[Comment on] Space Physics review articles



I read with approval the announcement (Eos, January 23, 1990, p. 219) that the Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics will publish specialized review articles in space physics, filling the unfortunate void left by the changed format of Reviews of Geophysics. Review articles provide newcomers to a subject with an up-to-date introduction, while providing old hands in the field with a useful reference source. However it is unfortunate that JGR-Space Physics will, like Reviews of Geophysics itself, be publishing reviews by invitation only. This regressive policy is doubly wrong.

First, there are currently not too many but rather too few widely available review articles in our field; and thus artificial limitations are inappropriate (and unnecessary). Reviews of Geophysics has never managed to publish more than a handful of space physics reviews in a year, and that many only in the quadrennial reports to IUGG. In a field where accurate predictions are rare, one that is almost certain to succeed is that the editor(s) of JGR-Space Physics will have no difficulty whatsoever in limiting the number of review articles to 12 per year.