Since we were selected as the editors of the Southeastern Geographer, we have made some changes to the journal. We started an electronic submission and review process and we modified the peer-review documents provided to reviewers. We hope that these changes streamline the process for authors and reviewers.
When we applied to become editors, we proposed that the journal move to a more frequent publication schedule. Currently, the journal comes out twice a year. At the annual meeting in 2006, we proposed moving to a quarterly schedule. There are important reasons for this change. First, there is a rich body of literature on the American South and the Southeastern Geographer could expand its influence in this area through more frequent publication. Indeed, contributions to the journal have increased, making a quarterly journal viable. The second reason for moving to a quarterly schedule is that the nature of academic publishing has changed. Faculty members at most universities are under growing pressure to publish in ranked journals that have noted impact factors. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for a journal that comes out bi-annually to earn such rankings. It is important, therefore, to enhance the academic standing of the journal to make it a more attractive publication venue.
At the 2007 annual meeting of the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers, the board approved moving the journal to quarterly publication as soon as possible. This year, Volume 48 will have three issues. Along with this issue, there will be another general issue in the fall and a special thematic issue published in the summer or early fall. The journal will become a quarterly in 2009 We anticipate that each volume will include at least one special issue focused on a particular theme. These special issues have proven very successful in the past and we hope to build upon this success.
We are excited to be part of this significant change for the journal and we thank the membership of the organization for the strong support in this endeavor. However, the success of this enterprise depends on the membership. We strongly encourage you to submit articles and ideas for special issues.
This present issue is really a team effort. Several of the articles were in the process of review under the former editors, Derek Alderman and Scott Lecce. We are grateful for their assistance through the last year of transition. [End Page 1]