The year 2013 will mark one more change among the Chief Editors for the European Journal of Mineralogy (EJM). Sandro Conticelli, Chief Editor on behalf of SIMP since 2009, had asked to be released from this editorial duty at the end of a four-year term. Nevertheless, he agreed to post-pone his departure in order to ensure, together with Sergey Krivovichev, some continuity in the editorial team after the major changes of the past year, during which Patrick Cordier, Manuel Prieto and Reto Gieré stepped in as new Chief Editors, in place of Bertrand Fritz, Fernando Nieto and Roland Oberhänsli. Elisabetta Rampone will now progressively step into Sandro's shoes during the course of this year, thereby assuring a smooth transition. We therefore welcome “Betta” in her new position; as Associate Editor, she is already very familiar with the journal.

There are also changes in the board of Associate Editors, in which we welcome Paola Comodi and Cristiano Ferraris and say goodbye to Marco Pasero and Ulrich Schüssler, who are stepping down after a long time of very effective service. We thank them and the remaining Editors for the time unselfishly offered to the community in maintaining the scientific standards of the journal.

A more personal note goes to Walter Maresch, who stepped down from the Managing Committee of the journal. During the past years he acted as coordinator for special issues, which have taken an increasing place in the journal; so he has definitely contributed to its increasing audience. Walter was actually serving in the committee as DMG representative since 2001, as the first successor to Wolfgang Hoffmann, one of the founders of the journal. In fact, he accompanied EJM from its very beginning, first as associate and then as chief editor. These have been long years of companionship in shaping the European Journal of Mineralogy, with his vision encompassing the national societies' interests but going far beyond, for a truly European achievement. These years leave the memory of a life's experience for the writer of these lines. Many thanks Walter, from us all!

Online submission and centralised handling of manuscripts have been in effect since January 2012. Our main concern was that the new system should be very user-friendly for the authors, with a minimum number of operations as well as just one file to upload for any one submission. For an author, it can hardly be simpler, even if, admittedly, coping with the system requires more exercise for the editors. Your feedback as user will be appreciated in any event, so that the system can be tailored to actual needs.

The year 2013 will also mark a major change in the distribution of the journal. Personal members of the DMG and the SEM will continue to have access to the online version of the EJM but will no longer receive the paper version as a due benefit of their membership. This general agreement should secure the economic balance of the journal for the years to come.

The online access remains possible through both the Ingenta and GeoScienceWorld websites of the journal. You may have noticed that the latter has been “mobile optimized” in 2012 for easier access and reading through non-desktop devices (iPads, iPhones, tablet PCs and other smartphones). Enjoy!

Besides regular articles, the journal will continue to publish thematic sets of papers. After three special or thematic issues in 2012, namely “Jadeitites, new occurrences, new data, and implications for subduction-zone fluids”, handled by George Harlow, Tatsuki Tsujimori and Sorena Sorensen as Guest Editors, “Diamonds, the petrologist's best friends” handled by Fabrizio Nestola, Paolo Nimis and Ross Angel, and results of the 7th European Conference on Mineralogy and Spectroscopy gathered by Guest Editors Sergio Speziale, Monika Koch-Müller, Michael Fechtelkord and Vladimir Khomenko, the year 2013 will be just as prolific, with the coverage of three international meetings held in Europe in 2012: EMPG 14 (in Kiel, Astrid Holzheid and Philip Kegler in charge), GeoRaman X (Nancy, Jean Dubessy) and the major European Mineralogical Conference, emc2012, in Frankfurt.

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 reached 7 months and 3 weeks for articles published in 2012. This is only an average, because articles combining prompt reviews and prompt revisions can be published online two months after submission. Another reward for all the editorial efforts is the last impact factor published by the ISI. The value of 1.489 for 2011, after 1.469 for 2010, confirms the sudden 20% increase noted in 2009 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 the board of Associate Editors (see inside cover page) and the many referees (listed each year in issue no. 6) who work towards an optimum scientific quality of the material published, to our Publisher and Hilke Bornholdt at Schweizerbart who care for the formal quality and timely publication of the journal, and to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique for continued support.