Open Access
1 June 2005 A decade of Systematic & Applied Acarology
Zhi-Qiang Zhang
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Systematic & Applied Acarology (SAA) was founded in 1996 and has been continuously published by the Systematic & Applied Acarology Society (SAAS), whose main mission is to promote the development of acarology and communication among acarologists around the world.

The initial aim of SAA was quite modest, to encourage Chinese acarologists to publish in English, although it was designed to be an international journal as the name implies. With the support and participation of acarologists around the world, SAA has since become a major international journal. This is evident in the quantity, quality and wide subject range of acarological papers published in SAA during the last ten years. In the next few pages, I will summarise the number and type of papers published, the number and distributions of authors and the number of new mite taxa published in SAA over the last ten years.

Number and type of papers

Each volume of SAA consists of 27.3 items in 202 pages on average (Table 1). A total of nine review papers, 258 articles and six editorial items have been published in ten years. Most of the papers (64%) are on systematics, morphology and/or evolution, 29% of the papers are on biology, ecology and/or control, and only 7% of the papers are on biochemistry, physiology and/or toxicology (Table 1). This large representation by papers on systematic acarology is very much a reflection of the current state of our science due to the large number of undescribed taxa.


A summary of papers published during 1996–2005 in Systematic & Applied Acarology.


The proportions of papers on different subjects varied over the years. Non-systematics papers increased to high levels during 1997 and 1999 (e.g. in 1998 there were 15 papers on biology etc. and 14 papers on systematics etc.) and then decreased. This might be a reflection of decreased support for applied acarologists.

Number and distribution of authors

The number of authors each year varied considerably over the years, with an average of 53 (Table 2). International representation increased over the years; during 1996–1999, less than 10 countries were represented in each volume and authors from China were the majority, but during 2002–2005, 14–17 countries from all continents were represented in each volume and authors from China were a minority. For an average year, 26 papers are contributed by 53 authors from over 11 countries around the world. This is an indication that SAA has become an international journal.


A summary of authors in Systematic & Applied Acarology during 1996–2005.


Single-authored papers account for only 20% of the total. Thus, most papers have been collaborative efforts, and among these only a small number (31%) have been written by authors from different countries. However, the last four years have seen considerable increases in international collaboration by SAA authors.

Over the last ten years, SAA has been continuously supported by a group of productive authors from around the world :

13 authors each with 5–10 papers: Baker, A.S. (UK, 5 papers); Flechtmann, C.H.W. (Brazil, 5 papers); Gerson, U. (Israel, 6 papers); Goldarazean, A. (Spain, 8 papers); Guglielmone, A.A. (Argentina, 9 papers); Haitlinger, R. (Poland, 9 papers); Hong, X.Y. (China, 6 papers); Ji, J. (China, 7 papers); Moraes, G.J. de (Brazil, 8 papers); Wu, W.N. (China, 7 papers); Xu, R.M (China, 5 papers); Zhao, Z.M. (China, 5 papers); Zhu, Z.M. (China, 5 papers).

6 authors each with over 10 papers: Fan, Q.H. (China, 12 papers); Lin, J.-Z. (China, 21 papers); Saboori, A. (Iran, 27 papers); Wen, T.H. (China, 21 papers); Zhang, Y.X. (China, 18 papers); Zhang, Z.Q. (UK, New Zealand, 32 papers).

Number of new mite taxa published

Given the fact that most mites are not yet described, descriptions of new taxa are major tasks for acarologists. During the last four years, 210 new mite taxa were described in SAA, including 180 new species-group taxa, 27 new genus-group taxa and four new family-group taxa (Table 3).


A summary of new mite taxa published in Systematic & Applied Acarology during 1996–2005.


Future directions

From 2004, full texts of all papers in PDF have been made available online. We intend to place all back volumes online in the near future. Sustaining members who pay for the print edition of SAA can also access full text online. If you need passwords, please contact me.

There was a plan to increase the frequency of SAA in 2004 and 2005, but this was not possible due to a lack of accepted papers in the first half of the year as many authors submit papers a few months before mid-year. To avoid delays of papers accepted after mid-year, we plan to publish at least two issues in 2006. The first issue will appear in the first quarter of 2006.

SAA is the only major international acarological journal published by an international society. As a not-for-profit journal, its subscription rate is much lower than other international acarological journals and is the best value for subscribers (Table 4) . Up to now, there has been a lack of resources within SAAS to promote the journal among acarologists and to increase its subscription base. We welcome other acarological societies to work with us in providing cost-effective publication outlets for acarologists worldwide.


A comparison of subscription rates of four international journals of acarology (1994).



The achievements of SAA have only been possible through the efforts of many colleagues. I would like to thank my fellow acarologists for continuous support of SAA over the years:

All authors who submitted their papers to SAA;

My co-editors (including retired ones: Prof Lairong Liang & Dr Renjie Hu), members of the editorial board, and all the reviewers who helped to safeguard the quality of papers;

Drs Anne Baker, Uri Gerson, Owen Seaman, and Richard Robbins, in particular, for reading the final proofs of papers;

Dr Qing-Hai Fan for typesetting the volumes during the last few years;

Prof Lairong Liang, Prof Tinghuan Wen, Prof Huiqin Dong and Prof Xiaoyue Hong for help with the printing and delivery of the journals;

Dr Ting-Kui Qin for help with membership and subscriptions;

Last but not least, the institutions where I have worked: CAB International, Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum (London, UK) and Landcare Research (Auckland, New Zealand).

© 2005 Systematic & Applied Acarology Society
Zhi-Qiang Zhang "A decade of Systematic & Applied Acarology," Systematic and Applied Acarology 10(1), 197-200, (1 June 2005).
Published: 1 June 2005
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