New developments for Acta Crystallographica Section A
aLaboratoire de Minéralogie–Cristallographie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris CEDEX 05, France
Section A of Acta Crystallographica has acquired a new visage. It has adopted a new format with a more modern look in line with the other sections of Acta. More importantly, like all the other IUCr journals, it is being produced electronically and this will bring about quite a revolution. First of all, recent issues are available on the web for subscribers and the titles of back issues may be consulted; in time these back issues will also become available. Being on the web also enables the journal to provide many more services and tools: one may consult forthcoming papers (accepted papers), one may search published papers by author or by topic, a most useful tool, one may also access a number of `Reader' and `Author services'. Readers may subscribe to an e-mail alerting service, get a list of positions available throughout the world or a list of meetings of interest to crystallographers. Authors may download the Notes for Authors, a copy of the Transfer of Copyright Agreement, find the current status of their manuscript or download proofs of their paper.
One very useful consequence of the journal being produced electronically is that it will provide means for speeding up the handling process of manuscripts. One is access to electronic proofs. Another is electronic submission. For a transitional period until centralized electronic submission is implemented for Section A, authors are invited to submit electronic files along with the hard copies of their manuscript (on diskette or by e-mail as attached files), which will enable the Co-editors to handle manuscripts electronically whenever possible; this will make the handling much faster as it saves delays by ordinary mail.
The changes in Section A are only in format. It remains devoted to the `foundations of crystallography', taken in the broadest sense. Acta A will therefore continue to cover, on the one hand, all experimental and theoretical studies of the properties of the arrangements of atoms, ions and molecules in condensed matter, ideal or real, and of their symmetry, and, on the other, the theoretical and experimental aspects of the various methods used to determine these arrangements, in particular of diffraction physics.
There are no changes in the types of paper published in Acta A. They consist of original full-length Research Papers (not exceeding 15 journal pages or about 15,000 words), Short Communications (not exceeding 2 journal pages or 1500 words), which should be directly submitted to the Section Editor, Lead Articles, commissioned by the Section Editor, Topical Reviews, which can be either submitted to the Section Editor or commissioned by him on `hot' topics and highly focused areas of current research interest (about 10 journal pages or 10,000 words, but shorter reviews are also encouraged), and Letters to the Editor, which should be sent either to the Section Editor or to the Editor-in-Chief. The updated Notes for Authors (which may be found at http://journals.iucr.org/a/services/authorservices.html ) describe submission procedures for the various types of article. Readers are strongly encouraged to submit suggestions for Lead Articles and Topical Reviews to the Section Editor.