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SCOPE & MISSION OF THE JOURNAL

American Mineralogist: Journal of Earth and Planetary Materials(Am Min), is the flagship journal of the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA), continuously published since 1916. Am Min is home to some of the most important advances in the Earth Sciences. Our mission is a continuance of this heritage: to provide readers with reports on original scientific research, both fundamental and applied, with far reaching implications and far ranging appeal. Topics of interest cover all aspects of planetary evolution, and biological and atmospheric processes mediated by solid-state phenomena. These include but are not limited to mineralogy & crystallography, high- and low-temperature geochemistry, petrology, geofluids, bio-geochemistry, bio-mineralogy, synthetic materials of relevance to the Earth and planetary sciences, and breakthroughs in analytical methods of any of the aforementioned. To put it simply: if you analyze and/or interpret something of importance on the nano, local, regional, and/or global/extraterrestrial scales, dealing at least in part with solid-state phenomena, we are interested, including of course new minerals and other geomaterials.

Authors: As befitting a journal with international reach, submitted manuscripts should have high import as well as broad appeal. In cover letters, authors must explain the importance of their research, and why their results would be of interest to an international audience. If potential authors have questions of suitability of a manuscript, please contact one of our principal editors directly.

Once distributed for review, manuscripts will be judged on the basis of significance, originality, breadth of appeal, and clarity of presentation. The decision regarding acceptance or rejection of a manuscript is the responsibility of the Editors and is based in large part on the recommendations of Associate Editors and reviewers. Membership in MSA is not a prerequisite for publication in Am Min.

For a different view of paper types, you can see a table here.

TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS

The journal publishes scientific Articles, Letters, Outlooks in Earth and Planetary Materials, comments and replies, news items in the areas of Earth and Planetary Sciences, book reviews on the same, and memorials. 

Articles represent the majority of our published manuscripts. While they have no rigid size minimum or maximum, Articles tend to have a typeset length of eight to twelve journal pages. We expect papers to be written concisely, and even elegantly, to communicate the new and essential information in the most effective way possible. If the manuscript exceeds 50 pages (text, figures, tables), authors are encouraged to consider using the (free to authors and readers) electronic depository for some portion of the work (e.g., tables, figures, methods or part of methods, etc.), if appropriate. Contact the Editors with any questions. Manuscript format requirements: 8.5 x 11 inch paper, double-spaced, 12 pt type. Click for more guidance. Remember very large papers tend to (1) take longer in peer review, (2) are harder to find reviewers for (because of the time commitment), and (3) cost more in content creation and page printing.

Letters provide a means of rapid publication (~4 months) of short manuscripts of especially high scientific value, with newsworthy quality. Letters, in final published form, have a maximum of four journal pages – no exceptions. At submission time, to be considered as a Letter, manuscripts must be no more than 15 pages in length, counting the title page and each figure and table as a separate page. Specific reasons for accelerated publication include (1) timeliness, (2) special significance, and (3) to bring attention to something that is of general interest to scientists outside the specific field of study. Cover letters should indicate precisely why a manuscript meets at least two if not all three of these requirements. An additional principal consideration a prospective author should keep in mind is whether a cohesive story can be told in the four-page limit: it is frequently better to have a longer paper appear as a regular manuscript than a less coherent four-page Letter with several deposited items. A manuscript submitted for consideration as a Letter that is either too long or not appropriate may be either returned to the author or, with the author's approval, converted to an Article. In order to maintain Letters as a viable route for rapid publication, manuscripts will only be accepted if little or no revision is found to be necessary after the reviews are complete; if extensive revision is required, the manuscript will ordinarily be rejected. For this reason, rejection does not imply that the submission is of no worth: papers that would have been given "major revisions" as a scientific Article will usually be rejected as a Letter. However, a revised manuscript can be resubmitted later for (re)consideration as a Letter or Article

Outlooks in Earth and Planetary Materials provide a brief review of an emerging field of study, or a review of an existing field, with views on recent developments, and thoughts as to where and how the field is expected to advance. Outlooks will focus on ideas, rather than a comprehensive review of past works, and are limited to 6 journal pages in length.

