A 1 (1): 1 Atmosphere [pdf]

Peterson, C. J. Editor, Midsouth Entomologist

USDA Forest Service; Insects, Diseases and Invasive Plants Unit; 201 Lincoln Green, Starkville, MS 39759. cjpeterson@fs.fed.us

Received: 3-I-2008

          In his 1995 novel Microserfs, Douglas Coupland describes what it means to be “one-point-oh”: the first to do something really new and cool. In the book, Coupland’s computer coder characters leave the security of software giant Microsoft to start a new company and launch their own new and cool software; a version 1.0.
          The same atmosphere of one-point-oh can apply to the launch of a new journal. Perhaps it can be called a Volume 1, Number 1, Page 1 atmosphere, or 1(1):1. How exactly that should be pronounced in a cool one-point-oh way I’ll leave up to you. Either way, there is a great sense of excitement at the Mississippi Entomological Association on the launch of our new journal, Midsouth Entomologist.
          Without the conventions of previous versions, the spirit of 1(1):1, just like one-point-oh, is to provide the most direct and simple solution to a recurring problem. Midsouth Entomologist has its origins in 2005, just hours before the fall annual meeting of the MEA. We saw that there was a need for the MEA to be of greater service to the entomologists of Mississippi. We looked at our membership rolls, declining steadily over the past several years, and it was clear that we were not an accurate cross-section of the entomological population. Sure, we have two meetings a year, host student scholarships and participate in entomology camps. But somehow it just wasn’t doing the trick. What could we do as an organization to serve all of the entomologists in the state?
          Midsouth Entomologist, therefore, is our attempt to reach out all who are interested in entomology, not only from Mississippi, but also from Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. We seek to be 1(1):1 by reaching out to all segments of the entomological community: researchers, product developers, teachers, students and hobbyists. We will consider any article where the author resides in the Midsouth, or where portions of the research were conducted in the Midsouth. We are open access, so anyone can read it, and we are open published, so that anyone can publish at a very low or no cost.
          Our Research Article section publishes top-quality peer reviewed research suitable for any of the large international journals. A unique feature of the Research Article section is the non-technical summary that accompanies each article. The paper’s contents are summarized in accessible language so that readers without technical training can see why the research is important and hopefully use the knowledge more readily.
          The Reports section opens the door to work that would not usually be accepted by most of the big journals. A Report should be work that is too technical for a general audience, but not of the type usually suitable for a peer-reviewed publication. Pesticide trials are published in some journals, but certainly not all. Much valuable information is therefore lost due to inaccessibility. Each year, k – 12 students all over the Midsouth participate in science fairs. Many of these projects are quite innovative, but, alas, they are inaccessible to the rest of the entomological community. It would be interesting, as well as good experience for the teachers and students, to prepare the results of such projects for publication.
          Our Special Features section is the fun part. Absolutely anything of an entomological nature can be published, including artwork, photographs, short fiction, you name it. Book reviews and editorials (non-anonymous) are welcomed.
          It is our belief at MEA that providing all this information in one format will spur discussion and interest among our readership. We hope to facilitate an exchange of ideas between entomologists who don’t usually get a chance to interact. Teachers reading the Research Article section can get ideas for science fair projects, researchers can investigate the observations of hobbyists, and hopefully the more we are all talking, the more informed we will all be.
          I have enjoyed putting this journal together, and I hope you find it as useful as I hope it to be. Even with the hard work, it has been a lot of fun and I’ve had the help of some great folks. The MEA membership has been behind me the whole way, and I was honored to receive the 2007 MEA Merit Award in November for my efforts. Thank you all. Along the way, I had some behind the scenes help from: Dr. Larry Kipp, (Editor, Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society), Dr. Wayne Gardner (Editor, Journal of Entomological Science), Dr. Derek McPhee (Editor, Molecules), and Dr. Noel Polk (Editor, Mississippi Quarterly). I’ve also had a great publications committee: J. T. Vogt (whose idea this was in the first place), Jack Reed, Tim Menzel, David Held, Richard Brown and Sherri DeFauw. Joe MacGown and Sherry McMullin have been making sure the website’s up to date. I also have a great set of Associate Editors. If I have left anyone out, it’s not on purpose, but a refection of the fact that it takes this many people and more to make this type of thing happen. I’m sure Coupland’s one-point-oh-ers would agree that in the end, it’s worth it. I look forward to serving as your Editor.