Redaktor Naczelny Rocznika Ochrona Środowiska
As a result of my initiative Middle Pomeranian Scientific Society of Environment Protection in Koszalin under auspices of the Polish Academy of Sciences was registered by Regional Court in Koszalin Civil Division on April 5th 1998. Generally the only goal of the Society was to publish a good journal in widely understood environmental issues. Of course, I assumed in advance, as the initiator of this project, it will be to published socially and on the basis of membership fees, but mainly using external grants obtained from various sources.
It is understandable that in such situation, without employees due to the economic and physical logistic capabilities, this journal can only be an annual publication, not a journal published with higher frequency.
Environmental protection engineering is a discipline (disciplines to be precise - separately protection and engineering) extremely capacious factually, the more so that talking about widely understood environmental protection we must not only take into account technique and technology associated with it, but also economics and marketing of the environment, law and education concerning the environment.
Taking into consideration above mentioned, we decided to issue Rocznik Ochrona Środowiska ROS (Annual Set of the Environment Protection) with such broad spectrum, but with a focus primarily on publishing papers concerning research on processes and research on full technologies of water treatment, domestic and industrial wastewater treatment, mechanical and physico-chemical, chemical, and in particular, thermal waste processing, exhaust aftertreatment and thus protection of the atmosphere including odors. These are the works most creative and consequently having a chance to be applied. Of course, among foreground papers accepted for publication there are also sophisticated theoretical works describing phenomena, endearing these phenomena in mathematical physical formulas or mathematical analytical and empirical formulas and explaining the causal mechanisms identified process run.
In the second group of works accepted for publication there are papers in the field of nature protection against the effects of technological development of societies. Such papers, which are mainly prepared naturalists concern the assessment of, for example, water (in rivers, lakes, oceans), soil and plants – are therefore the diagnosis of the condition of state based on samples – when the team of authors has often high-end analytical equipment. It is therefore a diagnosis of the state – which, however, usually do not end up with treatment of environment proposition, but just complaining on the poor state of nature, comparing obtained results of the analytical tests with standards.
Finally, the third group of works that we accept for publication, still trying to keep the priorities and proportions, are papers concerning economics, marketing, law, and education on the environment, that is environmental education.
It is also obvious that, depending on the issues of the given publication in may be more or less specific, and therefore more scientific or more newspaper type and here arises the problem of so-called scientific and factual levels of submitted works.
Our journal Rocznik Ochrona Środowiska ROS (Annual Set of the Environment Protection) over the years of it s publication was obtaining higher and higher rank both on Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education list as well as lists of foreign institutions of the International Scientific Information.
With the entry of our journal onto the so-called Philadelphia list we have been "inundated" with incredible amount of publications of which large part is, just to be honest, hopelessly poor.
The first group of these hopeless works are publications that discuss the problem at the newspaper level (popularizing science) in which there are no errors or controversial entries – except that for science of these works contribute nothing and can be at most opening lecture of an excellent professor as the introduction for a conference.
The second group of poor works are submitted publications with research character, but scope of these studies of a given process may correspond to a student laboratory exercises of this the process included a single report.
The third group of submitted poor works are so-called descriptions of the state for example in the range of issues of protection of the earth's surface, often without geological studies and have a mode of warning the reader against negative effects of mining operations (in particular, so-called pits). To cover up the poor quality of such works, they contain most often terrain maps, images (often illegible) and diagrams, which often result from citing data from the Statistical Yearbooks.
The biggest problem for our editorial board, and most of all for me personally, as Chairman of the Board of our Middle Pomeranian Scientific Society of Environment Protection and the Scientific Editor is the fact that the authors and mainly co-authors of those poor (mostly rejected) submitted publications are, unfortunately, great and significant names in a given branch.
As Editor-in-Chief of ROS I am leveraged from one side to accept a manuscript for publication, while on the other hand, I do not act in a vacuum and in isolation from the whole system of science promotion, through different types of connections, informal pacts so-called social of different kinds of interest groups, careers groups when, however, the position of people or team largely depends on who, where and in which committees they sit and what produces they give – here, for example, about me – prof. Tadeusz Piecuch, about my team of my co-workers at the University and finally, about the ROS, which I created with a group of amicable professors, of which I am the Publisher and the Editor-in-Chief.
I know, and I am aware of the fact that publications that were accepted for publication, and therefore were published in our ROS also present a different scientific level, but it is very difficult to assess from which level the work is already good, very good and maybe even outstanding, and how far is good publication from hardly sufficient, and this sufficient from hopeless. The notes are not 0 - 1 (black or white) and I am well aware that some papers published in ROS may be differently assessed and cause different different feelings, and sometimes even reader’s sense of injustice, whose work was rejected by us.
If it is the case – I apologise for that all those people and ask them to believe that from my side and the entire Editorial Board there are no bad intentions, but on the contrary, good works are important for us.
Therefore moving within the above mentioned structures and pacts which may be called a “china shop” is fiendishly difficult, when for example from one side you do not want to offend anyone, and multiply enemies, and at the same time you want to keep at least at a decent level fairness of assessment, objectivity towards submitted often poor works which often are supported by significant and influential names.
Taking into account given above clarifications and problems that I have to solve every day I present here an example of such my drudgery as a Editor in Chief of ROS – and therefore the example of problems that I will encounter during procedure of publication, as a particularly difficult example.
Controversy – What to Publish and How to Publish in the Annual Set of the Environment Protection
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