Crossroads in Earth and Planetary Materials are interdisciplinary papers: their unique aspect is to announce to journal readers a topic that falls at the boundary of the Earth Sciences, where it intersects other disciplines. What better place to publish interdisciplinary Earth and Planetary Materials research but in a journal whose foundation lies in the study of minerals, which impacts so many other sciences as well? Appropriate research matter involves, but is by no means limited, to research on Earth and Planetary Materials that touches upon engineering, physics, environmental science, medicine, microbiology, or astrobiology, to name just a few possibilities.

Review Articles cover subjects of general interest, and are published in several venues by MSA. The RiMG series publishes review chapters, associated with a short course and theme. Elements publishes shorter review articles that also involve a specific theme. Am Min publishes stand-alone Review Articles or with editor permission, can publish several theme-oriented reviews as part of a Special Section, absent the short-course of an RiMG volume or the page restrictions of Elements. Review Articles should not merely be a reiteration of previously published data, but should serve to selectively assemble previously published information and then analyze and reinterpret it in such a way so as to provide new insights. Review Articles are subject to the same review procedures as other technical manuscripts, but may be longer than the typical Article.

Highlights and Breakthroughs comprise summaries (one page or less) that provide additional perspective on new articles that appear in Am Min, or other key topics in the Earth and Planetary Materials published in other journals. These papers are under most circumstances submitted by invitation from one of the Editors (as further indicated by reviewer recommendations of papers submitted to Am Min), but unsolicited papers will be considered.

Mineral Matters: Invitation Only; MSA Members Only. These are short (one page) articles that review a foundational or transformative aspect of any journal-related theme. These papers should enlighten students or researchers outside the discipline, and may be distributed by the society for educational or informative purposes. This article type is inaugurated to celebrate American Mineralogist's Centennial, but is expected to continue afterward. For these article types, a brief abstract of no more than 5 lines is required; attractive, compelling figures are highly encouraged.

Special Collections (also known as Special Sections) are a means by which the journal publishes a set of related Articles printed or presented together under a theme of the special collection associate editor's choosing. These themes may be associated with an emerging field, or a related set of important advances in an existing field of study, and are typically handled by a Special Collection Associate Editor (AE). The Special Collection AE will solicit papers for the Special Collection and reviews for each submission, and then make formal recommendations to the Principal Editors to accept or reject -- all the tasks and responsibilities of a regular associate editor. It is the special collection AE's choice as to whether the section will contain only invited or also unsolicited papers. The themes may be associated with a conference, or not. The papers publish as any papers do, as they are ready, but then they are also "tagged" and "linked" to a special collection page. See the Collection Page. Please contact the editors to submit an idea for a Special Collection topic. Decisions on a Special Collection will be based on the perceived timeliness and impact.

Supplementary Electronic Files:Any Article or Letter can be accompanied by supplementary electronic documents, which may include additional figures, photos, or QuickTime video files, which can be uploaded at the time of submission at our online submission site. If a different type of file is needed that cannot be uploaded contact the Managing Editor.

Discussion/Reply papers involve brief commentaries ("Discussion") on a previous Article, and the author of the Article is provided the opportunity to respond ("Reply"). Only one round of exchange is allowed. A Discussion must be submitted with 12 months of the appearance of a paper in the print version of the journal. Title your Discussion with the original title of the publication in question, and add "--Discussion" to the end. Title your Reply article with the original title and add "--Reply" to the end. The limit for a Discussion or Reply is 2 journal pages, or 5 double-spaced, 12 pt font manuscript pages. Tables and artwork should be absolutely minimal, and the text correspondingly smaller. For longer submissions please consider making it a regular article.

Book Reviews of books received by the editorial office are also published by the journal. The book review editor selects the books and solicits reviews; contact the editorial office if you need more information. View list of the titles available or contact the Book Review editor to suggest a title you wish to review.

New Mineral Names, Memorials, Award Citations:Am Min also publishes approved new mineral names and IMA committee reports. Lastly, as a service to the Society, the journal publishes Memorials and Award Citations.

You can always contact the editorial office for more information!

Click here to read the complete Information for Authors or Click here to start the submission process if you have read the Information for Authors already