We first heard about a new journal to be published through ASTE at the beginning of 2015. We were excited to hear that there was a group of ASTE members working on developing a practitioner journal to accompany ASTE’s other journals, Journal of Science Teacher Education (JSTE) and Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE). We enthusiastically developed and submitted our application materials in the Fall of 2015 and underwent a few rounds of interviews before being offered the position. We fondly remember signing the contract at the beginning of December 2015 indicating that our term would begin on January 1, 2016, though we felt like we had already been at work on the journal for several months as we developed our vision and timeline of the journal for our application materials. A few days after our official start as editors, we were tasked with talking about Innovations in Science Teacher Education on January 7 at the 2016 Annual Conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education Conference in Reno, Nevada. We described our vision of the journal to full room of ASTE members. We received a lot of specific questions about the journal and had to remind the audience we had really only been on the job for 7 days, but we heard some great ideas and given the size of the audience we were reassured there was great interest in a practitioner journal for science teacher educators.
Six months later, after receiving a fair number of submissions, the inaugural issue of Innovations in Science Teacher Education was published on July 1, 2016. Looking back on our time as editors we are proud of what we accomplished considering that when we signed the contract, the Innovations journal was just an idea. We worked with John Rhea to build the Innovations journal website and submission and review portals. We developed and disseminated calls for both reviewers and authors. Over time, we developed a more concrete description of what an Innovations article is and what it is not. And we’ve tried, through editorials and in-person discussions, to convey our philosophy of what encompasses a practitioner article for science educators.
We have had absolutely fantastic editorial review boards for the last five years. These dedicated ASTE members have provided solid reviews and submitted them in a timely manner. Moreover, the editorial review board members continue to express that they genuinely enjoy reading the manuscripts they receive. Many of our reviewers are also published authors in Innovations providing an even greater level of understanding of the journal and the review process. As a result, our reviewers provide informative feedback to enhance submissions and facilitate author revisions.
Likewise, the authors have been impressive with their approaches to science education and the innovative manuscripts they submit have piqued the interest of reviewers and ultimately Innovations readers. We have had the pleasure of hearing so many stories from science educators about how they adapted or modified their instruction after reading a particular article. Indeed, we had felt and done the same. It has been rewarding to hear how the journal has influenced people’s instructional decision making over the last five years.
In some ways, the journal is just getting started and there are so many opportunities ahead to add additional features. But, alas, our time as co-editors is coming to a close and this is the final editorial before the new editor(s) transition into the role. So, we want to once again thank everyone: the ASTE members who had the vision and initiative to develop and launch the journal, the ASTE boards who have supported the journal, the authors, reviewers, and readers. We could not have done it without the guidance of the ASTE publication committee and John Rhea, the ASTE Director of Electronic Services.
In the words of Winnie the Pooh, we are “lucky to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” While we are sad to be stepping down from the role of Innovations editors, we are glad to be able to help the next editor’s transition into the role. Over the last five years we have put a lot of time and energy into the journal and have had countless conversations about all aspects of the journal. We have gotten to know a lot of great people through this journal and we will miss the daily interactions with authors and reviewers.
We leave the journal in a good place. Submissions continue to increase and the number of articles per issue is on the rise. The quality of manuscripts continue to be impressive and the thoughtfulness of reviews continue to encourage us about the willingness of our peers to support one another in their scholarly endeavors.
It has truly been our honor and our pleasure serving the ASTE community as co-editors and we wish the next editor(s) that are selected all the best and continued success.
Ron Hermann & Rommel Miranda