Happy 20th birthday EPL!

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					           DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10428-0

           Happy 20th birthday EPL!
           This year, Europhysics Letters (EPL) will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Historically,
       EPL results from a merger between two learned societies letters journals (Journal de Physique
       Lettres and Lettere al Nuovo Cimento belonging, respectively, to the French and the Italian
       Physical Societies) and was supported initially by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and then by
       many other National Physical Societies, members of the European Physical Society (EPS).
           The aim of this merger was to launch a strong European-based journal for the publication
       of short important communications in all domains of physics under the supervision and the
       scientific control of the European Physical Society (EPS).
           Twenty years after the creation of the journal, it is worth recalling the motivation which
       prevailed at the creation of EPL as expressed by G. H. Stafford, the President of EPS in 1985:
       “Europhysics Letters marks an important milestone in the progress towards the greater unity
       in Europe which began with the creation of the European Physical Society in 1968”.
           From the beginning, EPL has been a successful journal: the number of published papers
       quickly exceeded the number of papers published by the precursor journals. EPL also pub-
       lished major papers in physics and many of them received more than 200 citations. Moreover,
       the number of letters published in EPL starting from 234 in 1986 has been growing steadily
       over the years reaching 590 with 4000 pages in 2005.
           The visibility of the journal is substantial as it is distributed in all major science libraries
       over the world. It was also greatly improved with the Web facilities. We can confidently claim
       that EPL has reached a worldwide visibility.
           The Editorial Board, which is the essential core devoted to the evaluation of the pa-
       pers, presently gathers 32 highbrow scientists called “Co-Editors”. They are chosen for their
       recognized competences in their fields of expertise and represent a large number of countries.
       Therefore, EPL is proud to be represented throughout the world in all the fields of physics. The
       Editorial Board works in close cooperation with the Editorial Office located in the EPS
       premises in Mulhouse.
           Even more improvements will be made in 2006 with new Co-Editors coming from India
       and South America. Let us hope that we have fulfilled the initial target fixed by N. Kurti,
       the first Editor-in-Chief of EPL: “Scientific publishing . . . is one of those matters which is
       desirable to handle on an international level”.
           The scientific editorial policy of EPL has established rather high criteria for acceptance
       but another task of the Board is also to provide the authors with valuable advice in order to
       improve their work thanks to an efficient refereeing procedure.
           Another significant benefit for authors to submit to EPL is the editorial agreement be-
       tween EPL and The European Physical Journal (EPJ) which allows the mutual transfer of
       scientifically sound manuscripts but not suitable for the journal of original submission.
           Major progresses have been achieved recently in order to increase the visibility of the
       articles, namely services offered to the authors and the subscribers such as the “E-first”

Article published by EDP Sciences and available at or
publication where the articles are published on the Web in their final form as soon as eventual
corrections have been made by the authors on the PDF proofs. The on-line publication is
citable by the e-print DOI references. According to the 2005 statistics, one-third of the articles
published in EPL were made visible on the Web through the “E-first” service in less than
14 weeks (after submission) including articles requiring substantial revisions. The “Latest-
articles” service, which provides a free access to the full on-line edition of the two most recent
issues of EPL, offers even more visibility to the journal. The journal is also cross-linked to
other leading journals in the world through the Cross-Ref consortium.
    The year 2006 is more than an anniversary year though, as it will be a turning point in
the life of the journal. Indeed, during the coming year, a new publication scheme will be
established by the different partners in order to make EPL the only physics letters journal in
Europe. Due to the expected increase in the number of submissions, the format of the journal
will also shift to A4 from January 2007 maintaining 24 issues per year.
    The Institute of Physics through its publishing company (IOPP) will become an active
partner in the publication of EPL, contributing to sales, distribution, marketing and editorial
developments, representing EPL at major physics conferences with the appointment of an
Executive Editor.
    At the editorial level, several improvements are foreseen for the near future: the digitization
of the EPL archives and of those of the precursor journals, a common portal website and the
development of an on-line submission system improving the already existing possibility offered
to the authors to submit their contribution through the HAL preprint server linked to arXiv
    Given the scientific and technical efforts made by the EPL Editorial Board and the expected
improvements in the distribution scheme, we expect EPL to become one of the most important
actors on the European publication platform in Physics (which was already expected by the
EPS in 1985, vide supra).
    We wish you a very happy and fruitful year 2006, and once again think of EPL for your
forthcoming publications, we are willing to help you!

                                                                                    Denis J´rome


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