Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts
1.0 Scope and Standards
We aim to make ES:P&I a catalyst for the discussion and exchange of ideas and information on complex environmental issues by significantly advancing our understanding of environmental hazards, processes, and impacts, and offer solutions to today's and future problems.
The scope of ES:P&I covers an extensive set of subject areas; theoretical, fundamental and applied papers are welcome on the areas detailed below:
1.1 Source, Transport and Fate
This section considers the identification of and mechanisms for source, movement and distribution of environmentally important compounds and contaminants in environmental matrices. Biological and non-biological particles, gases, vapours, elemental and compound chemicals are present in the environment to differing extents. Their extent and relevance to human and natural environments should be the focus of papers dealing with these issues. Emerging contaminants, their sources and the processes distributing these compounds into the environment should also be scrutinised.
A few of the relevant questions that should be answered in papers are: do any of these compounds occur together? What are the rates of decomposition or transformation of compounds? How stable are these compounds? Can the contribution of each contaminant be apportioned to particular sources? Has the contaminant caused damage at the affected site (cause-effect relationship)? As contaminants degrade at different rates, the chemical signature will change over time, what is the effect of this 'aging' and how does this allow better understanding? What is the ultimate fate of environmental contaminants? Where are they most stable and why? What is the potential for further transportation? How do compounds partition into environmental media and can this process be modified? Ultimately, answering these questions will have implications for exposure and consequently measures that need to be taken to minimise exposure through source identification and apportionment.
Topics in this section include: emerging contaminants; source characterisation; biotransformation; chemical/physical transformation; presence and activity of metabolites; soil and aquatic science; metal speciation; atmospheric science; and climate change.
1.2 Exposure and Impacts
Given that the environment has natural, rural and urban components including homes and workplaces, what is the toxicological significance of emerging contaminants and other compounds in the environment? How is that going to be determined? What is the correlation between the presence of compounds in environmental matrices or habitats and their presence in organisms? What is the cumulative potential of contaminants? Do contaminants affect reproductive capacity? It is also important to characterise the modes of action of contaminants. What is the toxicological effect of persistent low level/high level exposure? Of special interest low level medium and long term exposure to such compounds.
Topics in this section include: human and ecotoxicology; biological impact of nanoparticles in the environment; microbial resistance to antibiotics; environmental biology; endocrine disruption; environmental epigenetics; environmental and occupational health; food safety, environmental biotechnology, remediation.
1.3 Policy and Legislation
Policy and can and should be driven by good science. It is therefore desirable to consider what the policy or legislative implications of your research might be. These should be included and linked to existing legislation, if possible.
(a) This will allow a true gauge of the impact of the research and what consideration the authors have given the work. In essence it can act as a critique of the authors' own work. Authors should consider the consequences of policy directives and legislation in tandem with the significance of the study.
(b) Evaluation of current legislation, closing loopholes, reassessing data with hindsight.
Topics in this section include: quality assurance and control; legislative issues and guidelines; remediation; environmental data interpretation; environmental regulation.
1.4 Novel Analytical Tools and Measurement Technologies
A broad range of analytical tools and measurement technologies are needed to facilitate understanding of the above areas. Novel analytical technologies as applied to environmental issues are of particular interest. Papers with significant components of analytical data or measurements should provide the environmental relevance of such data, their implications and what they can predict.
These topics include recent developments in sampling technologies, neural networks, smart sensor technologies and signal capture and enhancement technologies. Others are multiplexed sensing, miniaturization technologies, intelligent packaging for continuous monitoring, novel materials with environmental applications and remediation processes.
1.5 Sustainable Solutions and Technologies (Resource management)
ES:P&I offers a unique opportunity for authors to cross the boundary into issues associated with green and sustainable science. Most papers address issues concerned with the role of contaminants in pollution, health and exposure; we encourage authors to go that step further and suggest how the effects of these contaminants can be negated or reduced by addressing alternative more sustainable or greener strategies at the sources of these contaminants by developing an alternative technology base that is inherently non-toxic to living things and the environment.
