We are pleased to announce that manuscript submissions have increased by almost 50 percent per year since LARR's Editorial Committee officially moved to McGill University in January 2007. Equally important, the general quality of the manuscripts has not changed, with the result that our already-high rejection rate has remained relatively constant. Table 1 provides statistics for a typical twelvemonth period, ending April 15, 2012.
The inevitable result of this good fortune is a growing backlog of excellent manuscripts ready for publication. This is the case despite the fact that we have expanded the number of articles published in each issue by approximately 25 percent since January 2007. To address our relative "poverty of riches," we are publishing this special fourth issue of LARR to help ease the backlog. We chose the manuscripts for this issue on the basis of the date we received the final manuscript, just as we do for regularly scheduled issues.
Although this extra issue will help reduce the backlog, it will not eliminate it. A certain backlog is unavoidable, but authors are naturally interested in getting their work out as early as possible. For this reason, we are instituting an "Early View" section on the LARR website. As soon as final manuscripts have been copyedited and are ready for publication, PDF versions will be posted, accessible to all Latin American Studies Association members. Once again, LARR will be a leader in electronic publishing as one of the first major journals in the social sciences and humanities to make this option available.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank David Boruchoff, who is stepping down as LARR's book review editor. David has done a splendid job in maintaining the quality of LARR's signature book review essays. A considerable amount of work is involved in the tasks of the book review editor, who must design thematic book clusters, recruit appropriate reviewers, and edit the manuscripts, which are not peer-reviewed and therefore often require some development. This takes a lot of time and energy, and David is understandably eager to devote more attention to completing his own book, titled Renaissance Exploration
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and the Invention of a New World. On behalf of the LARR Editorial Committee, I express our sincere thanks to David for a job very well done.
Although David will be missed, we are fortunate to have found a worthy replacement. I am pleased to announce that Shelley McConnell, a political science professor at St. Lawrence University in New York, has agreed to become LARR's new book review editor. Shelley comes to LARR with a unique background in policy and academic research that makes her ideally suited for this challenging and important position. [End Page 4]