165 years of Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift – Editorial Response to a proposed name change for our journal
expand article infoDominique Zimmermann, Stefanie Paߧ
‡ Natural History Museum Vienna, Vienna, Austria
§ Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Open Access

Following our commitment to increasing efficiency, quality and visibility of the Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift (DEZ), we, the editorial team, the team of the coordination office for scientific publishing of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN) and the Pensoft Publishers team started a discussion for renaming the journal a couple of years ago. The principal idea, which had been successfully implemented in many other journals, was to change to an English title in order to better reach the non-German-speaking community. The discussion of the topic was very interesting as it also made us have a closer look at what makes the DEZ unique and different and what our goals are. We decided to create a survey to seek the opinion of the entomological community. Altogether, we received 44 responses to the questionnaire.

The participants in the survey became aware of DEZ through already published papers relevant to their research work (30 answers), as well as through the exchange with colleagues (18 answers). What convinced researchers to publish in DEZ was the free open access publishing, the reputation of the journal itself and the thematic focus. Online publishing, the long history of DEZ and the impact factor are other aspects that were frequently mentioned.

On the current German title of DEZ, we received diverse, yet largely positive feedback. Many of the survey participants associated the name with the following attributes: relevant (29 responses), as well as renowned (17 responses). Four people found it as unwieldy and would prefer an English title. One participant considered the current title of the journal as cryptic. In summary, it can be seen that the name, despite its German-language nature, is well-known in the community and is already a kind of brand with a recognition value. We especially enjoyed the remark ”For me the name is ok, as I can speak German. But I noticed that all colleagues who do not, call that journal simply as “the one with the weird name starting with D which cannot be pronounced”.

This quote indicates already, that even those not understanding German, recognise the title as a trademark. The DEZ is a well-known brand amongst entomological journals and is associated with its long history and high publication quality throughout its existence until today. It is one of the oldest, still existing entomological journals in the world and it has successfully made the transformation to one of the most prestigious and modern journals in biodiversity publishing. This is all behind the ‘brand’ DEZ and is associated with it, a branding that should be preserved rather than dismissed.

In order to be able to close the debate, all mentioned pros and cons were discussed in the editorial board. In a final vote amongst the members of the editorial board, 10 of 11 participants voted against a name change. A name change bears the significant risk of losing the identity and there are better ways to achieve the actual goal of increasing visibility and outreach, as, for example, presenting the journal at conferences and distributing more promotional materials.

For the 165th anniversary, the MfN team has created an anniversary poster that not only captures the tradition of the journal, but also the innovations and advantages of digital publishing in key words. The anniversary poster will gladly be made available to the editorial team and if you would like one for your department, we will be happy to provide one while it is in stock.

Another visual innovation is the redesign of the layout. The trigger for the redesign is rooted in the new corporate identity of the MfN and, with some delay, has now also been adopted by the Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, as well as its sister journals Fossil Record and Zoosystematics and Evolution.

The value of the journal and its connection to the MfN are made more recognisable while the traditional colour scheme for the three journals is established. The green colour for the DEZ is retained and combines the history of the journal with the new layout as a symbol for innovative digital publishing in open access format.

We are all very happy and proud that DEZ has made the leap to digital publishing in open access so successfully with the professional support of Pensoft Publishers and continues to be an international high-quality journal contributing to the documentation of insect species, their distribution, their properties and their phylogenetic relationships.

Thanks are due to all the editors as well as the publishing team who have accompanied and shaped the journal over this long period.

Stefanie Pass and Dominique Zimmermann in the name of the editorial team.

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