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ESA celebrates 100 years of insect science journals

This year marks the 100-year anniversaries of Annals of the Entomological Society of America and Journal of Economic Entomology (JEE), ESAs two oldest oldest journals. The occasion will be celebrated at ESAs 55th Annual Meeting in San Diego this December, where over 2,000 entomologists will gather for four days of insect science symposia and other events.

Both journals were launched the same year (1908), but with very different focuses. While most of the material in JEE was devoted to insects and their relation to agricultural production, articles in Annals focused on papers dealing with morphologic, faunistic and biologic problems as well as taxonomy in its broadest sense.

Today, both journals continue to have an impact. According to Journal Citation Reports, in 2006, JEE articles were cited 7,534 times (by far the most for any entomological journal in the world), and Annals articles were cited 3,893 times.

The Annals has beenand remainsthe worlds preeminent journal of general entomology, said Carl Schaefer, who co-edited the journal from 1973-1998. It covers all aspects of non-applied entomology, and has successfully added new aspects (various molecular approaches and analyses, for example). The overall value lies in the excellence of its articles and its eclectic nature, its bringing together for each entomologist papers on subjects that he or she might not ordinarily encounter. As all scholarship narrows and becomes more minutely focused, it improves ones own work to know and understand and appreciate what others are doing. The Annals, almost alone in entomology, does exactly this.

The current Editor-in-Chief, Lawrence Hurd, stresses the growing importance of Annals as an increasing number of species face extinction. Insect diversity represents an astonishing array of adaptations that reflect more than 400 million years of evolution, said Hurd. These adaptations fall into many categories, and they are well-represented in the pages of the Annals of the Entomological Society of America, arguably the single most diverse repository of insect research available. In view of the biodiversity crisis we face today, it is important that we discover and describe as many species as we can in order to learn their survival skills and plan for their preservation. After all, as goes insect diversity, so goes the earths biodiversity.

As increases in the worlds human population will call for more agricultural productivity, as well as methods and technologies that will reduce crop loss, JEE will also continue to be an important resource. As John Trumble, Editor-in-Chief of JEE said, The challenge will be to increase productivity and to maintain the value of associated natural systems as climate change modifies our ecosystems and as population pressures reduce the availability of prime farmlands. Submissions to JEE have more than doubled in the past decade as scientists have realized the importance of finding ecologically and environmentally acceptable solutions to these problems.


Contact: Richard Levine
Entomological Society of America

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