Changing of the Guard

With this editorial, we would like to convey two important messages to our readers

First, the change of the Editorial Staff of Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia.

Our senior colleague Maurizio Gaetani, who successfully led the journal for over 20 years, decided to dedicate himself to other activities. During these years, Maurizio certainly had an invaluable role in promoting the quality, distribution and impact of the journal in our field of science, as clearly reflected by the 2014 ISI impact factor of Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, that has experienced a rise to 0.934. This is a very good  indication that the journal is doing well continuing to publish traditional palaeontological and stratigraphic data-focused papers, which are usually known to have a long term, but durable, impact in term of citations. Whether it is a real indicator of the quality of a journal or not, impact factor is one of the elements that drives the decision of the authors to submit a manuscript to one journal or another.

As outlined in the title of the Editorial, this is a real ‘changing of the guard’, because we are pleased to announce that Maurizio Gaetani is handing over the baton not to one, but to two Editors-in-Chief: Lucia Angiolini and Fabrizio Berra, also from Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra “A. Desio” of the University of Milan.

Lucia and Fabrizio have been appointed to the team in order to make sure that the increasing inflow of manuscripts continues to be handled as quickly and efficiently as in the past. Their expertise areas will cover the main fields of science dealt with by Rivista. As not all of our readers will know Lucia and Fabrizio personally, their biographies below will certainly help to bridge this gap.

The second important news is that the new Editorial staff, thus comprising Lucia Angiolini, Fabrizio Berra and Cristina Lombardo, is planning to turn Rivista into an Open Access peer-reviewed journal, in the frame of the Riviste UNIMI project.

Rivista will remain an independent journal, trying to find its niche in the world of palaeontological journals, marked by its quality, distribution and the contribution of excellent research in palaeontology and stratigraphy.

We will strictly follow Open Access principles, which require that all publically-funded publications should be publicly available and authors should be able to publish their research free of charge. We strongly believe that the distribution of scientific results to a wider audience is the major target of any scientific journal, especially so for a university-based journal such as Rivista. Wider distribution of scientific results does not conflict with quality, but it may represent a chance to improve Rivista, continuing Maurizio’s excellent record in the last few years. The Editorial staff and the scientific committee will continue to pursue high standards, aiming at enhancing dissemination and distribution of scientific literature, quick and efficient handling of manuscripts and easy publication of richly illustrated papers, at no cost to the authors.

To obtain these results, we ask for your cooperation and understanding as contributing authors. We hope that the same high quality manuscripts, as those published in the long history of the journal, will continue to be submitted. We also ask our community to contribute to the peer review process that is such a critical part of the publication of high quality papers. We believe that the quality of the published paper is the best way to increase the scientific impact of Rivista.

We also introduce some minor changes to the way that manuscripts are submitted to Rivista. A new e-mail address for all the communication with the editorial staff has been opened (rips@unimi.it), and we will shortly be able to use a new procedure for manuscript submission directly from the Rivista website. Our new e-mail address is also open for any suggestion, proposal or criticism that you think could improve our common goal to create a scientific place for our community, a place that has existed and continuously evolved since 1895.

We would like to encourage our authors, reviewers, readers and the community of paleontologists, stratigraphers and sedimentologists to keep on publishing, reading, and citing Rivista even more in its future Open Access Style!