It has been almost two years since we took over the editorial duties of Oceanography. During that time the magazine, and The Oceanography Society itself, have continued to evolve, albeit at geological rates.
Frankly, we are not exactly overworked. The manuscripts are not pouring in. We are in what Mr. Reagan would undoubtedly describe as a “‘trickle down” situation. But, unlike certain politicians, we are willing to change our views.
Originally we believed that material appearing in Oceanography should be primarily unsolicited, as occurs in most professional journals. An Adam-Smithian rule of the marketplace, if you will. However, the invisible hand of the market appears to be paralyzed, perhaps because people are not used to the idea of writing for a general audience, or (more likely) because most people want to spend a minimum amount of time writing papers and would prefer to invest that time in a focused approach to immediate peers. The TOS mutual fund seems to be less appealing than the high-yield utilities.
OK, let’s try a different investment strategy. We will try to involve you, the producers and consumers, in planning topics for future issues. They could be single articles which you wish someone would write, or entire issues devoted to different views of a single topic, such as the “‘Iron Hypothesis” issue (Vol. 4, No. 2). We are already planning one on Marine Biodiversity. We’d also like to see more op-ed pieces, like the article by Gunther Krause and Matthias Tomczak in this issue.
The key to this effort will be the identification of topics and potential authors suggested by YOU. Because our field is so diverse and the authors so spread worldwide, we will rely on electronic communications. On the TOS home page (http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/tos_menu.html) you will find the plans for future issues as they develop. Please look over the tentative plans and contribute ideas or nominate authors. We believe this innovative way of involving the membership of TOS and the oceanographic community at large will lead to a better Oceanography.
— Larry Atkinson and Connie Sancetta