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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EDITOR OF JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Serve in a scientific review capacity as the Editor of ASA-CSSA-SSSA’s Journal of Environmental Quality (JEQ) and head of the JEQ Editorial Board, overseeing and reviewing the technical quality and scientific soundness of research that focuses on aspects of environmental quality in natural and agricultural ecosystems. The Editorial Board serves as a mechanism to evaluate the experimental design, methodology, analysis of results, and conclusions of research to assure its quality and reliability


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The Editor is responsible for establishing journal policy and for overseeing the technical and intellectual content and quality of the journal. The Editor directs the work of technical editors (TEs) and associate editors (AEs) in reviewing and evaluating the worthiness of manuscripts submitted to the JEQ. The Editor is responsible for defining the journal’s aims, policies, and editorial coverage, and in recruiting members for the Editorial Board. The Editor delegates to TEs the responsibility of assigning manuscripts to AEs to obtain reviews from qualified peer scientists and making the final decision whether to accept or reject the paper. The Editor directly oversees the work of the TEs who are responsible for overseeing the work of the AEs. The Editor has the overall responsibility for determining that in-depth and timely reviews are obtained by the Editorial Board members and for maintaining the professional integrity of the review process.


3.Progress Report

Over the past year 552 manuscripts were submitted for consideration in the Journal of Environmental Quality (JEQ) of which 38.5% were accepted for publication. Four special collections of papers were published comprised of 30 papers. There are currently 14 special collections of papers in various stages of development. Additional policy and organizational changes were devised and implemented in an effort to improve the impact factor including increased activity on attracting review and environmental issues papers, increased efficiency of handling manuscripts, regular teleconference calls with Editor-in-Chief, ASA-CSSA-SSSA staff, and TEs, and numerous improvements in JEQ’s online manuscript tracking system. The greatest effort to improve the impact factor has been to attract high quality special collections of papers with a substantial increase in special collection papers over last year, an increase from 9 to 30 papers. The current impact factor of 2.236 shows a slight decline from last years 2.291. There is a two-year lag to see if current efforts to improve the impact factor will have an effect.

The relationship of this subordinate project with the main in-house project on degraded water reuse, objective 1, is exposure to state-of-the-art research and the latest trends and techniques, which can be incorporated into the main project to make a significant advancement to our understanding in this specific research area. A substantial number of papers submitted to JEQ fall in the area of environmental impacts of degraded water reuse. Serving in the role of Editor of JEQ provides exposure to state-of-the-art research on the impacts of degraded water reuse, which provides a clear awareness of the knowledge gaps and the latest advances, making it possible to stay at the forefront in this research area.

Monitoring of all progress is most effectively handled through JEQ’s on-line manuscript tracking system, ManuscriptTracker. ManuscriptTracker allows immediate access and evaluation of the progress of each manuscript by the Editor, TEs, AEs, Editor-in-Chief, and ASA-CSSA-SSSA Headquarters staff (JEQ Managing Editor and JEQ Financial Officer) along with up-to-date summary report access. Teleconference calls every 4 months between Editor-in-Chief, JEQ Managing Editor, Financial Office, and TEs were arranged to provide progress reports and to discuss policy and management changes. A mail server is in place as a means of exchanging ideas and communicating amongst the 100+ members of the JEQ Editorial Board. The mail server provides an open forum to discuss problems and concerns, maintain procedural consistency, and notify the entire editorial board of policy changes.


Last Modified: 4/25/2014
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