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ARPAS Spring 2023 Newsletter

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Published on Thursday, May 25, 2023

Report on Applied Animal Science

David K. Beede, PhD, PAS, Dpl. ACAS, AAS Editor-in-Chief

Report for January 1 – December 31, 2022 (Vol. 38, Issues 1 - 6)

This report has three parts:

  1. performance information about the submission - review - editorial - production - publication process of Applied Animal Science (AAS) from January 1 - December 31, 2022, and comparison with the previous 4 years (2021 - 2018) of publication;
  2. comments about activities and changes in 2022; and,
  3. anticipated work and activities in 2023.

 

  1. Performance information for January 1 - December 31, 2022 compared with the previous 4 years.

Tables 1 and 2 below contain information that we have been tracking for more than 5 years to monitor various variables about the publication process and performance.

Brief Summary:

Table 1. In 2022, there were fewer submissions (n = 100) to AAS compared with the previous 4 years (n = 135, on average). Submissions peaked in 2020 (n = 156) which is thought to be associated with change in emphasis of work activities of authors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, the decline in submissions after 2020 is suspected to be associated with less new research work (fewer experiments conducted in 2020-21, and thus less laboratory and data analyses, and fewer new manuscript submissions). Similar trends have been noted by individuals working with other animal science journals. The acceptance (~64%) and rejection (~36%) rates of reviewed manuscripts has remained relatively steady for AAS over the last 5 years.

Time indices (e.g., average time in review, average production time, total time from submission to publication) have remained relatively steady over the last 5 years, including in 2022. The 172 days (5.7 months) from submission to publication is very good compared with other animal science journals and is a testament to the excellent responsiveness and diligent work of reviewers, scientific Associate Editors, technical editors and journal production staff at FASS.

Total pages published (n = 672) in 2022 is about 90% of the average published in 2021 - 2018, with the peak number of pages (n = 898) occurring in 2020; again, likely related to factors associated with the pandemic. Similar trends are noted for the number of articles published over the last 5 years.

Authors choose the method of publication for their work at the time of acceptance. Two methods are available: via pages charges or by Open Access (OA). The method chosen has changed drastically over the last 5 years. Percentage of total articles published annually via OA increased from 8% in 2018 to 54% in 2022; a similar trend is reflected in the percentage of total pages published via OA. It should be noted that some of the increase in OA choice in 2022 was due to Cotton, Inc. paying for OA publication of five invited articles. 

Table 2. The profile of distribution of article types (AAS’s Science and Application Categories) remained relatively similar from 2018 through 2022. The most notable change was the rather dramatic reduction in the number of Case Studies published in 2020 through 2022 compared with 2018 and 2019. This was an intentional change beginning in 2019 facilitated by the EIC with concern about the scientific quality of some of the Case Study reports. The definition of Short Communications (and Case Studies as a sub-category) in the Instructions for Authors of AAS was altered to include more explicit instructions for more rigorous attention to proper experimental replication and appropriate statistical analyses, except in very unique cases. Preferred Science and Application Categories are selected by the authors at the time of submission with only minor changes made during the review and revision process in consultation with the EIC.

Table 1. Journal Submissions, Review, and Publication Information (compiled by L. Esterman, FASS).

 

Item

2022, as AAS

2021, as AAS

2020, as AAS

2019, as PAS

2018, as PAS

Submissions

Vol. 38

Vol. 37

Vol. 36

Vol. 35

Vol. 34

Received new (revisions)

100 (91)

125 (140)

156 (176)

138 (160) 

121 (158) 

Accepted (accept %)

54 (61%)

80 (62%)

84 (57%)

68 (69%) 

73 (66%) 

Rejected (reject %)

34 (39%)

49 (37%)

64 (43%)

30 (31%)

38 (34%)

Withdrawn (from system)

4

4

8

15 

15 

Review, Editorial, Production Process

 

 

 

 

 

Avg. review time, d

112

109

117

107 

121 

Avg. production time, d

60

58

61

68 

74 

Total time, d

172

167

178

175 

195 

Publication

 

 

 

 

 

Pages published

672

763

898

652 

670 

Total articles published

65

75

94

70 

74 

Open Access published, articles (pages)

35 (364)

24 (272)

21 (226)

8 (65)

6 (63)

 

Table 2. Published Articles by Manuscript Type (compiled by L. Esterman, FASS).

Manuscript Type,
new (% of total)

2022, as AAS

2021, as AAS

2020, as AAS

2019, as PAS

2018, as PAS

Research articles

52 (80%)

54 (72%)

67 (74%)

46 (66%)

51 (69%)

Reviews

---

3 (4%)

2 (2%)

3 (4%)

2 (3%)

Symposium or Invited Reviews

7 (11%)

7 (9%)

8 (9%)

12 (17%)

4 (5%)

Short Communications

2 (3%)

10 (13%)

14 (15%)

3 (4%)

---

Case study

---

---

---

5 (7%)

14 (19%)

Perspective and Commentary

1 (2%)

1 (1%)

---

---

---

Letter to the Editor

2 (3%)

1 (1%)

---

---

---

Technical Note

1 (2%)

2 (2%)

