Kimberly G. Smith
2005 recipient of the Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award
The Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award recognizes exceptional and outstanding service to the American Ornithologists' Union. Kimberly Smith (seen in the photo with his daughter, Mallory, while conducting black bear research in the Arkansas Ozarks) served a distinguished five-year term as editor of The Auk, from 2000 to 2004. As Editor of The Auk, Kim introduced such innovations as "Perspectives in Ornithology", "100 years ago in the American Ornithologists' Union", and Spanish and French abstracts. He demonstrated an unswerving commitment to the ever-increasing quality of content, maintaining The Auk as the highest-impact journal in organismal biology. However, beyond these contributions as editor, the Jenkinson Award recognizes Dr. Smith for his efforts and his success in totally reforming the way AOU manages its publication enterprise. Publications, by far, constitute the greatest expense of the Union and are its principal contributions to the ornithological community. There are few more important issues than their management.
Upon taking over as editor, Kim Smith encountered issues with printing and publication that had bedeviled a succession of previous editors and treasurers. Kim realized that the AOU and its authors were not receiving the benefits of modern publishing technologies. Under Kim's leadership, the AOU brought its editorial and publishing functions "in house" by hiring an editorial staff while contracting out printing and mailing. The results of these innovations included decreased cost per page, decreased average publication time, increased journal size, and increased quality control of the entire editorial and publication process. Kim then led the way in establishing systems that allowed electronic submission, review, editing, and revision of manuscripts, leading directly to a copy-edited manuscript ready for printing. Not only did the AOU publishing go paperless, but the process put the author in direct contact with the editorial staff and allowed author-control of the manuscript process.
Once established, it soon became apparent that the AOU Publications Office added significant resources for ornithology as a whole. The AOU Publications Office was able to support the re-invigoration of Ornithological Monographs, to publish Studies in Avian Biology for the Cooper Ornithological Society, and to support establishing a book series in ornithology in cooperation with the Nuttall Ornithological Club. Kim Smith took the AOU publication enterprise from the backwaters to the forefront of ornithological publishing, and in so doing did an outstanding service not only for the American Ornithologists' Union, but also for ornithology as a whole. We recognize his innovation, perseverance, and success with the Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award for 2005.