Our journal Natural Resources Research (NRR) is known traditionally for articles on the development of methods for assessment/estimation of and mapping of potential (or prospectivity) for mineral resources (Carranza 2017, 2018b). In fact, the top 10 most-cited NRR articles published in 2015 and 2016 that contributed significantly to our journal’s first impact factor (IF), an astounding 3.094, were all concerned with mineral resources (Carranza 2019). Likewise, although our journal’s second IF decreased to 2.000, the top 10 most-cited NRR articles published in 2016 and 2017 that contributed significantly to that were all, but one, concerned with mineral resources (Table 1).
However, after our journal received in 2018 its first IF, we have received several submissions and have accepted to publish several articles about other types of natural resources, which our journal seldom published for lack of submissions in the past. For example, last year in 2019, we published a special issue on “Forest, Agriculture, and Environmental Protection as Path to Sustainable Development” and, in our regular issues, there were several articles on groundwater resources.
For this year 2020, we hoped to publish another special issue on mineral resources, namely about “Data Analysis Tools for Mineral Potential Mapping” exclusive for articles that were presented in the 2018 Annual Conference of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences. However, for a variety of reasons on the part of the potential contributing authors, we received in 2019 only a few submissions for that planned special issue. Nevertheless, we have accepted in 2019 several submissions of articles on exploration and assessment of mineral resources that were not submitted for that special issue. This first regular issue of volume 29 for NRR replaces that planned special issue. It is deemed better (i.e., for the benefit of readers in mineral resources) to group these articles on exploration and assessment of mineral resources in a single issue. It is hoped that the articles in this present ‘virtual special issue’ on exploration and assessment of mineral resources will result in several citations that will boost NRR’s IF in the coming years.
Starting this year 2020, NRR will be publishing six regular issues per year. That is because of the more than 150% increase in the number of submissions annually since NRR was included in 2017 in the Science Citation Index Expanded™ (also known as SciSearch®), Journal Citation Reports® (JCR) Science Edition, and Current Contents®/Physical Chemical and Earth Sciences (Carranza 2018a).
Carranza, E. J. M. (2017). Natural Resources Research publications on geochemical anomaly and mineral potential mapping, and introduction to the special issue of papers in these fields. Natural Resources Research,26(4), 379–410.
Carranza, E. J. M. (2018a). Exciting years ahead for NRR. Natural Resources Research,27(1), 1–3.
Carranza, E. J. M. (2018b). Natural Resources Research publications on resourcing future generations, and introduction of papers in this special issue. Natural Resources Research,27(2), 125–141.
Carranza, E. J. M. (2019). An astounding first impact factor for NRR. Natural Resources Research,28(1), 1–3.
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Carranza, E.J.M. Mineral Resources: The Bread and Butter of NRR. Nat Resour Res 29, 1–2 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11053-020-09627-1