Volume: 129(2) - February, 2007
As the submissions to the Journal of Mechanical Design have grown over the past years, so has the recognition that our community includes systems and components as separate but tightly related themes. Contributions range from the study of design decision-making through optimization of part placement in systems, to component design such as linkage synthesis, gear tooth manufacture, and failure in bolted parts. With 450 submissions per year vying for 150 slots, and a review process managed by over 20 Associate Editors, involving hundreds of reviewers, it seems worth considering the separation of the Journal of Mechanical Design along these thematic boundaries.
A division of the Journal of Mechanical Design would allow the organization of parallel issues. Two separate journals could be published bimonthly with the current editorial board divided into two groups. On the production side, I believe it is the volume of papers that drives costs, not how they are divided among journal titles. Thus, the primary benefit would be the addition of a new Editor.
This leads me to consider the impact of simply alternating monthly issues of JMD to group systems and components themed papers. This is possible, though it would require adjustment to the current policy of publishing papers in the order of their final approval, which is something that occurs already for special issues.
However, from my vantage point, I find the leadership of an additional Editor to be appealing. The community served by JMD deserves more than a single Editor can provide, and in fact our large board of Associate Editors needs more from the Editor as well. JMD has made outstanding gains over the last several years due to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved. Our journal and the community it serves deserves a leadership structure, either as parallel editorial boards or with a set of senior editors, that will ensure its continued success.