2011 promises to be an interesting and thought-provoking year. The February, 2011 issue of JPVT included seven papers covering the special topic “European Research and Analysis of Bucking.” Currently we are preparing papers for another special topic, “ASME Codes and Standards,” to be published later this year.

Thanks to outgoing JPVT Associate Editors F. W. (Bud) Brust, L. Ike Ezekoye, and Shawn Kenny. Their contributions of time and expertise have helped to make JPVT an outstanding journal and are much appreciated.

We welcome five new Associate Editors to JPVT: Kunio Hasegawa in the Materials and Fabrication area; Young W. Kwon as Associate Editor at Large; Saeid Mokhatab in the Pipeline Systems area; Allen C. Smith, Jr. in the Operation, Applications and Components area; and Xian-Khui Zhu in the Materials and Fabrication area. Samir Ziada continues to serve as Associate Editor in the Fluid Structure Interactions area. Congratulations to all of you on your appointment and welcome to JPVT.

This is an appropriate time and place to mention and to thank the very large number of people who give their time and expertise to make JPVT possible. The success of the journal would be impossible without them. Associate Editors are chosen for a 3 year term, with the possibility of a one-time term renewal. Their primary responsibility is to oversee the peer review process; including assigning qualified reviewers, ensuring timely completion of reviews, and maintaining the journal’s commitment to standards of high quality. Associate Editors are often responsible for the review of multiple papers at any given time. Reviewers must be both objective and subjective as they fulfill their responsibility; they must be objective in the sense that they must eliminate any personal or corporate bias toward the author or subject and must be subjective in evaluating the paper based on their own personal knowledge and experiences in a technical field. Reviewers may also be assigned to multiple papers at any given time. As an Editor my primary responsibility is to oversee the technical content and operation of the journal; accepting or rejecting all materials considered for publication, working directly with ASME on publication logistics, and ultimately ensuring the continued excellence of JPVT. Of course, the journal would be impossible without the authors; their research, ingenuity, and dedication to the pressure vessel and piping industry. Thanks to all of you for your contributions. Finally, a most important thank you to my editorial assistant, Jessica Bulgrin, who handles many of the day-to-day operations of this journal.

Panos Y. Papalambros, editor of ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, shared some interesting thoughts and questions with readers regarding “business models” in a recent editorial in that journal and asked readers to share their thoughts. Here are some excerpts from that editorial.

  • Most readers would agree that we no longer need journal paper print copies; therefore, one may think there should be no cost to publishing a paper. But publishing has expenses, even without paper print issues. Even though the vast majority of the publication enterprise is based on volunteers, editors, and reviewers; staff help is still needed to support the manuscript processing.

  • So here come the page charges. ASME used to have a six-page limit to free publication of papers. With time this increased to nine pages. If all full-length papers were 12 pages, we would need over 30% increase in the page allocation to the journal. So how should we cover the additional costs? ASME is receptive to making changes in the page charge policy, but we all need to think how this can be done equitably.

  • Next come the download charges. If I am not a subscriber to JPVT, I can read an article’s abstract for free, but a PDF of an article costs $25 to obtain from the ASME Digital Library via the Scitation service at http://asmedl.aip.org/PressureVesselTechnology. That is a bit steep. Most academics in the United States have subscriptions through their institutions, but most industry readers and many non-US academics do not.

  • ASME is a nonprofit organization. How does it support its enterprise? ASME collects fees, for example, for memberships, journal subscriptions, conferences, and short courses attendance; and uses the balance after costs to support its activities. If we want open access and fewer or no page charges, and assuming we have a generally efficient organization, then we need to look for some other sources of revenue or in any case some different business model. For example, how should we respond to authors who do not subscribe to the journal, who are not ASME members, and who request multiple page charge waivers? Should we expect all authors to be ASME members or JPVT subscribers in exchange for open access to all? What about our industry colleagues? Institutional subscriptions are not that common, so some form of discounted or near-free access policy is needed.

I am very interested to hear your thoughts and suggestions regarding the issues presented in the editorial of Dr. Papalambros. Please share your thoughts with me at jpvt@mu.edu.