Ask the Editor:
Dr Jo Burgess, Editor for Water Science & Technology: Water Supply
Why is Water Science & Technology: Water Supply (WST:WS) important to the field?
Anyone who has published in this field will have experienced the difficulty of submitting manuscripts to discipline-specific journals and having them rejected because they don’t fit into a tidy box. Often, water-related research is not pure enough engineering for the engineering journals, or not academic enough for a microbiology journal. WST:WS provides publication routes for papers which are scientifically robust but not so narrow in focus. WST:WS focuses in particular on issues of water supplies, so that means that the topic of interest is strongly focused but the underlying academic discipline does not need to be. The journal is a powerful communication tool for research which links academic research with on the ground application, which is after all the crucial link between new knowledge and new practices.
What ongoing/upcoming trend or development do you think will be a game changer for the field?
I think the rise of citizen science, aided by AI, apps and smartphones, will surprise us. I’m especially interested in where these technologies will take us when it comes to observation networks – water quality monitoring, leak detection / reporting, weather patterns and so forth. We are going to see an exponential increase in the amount of data available and have to figure out how to pick the patterns out of this mass of knowledge. It’s going to be exciting.
What unique aspect of the journal do you think is attractive to its readers?
It’s fabulous relationship with the real world. I think it’s a leader in peer-to-peer learning and a first port of call when someone who works in the water sector needs to find out how to meet a new challenge. He or she is not going to go and look in nature – s/he will come here because the work published in WST:WS has immediate potential for application. That doesn’t mean the research community doesn’t use and respect the journal – but there are lots of journals for researchers. WST:WS caters for both researchers AND practitioners, and I think that’s pretty special.
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