EPJ@25 – A tribute to the Silver Anniversary

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 C. Caron    31-05-2023     Leggi in PDF

The European Physical Journal (EPJ) is still the most recent attempt by European publishers and learned societies to establish a strong and visible force in scientific journal publishing in the fields of physics and astronomy. First in line was Astronomy & Astrophysics (A & A) in 1969, followed by Europhysics Letters (EPL) in 1986, and finally EPJ in 1998, here as a joint effort by the Italian Physical Society, EDP Sciences (back then mostly owned by the French Physical Society) and Springer Nature (back then only Springer-Verlag). However, and unlike for A & A and EPL, the launch of EPJ was more the kickoff for what is still an ongoing process.

What started out as four journals in the core fields of physics (nuclear and particle physics, condensed matter as well as atomical, molecular and optical physics) has evolved – 25 years later – into an impressive set of 16 titles that cover virtually all aspects of contemporary physics as well as many new emerging trends, such as soft matter, metamaterials, data and network sciences, and more recently, quantum technologies. In 2020 La Rivista del Nuovo Cimento was added further as associated title.

Participants of the joint meeting of the EPJ Scientific Advisory Committee, the Steering Committee and many EPJ Editors-in-Chief. Photo Credit: Maria Sutter.

This year's joint annual meeting with the Scientific Advisory Committee – established in 2000 and consisting by now of 25 representatives of national physical societies – took place close to Zurich on April 20-21, 2023. We seized the opportunity to invite a larger number of EPJ Editors-in-Chief to attend as well, not only to present current aspects of their journals to a larger audience but also to take part in the discussion sessions that are a traditional part of these meetings. Topics considered revolved around the future of peer-reviewing, the interlinking of fundamental physics and societal issues viewed broadly (including, e.g., also sustainable development goals (SDG) and citizen science), better support and training of early career researchers in the context of scientific publishing and a better grasp and implementation of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles.

A wealth of information, ideas and suggestions were collected that await now further analysis and, certainly, follow-up. Two more specific EPJ@25 events will take place this year in the context of the annual national meetings of the founding partners of EPJ: the first one at the occasion of the French Physical Society meeting in early July in Paris and the second one at the congress of the Italian Physical Society in Salerno in mid-September. It will be for the next generation to ponder how an EPJ@50 golden anniversary might look like, but all is geared towards plenty of useful and hard work to lay the groundwork for the many years to come in further developing and enlarging EPJ until then.

Christian Caron – Executive Publisher at Springer Nature, he is leading a team of journal publishing editors covering mainly the fields of theoretical/mathematical physics, as well as nuclear and particle physics. He is a member of the Steering Committee of EPJ since 2002 and has been involved in the SCOAP3 publishing partnership for Springer’s high-energy physics journals since its inception.