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Proposal of Journal Reorganization at JSME and its Particulars

Kozo Fujii
Vice President in 2012 ( the 90th) executive board on publishing
Members of Editorial Board and Journal Reorganization Study Committee

The story so far:

The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers started publishing Transactions of the JSME/ Nippon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu (hereinafter referred to as the Japanese journal) in 1935 and Bulletin of the JSME (hereinafter referred to as the English journal) in 1958.

Since the launch of the journals, although with some name changes, we have been continuously publishing the journals in an unbroken line. The English journal moved to free access as an electronic journal via gJ-STAGEh by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) in June 2004 and the Japanese journal followed in January 2011, which made our intellectual property in the past 78 years openly available to the world as we established full electronic archive of the issues (from the first issue) via gJ-STAGEh and gCiNiih by National Institute of Informatics.

On the other hand, global recognition and circulation of the journals remain low with only 2 out of 11 journals have Impact Factor, a journalfs metric of impact calculated/provided by Thomson Reuters (Journal of Thermal Science and Technology: 0.176CJournal of Advanced Mechanical Design, Systems, and Manufacturing: 0.205). On these backgrounds, the 89th Editorial Board of 2011 started a discussion on reorganization of our journals in order to gMake our journals include the archive more popular among the world and get more readersh, and made a proposal based on the concept on the March 2012 issue of the JSME Journal.

The proposal aroused various opinions among our members, and in response to it, we launched the Journal Reorganization Study Committee under the 90th Editorial Board which took over the discussion by the 89th Editorial Board. Subsequently, we held gRound-Table Conference on Journal Reorganizationh at the annual congress in September last year and in December, where a draft amendment to the proposal was given shape after discussion with attendance of editors-in-chief for the Japanese and English journals, division chiefs, and chairpersons of the professional committees and promotion committee. After a number of discussions on the conferences and within divisions, we got to clarify the purpose and future development of the journal reorganization which helped removing initial misunderstanding, and getting considerable understanding and acknowledgement of the parties concerned. This is the process by which the proposal was drawn up.

Draft Amendment to the Proposal of Journal Reorganization

  1. Journals of JSME are merged into 4 journals below ( On the web site, we use g{@Bwwph as the generic name of Japanese journals, and gBulletin of the JSMEh for English journals.)
    • English Review Paper
    • Japanese Journal
    • English Journal
    • English Rapid Communication Paper
  2. Editorial works for English Review Paper are performed by a newly established committee under the Editorial Board, while for the other 3 journals, each division or a newly established joint committee (Same categories are assigned to the 3 journals) performs the editorial works.
  3. gTranslated paperh is discontinued. (One paper constitutes one achievement on research.)
  4. Current journals can survive if the divisions wish to retain them.

Aim of the Draft Amendment to the Proposal

The basic plan of the last yearfs proposal: merging journals into four, retains in the amendment. First of all, we would like to clarify the aim of unifying our journals.

We have 21 divisions, 2 professional committees and 1 promotion committee in our society, but considering the scale of the communities, it is difficult to let each section publish its own journal. By publishing a joint journal of all the sections, we can cover all the articles of these small areas of specialties in the name of gmachineryh and can absorb fluctuation in number of articles in each section and limit the impact on publication, thus we can maintain periodical and stable publication of the journals that would set a situation where the journals can get higher valuation by external organizations.

Secondary, there are quite many competitive journals in the area of each section and it is not easy to gain global recognition and circulation severally through the competition with the journals. By getting the journals together in the name of gmachineryh and bringing it to the forefront we aim to increase the competitiveness and presence of JSME journals in the academic area.

Basic aim of the reorganization is as above stated. We have received such opinions that it is untimely to reorganize journals just after we transferred our editorial works to each division couple of years ago, however, in view of the situation where other open journals are strategically and rapidly increasing their Impact Factor and thus their circulation, it is also important to avoid falling behind them. And yet, we made an amendment to the clause gWe do not dissuade the own management of journals at divisions if an independent editorial management is necessary in such case where the journal is joint journal in cooperation with other societiesh and changed it into gCurrent journals can survive if the divisions wish to retain them.h, which make the transition more gradual. With the recognition that merging journals is necessary for increasing quality of the journals covering all areas of mechanical engineering, we propose that editorial works to be performed basically at each division (including professional committee and promotion committee) leaving space for the cooperation between multiple divisions. Continuance of the journals should be clearly visible at our web site by showing the history of the journals on the site with a title of gTitle Historyh for instance.

We place the English Rapid Communication Paper as a technical journal to promptly publish the results of research at colleges or companies. The Japanese Journal, also, moves to the new organization of publishing with new categories, and a joint editorial board across Japanese Journal, English Journal, and English Rapid Communication Paper is responsible for the editorial works for the three journals.

Under the policy of gOne original achievement on research belongs to a paperh, Translated paper within English and Japanese journals is discontinued. We should increase global presence of the Japanese Journal as well by extending the abstract and make it more sophisticated, as we are entering an era where even foreign researches read Japanese papers after translating them if they really need, and there are several Japanese journals which have Impact Factor and high circulation. Incidentally, we discontinue gNoteh in The Japanese Journal.

By gathering leading researchers into English Review Paper and promoting citation in the Review Paper to our journals, we should increase Impact Factor, journal quality as a whole, and the global circulation of our journals.

Future Plans

The proposal was approved by the Council and will be advanced in the next (The 91st) fiscal year of 2013 as a crucial project of JSME.

In promoting the project, we established the Preparatory Committee for Founding New Journal in March 2013, which consists of representatives such as the current editor-in-chief of the Japanese journal, representatives of divisions (of English journal), and the Editorial Board members. This committee is responsible for deciding the details of the reorganization such as names of the 4 journals, categories, divisions in charge, authorfs guide and other regulations, the date of first issue and so forth, all of which are required to proceed with the project. The committee also discusses the transition from the current Japanese/English journal to the new journals. All the decision made by the committee shall be shared openly with members on our web site or on the JSME Journal and we shall make every effort to prevent confusion among authors and readers upon the reorganization.

Prior to the reorganization, we are going to stop accepting submissions of Translated paper at the end of August this year. We will also undertake proper revision of the author guides for the Japanese and English journal in order, and we would appreciate the authorsf understanding and special attention to our announcements regarding this for the time being.

Publication of journal is one of the core missions of a society. Therefore, although it is very challenging for us to increase the presence of the new journals, with the support of our members, we would like to aim the journals of JSME to be journals with big global presence. We sincerely appreciate the understanding of our members of the significance of the reorganization, and hope for their active support on it.

Vice President in 2012 ( the 90th) executive board on publishing Editorial Board Members: Kozo Fujii (JAXA), Hideto Ikeda (IHI.co.ltd), Makoto Kaneko (Osaka Univ.), Masumi Saka (Tohoku Univ.) Koki Shiohata (Ibaraki Univ.), Katsunori Hanamura (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Journal Reorganization Study Committee: Kikuo Kishimoto (Chief, Tokyo Institute of Technology), Masato Ikegawa (Hitachi , Ltd.), Toshihisa Ueda (Keio Univ.), Eiichi Tanaka (Nagoya Univ.)