Editorial E&G Quaternary Science Journal, Vol. 67 (2018)
With the finalisation of volume 67 of E&G Quaternary Science Journal (EGQSJ), it seems fitting to have a short look back at the past 1.5 years, which may have marked one of the most eventful periods in the history of Eiszeitalter und Gegenwart – Quaternary Science Journal and its transformation to EGQSJ, but even more importantly to have a glance at the future development of the journal. The transfer of EGQSJ to Copernicus Publications in late 2017 paved the way for a successful relaunch, which was celebrated at 2018's EGU (European Geosciences Union) conference in Vienna, Austria, and attracted interested parties from various fields of geoscientific research. The relaunch was also highly supported by the Quaternary and geomorphological research community during last year's Central European Conference on Geomorphology and Quaternary Sciences held in Giessen, Germany. In August 2018, EGQSJ was accepted into the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and thus received the DOAJ Seal, which recognises journals that adhere to an exceptionally high level of publishing standards and best practice. This was an important milestone because a growing number of funding agencies require the DOAJ Seal as a prerequisite for applying for funding which is exclusively dedicated to supporting the open access publication of scientific results. Backed up by the unprecedented publication infrastructure in the history of the journal provided by Copernicus Publications, a significant increase in submissions of all manuscript types eligible for publication in EGQSJ – full research papers, express reports, and thesis abstracts – was recorded. Some of these submissions could already be published in Vol. 67, highlighting our efforts in minimising turnaround times from submission to publication, notwithstanding the strict application of our peer review system, the latter also being responsible for a recent increase of the rejection rate.
Vol. 67 also includes an innovation with regard to the treatment of special issues. Two special issues were initiated in 2018, both resulting from the initiative and effort of teams of guest editors promoting EGQSJ at different conferences. The first special issue Geoarchaeology and past human–environment interactions is edited by Hans von Suchodoletz, Stefanie Berg, Lukas Werther, Christoph Zielhofer, and Eileen Eckmeier, and the second special issue Connecting disciplines – Quaternary archives and geomorphological processes in a changing environment is edited by Johanna Lomax, Thomas Kolb, and Markus Fuchs. Papers submitted to these and all upcoming special issues undergo the same review process as those submitted to regular issues of EGQSJ. In contrast to traditional special issues, each article, once accepted, is immediately published online in the regular EGQSJ volume, but will clearly be assigned to a special issue. Publications as contributions to special issues will also be included in the regular printed version of EGQSJ. In addition, a compilation of all papers of a certain special issue will be available online via a dedicated section of the EGQSJ website. This reduces the turnaround times for publication of special issues, and at the same time enables DEUQUA (German Quaternary Association) to offer the coverage of the article processing charges for papers to be published not only in the regular series, but also in EGQSJ special issues.
At the last DEUQUA general meeting in Giessen in September 2018, Christopher Lüthgens was elected new chief editor for EGQSJ, and will take over the respective duties from Margot Böse from Vol. 68 onwards. Building on the solid foundation of EGQSJ established during the last year, the new editorial team consisting of more than 30 Quaternary scientists is looking forward to facing the challenge of helping EGQSJ become an indispensable journal for the publication of Quaternary-related research in central Europe (and beyond). To fulfil that aim in the near future, we rely on you, the members of the Quaternary research community, to support EGQSJ by promoting the journal, and last but not least, by submitting your high-quality manuscripts to EGQSJ. You are also cordially invited to join DEUQUA as the parent organisation of EGQSJ, and support the journal and benefit from all other activities of the association.