The most perceptible change with this first issue of volume 14 of the European Journal of Mineralogy, at least for the readers of the paper version, is the new format of the journal. The move to the larger, sub-A4 format is intended to convey the authors' message in an ever more efficient way, with a less compact lay-out and less reduction of the illustrations. We hope that the benefits of this change will outweigh the sense of loss that some may have with the abandonment of the traditional journal format once common to seven European mineralogical societies. The joint adoption of this format (ca. 1983) was one of the first concrete steps by the forerunner of the European Mineralogical Union (EMU) towards a European society journal. The present move to the new format therefore also reflects the inherent momentum of the European Journal of Mineralogy, which has obviously been recognized worldwide as the show-case of European mineralogical research since its launching in 1989.

Another less perceptible change will also contribute to an improved circulation of the authors' results: the full-text version of the journal — including active reference linking — was made available online to institutional print subscribers in 2001, and now over two thousand personal members of the three owner societies (DMG, SFMC and SIMP) also have online access to the journal as a benefit of their membership. In addition, the special subscription rate to the European Journal of Mineralogy offered to all personal members of any EMU society is now extended to the online version as well.

In order to take full advantage of electronic publication of the journal, authors are advised to carefully consider the new guidelines for manuscript preparation, which are published at the end of this issue and on the website of the journal. Electronic submission is encouraged in order to speed up the review process.

The next issue of the journal will be largely dedicated to neutron scattering techniques in mineral and Earth sciences, with ten review papers collected by Romano Rinaldi giving the state of the art in this rapidly expanding field. In a later issue, a collection of original papers will give a flavour of the 4th European Conference on Mineralogy and Spectroscopy held in Paris in September 2001, and later this year (?) a series of papers will appear dedicated to the memory of Luciano Ungaretti, former chief editor of the journal.

One major change affects the editorial board of the journal. After having served for eight years as an associate editor and six years as chief editor on behalf of the EMU, Ernst Burke relinquished his charge. His combination of generous editorial help and rigorous handling of manuscripts contributed to shaping this European journal from the very beginning. In addition he deserves our highest gratitude for having created and maintained the website of the journal at the highest standards for almost five years, before it was transferred to Stuttgart in 2001. We are pleased that Ernst will serve the journal further with his dedication and professionalism as representative of the EMU on the managing committee (in replacement of Tamas Weiszburg and then Herta Effenberger). We now welcome Ekkehart Tillmanns, former associate editor, as the new chief editor nominated by the EMU. He joins Rainer Altherr, Bertrand Fritz and Annibale Mottana on an editorial team that has been completely renewed within the last two years.

The chief editors are in charge of editorial policy, which is to maintain the highest possible quality for the journal. Their decisions, however, are based on the expertise of numerous referees (see issue no. 6 of each volume) and of the team of associate editors: T. Andersen, D. Andrault, R.J. Angel, U. Bismayer, G. Chiari, P. Cordier, J. Dubessy, M. Enami, M.-L. Frezzotti, M. Göbbels, P.F. Lattanzi, D. Lattard, E. Libowitzky, M. Nespolo, M. Pasero, S. Poli, M. Pósfai, R. Rinaldi, V. Sautter, E. Tillmanns and T. Vennemann. The newcomers are T. Balić Žunić, M. Kunz, M. Maggetti and F. Poitrasson, whereas L. Baumgartner, H. Palme, R. Petrini and P. Schreiter leave the board. We thank all of them for their unselfish engagement. Their reward, at the very least, for their dedicated work may be to have witnessed the ever-increasing 'impact factor' of the journal, which evolved, according to the Journal Citation Reports of the ISI, from 1.29 in the year 1999 to 1.36 in 2000 and reached a value of 1.43 in the year 2001.

Michèle Canaple, the editorial secretary of the journal, is also warmly thanked for maintaining an exemplary production schedule, in spite of the heavy load and permanent time pressure.

The European Journal of Mineralogy is a society journal; it is what authors make of it by submitting their papers, but its financial situation owes much to the support of its faithful subscribers and, over the years, of the French “Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique”.