The year 2012 and this first issue of the 24th volume of the European Journal of Mineralogy (EJM) mark a major change in the editorial life of the journal. Bertrand Fritz, Chief Editor on behalf of SFMC since 2001, Fernando Nieto, first Chief Editor on behalf of SEM (since 2004), and Roland Oberhänsli, Chief Editor on behalf of DMG since 2006, have asked to be released of their editorial duties after this long time of service. Bertrand, Fernando and Roland deserve our highest appreciation for having taken on this service to the Geoscience community and for having devoted much of their time to this important task. Many thanks to all of you, Bertrand, Fernando and Roland!

We now welcome aboard and wish all the best to Patrick Cordier, Manuel Prieto and Reto Gieré, who will steer the EJM ship together with Sandro Conticelli and Sergey Krivovichev. We have not had such a major change since 2006, when Angelo Peccerillo and Oberhänsli replaced Annibale Mottana and Rainer Altherr, and the even more drastic exchange in 2000–2001, when the whole team of Chief Editors was replaced: Altherr, Fritz, Mottana and Ekkehart Tillmanns coming in for Walter Maresch, Christian Chopin, Luciano Ungaretti and Ernst Burke, respectively.

There are also changes in the board of Associate Editors, in which we welcome Elisabeth Widom and from which Dominique Lattard, Carlos Ayora, Fernando Corfu, Rob Ellam, Masaki Enami, Volker Kahlenberg, Jordi Rius, Torsten Vennemann and Manfred Wildner are stepping down, in part after a very long time of service. We thank them and the remaining editors for the time unselfishly offered to the community in maintaining the scientific standards of the journal.

Each new Chief Editor always introduces a distinct new personal scientific flavour to the editorial board, and the present change can be taken as a signal to the relevant communities. Let me take this as one more opportunity to remind authors and readers that the scope of the EJM is certainly not restricted to mineral chemistry and crystallography, but also explicitly encompasses mineral physics, metamorphic, igneous and ore petrology, and geochemistry, as well as any field in which the study of minerals is of relevance, in particular more recent domains like biomineralogy, astromineralogy and environmental sciences, among others. Rather than a narrow topical fit, high scientific quality is the prime criterion for publication in the EJM and also the basis of its editorial policy.

A glance at the table of contents of recent and future issues of the journal mirrors the flavour of the broadness in scope attained. For instance, of the two special issues published in 2011, one emanated from the Experimental Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry symposium (EMPG 13) held in Toulouse, whereas the other is devoted to ‘Mineral Sciences and Archaeology’, going back to a special session at the IMA General Assembly in Budapest. A special issue on ‘Jadeitites, new occurrences, new data, and implications for subduction-zone fluids’, handled by George Harlow, Tatsuki Tsujimori and Sorena Sorensen as guest editors, will appear in early 2012. A further issue devoted to ‘Diamonds’, is being handled by guest editors Fabrizio Nestola, Paolo Nimis and Ross Angel, and traces its origin back to an International School in Bressanone. Finally, a special issue devoted to the results of the 7th European Conference on Mineralogy and Spectroscopy held in Potsdam in 2011 is being prepared by guest editors Sergio Speziale, Monika Koch-Müller, Michael Fechtelkord and Vladimir Khomenko.

The average time span between submission and first online appearance of the accepted articles (on the ‘Fast-Track’ lane of the EJM Ingenta website) has been reduced from slightly more than 7 months in 2010 to 6 months and 3 weeks for articles published in 2011. Another obvious reward for these relentless efforts is the last impact factor published by the ISI. The value of 1.469 for 2010 confirms the sudden 20% increase noted in 2009 (1.450) after many years of stability and is again the highest value ever reached by the journal.

This is the place to thank all persons and institutions that contributed to this success: to authors and readers for their confidence in and continuing support of our European journal, to departing and continuing chief editors, to Walter Maresch as coordinator of special issues, to the board of associate editors (see inside cover page) and the many referees (listed each year in issue no. 6) who guarantee the scientific quality of the material published, to our Publisher and Hilke Bornholdt at Schweizerbart who care for the technical quality and timely publication of the journal, and to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique for continued support.