In 1996, Professor C. E. Bugg retired as Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of the Commission at the Seattle General Assembly. He was succeeded by Professor J. R. Helliwell, who wishes to thank the outgoing Editor-in-Chief, on behalf of the whole Editorial Board and the Chester staff, for his excellent work in the last 12 years and for ensuring a smooth hand over. Again, 1996 was a relatively stable year for the journals, with no major changes instituted.

Volume 52 of Acta Crystallographica (Acta) included 1702 papers with an overall total of 6596 pages representing an increase of 8% over 1995. The number of papers received by the Managing Editor in Chester was 1336. Median publication times generally improved by 4-6 weeks, and were, for full articles in Section A (4.7 months), Section B (6.5 months), Section C (5.1 months) and Section D (5.2 months). Volume 29 of the Journal of Applied Crystallography (JAC) contained 131 papers with an overall total of 759 pages and a median publication time for Full Articles of 6.1 months. Volume 3 of the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation (JSR) included 45 papers in its second year of full publication and comprised 326 pages with a median publication time of 2.9 months. All of the IUCr journals are taking advantage of electronic communication (e-mail and ftp) to speed up editorial review. Also, the cooperation of authors in submitting final versions of their manuscripts on diskette has assisted production efficiency of issues as well as their quality.

The individual Editors' comments are summarized below. The dedicated efforts of Co-editors and of the editing staff in Chester have again been outstanding and high quality of the articles and subsequent technical production has been realized. This has been accompanied by new initiatives involving electronic publishing (including the WWW) as well as more detailed (and yet more automatic) checking of structures. Moreover, major conference proceedings, such as SRI-97, as well as special issues on focused topics, are in preparation. Finally, links with database centres are being extended, in association with the IUCr Committee on Crystallographic Databases.

The summary over Acta, JAC and JSR is as follows. The total number of pages published in 1996 was 7681, which compares with 7067 in 1995 and 5786 in 1994. The number of manuscripts submitted to the journals was 2031 (up from 1800 in 1995 and 1768 in 1994). Electronic submission of CIFs for Section C of Acta increased during the year to 97% and is now mandatory. Significant gains in publication times were made, typically of 4-6 weeks.

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Updated 14th February 1997