The Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering
Why another "Journal" -- don't we have enough already?
The recent developments in the Geotechnical field, accompanied by interactions
with closely related fields -- ranging from computational mechanics to
earthquake engineering, and from geology to environmental engineering --
have been causing a diversification. We now have several journals related
to computational aspects of Geotechnics, as well as the dynamics aspect,
testing aspect, and more recently the environmental aspect. As we further
specialize, we invent new journals which are perfectly welcome. However,
this tends to shrink the market share of each journal, which in turn makes
the journals prohibitively expensive. This causes a further shrinking of
the subscription, resulting in higher prices. Technology offers a solution:
an electronic journal. But this is only one of the reasons...
Three Main Reasons
There are several reasons why an electronic journal is desirable for
The first reason is time. Here is an example: Six years ago an
associate and I wrote a paper, and we sent it to the journal known to be
the best in the field. We were told a couple of years later that it was
accepted. We are still waiting in line to have the paper actually printed!
Considering that we actually did the research ten years ago, I believe
the paper will become obsolete before it even gets printed. It has gotten
this ridiculous. We have to raise the publication activity up to the standards
of the times; the current technology that is available worldwide allows
an almost immediate dissemination of information.
The second reason for an electronic journal for the geotechnical field
is the cost of conventional journal publishing. There seems to be
a coupling between the shrinking market and cost increases which causes
prices to skyrocket beyond the reach of mere mortals. Conventionally, the
real knowledge-producing work, the research itself, the paper writing,
and the peer review for quality control, are all done for free. It is absurd
that the authors who actually produce the "papers" don't get
paid anything while they are expected to pay outrageous prices to learn
about the work of their colleagues. The current technology, and in particular,
the Internet offers extremeley reduced overhead.
It should be pointed out that electronic publication,
in general, will serve to complement the traditional media, not replace
it. Some argue that people will never give up the feeling of a book.
The third reason for an electronic journal is to add some more useful
'content' to the World Wide Web. Many geotechnical engineers who
'surf the net' give up soon in frustration. The "information highway"
is there, the global audience is there, and everybody is waiting.
The primary objective of The Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering
is to create an open forum for rapid, interactive, peer-reviewed
information exchange in Geotechnical Engineering, World-wide.
The EJGE provides an international on-line forum for papers from diverse
areas of Geotechnical Engineering. The journal intends to be a readily
accessible source of information with rapid peer review and low costs.
The Journal has several distinct advantages. The use of electronic communications
(E-mail, ftp, etc.) for submission, review and publication eliminates the
substantial paper costs of a conventional journal. The use of WWW allows
for complete multimedia presentations, thus expanding the kinds of information
that can be presented. Other advantages of a WWW-based journal
are the ability to include sound files, movies and animations, E-mail feedback
from readers, an almost unlimited number of pages, and numerous other advantages
yet to be explored, such as a live "chat" of the authors with discussers.
The hypertext format of WWW is ideally suited for the
presentation of scientific information. Almost instantaneous reader feedback
will be invaluable to editors and authors. Readers can download an entire
article and print it out themselves if and whenever they need, thus eliminating
the task of conventional copying from a library or other archive.
Advertising can be made available in a manner not detrimental to the
scientific value of the journal. The journal will be stored and transmitted
electronically. This will allow an almost automatic generation of searchable
database of papers. Such information will be made available to libraries,
and other interested parties and individuals.
Copyright and other legal issues are discussed in Legal
Please see Scope and Call for Papers
for further information.
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