Every so often in the evolution of scientific peer-reviewed publishing there are changes that take place that can have dramatic impacts on the ability of researchers to disseminate their science to broad audiences in a timely manner. For example, the shift to online publishing has arguably been the largest sea-change that has happened to the publishing industry in the last 50 years. And while perhaps reading e-versions of articles will never quite stack up to having a dog-eared, pencil-marked hard copy in your hands (at least for some of us “old-schoolers”!), the electronic age has had a huge benefit in that scientific journals can now disseminate information into the public realm more rapidly and with greater frequency than ever before.
It is with this eye on positive change that we are delighted to share some new and exciting news in the world of Chelonian Conservation and Biology. Most importantly, we are honored to announce that our founding publisher, Chelonian Research Foundation, has just joined forces with the Turtle Conservancy (turtleconservancy.org) to form a co-publishing partnership that will cover both CCB and Chelonian Research Monographs (CRM) and is sure to maximize our ability to publish high-quality turtle research from around the world. Partnering with the Turtle Conservancy is a natural fit for Chelonian Research Foundation, both professionally and on a personal level. Indeed, we share many of the same goals regarding conservation of turtles and tortoises, protecting critical habitats through land purchase and stewardship, monitoring and helping to prevent international trade, and increasing global awareness through public outreach and publications, both popular and scientific. The Turtle Conservancy already publishes a high-end turtle conservation magazine, The Tortoise, and expanding into co-publishing CCB and CRM with Chelonian Research Foundation is a natural fit.
Through this new initiative, we are implementing two huge changes in our publishing model. First, CCB will no longer require page charges for contributing authors. Of course, we will request and encourage those with institutional support who can afford to pay for page charges to continue to do so, as this helps support continued high quality publication, but by eliminating mandatory page charges in CCB, publishing in our journal will be facilitated, especially for authors from developing nations and those without institutional support.
Second, together with our printer, Allen Press, CCB will now offer preprints of articles that are In Press, but not yet available in a CCB issue. This is already underway and a quick look at our CCB Web site (http://www.chelonianjournals.org) will reveal the new “Online First” link that will be populated with the most recently accepted publications that have not yet made it into a published issue of CCB. Of course, with the publication of CCB 16(1) we've now published everything that had been posted online first prior to this issue, but stay tuned for more preprints coming soon! This is our way to disseminate your published research into the literature as soon as possible.
Now that you're aware of all these very positive happenings, we'd like to introduce CCB Volume 16, Issue 1. You have in front of you another issue of CCB that covers an array of topics (including ecology, behavior, demography, population status, conservation, reproduction, orientation, morphology, and climate change) focusing on freshwater turtles, tortoises, and marine turtles. This issue has contributions from seven countries (Brazil, Cuba, Japan, Mexico, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Uruguay), which again underscores the multidisciplinary nature of the papers we publish, and highlights the fact that turtle research and conservation is a global community.
This issue marks the 6th occasion that we have a Featured Article, for which we provide free open access (for a period), and produce a press release. CCB 16(1)'s Featured Article is by Julia Azanza-Ricardo and five additional colleagues from Cuba, entitled “Possible Effect of Global Climate Change on Caretta caretta (Testudines, Cheloniidae) Nesting Ecology at Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Cuba”. Climate change is something that humans and chelonians alike are dealing with, and this article provides a compelling example of how current warming ocean temperatures may be leading to longer and later nesting seasons for threatened loggerhead turtles in Cuba. This has been a hugely underrepresented country in terms of peer-reviewed publications being produced, and to have this article now published is a great boost for the region and for CCB. Loggerheads are a conservation-dependent species, but climate change will create major challenges for ensuring that the North Atlantic nesting population will be safe for decades to come. There has been increasing focus on climate change and projections about sea level rise and its impacts on sea turtle nesting, but the idea of shifts in nesting season—and thus greater susceptibility to hurricanes in the Caribbean—has not been in the forefront. We commend Dr. Azanza and her team for their fine research efforts!
The publication of this 16th Volume also marks the 12th year of Rhodin and Seminoff working together, and the 7th year that Seminoff has been at the helm of CCB as Executive Editor. Both of our jobs have been made so much easier due to our fantastic editorial team which includes Editors Jeffrey Lovich (U.S. Geological Survey) and Peter Lindeman (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania), and Associate Editors Luca Luiselli (Centre of Environmental Studies Demetra), Joshua Ennen (Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute), Cristina A. Jones (Arizona Game & Fish Department), Sandra Hochscheid (Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn), and Vivian Páez (Universidad de Antioquia). And of course the success and long run of CCB would not be possible without the involvement and support of Consulting Editors Peter Pritchard (Chelonian Research Institute) and Russ Mittermeier (Conservation International), now being joined by Eric Goode (Turtle Conservancy). We are also indebted to the many authors who submit to CCB and the cadre of reviewers who consistently invest substantial time in producing thorough and thoughtful reviews that help make our published articles the best they can be.
And finally, in closing, Seminoff and Rhodin and Chelonian Research Foundation would like to send a Galapagos tortoise–sized welcome to the Turtle Conservancy, and especially to its President and CEO, Eric Goode. Thank you for your support and shared vision! We look forward to a bright future for CCB, CRM, and our entire expanded publishing team.