editorial\(\def\hfill{\hskip 5em}\def\hfil{\hskip 3em}\def\eqno#1{\hfil {#1}}\)

Journal logoJOURNAL OF
ISSN: 1600-5775


aSynchrotron Radiation Department, CLRC Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington WA4 4AD, UK, bDepartment of Chemistry, Manchester University, Manchester M13 9PL, UK, and cSPring-8, JASRI, Kamigori-cho, Hyogo-ken 678-12, Japan

It is now four years since the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation (JSR) was launched. In that time we have published approximately 500 research articles in over 2500 pages. This is a testimony to the much needed home for these papers. Throughout this time our aim has been to provide a focus for the whole of the synchrotron radiation community, and to publish high-quality papers covering sources, instrumentation, methods and applications for all regions of the synchrotron radiation spectrum.

The number of papers published in JSR over the last few years has steadily been increasing, as has the number of new synchrotron radiation sources. Several additional countries have brought on line their own synchrotron radiation sources recently, e.g. Brazil, India and Taiwan. Several third-generation sources have emerged around the globe with a number being planned. The coming of age of synchrotron radiation was further enforced by the award of a share of the 1997 Nobel prize to Dr John Walker of the MRC's Laboratory of Molecular Biology for his work on F1-ATPase; this being the first Nobel prize for synchrotron-radiation-based work (see Fig. 1[link]). This year also saw a new mode of funding for national sources emerge, when in the UK a major medical charity provided funds ($160 million) towards the replacement of the SRS, the first of the dedicated synchrotron radiation X-ray sources built in the early 1980s.

[Figure 1]
Figure 1
A schematic representation of the structure of bovine mitochondrial F1-ATPase determined at 2.8 Å resolution using data collected at the SRS, Daresbury, UK, as reported by J. P. Abrahams, A. G. W. Leslie, R. Lutter and J. E. Walker [Nature (London) (1994), 371, 621–628].

For the journal, the main achievement of 1998 was the successful publication of the SRI'97 Proceedings. The papers for this issue were refereed to the usual JSR standards, rather than at the meeting, and we believe that this effort is reflected in the improved quality of the Proceedings, which formed the May 1998 issue. Many of the lessons learnt with SRI'97 are being applied to the Proceedings of the tenth International XAFS Conference, held in Chicago in August 1998, which will be published next year in JSR. In May, we reported that JSR had entered into the citation ranking tables for the first time and that it was already ranked third out of 37 journals covering instruments and instrumentation. Since then, further progress has been made with an improvement in the impact factor of 20%. Thus, we acknowledge again the excellent quality of papers submitted by authors, and the referees who have served the journal so well.

The review and production times for the journal continue to be rapid. Centralized submission, introduced in 1997, is being used to improve review times further and our current strategy is to cut production times by increasing electronification of the journal. In 1997 our main aim was to increase the size of each issue. In 1998 we have been very successful with this aim; our goal now is to increase the number of subscribers to the journal. If your library does not already subscribe, please encourage them to do so, so that the work of the synchrotron radiation community can reach the widest possible audience.

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