About 120 of us gathered last month in Reston, Virginia for the 14th INA Conference, hosted by Jean Self-Trail of the United States Geological Survey. This was a splendidly successful event, with lots of good science being presented and a really positive, friendly, and industrious atmosphere throughout, greatly helped by the superb organisation from Jean’s team… we also had excellent fieldtrips before and after the conference and bonus visits to downtown Washington. There will be more reports of this coming up and there are already a lot of photographs on our new Facebook page.
In addition to the regular scientific offerings, INA meetings are a rare opportunity to get together to discuss Association business. We had a Council meeting at the start of the conference, an open business meeting at the end, and a lot of informal discussions in between. Arising from this is a number of things that need to be communicated to all INA members. So, here we go.
Jeremy Young, October 2013
I was voted in as successor to Paul Bown in what I am told was a close vote. Alyssa Peleo-Alampay, however, had a substantial consolation prize, as described below. Being President of INA is probably not the most onerous post, but it is a real honour and I will do my best to promote, guide and encourage the INA. I will also be very open to any comments on what we could do better or any other suggestions.
Bibliographer -> Public Outreach Officer
Within the INA constitution (http://ina.tmsoc.org/ina/bylaws.html), one of the formal Council roles has been Calcareous Nannofossil Bibliographer. However, with modern electronic search capabilities, this role has become increasingly anachronistic and the function has essentially lapsed. Consequently, it was proposed and agreed that the role be formally ended and replaced by a Public Outreach Officer, charged with developing ways of communicating nannofossil science to broader, including younger, audiences. Mario Cachao (Lisbon) was appointed to the new role of Public Outreach Officer.
NannoNews Editor -> Social Media Officer
Similarly within the constitution, there is a Council position as Editor of NannoNews. We no longer produce a separate NannoNews item, since we instead collaborate in The Micropalaeontological Society’s Newsletter of Micropalaeontology, which is edited by TMS’s Magali Schweizer. So this post has also become redundant and it was proposed and agreed that it would be good for INA to make use of modern social media and to inject a bit of ‘young blood’ into the Council. Thus, we have a new post of Social Media Officer. Jarrett Cruz (Florida State University) volunteered for the post and was duly elected.
Conference Convenor -> Conference Liaison Officer
Having the upcoming Conference Convenor as a formal member of Council for two years ahead of the meeting has proven almost meaningless, given the way in which the Council works (i.e. convening only at INA meetings). So, it was proposed and agreed to change this role to a permanent Conference Liaison Officer. The idea here is that this officer will maintain a Council position on a 4-year basis, as with other Council positions, with the possibility to be re-elected to that position. This officer will liaise with forthcoming Conference Convenors to assist the Convener, ensure that deadlines are being met, and pass on the experience and practice of organising INA conferences. It made most sense that Jean Self-Trail (USGS, Washington) be elected to the position and her first duty will be to provide notes on running an INA conference. In regard to this, it would be really useful if anyone who attended INA14 could e-mail Jean directly and let her know what they thought about the meeting – what were the best things that we need to retain for future meetings, and were there any things you would change or add?
Some of these changes required revision of the INA Bylaws, so an amended Bylaws have now been complied..
Over the past years, there have been delays in publishing the JNR, mainly due to a dearth of manuscripts, which has then likely impacted on the subsequent submission of manuscripts. This has caused us to be unable to get Science Citation Index accreditation for the JNR (one of the primary criteria being that a journal must prove it has sufficient manuscripts being submitted to be able to produce two or more issues per year, published on specific dates every year), which also means younger researchers especially are less likely to submit articles, as they rely on a ‘rankable’ publication profile to get them into academic positions. The majority of Members agree, though, that the JNR is still a worthwhile organ for the communication of all things nanno, both calcareous and siliceous, and JNR articles do now show up on Google Scholar, which is becoming a significant alternative source for gauging a scientist’s research profile.
A fine-quality issue was published last year (Volume 32/2), including five papers and a CD-ROM supplement. The abstracts volume for INA14 was also published as a JNR issue, to very high standard, and Members who did not attend the conference will receive a copy. The supply of manuscripts over the past year has, however, been very thin and, consequently, print publication of Volume 33/1 has been delayed, pending copy.
We are in the process of putting PDF copies of JNR articles online on the INA website (http://ina.tmsoc.org/JNR/JNRcontents.htm). Most articles from the past 10 years are now online, including the Special Issue Guide to Extant Coccolithophore Taxonomy. Articles more than two years old are freely available, articles published in the last two years are password protected. To access the password protected area, you will need the username and password combination which was sent to you in the email version of this news (sent from the International Nannoplankton Association on 19th Oct 2013).
