October 2019 Issue Table of Contents
About This Issue
As we go to press, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just released its 2019 “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate” (https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/home/). When the topic is climate change, our reaction is usually “Uh-Oh!”. Calls for clean energy, reduced emissions, and consumer activism are a regular part of news broadcasts or casual conversations. Unlike many of the political storms that currently rage in national forums, climate change is truly an international and global problem.Our last issue of Elements (August 2019 v15n4) focused on the topic of weathering, clearly demonstrating how climate (and CO2) links to weathering. The articles in “Catastrophic Perturbations to the Deep Carbon Cycle” take the focus on carbon even further by exploring the passage of carbon among the nonliving and living reservoirs from core to surface. The movement of carbon between the deep Earth and the surface plays a critical role in maintaining the surficial conditions that are necessary for life to exist and thrive. Yet, as demonstrated in this issue, there are ample examples of perturbations to Earth’s steady-state condition. What is learned from the study of natural perturbations to the carbon cycle can be used to help frame and understand the impacts of the human-induced perturbation on Earth’s global system that is currently underway.
Anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases are the centerpiece of most conversations on the topic, yet, in reality, they are just one part of a very complex system of interdependent parts. The Deep Carbon Observatory (https://deepcarbon.net/) has made it possible for the articles in this issue to be Gold Open Access and they will be readily accessible from the Elements website. So, share the articles and help broaden the climate change conversation with your colleagues, students, and policy makers.
Elements at Goldschmidt2019
The Elements principal editors met in Barcelona (Spain) on Sunday, 17 August 2019, for their annual face-to-face meeting. The all-day meeting took place at the Barcelona International Convention Center, which is just a short distance from the beach. While many vacationers enjoyed the warm summer weather, our Elements editorial team was busy at work. As mentioned in our August 2019 From the Editors column, these meetings are essential for maintaining and/or improving the quality and performance of Elements. Lively discussions have always been part of Elements editorial meetings. This year was no different. Below are just a few highlights.
A New Column in Elements
Each issue of Elements includes approximately six thematic articles that are short, concise reviews of a specific geoscience topic. Articles are written so that technical non-experts are readily introduced to a subject that is out of their field of expertise. Elements authors and editors work incredibly hard to transform articles into this accessible form, which is significantly different from typical journal articles or other scientific comprehensive reviews. That hard work isn’t going unnoticed. Over the past year, Elements has been informally asking members how they use Elements. In addition to general reading pleasure and scientific research, members commonly indicated that they use the magazine as a teaching resource.
During our recent meeting, the editorial team explored possible new initiatives related to geoscience education. It was decided that a new feature column will be included in Elements that focuses on geoscience education. This new column will become a regular part of the magazine along with CosmoElements, Elements Toolkit, and Parting Shots. Geoscience educator resources, teaching hints/methods, and much more will be explored. As with all of our published content, the content will be written at a level so that new teaching assistants to experienced educators can readily understand what is being discussed. If you are interested in being part of this initiative, please contact us!
Open Access publishing is one of the many publishing options available for researchers and is also an option for Elements authors. Late 2018, the so-termed “cOAlition S” funders, along with the European Commission and the European Research Council, spearheaded “Plan S”. This plan requires that, beginning in 2021, scientific publications resulting from publicly funded research grants must be published in compliant open access journals or platforms which make the research immediately available without embargo. Elements would fall under the “hybrid journal” category where our content is “subscription” only, but with a purchase option for Open Access. As it stands, publishing in hybrid journals would be prohibited under Plan S. The editorial team and Elements Executive Committee are watching carefully how this will unfold and how it may or may not affect Elements invited contributors in the future.
New Topics in Elements
The editorial team meets biannually to review new proposals of possible topics to include in the Elements lineup. After fruitful discussions and careful consideration, the team selected three proposals for inclusion. Topics to be covered in the February, April, and June 2021 issues will be “Hydrothermal Fluids”, “Exploring Earth and Planetary Materials with Neutrons”, and “Exposed Crustal Arc Sections”. We thank all those who took the time to submit a proposal for our consideration. And, we look forward to working with the organizers of these new issues in the months to come.
As always, the editorial team welcomes the submission of proposals. We will meet again in early 2020 to select additional proposals for the second half of our 2021 lineup. To learn more about submitting a proposal to Elements, visit http://elementsmagazine.org/publish-in-elements/.
Nancy Ross, Jon Blundy, John Eiler, and Jodi Rosso