Systematic & Applied Acarology (SAA) was founded in 1996 to promote the development of acarology and communication among acarologists around the world (Zhang 1996). It was initially published as an annual volume that usually appeared in the middle of the year. Beginning in 2004, full-text PDFs of all papers were made available online, promoting access to the journal's contents (Zhang 2004). During the first ten years, SAA published a yearly average of 27.3 papers by 53 authors from over 11 countries in 202 pages (Zhang 2005).As the journal's popularity grew, it appeared more frequently, becoming a semiannual in 2006 and a triannual in 2007, thereby shortening the lag time between manuscript acceptance and publication (Zhang 2008). Data from the years 2006–2007, compared with the first decade, showed that these changes had very positive effects, increasing the diversity of authors and countries represented in the journal's pages (Zhang 2008). Then, in 2008, the Systematic & Applied Acarology Society partnered with the Acarological Society of America (ASA), enabling ASA members to gain full access to the online edition of SAA at a reduced rate. This raised the journal's professional profile. In May 2011, SAA was selected for coverage and tracking in ISIScience Citation Index Expanded and Current Contents. SAA will also be covered in Journal Citation Reports, which publishes the Impact Factor, a measure of the relative importance of a journal within its field.
SAA's sister journal, Systematic & Applied Acarology Special Publications (SAASP), was launched in 1997 as an open-access series for the rapid release of papers and monographs that would otherwise have been delayed by the annual publication schedule of SAA in its early years. However, with the increased frequency of SAA's appearance, its own open-access option, and the global decline in funding for acarological research, few manuscripts have been submitted to SAASP since the middle of the last decade; indeed, just one paper was published during the period 2007–2011. Accordingly, the editors of both journals have agreed that in 2012 SAASP will be merged with SAA, which will become a quarterly, thus facilitating rapid publication of the ever-increasing number of manuscripts being received by the society. Monographs and edited books should be sent to such outlets as Zootaxa and Zoosymposia.
I thank my fellow acarologists for continuous support of SAA since its founding. Special thanks to my co-editors (Drs Anne Baker, Qinghai Fan, Xiaoyue Hong, David James, Owen Seeman, Richard Robbins, and Tinghuan Wen), to Dr. Xiaofeng Xue for handling journal printing and delivery, and to Dr. Bruce Halliday, Membership Secretary, for managing subscriptions.