Chemical Papers starts the eighth decade of its existence in 2017. This milestone in the journal history is accompanied by the change of publisher after 10 years. A new, long-term contract between the journal owner, Institute of Chemistry of Slovak Academy of Sciences and Springer was signed in the spring of 2016.
Issue 1 of Volume 71, in which this editorial is contained, is the very first result of this newly established cooperation. The previous decade was a period of significant changes for our journal. Ten years ago, it was recognized by the Slovak chemical community that a stable financial support of Chemical Papers by the Slovak Academy Sciences was not sufficient to safeguard a long-term development. During the intensive discussions, a sudden offer for partnership came from a relatively new subject in the science publishing business, a Poland-based publishing house Versita. The most attractive part of their offer for Chemical Papers and other traditional Slovak journals covered by the principal abstracting and indexing services was that their content could be distributed by Springer. The worldwide availability of SpringerLink journal database became a key factor in the successful development of our journal in the following years.
This trilateral alliance brought also the implementation of recognized standards of peer-review procedures and production practices. The editorial board was significantly extended and internationalized. The number of submissions increased essentially by one order of magnitude during the last decade, the selection of papers became much stricter and the number of published papers grew several times. This quantitative increase was also accompanied by a significant increase in the quality for which 2-year Impact Factor® is the most recognized measure. This scientometric index jumped from miniscule values of about 0.2–0.3 at the beginning of this period to the current values close to the median Impact Factor of multidisciplinary chemical journals.
Unfortunately, the trilateral cooperation ended in 2014 as a consequence of Versita’s takeover by De Gruyter in 2012. This break had a severe effect for the Slovak chemical community. The accessibility of Chemical Papers in Slovakia fell from 100% to zero essentially from one day to another. Due to limited resources, the consortium of Slovak academic institutions has traditionally subscribed only the online journal contents of three largest science publishers. The approaching expiration of the contract with Versita was thus an opportunity to change this situation.
A fast, efficient negotiation with Springer representatives and contract signing created a solid fundament for good prospects for journal future. At the first glance, it may appear as a simple return to the level where our journal was already in 2014. The direct collaboration, however, brings several very important changes. The most significant one is that all production will be fully professional for the very first time in the journal history and an online production system will be employed. This will enormously speed up the time from acceptance to online publication which will be a significant benefit to authors and readers.
Editorial office will thus be relieved of the previous obligations with the journal production. Another benefit of the new cooperation will be an editorial support provided by Springer in the peer-review process stage. This will help in solving many issues of the formal quality aspects of submitted manuscripts. Scientific editors will thus be able to focus fully on the scientific content.
I thus believe that our journal will progress in the next years. I expect that we shall continue in bringing to the attention of global scientific community a fraction of some of the best results of chemical sciences from Slovakia and neighboring countries. Being a part of European Union, we have an ambition to increase the share of papers originating from other parts of EU. Topical issues published in previous years were found to be a good tool for achieving this goal and we shall continue in these activities. Special issues from the conferences held in our region will be further supported for similar reasons.
Our dedicated staff of editors and associate editors will do their best to serve you as authors with an efficient handling of peer reviews to publish high-quality research. We shall be glad if you find it mutually interesting and beneficial to cooperate with us. We shall appreciate the submission of good manuscripts, your willingness to review the papers of your colleagues and your recommendations of any kind for improving our work.