Since June 1st, Sergey Krivovichev is effectively the new chief editor on behalf of the European Mineralogical Union (EMU). Indeed, after more than eight years of service as chief editor on behalf of the EMU, and some 250 handled manuscripts, Ekkehart Tillmanns has asked to step down from his position. I think the journal owes much to Ekkehart’s editorial activities, in the same vein as the first EMU chief editor Ernst Burke. Professional efficiency and care for rapid handling, combined with firm courtesy in conveying the associate editor’s message to the authors, have contributed to the continued improvement of EJM publication times during the past years, and to high scientific standards.

We now welcome Sergey on board and wish him all the best in his new task. Needless to say, our editorial work is and must remain teamwork. So we hope Sergey will rapidly find his place in the group and attract new papers.

I use this opportunity to welcome also the new associate editors, vintage 2010, namely Karim Benzerara, Frank Brenker, Klaus Mezger and David Pattison, after Bruno Lanson, Fernando Rull, Wolfgang Schmahl and Cliff Shaw who joined last year. These names should convey a clear message to the respective geo-communities that the EJM, as a generalist journal, calls for articles in fields as diverse as biomineralogy, mantle mineralogy, isotopic dating, metamorphic petrology, layered structures, X-ray diffraction, astromineralogy or the dynamics of magmatic systems, among many others.

You may have noticed that proofs of accepted articles are now made available online immediately, i.e. uncorrected, on the ‘fast-track’ lane of the EJM Ingenta website. This is in order to maximise exposure time and facilitate diffusion of scientific information. A few weeks later, the uncorrected proof is replaced on the ‘fast track’ by the final, though unpaginated article – until final publication.

A centralized electronic manuscript handling system is in the test phase. As soon as we are sure it is sufficiently user-friendly for the authors (and, hopefully, also the editors!), we will move to it and announce this on the websites of the journal.

The year 2009 has seen a record number of pages published (101 articles with 1336 pages), with no less than two special issues (‘HP-HT mineral physics: implications for geosciences’ and ‘25 years of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism’) and a selection of papers presented at the 6thEuropean Conference on Mineralogy and Spectroscopy in Stockholm. The next issues will contain, beside regular articles, thematic sets of papers devoted to ‘Mineralogy, Health and Environment’ or presented at the 2009 International Clay Conference (‘Zeolites and their applications’). In spite of this wealth, publication times have remained stable, on average nine months from submission to online publication. It is now a very good time for authors, as accepted manuscripts are immediately going to print.

The relentless efforts of the past years, be they in reducing the overall publication time, in offering early online exposure of the accepted articles, in covering international meetings, or in striving for both scientific and formal quality, now seem to be rewarded by the latest impact factor published by the ISI. With a value of 1.45, the 2009 impact factor marks the highest value ever reached by the journal and a 20 % increase after many years of remarkable stability. This ranks the EJM as second among the learned-society journals publishing original papers in the field of Mineralogy.

The onus is on us authors to support through our submissions the learned-society publications, because they offer an inexpensive and independent alternative to monopolistic publishing houses. Let’s prefer journals made by scientists for scientists!