Erkan Topal International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment

Can you tell us little bit about yourself and your research interests?

I am a mining engineer by background with a Master of Science Degree (MSc) in Mineral Economics, MSc and PhD degree in the Mining Engineering from Colorado School of Mines, USA. Currently holding full professor position in Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering Department at the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM), Curtin University, Australia. I have worked in several different countries on different projects including U.S, Canada, Sweden, Turkey, and Australia. My main research area of interest includes mine planning and optimisation,and mineral and energy economics.

Why did you take on the role? What do you like most about the Editor-in-Chief role?

My professional career started in the early 1990s. Since then, I have written and reviewed many technical papers and acted as a member in editorial board of a few academic journals. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation, and Environment (IJMRE) is one of which I have been serving as a member in the editorial boards since 2010. After developing my professional career and having a broad range of experience, I think it is time to act as an Editor-in-Chief for a journal in which I can utilise my knowledge and experience to establish and maintain the journal’s scientific quality and uplift its standards by implementing my own vision and strategies for the future. It goes without saying that IJMRE is definitely a good opportunity for me to further develop my professional career. I can say that being an Editor-in-Chief of IJMRE is one of the greatest challenges of my professional career as the journal has a steller reputation. Furthermore, after serving as Head of the Mining Engineering Department at WASM, Curtin University for five years, I currently hold a full-time research-based professor role in my department; therefore, being an Editor-in-Chief of IJMRE will definitely also complement and contribute to my current role.

Obviously, an editor essentially is responsible for what appears in her or his journal so I like making the final call about the papers to be published (considering reviewers comments) based on my aim and vision about the journal. Furthermore, being an editor, I will have the right and privilege to see the papers coming through from the field of my interests. This will enable me to update and follow the most recent advancements on the state of art in my field. Receiving positive comments about the journal from the readers as well as from the authors about the quality of publications and reviewing process would give me a great job satisfaction. I am definitely open for constructive criticism to ensure the future quality of the IJMRE as well.

What’s your vision for the journal?

Considering the international mining engineering journals which cover not only mining process but environmental aspects as well as reclamation, I can confidently say that IJMRE stands out as the only available high quality journal.

The quality and importance of a journal within a particular field are commonly measured by an impact factor (IF). The journals with higher IF values are considered to be more important and respected than those with the lower ones. Currently, IJMRE has an impact factor of 0.531 which is one of the highest values among the international mining engineering journals. One of my primary aims is to further increase the current IF of this journal so that it can be recognised as the journal which publishes the premium quality research outcomes within the field of mining. The only possible way to increase the IF of a journal is through the increase of the number of citations received by the articles published in the journal. This can be achieved by attracting high quality papers to the journal and delivering timely and high standard peer reviewing process for the manuscript received for the publication. In addition, publishing papers which introduce a new field of research and technology for the future of mining would also be one of my major aims. Therefore, my future vision is not only to attract and publish the highest quality research work in the field but also to publish papers which introduce a new field of research for the future avenues within the research area of mining, reclamation and environment.

What kind of papers are you looking for?

I believe that international journals should globally cover the research problems and accept papers from all over the world, not only from a single continent. The topics can be selected from a broad range of mining fields covering the diverse research problems within core mining activities including (but not limited) to mine planning, mining systems, mining geomechanics, mine safety as well as sustainable mining activities including environmental and reclamations aspects. The papers should cover theoretical background as well as their applications to the field. I will be fully interacting with the reviewers and members of the editorial board to attract the prospective authors from different disciplines.

List three key words which you would associate with the journal.

I think this is easy to answer: Mining, Reclamation and Environment.