Water Research X: a top ranking, independent, open access journal

Water Research X emerges from the umbrella of its partner journal, Water Research, as a high-ranking option for fast publication of quality water research

Elsevier’s Water Research X (WRX) is delighted to announce its first impact factor of 9.365. Now ranked fourth most impactful water research journal, this is a great achievement for the young journal. Initiated as the Gold Open Access partner to Water Research (WR), WRX is now diversifying to become a completely independent journal that publishes high quality and ground-breaking water research, with competitive times-to-publication.

WRX Editor-in-Chief, Professor Zhiguo Yuan of the University of Queensland, Australia, outlines the journal's ambitions: “WRX will be a prestigious journal for the science and technology of the anthropogenic water cycle, and an outlet of choice for researchers to publish their novel and most significant research findings in a timely way.”

Independent but parallel

WRX was launched in 2018 to service the scientific community’s growing demand for open access research. Editor-in-Chief of WR Professor Eberhard Morgenroth of ETH Zurich, Switzerland explains why: “While Water Research does allow individual papers to be published open access, the community wanted more – a journal with the focus and quality of Water Research but completely open access.”

As WRX is a gold open access journal, all accepted papers are freely and immediately accessible to all potential readers. This gives authors a path to reach a wider readership and for research to have higher impact.

Going forward, WRX continues to have the same scope as WR, welcoming contributions on all aspects of the science and technology of the anthropogenic water cycle, water quality, and its management worldwide. “The broad and inclusive scope of WRX is one of its key strengths,” says WRX Editor Professor Treavor Boyer of Arizona State University, USA.

The original model was that WR and WRX operated as sister journals, with neither editors nor reviewers knowing which journal a manuscript was being considered for. Now, WRX is branching out as an independent journal, parallel to WR.

New and independent Editorial Board

WRX has its own Editorial Board comprising an Editor-in-Chief, five Editors and over 20 Associate Editors who collectively offer outstanding expertise across the entire journal scope.

The Editor-in-Chief, Professor Zhiguo Yuan is a world-leading researcher in urban water management. Previously an editor of WR, he has published over 500 papers in top-tier international journals.

Along with Professor Treavor Boyer, the other Editors are Professor Xia Huang from Tsinghua University, China; Professor Wolfgang Gernjak from the Catalan Institute for Water Research, Spain; Dr Peter Bach from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), Switzerland; and Dr Yujie Men from the University of California, Riverside, USA.  Each offers outstanding, complementary expertise in areas across the journal's scope.

Fast publication times and leading-edge research

WRX is aiming for fast publication times, with an average handling time of just over a month. The editorial board also aims to make pre-review decisions within one week.

Another standout feature of WRX is that it provides new formats for authors to publish concise but complete and novel papers.

Its narrative-based ‘Leading Edge' papers are distinct from those in other journals and allow innovations to be published in a timely and succinct manner, as Professor Gernjak explains: “While taking a letter format, Leading Edge papers also give sufficient space to show research data – in up to six figures and tables – to adequately support research findings.” It is hoped that these strongly focused manuscripts will lead to rapid publication cycles and make WRX home to highly novel, state-of-the-art research.

WRX also hopes to feature insightful perspectives and editorials along with critical mini-reviews on the latest developments in emerging or fast-evolving topics. It is hoped these reviews, where research leaders act as main authors, will be particularly impactful.

Set for a high impact future

Moving forward, WRX aims to be a leading, international journal influencing both the fundamental and applied aspects of water science and technology. Attaining such a high impact factor at this early stage is proof of the journal’s potential.

“While we will not focus on the impact factor alone, we believe the high-quality, impactful papers published in WRX will naturally elevate this factor to a substantially higher level in the years to come,” says Professor Yuan.

WRX is a gold open access platform where researchers can communicate their most important research findings in a timely fashion to the broad scientific community, leading industry practitioners and thought leaders,” Professor Yuan concludes.

The first complete issue of WRX to include the new types of articles is pending. However, authors now have the opportunity to submit a Leading Edge, mini-review or perspective article to the journal. All articles are open access and available for anyone to view as soon as they are accepted.

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