database and connected it to the website as a platform for development.

    3. Access to the archives of the American Journal of Botany (JSTOR).

    4. Revised the Membership Look-up function and connected it to the BSA database.

    5. Established a “Review & Change Your Details” component. This will hopefully eliminate data entry errors (at least the ones we make).

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