** Progress in Earth and Planetary Science is the official journal of the Japan Geoscience Union, published in collaboration with its 51 society members.

    ** Progress in Earth and Planetary Science is partly financially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Publication of Scientific Research Results to enhance dissemination of information of scientific research.

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    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    Progress in Earth and Planetary Science


    The following questions and answers (Q & A) are provided for a better understanding of the Japan Geoscience Union Journal "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science". If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at peps_edit@jpgu.org.

    You can submit your article at the journal website Progress in Earth and Planetary Science.

    About the Japan Geoscience Union Journal "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"

    What kind of journal is "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"?

    1. "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science" (PEPS) is an Open Access e-journal published by the Japan Geoscience Union (JpGU) on the SpringerOpen platform. It was launched on April 22nd, 2014.
    2. PEPS aims to be one of the leading international geoscience journals.
    3. In addition to general research articles the journal publishes review articles and articles based on the best presentations given at the JpGU Annual Meeting.
    4. The Journal Steering and Planning Committee and the Journal Editorial Committee run the journal in cooperation with the JpGU Board of Directors, the JpGU member societies and Springer, the publisher. Approximately half of the members of the Editorial Committee are based in Japan, and half overseas.
    5. Authors may find templates and detailed instructions for submitting papers at "How to submit a paper, APC and Templates".
    6. Authors who publish their articles in PEPS are required to pay Article Processing Charges. Special discounts on these charges are offered for articles submitted in 2014 and 2015.

    Naming the Journal "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"

    Why is the JpGU journal called "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"?

    The JpGU's Japanese name is, when literally translated into English, "The Japan Earth and Planetary Science Union". So we have taken the central part of this name, and, as we all hope for progress in our various fields, named the new journal "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science". "Science" was left in the singular to emphasize the overall unity of the field.

    About "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"

    What sort of articles are published in "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"?

    PEPS accepts articles in the following three categories: (1) review articles that present current geoscientific knowledge in an organized from; (2) articles based on the best presentations given at the JpGU Annual Meeting; and (3) high quality scientific articles from authors based anywhere in the world. The JpGU classifies review articles and research articles into the following six science sections: (1) Space and planetary sciences; (2) Atmospheric and hydrospheric sciences; (3) Human geosciences; (4) Solid earth sciences; (5) Biogeosciences; and (6) Interdisciplinary research.

    How much are the charges for publishing in "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"?

    The JpGU is offering special discounts on the PEPS APC (Article Processing Charges) until December 31st 2015. During this period APCs are free for review articles and invited research articles as these will be fully supported by the JpGU. For general submissions, the APC is 200 Euro (450US$) per article for a JpGU member and 1,000 Euro (1250US$) for a non-JpGU member.

    What is the role of review articles in "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"?

    Journals tend to provide newer information than is available in books, and given the rapid progress in many scientific fields, the relative importance attached by academic libraries to journals has been increasing. Major international scientific publishing houses think that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. In view of this, the JpGU thinks that the emphasis placed by PEPS on review articles will provide an opportunity for scientists to read organized views of new developments more quickly than by waiting for them to appear in book form. We see the review article, which provides a summary of the latest systematic developments, as being mid-way between a scientific article and a book. We believe that the review articles in PEPS are useful educational resources for the geoscience community, for instance by forming the basis for university seminars.

    Is there any actual proof that review articles really contribute to the advancement of scientific research?

    Review articles function as an arena that provides researchers with valid academic information, and this is particularly so in rapidly advancing disciplines. They summarize the information contained in many individual research papers and so provide a useful tool for understanding the current state of a research area and for searching for promising new research themes. For example in the field of pharmacology and pharmaceutics, of the seven English language journals with the highest impact factors (the highest IF being 27), six actively publish review articles (Tanahashi and Miyairi, 2004). At PEPS we therefore aim to use review articles in the same way to contribute to the speedy advance of scientific research.

    As an aside it is interesting to note that the number of English language review articles published by Japanese authors is growing rapidly and has trebled in the past ten years.

    Can you briefly explain what kind of review articles "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science" would like to publish?

    We are broadly interested in the following seven types of article:

    1. Explanations of individual research areas that will be useful to non-specialists in order to stimulate and support interdisciplinary research.
    2. Articles which organize current geoscientific knowledge, concepts and theory and thereby help stimulate new research.
    3. Articles which present information that is difficult to obtain from reading individual scientific articles, such as the overall state of a particular field.
    4. Reviews of the latest systematic knowledge that is not yet available in book form.
    5. Articles which present the latest data obtained by new research projects, its current interpretation and expectations for future developments.
    6. Reviews of completed research projects that cover the state of knowledge before the work was done, advances made due to the research and expectations for future developments.
    7. Articles that can be used in university seminars to introduce students and junior researchers to the latest developments.

    Are review articles and invited research articles also subject to peer-review before acceptance for publication?