Therefore submissions on all aspects of research and policy relating to this endeavour are welcome. We hope to provide a unique integrated forum for the publication of original environmental research that addresses 'green' issues as well as those normally within the remit of environmental journals.
- The application of innovative technology to establish industrial procedures
- The use of sustainable resources (e.g. water)
- Methodologies and tools for measuring environmental impact
- Chemical aspects of renewable energy
Such strategies should aim to solve the following problems:
- Destroying ecosystems for energy production (e.g. gulf of Mexico)
- Land use technologies (sustainable food production/energy/grazing)
- Energy crops, desalination technologies
- Pharma/cosmetics removal from water (nano)
- Pollution prevention, (e.g. non-burning plastics)
2.0 Article types
All submitted articles must include an Environmental impact statement (120 words maximum) that should categorically state how the work provides immediate insight to environmental processes and impacts. This statement will be seen by the reviewers and will help ascertain the relevance of the article for a broad but technical audience and authors should use it to show that they have given serious consideration to problems that are environmental in nature. If the paper is accepted this statement will also be published. Papers cannot be reviewed without this statement.
2.1 Full papers
Original research papers on all the subjects outlined above and related areas are encouraged and welcomed. All papers should give due attention to overcoming limitations and to underlying principles. All contributions will be judged on the following criteria:
(i) originality and quality of scientific content
(ii) contribution to our existing knowledge of the subject area
(iii) clarity of objectives and aims of the work
(iv) appropriateness of length to content of new science.
ES:P&I is not an archive for large data sets - such papers are not within the scope of the journal. Papers reporting local studies are also not acceptable, all papers should provide insights that go beyond those of the original local interest. All reported measurements should have their uncertainties and limitations clearly stated. It should be emphasised that it is mandatory to justify and/or reference all claims regarding health impairments or toxic consequences.
Referees of papers submitted to ES:P&I are also asked to comment on the appropriateness of any optimization and/or experimental design procedures used and the correctness of any statistical procedures applied for the evaluation of results. Descriptions of methods should be supported by experimental results showing accuracy, precision, sensitivity and selectivity. If the paper presents analytical results, these should be qualified by inclusion of quality control data, including certified reference materials where appropriate, spike recoveries, blanks and other relevant information for validation of the presented results. Referees also give consideration to whether the length of an article is commensurate with its interest to the scientific community. Papers that do not give due consideration to any/all of these topics may be rejected.
These must report preliminary research findings that are novel/original, of immediate interest and are likely to have a high impact on the ES:P&I community. Authors must provide a short paragraph explaining why their work justifies rapid publication as a communication.
These may be articles providing a personal view of part of one discipline associated with ES:P&I (its present state, where it may be leading, etc) or a philosophical look at a topic of relevance. Alternatively, Perspectives may be historical articles covering a particular subject area or the development of particular legislation, technologies, methodologies or other subjects within the scope of ES:P&I.
2.4 Technical Notes
These should be brief descriptions of instrumental developments, techniques or applications that offer definite advantages over those already available. Technical Notes should offer practical solutions to problems that are of interest to the ES:P&I readership and merit publication, but neither a Full Paper nor an Urgent Communication is justified. Technical Notes are subject to a strict three-page limit and should be as brief as possible; wherever appropriate authors should use references to the established technique, explaining in full only what is novel about the proposed approach.
2.5 Critical Reviews
These must be a critical evaluation of the existing state of knowledge on a particular facet of environmental science. However, some original work may be included. Simple literature surveys will not be accepted for publication. It is desirable that potential review writers should contact the Editor before embarking on their work.
2.6 Frontier Reviews
These are smaller, more focused versions of the critical and tutorial reviews on a well-defined, specific topic area covering approximately the last 24 months. Given topics should review work no more than 24 months old. Articles should cover only the most interesting/significant developments in that specific subject area. The article should be highly critical and selective in referencing published work. One or two paragraphs of speculation about possible future developments may also be appropriate in the conclusion section. Frontier reviews should be brief, four journal pages are recommended (ca. ten double spaced, typed A4 pages) and should contain no more than two or three tables and a minimal number of figures. Frontier reviews may also cover techniques/technologies that are too new for a full review or may address a subset of technologies available for a given area of research.