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Published on Sunday, April 1, 2018

Looking Forward 1: The ARPAS Journal, Readers

Dave Beede, Editor-in-Chief

Looking Forward 1: The ARPAS Journal, Readers

Dave Beede, Editor-in-Chief
The Professional Animal Scientist

About 25% of the ARPAS membership (n = 421 respondents) answered the recent ARPAS 2018 journal name-change survey and questionnaire providing valuable information. The ARPAS editorial team met by conference call April 9 to discuss the input. Here I summarize some of the key responses from members and readers. I have also added some comments to update you on several forward-looking efforts happening with The Professional Animal Scientist (PAS).

About 78% of respondents indicated that they access PAS at least 14 times per year; fewer (22%) access PAS more than 15 times annually. The two most common and frequent ways (93%) members access the ARPAS journal are when the Elsevier email alert announces a new issue is online and(or) through the APRAS homepage under the “Publications” tab. Fewer (21%) indicate they access the journal through their commonly used search engine, and fewer yet (12%) indicated access through their institution’s or company’s online library access.

There were some written comments from the survey that stated individuals are not notified of a new issue by email alert or could not access the journal online at the Elsevier site. Anyone can opt in to receive a table of contents (TOC) alert, with links to the articles, each time an issue is posted. To do this, go to the journal site ( and complete a two-step registration to receive each and every notification when a new issue and table of contents are posted online. Registration is necessary to help ensure internet security for ARPAS members and permits full access to view the table of contents, abstracts, and full articles. If you are not able to register or need assistance with this process, please contact Cornicha Henderson (, ARPAS administrative assistant, to verify your membership status, membership number, and email address and then register here ( for full access to the PAS journal. OR, go to, login as a member, and access the journal from the society website.

Once logged in to the PAS website, 57% of respondents (n = 404) indicated they used the journal’s internal search engine capability, with 63% of those respondents using the search feature at least 6 times per year and an additional 25% searching about 12 times per year. Similarly, 45% said they used the ADVANCED SEARCH about 6 times (69%) or 12 times (24%) per year. From the written comments from readers, the importance of “key words” associated with each article was loudly emphasized to search across various search engines. This points to the absolute necessity that authors select the very most appropriate key words for every published article.

The majority of survey respondents indicated four main searchable databases when they were asked to select three from a list of nine possibilities. Google, Google Scholar, PubMed, and Science Direct (from within the Elsevier platform) represented 63, 55, 48, and 36% of responses, respectively.

In the written comments, several common themes emerged. First, respondents were concerned about online access to the journal (addressed above). Actually, there also were a number of complementary comments about ease of access. Another key comment was concern about being able to view the full table of contents of each issue. This is readily possible after one logs in to the journal site on the Elsevier homepage, and with one additional click on the article title, the abstract and full PDF file of the article are available.

In the last three months we have begun work to roll out several new or remodeled features for the ARPAS journal. In the next six months, be watching for a new hierarchical table of contents structure that will include journal headings (article types), scope and scientific discipline subheadings, and sub-subheadings by animal species and production system type. We also will be instituting a new scientific evaluation eform for reviewers of manuscripts submitted to the journal.

Other especially notable suggestions from member-readers were to include an “executive summary” for each article for an easily visible “quick read.” This already is planned and will be under the heading of a new section in each article called “Conclusions, Applications, and Implications” presented right after the title and authors and right before the abstract. Two other fairly common comments from the survey were for more frequent email communications about journal content and activities and to invite editorials on various topics to the journal. Look for these to commence in the foreseeable future.

Finally, in its conference call April 9 the editorial team discussed the membership’s input for a name change for the ARPAS journal. From the round 1 rankings and written suggestions received, a round 2 survey of the four most popular names will be sent to the membership soon. Based on round 2 feedback, a recommendation will be made to the Governing Council for action at its annual business meeting at the ADSA meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee, in June. If a name change is approved, it will take effect at the beginning of the 2019 publication year.

Contacts: The ARPAS editorial team greatly appreciates ARPAS membership’s input about the journal. The team is composed of associate editors Andy Cole (USDA/ARS, retired;, Stacey Gunter (USDA/ARS;, Wayne Kellogg (University of Arkansas, retired;, and Eric van Heugten (North Carolina State University;; Susan Pollock (editorial lead, FASS;, Christine Horger (PAS technical editor, FASS;; Shauna Miller (peer-review support, FASS;; John Bernard (president, ARPAS;, Kenneth Cummings (executive vice president, ARPAS;; and Emma Bruun (publisher, Elsevier;

In the next installment, Looking Forward 2: The ARPAS Journal, Authors, we shall address the questionnaire input and feedback from and especially relevant to authors and potential authors of the ARPAS journal.

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Registration process for accessing full-text articles in The Professional Animal Scientist.

As a dues-paid member of ARPAS, you are able to access TheProfessional Animal Scientist (PAS)journal. To access bi-monthly issues of PAS,you MUST COMPLETE this one-time, two-step process to activate online access using your ARPAS member number, which is the same as your FASS member number. If you do not know the number, please contact Cornicha Henderson by email ( for your number.


1. Register

o If you have previously registered on the PAS website (or another journal website hosted on Elsevier’s platform),enter your username/password toLog in.

o If you are new to the PAS site, click theCreate Accountbutton and complete the account registration form.


2. Claim Online Access

  • On the next screen, click the box “I receive my subscription through a society membership.”
    • Enter yourARPAS Membership Number+Last Nameand then clickActivate Claim.
    • You will receive an on-screen confirmation that your access claim was successful, and you are done!


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Categories: Reports, Issues, April 2018