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Improvements to Copeia

Late last month, I sent out a letter to the Membership of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists discussing some of the recent changes at Copeia. I also highlighted some of the improvements in the journal that began with several of the earlier editors of Copeia. The main goal of the email was to make our Membership aware of these changes and improvements to Copeia. We will be presenting a poster at the 2019 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists that will provide additional details on these and other changes. Below are the main take-home points of the email to the Membership.

Full Open Access for $500—I am excited to announce a new open-access policy that allows authors to publish their articles with full open access for $500 for ASIH Members. There are many benefits to open-access publishing that range from increased exposure to enhanced article usage, and ASIH is thrilled to provide this opportunity at an affordable price.

Free Open Access for Award Winners—The Society will make ten articles open access each year at no charge. These include the six best papers of the year (https://asih.org/copeia/best-copeia-papers) as well as the most downloaded paper of the year and the most cited paper of the preceding year (one in herpetology and one in ichthyology for each category). ASIH hopes that this will encourage authors to submit their best work to Copeia. One week after making the award-winning papers open access, four of these articles were in the top 20 most-downloaded articles of the previous three months.

Personalized Open Access for 50 Days for Free—All Copeia authors are given a personalized link to share that provides 50 days of free access to their article from the date of publication. This link will take readers directly to the final version of the article and does not require registration or login. This service is provided to help authors share Copeia research with the press and social media without any barriers to access. In our first ten months of this open access, we have just crossed 6,000 downloads of these free-to-use open access shares.

Improved Publication and Turnaround TimesCopeia is happy to report that manuscript review and publication times continue to improve and are competitive with other respected zoological venues. In 2018, Copeia continued the trend of reduced review turnaround times with an average of 46 days from manuscript submission until first decision. This compares favorably with data from ten years ago when turnaround time was closer to 80 days. Similarly, the number of days from manuscript submission to final publication averaged 273 days (often fewer than 200) in 2018. This also compares favorably with data from ten years ago when this same process averaged nearly 500 days. You can see the trend since 2011 below. Both of these critical metrics have more or less continually decreased every year since 2010. Turnaround times have improved without a decrease in quality—our rejection rate has remained steady and our impact factor is currently 1.220.


Free Color Images—For several years, Copeia has subsidized the publishing of color figures. Depending on the total number of color and grayscale images in your paper, Copeia articles can include 3–6 color images in the final version of a study at no cost to authors who are ASIH Members. See the 'Instructions to Authors' for more information (https://www.copeiajournal.org/instructions/).

Dedicated and Experienced Editorial Staff—Our Editorial Office includes a production editor with a master’s degree in biology and over a decade of scientific copyediting experience and an illustration editor who is pursuing a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology. The production editor works exclusively for Copeia to ensure that manuscripts are produced efficiently and accurately. The illustration editor ensures that all images are of high quality and works with authors to improve their submitted images.

I hope you are as excited to read about the improvements to Copeia as I am to share this information. ASIH is grateful to its dedicated members, reviewers, editorial board members, associate editors, staff, Allen Press, and BioOne who make the journal possible. We are indebted to authors that give Copeia the opportunity to publish their hard work. It remains our goal to improve and produce their research efficiently with the highest standards.

Thank you for your support!