Sunday, 15 July 2018

Minerals Engineering: end of term report

The new look Minerals Engineering was launched in January of this year, with the merger of the journal with International Journal of Minerals Processing (IJMP) after 30 years of running separately, in the early days not too comfortably (posting of 22nd January).
Minerals Engineering's final report, for 2017, shows that the Impact Factor (IF) is still rising, to 2.707, retaining the journal's position as the world's  #1 mineral processing journal. It is good to see that the specialist journal Hydrometallurgy has also improved its impact factor to 3.3, so congratulations to Jochen Petersen and his editorial team.  
 In my opinion, more important than IF is the number of ScienceDirect downloads, over 558,000 in 2017, the increasingly high proportion from China highlighting the importance of this country to mineral processing research.
The number of papers submitted to the journal continues to increase, but of the 1254 papers submitted last year, 82% were rejected, a record number, suggesting that the pressure to publish is increasing the number of hastily prepared manuscripts.
As can be seen from the figures below, the number of papers from Asia, mainly China, continues to increase, but the rejection rate of Asian papers, while decreasing, is still too high.
It is interesting that the rejection rate of special issue papers was, by comparison, only 53% in 2017, and is 36% for this year to date. There are good reasons for this. The special issues (now virtual special issues) are, apart from a very few, papers presented at MEI Conferences. These essentially go through two review processes before submission to the journal. They are vetted by MEI and our consultants prior to acceptance for conference presentation, and then the draft papers which are submitted to the conference for discussion are revised by the authors after the conference before journal submission.
It will be interesting to see how the new journal progresses this year. Paper flow continues to increase, but unfortunately it is becoming more and more difficult to find researchers who are willing to spend valuable time refereeing papers. Many academics are keen, sometimes desperate, to have their papers reviewed for publication, but are unwilling to act as referees for others. This problem is exacerbated by the new laws on Data Protection, which does not allow editors to register new reviewers. Instead we have to contact potentially suitable reviewers and request that, if they are interested, they register themselves in the system. This is time consuming and leads to a further increase in average reviewing time for papers.
So I would like to conclude my summary of the journal report by thanking all those specialists who do give up some of their valuable time and contribute whole-heartedly to the valuable peer-review process. Here's to 2018 and beyond!
Twitter @barrywills


  1. Great data! Great to see things are continually improving for the journal. It’s a good quality journal, with an excellent collection of publications of broad interest in mineral processing and engineering, and it also has a fair and efficient review process for submissions.

  2. Very good analysis of "what is going on". A do not know whether such critical and constructive introspection is generally done in open as you have done.
    Some of the remarks you made show on the type of papers being sent ans published. I am sure all the researchers, particularly the young ones, who have so much knowledge and information, apart from the research tools they have,take full note of your observations. The way you run the Journal from the time you started and the new shape it took, is sure to have an impact on the researchers to make a quantum jump and serve the profession of academician which,I hope, helps the industry also.
    Congratulations and many happy returns of such reports in the years to come.

  3. A fine performance indeed. I remember the citation rate was only 1.4 in 2006; look at how much progress has been made. And, beyond the reviewers, I think the new generation of prospective researchers and authors are making their contribution too.

    Well done and best regards, Norm
    Norman Lotter, Flowsheets Metallurgical Consulting Inc., Canada


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