Articles | Volume 68, issue 2
E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 68, 243–244, 2020
E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 68, 243–244, 2020

Editorial 16 Jan 2020

Editorial | 16 Jan 2020

Editorial: E&G Quaternary Science Journal – a community-based open-access journal

Editorial: E&G Quaternary Science Journal – a community-based open-access journal
Christopher Lüthgens1, Daniela Sauer2, Michael Zech3, Becky Briant4, Eleanor Brown5, Elisabeth Dietze6, Markus Fuchs7, Nicole Klasen8, Sven Lukas9, Jan-Hendrik May10, Julia Meister11, Tony Reimann12, Gilles Rixhon13, Zsófia Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger14, Bernhard Salcher15, Tobias Sprafke16, Ingmar Unkel17, Hans von Suchodoletz18, and Christian Zeeden19 Christopher Lüthgens et al.
  • 1Institute of Applied Geology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 2Physical Geography, Institute of Geography, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • 3Heisenberg Chair of Physical Geography with Focus on Paleoenvironmental Research, Institute of Geography, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  • 4Department of Geography, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK
  • 5Chief Scientist Directorate, Natural England, Worcestershire, UK
  • 6Polar Terrestrial Environmental Systems Group, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Alfred Wegener Institute, Research Unit Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • 7Physical Geography, Department of Geography, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany
  • 8Institute of Geography, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 9Department of Geology, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden
  • 10School of Geography, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia
  • 11Chair of Geography I – Physical Geography, Institute of Geography and Geology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
  • 12Netherlands Centre for Luminescence dating, Soil Geography and Landscape group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 13Laboratoire LIVE, Ecole Nationale du Génie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement Strasbourg, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  • 14Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), Budapest, Hungary
  • 15Quaternary Geology, Department of Geography and Geology, Salzburg University, Salzburg, Austria
  • 16Institute of Geography, Faculty of Science, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 17Environmental History and Environmental Archives, Institute for Ecosystem Research, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
  • 18Chair of Landscape Ecology, Institute of Geography, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  • 19Section 5 – Rock Physics & Borehole Geophysics, Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics, LIAG, Hanover, Germany

Correspondence: Christopher Lüthgens (

How to cite

Lüthgens, C., Sauer, D., Zech, M., Briant, B., Brown, E., Dietze, E., Fuchs, M., Klasen, N., Lukas, S., May, J.-H., Meister, J., Reimann, T., Rixhon, G., Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger, Z., Salcher, B., Sprafke, T., Unkel, I., von Suchodoletz, H., and Zeeden, C.: Editorial: E&G Quaternary Science Journal – a community-based open-access journal, E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 68, 243–244,, 2020.

E&G Quaternary Science Journal (EGQSJ) was established under the name Eiszeitalter & Gegenwart (i.e. “ice age and present” in German) in 1951 and has since then covered the broad range of Quaternary research. By linking insights from the past (i.e. the ice age) with the present, our publications provide an interdisciplinary understanding and knowledge that becomes even more important in the context of the current challenges of global climate change. Unrestricted access to such knowledge is key, and consequently the year 2019 marked the 10th anniversary of EGQSJ as a gold open-access journal. During this last decade, the scientific publishing sector has undergone a number of significant transformations. These include the final shift from analogue to digital formats and the concentration of publications under the terms of a few large scientific publishing houses, offering exclusive paywall protected access to the published scientific work. The most recent transformation is the shift towards open-access publication. This trend has recently been enforced (and supported by extra funding) through changes in the regulations of a number of European and national science funders (e.g. German Science Foundation, DFG; Austrian Science Fund, FWF; European Research Council, ERC), who explicitly demand publication of the results from funded research projects as open access. In this respect, EGQSJ has not only stood the test of time, but has been at the leading edge of this development.

In contrast to the large majority of geoscientific and Quaternary-related journals, EGQSJ has always been, and will always stay, a non-profit, community-based effort: it is run by Quaternary scientists, financed by Quaternary scientists, and supports Quaternary scientists, because any revenue generated is only used to support publications in the journal. In close cooperation with Copernicus Publications, the journal offers an up-to-date publishing infrastructure guaranteeing high-quality, open-access, peer-reviewed publications adhering to all quality standards and publication ethics. Not least because of that, EGQSJ is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and was awarded the DAOJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) seal in 2018, recognizing the journal's exceptionally high level of publishing standards and best practice. All content of EGQSJ is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). Thus, the journal provides free immediate access to and unrestricted reuse of all types of original works by any user. Of course, authors do retain copyright. Apart from assigning each publication with a digital object identifier (DOI), articles and bibliographic metadata are also distributed to scientific databases and indices, long-term preservation is guaranteed by external archives, and article alert service is offered. EGQSJ is listed in the Zoological Record within the Web of Science, and the aim is to establish EGQSJ as a fully indexed journal in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE). However, our primary aim is to establish EGQSJ as a leading platform for the publication of high-quality, open-access Quaternary-related papers.

We, the new editorial board established in January 2019, fully support the course of the journal and aim to even push EGQSJ to new levels. EGQSJ’s 2019 publication record must be regarded as an excellent start in this respect, comprising the highest number of papers compared to the last eight volumes, including full research papers but also express reports dealing with innovative aspects of Quaternary research. All papers of course adhere to the exceptionally high quality standards of EGQSJ. In 2019, two teams of guest editors strongly supported the editorial team, which led to the publication of two special issues introduced in separate editorials in this volume. Overall, the published papers cover the whole range of subject areas of the journal, including Quaternary geology, paleo-environments, paleo-ecology, soil science, paleo-climatology, geomorphology, geochronology, archaeology, geoarchaeology, and now also encompassing methodological advances and aspects of the societal relevance of Quaternary research. Beyond that, thesis abstracts have become an essential part of EGQSJ, reflecting the effort in supporting in particular young researchers in making their high-quality work visible and accessible to a broader audience. To guarantee fair access to thesis abstracts, the Quaternary scientific community, as represented by the host institution of EGQSJ, the German Quaternary Association (DEUQUA), always covers the article processing charges (APCs) for the publication of thesis abstracts. This is in line with the journal's general guidance, to put scientific quality first and not let money be a limiting factor in open-access publication of high-quality research. However, all authors who have third-party funding available to cover the APCs themselves can thereby actively support the journal, and with it the Quaternary scientific community.

Please take your chance to join us in shaping the future of the journal by considering EGQSJ as a reputable, worthwhile alternative for publication of scientific papers, innovative express reports, and thesis abstracts dealing with Quaternary research. Submit now at

Financial support

The article processing charge was funded by the Quaternary scientific community, as represented by the host institution of EGQSJ, the German Quaternary Association (DEUQUA).