This year’s 147th Annual Meeting theme is “Fisheries Ecosystems: Uplands to Oceans.” A fantastic lineup of scientific and networking events is planned for the Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, where AFS last met in 1995. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
I provided a self-evaluation of my entire year in office in the August 2017 issue of Fisheries, so here I will just focus on one of the main aspects of my Plan of Work: enhancing the prestige of AFS publications. We convened a special workshop in Reno, Nevada, in May 2017 that included officers, publications staff, editorial board members, and a few key members who have been especially active in AFS publications. We had two full days of professionally facilitated discussion that resulted in a remarkably clear road map for building the prestige of our journals and enhancing other aspects of our publications-related member services. We will present full details in our report at Tampa, but the major topics of conversation probably will not surprise most of you, such as:
- Increasing the impact factor for AFS journals where needed
- Making sure that the North American Journal of Fisheries Management serves its intended audience
- Clarifying the role of Transactions vs. Fisheries as the AFS flagship publication
- Creating an editorial board structure that fosters a long-term vision and strategic direction
- Better communicating our science to various external audiences
- Providing centralized access to gray literature, such as state and federal agency reports
I cannot say enough to thank those who participated in this workshop, or the hundreds of volunteers who make the AFS peer-review system work issue after issue, year after year. We published more than 413 peer-reviewed articles in 2016 and not a single one would have been possible without fisheries professionals spending their valuable time to keep the flow of science coming to the benefit of their colleagues and the resource. Hopefully these new efforts will keep our publications growing in prestige and visibility, bringing more recognition for our authors, editors, and reviewers.