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Some great news: our journal’s impact factor for last year (2017) was just released and it rose again, to 1.521, which is our highest impact factor yet. This means that the papers published in this journal were read and cited in other journals at a higher rate than ever before. Thanks to the authors, peer reviewers, and editorial staff for all that you do to continue to improve the quality of this journal, and thanks to our readers who have cited our papers in their various publications.
We are also pleased to announce that this journal has expanded once again! This issue includes 20 papers, and Springer has already authorized the publication of that many papers for the next several issues. Our goal is to decrease the amount of time our authors have to wait from when their papers are published on-line to when they appear in print. For all of you who receive this journal through your membership in the International Mine Water Association, this means that you are getting more value for your annual dues of 60 Euros (or its equivalent in your local currency). Of course, that alone won’t solve the entire problem, as we have quite a queue of papers to print and the number of manuscripts being submitted continues to increase as well. So, we simply have to become even more selective, while still publishing papers that satisfy our readers’ wide range of interests.
Going forward, we are formalizing our manuscript screening procedure to reduce the number of published papers that will likely interest only a few of you, without shrinking our journal’s scope, which still includes any aspect of mine water as well as the effects of mine water on the environment. In addition to immediately rejecting papers that are purely academic in nature, with little likelihood of being developed into a useful method or procedure, we are now going to immediately reject papers that are likely not to interest readers from outside of the geographic area where the research was done. This means, for example, that many environmental impact based papers will be rejected, without being sent out for peer review, unless the research is somehow novel or innovative, or has some aspect that will make it interesting to a reader from other parts of the world. We do realize that there are undoubtedly papers that have already gone through our peer review procedure and have been accepted with only minor revisions required, or are simply awaiting final editing or publication, that would have been rejected if this screening procedure had been in place earlier. Be assured that we will not apply that test to such papers retroactively; doing so would be unfair to the authors. So, given the backlog, you may continue to see a few such papers published in this journal for the next 12 months or so. But the process has been started; we have already rejected one such technically sound paper on this basis.
For those of you who were planning to submit such a paper to us, we ask that you find a way to make it more interesting to an international audience. For example, is there something innovative that you did or that you observed that you can highlight? If not, please submit your paper elsewhere for publication. I know that this will disappoint a few of our readers and prospective authors, but the overall effect, given time, will be a more interesting mix of papers for our international membership and a still better citation index score for our journal.
Note that this increased selectivity does not apply to industrial case studies, applied research, and field trials of innovative approaches (successful or not), which we would actually like to publish more of, to satisfy the practical interests of our readers in industry. Those papers will continue to be edited but not peer-reviewed, unless the authors ask otherwise, enabling them to be published faster. Just send me an e-mail before you submit such a paper so we can make sure that it does not get put into the wrong queue.
Moving on to another topic, we hope that you enjoyed our special issue in June on mine water issues in China. As announced here in March, our next special issue will be on pit lakes. Mark Lund (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Melanie Blanchette (email@example.com) are the guest editors for that special issue; please contact them if you have any questions or suggestions.
Speaking of special issues, the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS) would like our readers to know that it publishes a bi-monthly near-surface geophysics technical magazine, FastTIMES, which is always freely downloadable at: http://www.EEGS.org/latest-issue. The June 2018 issue was a special issue on Mine Sites and Mining Geophysics and contains mine water management application case histories. FastTIMES also regularly features a Mining Geophysics News column for mining sector professionals, with news items and case history feature articles on mine site applications, including mine water management and news of IMWA activities. The Mining Geophysics News column always welcomes IMWA news and the perspectives of IMWA mine water management professionals with regard to their experiences, good or bad, with the use of geophysics, and learning of mine water problems and issues that might be amenable to the use of geophysical methods. If you are interested in contributing your views on geophysics and mine water, a mine water relevant technical article, or a news item of events and activities, please contact Geoff Pettifer, Editor-in-Chief, at: EditorFastTimesNewsMagazine@gmail.com.
On a somewhat related note, to all of you who review papers for Mine Water and the Environment, or who would like to do so, we have added a few new reviewer categories, as some of you requested. Please log in as a reviewer at: http://www.IMWA.info/em and verify your preferences for the type of papers you would like to review. New topics include: modelling, statistics, cover design, mine closure, and various aspects of geophysical applications. Also, although we appreciate your enthusiasm, if you checked off almost every category, we ask you to try to be a little more selective. You are undoubtedly more of an expert in some areas than others and by selecting only those categories that best represent your areas of expertise, you will receive papers that better align with your interests. What’s more, other reviewers who have more expertise in areas that you had previously included will get a chance to review appropriate papers. And for any of you who have not yet received appropriate papers to review, please go to the same site to make sure that your areas of expertise are marked there. We ask that all of you who are reviewers or who are willing to become reviewers, select at least two or three categories, to help our associate editors find you. We also ask all of our reviewers to focus on the technical aspects of the papers that you are reviewing and to be critical. If you are reviewing a paper that has not previously been sent back to the authors for at least minor technical revisions and cannot find anything that can be improved besides the English, you are probably not being thorough enough.
Finally, for all of our authors and prospective authors, don’t forget to read our Guidelines to Authors at: http://www.IMWA.info/instructions and do your best to comply with those instructions before submitting your manuscript at: http://www.IMWA.info/em. Doing so will undoubtedly reduce the time it takes for your paper to be reviewed, edited, and published. And for those of you for whom English is not your native language, please ask a native English speaker who is familiar with your topic area to help you, as reviewers who become confused when reading your manuscript will often recommend rejection. A few years ago, I edited the English in many of the submitted manuscripts before sending them out for peer review, but we now receive far too many papers for that. Now, I only edit papers after they have passed through the peer review process and are almost ready for publication. So, if you don’t have a native English speaker who can help you, please consider using a technical translation service. Springer has identified folks that they feel do an excellent job. For more information, please go to: http://authorservices.springernature.com/translation/.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the IMWA-ICARD Conference (http://www.IMWA2018.info) in Pretoria, South Africa.
Bob Kleinmann, PhD