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2012 Member of the Year - Jay Fitzsimmons


This year we are recognizing Jay Fitzsimmons for his work managing the electronic publishing of the Canadian Field-Naturalist (CFN) and also for his enthusiastic and far-reaching promotion of the journal.

Jay joined the Publications Committee in 2009 and soon started championing an electronic version of the CFN. He was not only vocal about it; he was actually willing to do all the hard work to make it happen. In the fall of 2011 the first electronic issue of the CFN was published, Volume 125-1, and the CFN moved into a new era with Jay as the volunteer Journal Manager.

Being the journal manager for the CFN is a big job. With one hand he tracks renewals and money coming in for subscriptions and author charges. With his other hand he looks after all the technical issues of publishing on line. At one point Jay realized that people using Internet Explorer were having difficulty with parts of the download. Another time he realized we needed to change servers, so he put together a proposal for Council to make it happened quickly. It is at least in part a testament to his beyond-the-call-of-duty efforts that there has been no decline in the number of CFN subscriptions during its transition to a predominantly electronic form.

However, Jay was not content to stay in the background keeping the machinery running. He has become one of the best promoters of the journal. At the 2012 Evolutionary Conference in Ottawa he teamed up with the Editor-in-Chief, Carolyn Callaghan, to make their presence felt.

Banners were created and promotional postcards were handed out with a QR code linking to the CFN website. He created a Twitter account to tweet at the conference to get more followers. Post-it notes invited authors to publish their research with the CFN. Similarly, in the fall Jay represented the CFN at an Ontario entomological conference and equally promoted the journal.

Jay started a blog that linked to the CFN website to communicate with those interested in the evolution of the CFN. It is chatty, funny and very interesting. In it he gets excited when a new issue is being published and gives highlights of its contents. He explains any glitches in publishing. He helps draw scientists back to it by providing lists of related conferences and other blogs. The tone is up-beat and lively. In addition he continues the twitter account and monitors the impact of it on hits to the CFN webpage. No one could call the CFN stodgy.

In his "spare" time in 2012, Jay completed his PhD in the field of insect ecology, and became a Science Advisor for the Canadian Wildlife Service. On the home front he is married with two pre-school children to keep him busy.

Jay is one part technical manager, one part firefighter and several parts cheerleader. For all these reasons we want to recognize his efforts in 2012 to help the club's journal realize its full potential.

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This page was created 21 July 2013
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