Editorial: Celebrating 35 years of publication
Micronesica was founded by Ben Stone to fill a need for a regional peer-reviewed journal in the natural sciences. At the time it was limited to the sciences of anthropology, botany, and zoology, but has since expanded to include agriculture as well as the occasional geology or chemistry paper. The first issue was published in September 1964 and included a diversity of papers such as "Social effects of Typhoon Ophelia (1960) on Ulithi," a monograph on a flowering plant family, "The Cyperaceae of Micronesia," and a description of a new species of fish from Guam. These papers remain important today, and one of my pleasures in editing Micronesica for the past ten years has been knowing that the journal makes a lasting contribution to science in the region--the list of new taxa alone ensures that these volumes will be cited far into the future. I have been amazed, as I compiled the 25-volume subject index, at the range of information in our pages. (That index is in the back of this issue [32(1)] and completes a project I started six years ago! A cumulative index for the next 5 volumes was included in 30(2).)
The scope of the journal has shifted over the decades: at first there was a greater diversity of anthropological papers, but when ISLA A Journal of Pacific Studies was founded, Micronesica focused on the more biological anthropology papers such as physical anthropology, vernacular names of organisms, traditional fishing methods. Micronesica also has a long track record of publishing papers from conferences. A categorized list of papers, and listings of the conference proceedings were among the first parts of the 25-volume index published (as Supplement 5, part 1) in 1994.
Although primarily a peer reviewed scientific journal, Micronesica serves a diverse audience, including resource managers, teachers, agricultural extension agents, and naturalists. Some articles are very accessible to a wide audience and others are communications to other specialists or necessarily-detailed material that is important to have in the public record.
Another very satisfying feature of Micronesica is that it provides a place where visiting scientists can publish the results of their expeditions to Micronesia, and thus return the knowledge to the region from which it came, while at the same time having their work accessible globally through libraries and on-line searches. Articles have come from France, Israel, and Italy as well as from all around the Pacific nations. Micronesica is indexed in BIOSIS, among other abstracting services. Our program of exchanges ensures that Micronesica can be seen in libraries around the world and enhances our own library's holdings.
As the College of Guam (founded 1952) has grown into the University of Guam, and as its mission has become more regional in both the educational goals and the research of the scientists here, the need to publish regional studies has become even more evident than in 1964. We added agriculture in the early 90's because university scientists doing applied studies with a regional focus needed a peer-reviewed journal to publish their work.
In this age of global communication we have added our site to the World Wide Web, and it can be found through edited search engines such as the Open Directory Project (dmoz.org) as well as directly at the URL given on the inside front cover. The site includes abstracts of current issues, among other features. However, we do not see becoming an electronic journal: costs and serious questions about long-term availability are key arguments against that.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people, university units, and island businesses who have helped maintain the journal. Micronesica and ISLA were originally run from the Graduate School office, but over the last two years the finances have been handled by Gloria Ong in the new UOG Press office. My work on it has often been supported by the administration either by a stipend or by a load allocation, and that has been vital, given the work involved in publishing a semiannual professional journal. On the funding side, we have, of necessity, come to rely more and more on donations from the business community, individual "Friends of UOG Press," voluntary page charges from authors, and support from the research units at UOG. I hope that such support will continue, for Micronesica has a long and illustrious track record, and a vital role to fill in the Pacific Islands.
Dankulo na Si Yu'us Ma'åse. Salamat po. Thank you.
Micronesica 32(1): 1-2, 1999.