At the age of 15 years, compared to other fully-electronic palaeo-journals PE is quite old by now. But that doesn’t mean that PE is outdated and old-fashioned. The editorial board always strives to adapt the journal to changes (I am a bit hesitant to use the term “progress”) in technology and science.
Today, I have the pleasure to announce some big changes for the very near future.
No more waiting
First of all, PE will no longer publish all articles in two regular and one special issues. Instead, nearly all papers will be published immediately. That is, once a paper is submitted in its final version, the production of galleys will be done as soon as our staff can manage (remember, most of us are volunteers, the rest are part-timers). Then, the authors are sent the proofs, and once they OK them the paper can go online right away.
Does this really make a difference? That depends a bit on timing. In the old system, if your paper happened to come in one day too late for the second regular issue of a year it would have to sit around for nearly half a year! Obviously, nobody would rush the galley production, but it would still be quite a wait. On the other hand, I have seen papers go from final submission to publication in a matter of days. In the future, you can expect a wait of a few days to a week or two at the most, unless something unexpected happens. The steps in the publication process that take longest will very likely still be peer-review and author’s revisions.
A new look
The new publishing schedule is only a small part of all the changes at PE. Starting now, PE will be published using a new Joomla content management system and will have a completely new look. We are still fiddling with the details – to be honest, manging editor Jennifer Rumford and technical editor Mark Sutton are. They are tech wizards and surprising us every day by fixing things to look the way we want them. I’m happy if I manage to have a list show on my blog the way I want to. Jennifer can do these things in her sleep, I believe. She’s a master at making the site perform, and we all look forward to the new look and feel. Mark is also behind the technical aspects of this blog, so if it doesn’t work (a very unlikely event), blame him.
We will also have a RSS feed for new articles, so that you can get notifications every time a new contribution is published.
Now, we all realize that no new design will please all. And PE will not stand still. Yell in comments here or email us about things that you want us to improve. If what you wask for makes sense, and if we can do it, we will!
We’re also planning to get DOIs for our content. This will take a little while, though.
Enough change for now. We look forward to the first articles of 2012, which will go live in a matter of days now.