---

1 (1%)

2 (3%)

Total

65

75

91

70

73

 

  1. Activities and changes in 2022, including support and marketing 

 

  1. Activities and changes in 2022

 

  1. Updated Actions for Published Articles
  1. Publishing ORCIDs, when authors provide needed information; ORCID maintains a database that keeps the publication history and unique name(s) of individual authors, if they choose to register in and maintain their data in the system. This service is facilitated and offered to authors by AAS, without charge.
  2. Updates to ScholarOne/ManuscriptCentral (S1M) questions:
    • Added optional question to collect social media handles/contacts from authors for article promotion.
    • Added 2 required financial statements/questions:
      • “I accept full responsibility for publication costs, if my submission is accepted for publication, and I will be invoiced shortly before the article is published (payment will be due 30 days after invoice receipt). The individual author, or the authorized representative, agrees to make payment via credit card if the publication invoice has not been paid 90 days after the invoice due date”.
      • Invoicing name, mailing address, and email address.
    • Changed Commentary article type to Perspectives and Commentaries with new description:
      • Perspectives and Commentaries. These articles provide a forum for authors to address important topics in the animal sciences related to industry opportunities, issues, practices, and applications or related to research investigation and application. They typically are more forward looking and may be more speculative than Reviews and Invited Reviews and may take a narrower field of view. They may be opinionated but should remain balanced and are intended to stimulate discussion and(or) describe and support (validate) new industry and(or) experimental approaches. These articles may document industry or scientific needs or practices and may provide recommendations. Information shared should be from extensive first-hand experience and new data, results, and information, which should be displayed with some statistical evaluation when possible. References to the refereed scientific literature are encouraged when appropriate but are not essential nor required. These articles are invited by the editor-in-chief. Individuals are encouraged to contact the editor-in-chief to suggest topics and(or) potential authors for Perspectives and Commentaries articles or to indicate a desire to submit an article of this type to the journal.”  
        • To-date (as of the end of 2022) four articles have been submitted under the Perspectives and Commentaries article type, two have been published (one in 2021 and one in 2022), and another likely will be published in 2023.
    • Changed “Corresponding Author” to “Corresponding Author (Principal Investigator)” for clarity and accountability of the principal investigator (PI) within the submission process.
    • Continued collecting CREDIT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) from authors which helps identify the contributions of each authors to the published work. We may choose to publish this information with each article in the future; some other journals do this currently.

 

  1. Support and Marketing
  1. Associate Editors (AEs) for 2022 were:
    • Dr. Eric van Heugten (North Carolina State University; swine/nonruminants);
    • Dr. Kristin Hales (Texas Tech University; beef feedlot and meats);
    • Dr. Daniel Rivera (University of Arkansas; grazing beef cattle/ruminants/ forages); and,
    • Dr. David Beede (Michigan State University; dairy and other topics, and article types).
  2. Laura Esterman became the managing editor and FASS director of publications in June, 2022 working with AAS.
    • Other FASS staff members working with AAS were: Christine Horger (lead technical editor), Shauna Miller (ScholarOne Manuscripts support) and, Ron Keller (production).
    • Dr. Elena Herzog was the publisher assigned to AAS by Elsevier in early 2022 working with FASS personnel and the AAS editors.
  3. Some editing and changes were made to Information for Authors (Policies and Instructions for Authors documents) for AAS webpages.
  4. Marketing: Worldwide “Call for Papers” were made by ARPAS and Elsevier marketing using their databases and networks to prospective animal science authors (including USA and beyond). An increase in number and kinds of submissions is noticeable following these periodic worldwide calls. However, many of these submissions are “un-submitted” after evaluation by the EIC as being outside the scope of AAS, not of sufficient scientific-technical quality (e.g., often lacking sufficient experimental unit replication and(or) statistical analysis), and(or) insufficient conformance to style and form of AAS as defined in Instructions for Authors.  Submissions are un-submitted and returned to authors with a letter explaining the specific concerns and inviting a new improved submission. Very few submissions of an improved manuscript are submitted at a later date.
  5. Invitations were made to selected individuals to write and submit invited reviews to AAS. Seven Invited Reviews and Symposia articles were published in 2022. The area of “cotton byproducts for beef cattle” was highlighted in 2022 through a call for submissions and eventual publication of five articles on the topic.  The effort was coordinated by the EIC with two of the PIs of articles on the topic who also helped facilitate OA payment of the articles by Cotton, Inc., Cary, NC.
  6. Official letters of thanks and public posting of reviewers’ names were made to journal webpages for all reviewers in 2022.
  7. Official letter of thanks sent via email to each reviewer of 2022 manuscripts; 134 different volunteer experts reviewed one or more manuscript submissions.
  8. Clarivate made the announcement the end of July 2022 that beginning in 2023 all journals in its Emerging Sciences list (which includes AAS) would receive an Impact Factor (I.F.). Routine calculation and publication of the I.F. starts mid-year 2023.

