2015 News

2015 IAHS News

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New list of Co-Editors of Hydrological Sciences Journal

At the IUGG in Prague in July 2015 Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz stood down as editor of the Hydrological Sciences Journal after 18 years in charge. 

Address to the retiring editor of HSJ Zbyszek Kundzewicz by Demetris Koutsoyiannis.


Colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Hydrological Sciences Journal, the official organ of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, is the most international hydrological journal and the oldest one worldwide, this year celebrating its 60th anniversary.

The retiring editor of the journal, Zbyszek Kundzewicz, has also set a record in longevity in leading it. Indeed his career as HSJ editor lasted 18 years, from April 1997 to April 2015.

Before Zbyszek, HSJ was a rather marginal journal. So it is Zbyszek who transformed the journal and gave it its modern competent form. Actually, in the long Kundzewiczian period —and I hope you will find the term justified— the journal saw several transformations. From the in-house publishing of a few issues per year we passed to the era of highly professional on-line and in-print publishing, in alliance with Taylor and Francis. From the early era when sometimes the submissions were not enough to fill the planned number of issues, we passed to a period that we have to process almost 600 submissions per year and we have to expand the journal every year to deal with the backlog of approved papers. From an era where the whole processing in the journal was based on postal services we moved to an intermediate period of email-based transactions and, more recently, we have adapted to fully web-based processing.

I was lucky to get to know Zbyszek during that intermediate period and I really miss that time. He was the sole editor, and he had the habit of reading all papers and editing every approved paper himself before publication. In that intermediate period the email-based transactions with Zbyszek, as well as with Frances Watkins of the Editorial Office, were really fast and at the same time were giving the feeling of communicating with people, not between automata.

With the way that he ran the journal then, he was effective in pinpointing innovative papers. Innovative papers are often controversial and, as paradoxical as it may seem, the peer review system is often hostile to them. Thus, in the early 2000s I had two papers rejected by two different journals and I decided to see if they would have better luck in HSJ. This was indeed a very lucky moment for me.

·        Not only because both papers were approved by Zbyszek and later became my most cited ones.

·        Not only because these papers triggered a close collaboration with Zbyszek who soon invited me to become Associate Editor of HSJ, and later his Deputy Editor and Co-Editor.

·        Not only because the collaboration with him throughout these years offered me a lot of lessons in professional and ethical behaviour of an editor, particularly with respect to the proper approach in difficult situations.

·        Not only because I met a great scientist who was always available to exchange ideas, and ready to agree or disagree with an honest approach.

·        But I have been very lucky also, and mostly, because I gained a very good friend, who is a cultured person, a rare personality, an υπ?ροχος ?νθρωπος.

What we know today as Hydrological Sciences Journal is Zbyszek’s child. He has been its caring father for 18 years. He loved and still loves it, and expresses his love in different ways, not only as its editor: he has also contributed substantially as a reviewer and as an author. It suffices to say that his publication record in Hydrological Sciences Journal alone has given him a partial HSJ-only h-index of 18, which means that 18 of his HSJ papers have 18 or more citations each.

Zbyszek is a busy man. He is an academician at the Polish Academy of Sciences at Pozna?: Professor of Earth Sciences, and Head of the Laboratory of Climate and Water Resources in the Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment. He also works as a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Potsdam, Germany. He was also actively involved in IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) as Coordinating Lead Author of the Chapters on Freshwater in several of the IPCC Assessment Reports. Because of his extremely busy schedule, his many activities have been widely distributed, but his heart has always been in HSJ.

I am really proud to be Zbyszek’s successor in Hydrological Sciences Journal. I am trying to follow his approach of fair editorial play. I am also struggling to match his HSJ publication bibliometrics.

Thank you very much Zbyszek, for your service to HSJ, IAHS and the hydrological community. Thank you for being a model for all of us, current Editors and Associate Editors of HSJ. And good luck in continuing your service to the scientific community, including in IAHS and HSJ.

Demetris Koutsoyiannis
HJS Co-Editor

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