    PEPS submits all articles to the peer review process. In order to maintain a high level of quality, and in the interests of fairness, all articles are impartially reviewed.

    Anyone, Anywhere can read "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"

    Who can read the articles published in "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"?

    As the phrase open access e-journal suggests, anyone with an internet connection can read all the articles published in PEPS. There are absolutely no restrictions on access: anyone, anywhere can read as many of the articles as they wish.

    How is the electronic data that makes up "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science" backed up and preserved?

    The archive of published articles is copied and stored in several major international data centers. Without such backup, there is the risk that, should the publisher cease business for whatever reason, the individual PDF files that makeup the journal will be scattered and lost. We have worked to make PEPS immune to this risk. Even if an author is uncontactable or has lost their copy of an article, that article will continue to be available.

    Are researchers free to post the PDFs of articles published in "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science" on their personal or institutional home pages?

    Until recently the copyright of a published article usually resided with the publisher. However for papers published in PEPS, the copyright basically rests with the author. Full details about copyright and licensing are provided at Copyright and license agreement.

    Impact Factor

    Please explain scientific journal impact factor.

    The impact factor (IF) of a journal is a number that expresses the average number of citations received by each article published in that journal over the preceding two years: generally the higher the IF, the more prestigious the journal. For example PEPS's 2016 impact factor will be calculated by dividing the total number of citations received by articles published in the two years 2014 and 2015 by the total number of articles. Articles published early in the year tend to contribute more to IF (because they have more time to gather citations). However journals for which IFs are calculated are usually required to publish continually throughout the year, including the period towards year-end. The minimum number of articles that they must publish each year has not been formally announced but is rumored to be about 25.

    Is a high impact factor really that important?

    A journal's impact factor (IF) is of course influenced by the number of scientists working in the field that it covers. Because the number of researchers and students working in the Earth and planetary sciences is comparatively small, the impact factors of our journals are small compared to much larger fields like medicine or the biological sciences.

    However, within a particular field it is clear that those journals with relatively higher impact factors are the journals which publish papers that have a large effect on their community. It is our goal that PEPS be acknowledged as a superior journal by the wider international community.

    So we are in part focused on our impact factor; however our main focus remains to produce a journal that publishes high quality articles and the editorial team continues to work with this goal in mind.

    Background to the Publication of the JpGU Journal "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"

    What is the current scale of the JpGU Annual Meeting?

    The origins of the JpGU trace back to joint meetings held by five societies concerned with Earth sciences in Japan. It was formally founded in 2005 as a contact organization for geoscience related organizations after these were reorganized by the Science Council of Japan. The JpGU was incorporated in 2009 and became a public interest incorporated body in 2011. Currently it represents 50 member societies.

    Geoscience is a diverse field with many different areas of activity. The JpGU Annual Meeting functions as an arena where these many fields can meet and discuss. In 2014 there were 2,428 oral presentations and 1,378 poster sessions in 193 scientific sessions; there were 3,811 registered participants and a total of 7,046 people actually attended the meeting. In terms of scale the JpGU Annual Meeting ranks third in the world behind the AGU (American Geophysical Union) and the EGU (European Geosciences Union).

    The JpGU with a total membership of 9,000 has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with AGU and EGU to promote collaborations with these organizations and international opportunities for their membership.

    Why does the JpGU consider it necessary to publish its own journal?

    After more than three years of preparation, funds to publish an English language electronic journal have been included in the JpGU budget since 2012. The purpose of the journal is to strengthen international communication in the field of geoscience and planetary science, and specifically: (1) to establish a geoscience and planetary science open access e-journal; (2) to publish high quality general research papers and review articles; (3) to publish the best presentations from the JpGU Annual Meeting; and (4) to work on this together with the JpGU member societies. There have been many presentations at the JpGU Annual Meeting describing new research results or unifying concepts in the diversified areas of geoscience. However until now only the abstracts of these presentations have been made public. In addition to publishing general research papers and review articles, PEPS now functions as a medium to communicate the best presentations at the JpGU Annual Meeting to an international audience.

    Title Rights

    Who holds the title rights to "Progress in Earth and Planetary Science"?

    The JpGU holds the title rights to PEPS. Should the contract with the publisher be terminated for any reason, the JpGU will be able to make a contract with a new publishing company to continue producing the journal under its current name.


    With the increasing pace of scientific progress an ever increasing number of papers is being published. Is it possible to read them all?

    Reflecting growing research budgets and ever larger numbers of research scientists, the number of scientific journals is rising and of course the number of published papers is increasing very rapidly. On the other hand, the amount of time that an individual researcher can devote to research is limited. Forty years of data from a survey which asked how many papers European and American researchers were reading annually show that the average number was 150 in 1977 and that it reached a ceiling of 260 at the start of this century and has not increased further. Because of this limit there is a demand for high quality papers, and in particular for high level review articles that summarize the contents of several tens of original research papers. By publishing high quality Review articles, PEPS hopes to help educate the scientific community and so open up new scientific frontiers.