Elements Internationality: Sulfur or Sulphur?
Elements magazine tries hard to be an internationally oriented and inclusive scientific publication. As such, Elements accepts texts written in American English or British English and it has been Elements’ policy to allow authors to choose between the American or British writing style and spelling. Our purpose in this is to pay respect to international differences and, as a result, help preserve these differences.
The spelling of many words is different in American- and British English dictionaries. The editorial policy of Elements is that the spelling style should be consistent within a given article: mixing British and American spelling is proscribed.
This issue of Elements brought forth a new challenge for the editorial team: what to do with the spelling of chemical element 16 (S) (“sulfur” or “sulphide”) and, more importantly, how to spell the title of the issue (“Sulfides” or “Sulphides”)? A quick search on the Internet will reveal that this debate has been a source of contention for almost two millennia. What was the Elements editorial team to do?
In 1990, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC, see iupac.org), the globally-recognized authority on chemical nomenclature and terminology, tackled this problem and declared “sulfur” to be the correct spelling for element 16. This declaration wasn’t immediately accepted or welcome by those who held “sulphur” near and dear. For example, it wasn’t until 1992, that the prestigious UK-based Royal Society of Chemistry implemented the change in their scientific publications. It can take time to implement changes to our scientific vernacular.
Thanks to IUPAC, Elements “dodged the bullet” in regard to the spelling of sulfur, and this is why you see “Sulfides” on the cover. But, what will be done if Elements publishes an issue on element 13 (Al) or element 55 (Cs), where there are two different spellings accepted by IUPAC? Hmmm … that is a problem to be resolved another day.
Call for Proposals – Topics for 2019
Would you like to read about a certain topic in Elements?Each Elements issue begins with an idea that you, the reader, proposes to the editorial team. Whether through an email, a phone call, or a conversation at a scientific meeting, bring your ideas to the editorial team for consideration for inclusion in Elements.
The editorial team looks for topics that
- are broadly related to mineralogy, geochemistry, and/or petrology
- are interdisciplinary
- represent established but progressing ﬁelds
- would be of interest to a broad cross section of readers
- haven’t been adequately represented by Elements before, or topics that have advanced considerably since that topic was covered previously
If the proposed topic meets those criteria, the editorial team invites the submission of a short proposal that provides more detailed information.
If you have an idea for a topic that could be included in the Elements lineup, please contact our editorial staff by 15 July 2017. The Elements editorial team will evaluate proposals for the 2019 lineup in early August prior to the Goldschmidt meeting in Paris (France).
Visit the “Publish in Elements” webpage for more information (http://elementsmagazine.org/publish-in-elements/).