Friday, 11 December 2015

Minerals Engineering journal continues to thrive

This year's annual report for Minerals Engineering has made pleasant reading. Paper flow to the journal continues to increase, with an estimated 900 papers received in 2015 compared with 828 in 2014, which led last year to the first appointment of an associate editor, Dr. Pablo Brito-Parada of Imperial College, UK, to assist with the workload. Pablo settled into his role very quickly and is a tremendous asset. He has taken on the tasks of editing the special issues of Computational Modelling '15 and Flotation '15.
Although the number of papers submitted has increased, the number actually published has decreased, as the rejection rate has risen to 74% compared with 65% in 2014. This increase is to a large extent due to the increase in number of articles submitted from China, accounting for 25% of the total, but unfortunately the rejection rate from China still remains very high at 88%, compared with 21% from Australia, which still acounts for the highest number of submitted papers, slightly higher than China.
Minerals Engineering's impact factor (IF) is the highest of all journals in its field, but this does not cause me to leap for joy, as I am no great fan of IF, although I know it is important for research funding etc. What I find more important is ScienceDirect usage, a true indication of the interest in articles published, a staggering 530,537 downloads in 2014. But of equal importance is how the authors themselves rate the journal, and the Table below shows the results of the Author Feedback Program, a continuous research program monitoring the performance of Elsevier's primary journals. It allows Elsevier to closely monitor author opinion and thus journal performance.  
 Authors are invited to rate a number of statements concerning their publishing experience. These statements are grouped into areas, including reputation, peer review, production speed, publishing services, the editorial board and impact factor. Authors are also asked to rate another journal in which they have recently published, the score for each area or factor for Minerals Engineering then being compared against the average of all other titles. The "average", which is a convenient benchmark, is zero on the chart. Scores above zero mean for that area, Minerals Engineering is rated higher than average. Conversely, factor scores below zero, mean for that area, Minerals Engineering would be rated lower than average. The order in which the factors appear in the chart denote their importance to authors (i.e. the first factor listed is, on average, the most important consideration when deciding where to publish for the authors of the journal).
The nine factor scores are weighted according to their importance, and used to calculate a composite journal score. This score is then compared to the journal scores of other journals in which the author also recently published. The maximum potential journal score is 100, but in general, scores vary between 50 and 90. Minerals Engineering scores 92.2 against an average of 77.0, with 100% of authors agreeing that they are very satisfied with the journal.
These figures are very encouraging and a great tribute to the many people involved with the journal, including Dean Eastbury, the Executive Publishing Manager at Elsevier, who is a familiar face at many MEI Conferences, and the very efficient Production Manager Naveen Raja. But the peer-review process would be of nothing without my excellent associate editor, Pablo, and the 24 members of the international Editorial Board, to whom I often turn for advice, and the 260 international registered reviewers who give up their valuable time to keep the review process ticking. Thanks to you all, and a special mention to two in particular, Prof. Tim Napier-Munn, of the JKMRC and Rob Dunne, of Rob Dunne Consulting, both of Australia.
Tim Napier-Munn and Rob Dunne
Editorial Board member Tim has recently been awarded the Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal for 2015, a joint award between the AusIMM and the Barbarians for an outstanding communicator from the broad arena of science, engineering and technology, whose ability to communicate has advanced the professionalism, the industry or management of science, engineering and technology (more on MEI Online).
At the SME Meeting in Phoenix in February I look forward to seeing Rob receive the Robert H. Richards Award, for his pioneering work in the applications of SAG milling, flotation, and gravity concentration for gold and copper recovery. Rob has been involved with the journal since its inception, being a long standing Editorial Board member in its early days.

And it's only a couple of months since Editorial Board member Prof. Graeme Jameson was awarded the coveted Prime Minister's Prize for Science (posting of 21 October).


  1. Bary,
    Very good self assessment; I do not know why used the words "continues to thrive". It is a great Journal and set high bench mark for itself right from the beginning and keeping the flag of Mineral Engn flying high.
    You know I do not beleive too much on impact factors etc; pl publish whatever you feel is useful; yes we need more on case studies and industry oriented papers.
    Let me congratulate you and your Great Team==it is indeed a glorious journey.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on technical journals..

    1. Thanks TC. Your comments are appreciated


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