A review of how the Journal fared over the last decade or so is appropriate as I hand over the reins to Ian Fairchild, the incoming Chief Editor. He is well qualified and I wish him well in this task.
Ten years ago, the Journal altered its format from crown quarto (180 mm × 250 mm) to demy quarto (210 mm × 276 mm), a move which improved display of diagrams and tables, and provided better use of print space on paper that was, and still is, becoming increasingly expensive. The change fortunately provoked only minor irritation about space on library shelves. The format had changed before. Before 1963 it had been octavo (140 mm × 215 mm) right back to volume 1 in 1845. Following the major revival of the Journal in 1970 under Bill Bishop and the Scottish Academic Press, and the increase from quarterly to six issues per annum, the move to demy quarto format in 1986 was undoubtedly right. The format change was greatly assisted by the late Keith Bowker, of Blackwell Scientific Publications who were our publishers at that time and with whom we had very happy working relations.
Three years later, the good financial fortunes of the Geological Society enabled it to set up the Geological Society Publishing House. Premises in Bath were found, staff appointed, and so the Society became its own publisher; and that has flourished. The whole procedure of handling submissions, editing them and seeing them through the proofing stages became