Monday, 11 July 2016

How do you measure the value of a professional journal?

This was a question that arose in a recent meeting between me, and Minerals Engineering's Associate Editor, Pablo Brito-Parada and Elsevier Executive Publisher Dean Eastbury.
Certainly Impact Factor is of great importance to academics, and as reported earlier Minerals Engineering tops the list of mineral processing journals, with the specialist Hydrometallurgy heading the table in our field.
I have always put great credence on the number of downloads that papers in a journal receive, in the case of the Elsevier journals via ScienceDirect, and I was pleased to see that in 2015 there were a colossal 590,462 downloads of Minerals Engineering papers, double that of International Journal of Mineral Processing and more than that of Hydrometallurgy. These figures are so important as they are a measure of how journal papers are actually read and used. 
Elsevier also ask authors if they are satisfied overall with a journal to which they have submitted a paper and the ratings are shown below. Again, very satisfying to see that Minerals Engineering has the highest rating, and that the trio of journals perform well compared with the Elsevier average.
Authors expressed particular satisfaction with Minerals Engineering's speed of processing, which for all papers, whether or not sent for peer-review, was 6.6 weeks. For those papers deemed worthy of submission for peer-review, the average length of time from author's submission to final publication was 18.5 weeks in 2015.
The flow of papers to Minerals Engineering continues to increase, with 1046 articles submitted in 2015 compared with 826 in 2014. Papers from China account for over 17%, but of these 92% are rejected, a high contributing factor to the journal's overall 80% rejection rate. Australia heads the list of number of accepted papers, with a rejection rate of only 36%. Although papers from China continue to improve, there is still a long way to go in terms of understanding what constitutes a good journal paper.
So all in all the performance of the Elsevier journals is a cause for satisfaction, and once again, on behalf of Minerals Engineering, many thanks to all who contribute to its success, authors, Editorial Board members and last but certainly not least, the many people who give up their valuable time to take part in the peer-review process.
Twitter @barrywills


  1. Bary,
    You and your Team are doing a great job; a discipline like ours, which has been (and still is) a small part of major depts like chemical/mining/geology/mechanical could establish its own identity thanks to these efforts and the faith the professional deposed on you.
    Some times I feel one or two articles in each issue may have an article from an operating plant persons on their operations with as much detail (such as flowsheet/mass balances etc) without going through normal scrutiny for ekigibility of publication, would be very informative . May please consider.

    1. Sorry TC, but this is not what a peer-reviewed journal is about. Papers must be of scientific rigour. Magazines such as International Mining and Mining Magazine provide outlets for anecdotal articles, as do conferences such as MEI Conferences

  2. I look for developments in the following areas:
    - theoretical understanding of mineral processing unit operations
    - improved practices/best practices
    - descriptions of theory used to improve practice

    Value lies in helping me stay abreast of developments and providing materials to share with others.

    BTW - many thanks for your efforts along these lines!!

    Robert Seitz, USA

  3. Dear Dr. Barry
    No doubt Publication in Minerals Engg. Journal is always a dream for Mineral Engineers. Having a Journal for Mineral Engineers in particular is another boon. Getting information / publications on plant performance issues / new developments in optimizing process plants using different tools/ technique etc., if published will have a better impact.
    Once again kudos to you and your team!

    Thanks and regards
    rama murthy


If you have difficulty posting a comment, please email the comment to and I will submit on your behalf