The European Physical Journal - Special Topics (EPJ ST) - a journal dedicated to the publication of special/topical issues only - will incorporate, starting in 2010, "Discussions and Debates" (DD) issues.
The aim of the DD issues is the balanced critical presentation of the unsolved problems, controversial topics, rival theories, alternative methodologies, and negative results of interest at the cutting edge of scientific and technological development.
Contributions to DD issues should typically contain one or more of the following:
- substantiated critiques of established research methodologies;
- a presentation/assessment of alternative approaches/concepts compatible with experimental status quo;
- a report, assessment and analysis of negative results;
- substantiated and educated guesses about future developments.
Internal cross-refereeing (independently of an external refereeing procedure) is encouraged and is expected to lead to useful comments fueling the scientific debate, either in the form of Comments-and-Reply or in the form of separate mutually referred papers exposing complementary or contradictory points of view.
The issue editors will ensure, in cooperation with the authors, that the collection of articles included in the issue gives balanced presentation of current views.
An Editorial or a summary paper, written by the issue editor(s), putting the issue in the context of ongoing research will complete such a special issue. The Editorial should be written on a level that can be understood by the general physical audience unfamiliar with the specific topic under discussion. It is desirable that at least introductory parts of other contributions be accessible to a non-specialist reader.
EPJ ST invites proposals for DD issues, which have to satisfy the above general requirements. Joint proposals by prospective guest editors holding complementary views, yet a compatible attitude towards the proposed topic are encouraged. The proposals will be considered by the DD Editorial Board affiliated to EPJ ST, which will appoint, with the approval of the publisher, guest editor(s) in charge of a specific journal issue.