An important point for authors is that we will place your work online as soon as it has been refereed, accepted and typeset – no waiting for the printed version. An article by da Gama and Varol describing various new Miocene taxa is indeed available now on the website.
We also discussed publishing online only, but there was a strong feeling among Council that this was one publication we still wanted in paper format, especially papers with many images.
The Editor, Liam Gallagher (Network Stratigraphic, UK), was able to talk to numerous prospective authors at the conference and was promised many new submissions. The JNR clearly does still have a unique role as a place where publications on nannoplankton taxonomy and related issues can be published painlessly and with extensive, high-quality illustrations, and where the content will be seen by nannoplankton workers, the primary target audience.
Various possible Special Issues and Special Publications were discussed in the Council meeting, including notably a review of reticulofenestrid taxonomy by Eric de Kaenel, continuation of the Farinacci Catalogue by Richard Howe, and a state-of-the-art review of coccolith geochemistry overseen by Tom Dunkley Jones and Jackie Lees. INA finances may not allow us to print and distribute all such Special Issues but if not we could still publish these either as: 1) online-only high quality PDFs, at no charge to authors; or 2) paper copies, if the authors can secure funding for this (this was how the Young et al. (2003) Taxonomy Guide was published). If you have an idea for a Special Publication, please contact the Special Publications Editor, Jackie Lees (University College London, UK).
As announced at the conference, the old Nannotax website is being wound down and the content has all been transferred to a new version Nannotax3 - hosted within the INA website. This new version, while still a work in progress, has greatly expanded content, including coverage of extant coccolithophores. It is also faster, has better search capabilities, tabular summaries of taxonomy, and filtering by geological age. We hope you will find it a valuable tool for research and training.
Expansion of the Nannotax website will concentrate on content published in the JNR and a preferred way for people to contribute to Nannotax is to publish content in the JNR that will then automatically be incorporated into Nannotax. This has several advantages, including allowing proper refereeing of content, and providing contributors with a formal publication.
As part of our affiliation with The Micropalaeontological Society, we contribute to The Newsletter of Micropalaeontology and this is distributed to INA Members. The Newsletter is also circulated to members of four other societies and has a total circulation of well over 1000, so it is a good place to publicise our activities and see what is happening in other fields of micropalaeontology. From 2014, the Newsletter will be distributed electronically only, which is probably more convenient for most users and will allow it to be distributed even more widely. News items and short notes for possible inclusion in the Newsletter are very welcome and can be sent either direct to the Editor, Magali Schweizer (email@example.com) or via Jeremy Young (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the TMS nannofossil group reps (Matt Hampton
The TMS Newsletter is available as a PDF download and will besent out as an email attachment to INA members.
As mentioned above, Jarrett Cruz has taken on the role of INA Social Media Officer and has set up a Facebook page for the INA with a lot of images from the conference up there already (www.facebook.com/INA.education). Please join in with any items or suggestions you think appropriate for the page or send ideas to Jarrett (email@example.com)
INA 15 - Bohol, The Philippines
There were four candidate bids to host the next INA conference - Birmingham, UK (Tom Dunkley Jones), Bohul, The Philippines (Alyssa Peleo Alampay), Kiel, Germany (Sebastian Meier) and Uppsala, Sweden (Jorijntje Henderiks). They gave four very tempting presentations and we would have been very happy to have the next conference at any of the proposed venues but, after two rounds of voting, the clear choice was for the Philippines. We will keep you posted as plans develop.
INA Extant Coccolithophores Workshop - October 2014, Crete
Following discussions among the specialists on extant coccolithophores, we thought it would be very worthwhile to reprise the successful workshop we held in 2003. With minimal persuasion, Maria Triantaphylou (U. Athens) agreed to host this again, in Crete. Again, we are at an early stage of planning but will keep you informed. Send an email to Maria (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to express your interest in this.
More generally, we would like to encourage thematic or regional workshops on nannoplankton and will be happy to help anyone who wants to organise one. Please contact me (email@example.com) in the first instance.
TMS Foram/Nanno Group Meeting - 25-28 June 2014, Texel, The Netherlands
For island lovers, this is another attractive meeting. Texel is the first of the Frisian Islands off the NW Coast of The Netherlands, and home to the national ocean research centre, NIOZ. The annual TMS Foram/Nanno group meetings are a good opportunity for European INA members to meet up and more are always welcome. Details are on the TMS nanno group webpage.