Speaking as an an editor of an international scientific journal and guest editor for another, I can answer that question (Derek, I hope you do not mind my jumping in here . . .). Colour is very nice, very pretty, but has drawbacks. There are actually a couple of reasons:
1) Cost. In the journals where I publish my research, black and white images are free for the author to publish. Colour plates usually run $300USD each. Do we pass that cost on to the authors? Well, yes, and Aroidiana does just that. If you want to publish a colour picture, you must bear the cost. If we require that all photograph submissions are in colour, do we increase the cost of the journal? Will we lose subscriptions? If the cost goes to the authors, will they then publish elsewhere, where the costs are lower? By making this a requirement, we could harm the journal and the IAS. And Aroidiana does publish colour on occasion (see volume 34) when the authors will pay for it.
2) Detail. When preparing a scientific account, such as a species description, black & white photographs are often superior for the simple reason that in a black and white image more detail is apparent. This is why some famous photographers (such as Ansel Adams) chose to use black & white film. Obviously, this is not a concern on our articles that are not of a specifically taxonomic nature.
I hope that this is helpful. The role of the editor is not always obvious or transparent to the readers.
On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 12:19 AM, E.Vincent Morano <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I sure hope Aroideana starts using color images. The 60's are long gone as should be black and whit photos with them. Ugh they are so ugly I mean, we are entering the second year of the second decade of the new millennium, we should have nothing but hi definition color images now! Maybe even a few holograms haha.
But seriously, my first book of Aroideana #34 was such a disappointment. Why would anyone use black and white film in this day and age? beyond that why would anyone even use film? Digital media is far superior. Aroideana could be very enjoyable if it wasnt for the black and whit images.
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D. Christopher Rogers
Crustacean Taxonomist and Ecologist
Kansas Biological Survey
Kansas University, Higuchi Hall
2101 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66047-3759 USA
Vice President, Southwest Association of Freshwater Invertebrate Taxonomists SAFIT.ORG