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Hydrological Sciences Journal Editorial Retreat

Prior to the Facets of Uncertainty meeting in Kos, the Co-editors of HSJ, Zbyszek Kundzewicz and Demetris Koutsoyiannis, convened an Editorial Retreat with 17 of the journal's Associate Editors, Frances Watkins and Cate Gardner from IAHS Press and representatives from Taylor & Francis, to focus on the journal. It was the first event of this type and made possible because T&F provided funding.

The Retreat dinner was held at a mountainside restaurant as the sun set over the islands of Kalymnos and Pserimos to the north.

Previously, group editorial discussions about HSJ have been limited to working lunches or dinners every two years, fitted in during IAHS assemblies. That format will continue, but the duration of this Retreat enabled in-depth discussion and more Associate Editors to put faces to names that hitherto they only knew in emails.

In the last five years the number of submissions to HSJ has more than doubled. The journal has just increased in size: the 2014 volume (59) will have 12 issues, cf. 8 in 2013 (vol. 58), but there will still only be space to publish a fraction of the very many papers that are submitted; clearly excellent papers have to be the priority. There is a backlog of accepted papers now, so larger future volumes will reduce the queue. The need to maintain/improve the quality of HSJ (and the IF) and support the publication of research papers from developing countries was considered, and a suggestion to publish an editorial to assist such researchers to improve the chances of getting their work published is being implemented. An editorial guest-edited by Denis Hughes, Kate Heal and Christian Leduc will appear later in 2014 (likely in issue 59(5)).

Ways to reduce the time required for reviewing of papers, i.e. between submission and acceptance/rejection, were considered. The time from acceptance to publication is now shorter because accepted papers can be initially published as author manuscripts, with a DOI, and when ready for publication are replaced with the final paper, even if it is not yet assigned to a volume/issue.

Discussion also covered features to make HSJ attractive to even more readers but no decisions were made. It is hoped that as the Panta Rhei initiative progresses, HSJ will be the primary outlet for publication of the programme results.

The Retreat was felt to have been worthwhile, especially for the newer Associate Editors. A similar retreat is scheduled for 2016, but there will probably be a working lunch/dinner for Associate Editors at the IAHS Assembly in Prague in 2015.

Cate Gardner and Frances Watkins

IAHS Press

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