 

  1. Review and Publication Updates
  1. We continue, as a service to authors, collecting ORCiDs from corresponding authors via the ScholarOne site; updated letters to authors to encourage addition of ORCiDs to their accounts. For authors that have ORCIDs in their accounts, the ORCiDs are published on final articles. More about ORCIDs:
    1. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier (an ORCID iD) that authors own and control, and that distinguishes them from every other researcher. They can connect their iD with their professional information — affiliations, grants, publications, peer review, and more. They can use their iD to share their information with other systems, ensuring that they get recognition for all their contributions, saving their time and hassle, and reducing the risk of errors.
    2. It also is a benefit that AAS can offer its authors.
  2. iCal (calendar reminders) added to S1M/MC letters with due dates are issued to help authors, reviewers, editors meet deadlines from the peer-review system.
  3. CRediT taxonomy was added to manuscript submission process. Authors can use tick boxes to designate co-author contributions (type and level) to their submissions.
  4. FundRef module was added to the manuscript submission process. This allows authors to include funding agency and grant numbers during the submission process. This information is collected at author proofs if not submitted before then (and published on final papers), so this should assist the technical editor in collecting the information further upstream.

 

  1. Anticipated Work and Activities in 2023 and Forward

 

  1. Consider and develop special issue(s) of AAS or focused sections within issues on selected topics (e.g., specific feedstuff utilization; production systems; others?). These considerations and activities will be in association with Laura Esterman, managing editor and FASS director of publications.

Additionally, the feasibility of bundling AAS with other animal science journals within the Elsevier portfolio may be pursued. This possibility is controlled and driven by Elsevier. The potential advantage for AAS doing this is increased visibility among authors and readers with other animal science journals with similar subject matter.

  1. Continue quarterly invitations from EIC to write and submit invited reviews to AAS. Suggestions of possible topic areas are always welcome.
  2. Continue press releases monthly or quarterly based on journal articles in each issue.
  3. Continue letter of thanks to each and all reviewers in 2023 and publish list on ARPAS webpage.
  4. Elsevier (Elena Herzog, AAS publisher) to apply/pursue for PubMed indexing of AAS in 2023 in coordination with Laura Esterman.
  5. In 2023, the following individuals have agreed to continue service as scientific-technical editors of AAS:
  • Dr. Eric van Heugten (Associate Editor, North Carolina State University; swine/nonruminants) (2023-2025);
  • Dr. Kristin Hales (Associate Editor-in-Chief; Texas Tech University; beef feedlot and meats) (2023-2025);
  • Dr. Daniel Rivera (Associate Editor; University of Arkansas; grazing beef cattle/ruminants/ forages) (2023-2025); and,
  • Dr. David Beede (EIC and Associate Editor; Michigan State University; dairy and other topics, and article types) (2023).
  1. AAS is currently seeking and inviting new members for the Editorial Board of AAS. Please provide suggestions to the EIC, or self-nominate.
  2. Post the AAS journal Registration Reminder to ARPAS members quarterly via email.

 

 

 

Graduate Student and Social Media Report
Jordan Adams, MS, Assoc. PAS

 

Current Efforts & Analytics
In the last six months, I have worked towards establishing a mentorship program between graduate students and experienced ARPAS members. The first step was to have a related question included in the demographics questionnaire that ARPAS members complete when renewing membership. I received great interest from the ADSA Graduate Student Division to possibly have their members take part in this mentorship program as well.

In addition, I reached out to the ASAS graduate student director regarding the possibility of hosting a joint ASAS-ARPAS Graduate Student Mixer at the 2023 ASAS Annual Meeting. This collaboration opportunity was well received, but we need to decide how exactly we can contribute.

We previously discussed targeting graduate student associations within universities. Last fall, I gave a brief presentation with an overview of ARPAS to my department’s graduate student association and I received quite a bit of interest from that, so I think we should continue these efforts at other universities.

I put together a draft of a general business card for ARPAS that I think would be a great tool to easily provide information for those interested.

I have been releasing AAS press releases and promoting monthly editions of the journal on social media. Twitter and LinkedIn are our most active social media platforms and we seem to receive quite a bit of attention. Consistently posting reminders for upcoming events and any new ARPAS updates seems to help with our publicity and draw more attention to our page.

  • ARPAS (Twitter) is following 931 accounts with 461 followers
    • 10.5% increase in followers since the 2022 Annual Meeting
    • 813 tweet impressions in December 2022
      • 50.8% more impressions than 2022 Annual Meeting
    • 383 profile visits in December 2022
      • 39.3% more profile visits than 2022 Annual Meeting
  • LinkedIn has 1,579 followers
    • 5.3% increase in followers since the 2022 Annual Meeting

Conclusions and Future Directions
Our account has received the most attention from posting AAS press releases and reminders that pertain to ARPAS. As professional meetings begin to ramp back up, we will begin to increase social media activity as well.

Moving forward, I think that we need to continue the process of establishing the mentorship program to add benefits to student membership. It would be beneficial to have an ARPAS graduate student representative for each of our affiliated societies in order to reach more students, especially for the mentorship program. Collaboration with affiliated societies will allow for increased graduate student awareness of ARPAS, and I think a joint mixer would be a good start to this. Additionally, I think a finalized general ARPAS business card would be a great form of advertisement.

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Categories: Reports, May 2023

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