v15n4 — From the Editors

About This Issue

Throughout the world today, educational systems are designed to teach our children the wondrous aspects of the physical and living sciences. The earliest scientists who studied the natural world weren’t limited to studying a single aspect of the sciences. Rather, they were more like “Jack-of-all-trades”, dabbling in a little of this and a little of that. During the European Renaissance period, natural science (the study of anything connected with nature) was divided into natural philosophy (e.g., chemistry and physics) and natural history (e.g., biology and geology). And many researchers contributed to both fields. Inevitably, natural science itself began to be parsed into many subfields, often with minimal cross-pollination (see editorial by Jon Blundy in the June 2019 Elements).

The subject of weathering proves just how inconvenient it can be to parse natural science into isolated subdisciplines. The subject of weathering is covered in most introductory geoscience or Earth science courses. Usually weathering is paired with the sedimentary portion of the “rock cycle”. Every child has been taught, to some degree, this cycle. And, many of us have taught it to students. But, rarely is “weathering” taught in courses on economics or political science. Yet, geological “weathering” is relevant to those disciplines (and more!). As you will read in the articles contributed by the authors of this issue, weathering has wide-reaching impacts that extend well beyond the geoscience boundaries. This issue of Elements will give you lots to think about.

Weathering is a seemingly simple concept but, in reality, is a complex process, both spatially and temporally. Weathering truly falls under “Earth system science” (our modern rendition for “natural science”), where many subdisciplines intersect. As such, there is plenty of room for specialists from a diversity of disciplines to come together and advance our understanding of this important process.

So, the next time you teach weathering to your introductory geology students, keep in mind the wonderous aspects of it. And, be sure to take a moment to explain the vast and far-reaching impacts of weathering to your non-geoscience colleagues. Who knows, they may be interested in collaborating with you on a “weathering” project.

2018 Impact Factor of Elements = 4.224

Each year, we report to you the results of the Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) “InCitesTM Journal Citation Reports” for Elements. The 2018 report was released in June 2019. Elements’ journal impact factor is 4.224, which ranks 2nd in the mineralogy category (29 journals) and 12th in the geochemistry/geophysics category (84 journals). Elements impact factor has hovered between 4.0 and 4.5 since 2013. The 5-year impact factor is 5.546.

To date (July 2019), the 543 thematic articles published in Elements have been cited a total of 19,180 times. So, where are Elements articles being cited? About 31% of the citations are in geochemistry and geophysics journals, 20% in multidisciplinary geoscience journals, and ~16% in mineralogy journals. This is expected because our content is directed towards the mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry fields. However, Elements content is applicable to a diversity of fields well beyond that triad of disciplines, as shown in the diagram below. This diagram lists the number of citations to Elements from journals grouped by category (top 25 categories shown). Notice the inclusion of categories such as environmental science, engineering, materials science, water resources, and energy fuels. As further evidence of Elements’ reach, Elements has been cited in over 2,200 different journals.

Welcoming Richard J. Harrison

Photo Credit: Sarah Humbert

The Elements editorial team is pleased to announce that Richard J. Harrison has accepted the position of principal editor (mineralogy) for the 2020–2022 term. Richard is a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge (UK). He specializes in understanding the physics and chemistry of natural materials and how their properties and behavior impact the processes that shape our planet. He is particularly interested in the application of mineral magnetism to solving Earth-science problems. We look forward to working with Richard. Nancy Ross, our current mineralogy principal editor, will complete her term at the close of 2019. Richard will be joining Jon Blundy (2018–2020) and John Eiler (2019–2021).

Elements at Goldschmidt2019

The Elements principal editors and executive committee members will be meeting in Barcelona (Spain) on Sunday, 17 August 2019 for their annual face-to-face meetings. These meetings are essential for maintaining and/or improving the quality and performance of Elements. We will provide a report on our activities in a future issue of Elements.

Many of the editors and committee members will also be attending the subsequent Goldschmidt2019 conference. If you would like to arrange a meeting with one of our principal editors during the conference, contact us so we can coordinate a time to meet with you. Contact information can be found at http://elementsmagazine.org/about/editoral-team-staff/.

Nancy Ross, Jon Blundy, John Eiler, and Jodi Rosso


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