Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

This issue of the Journal of Mine Action is filled with excellent articles by over 40 authors from around the globe, along with our customary news briefs. We have some excellent editorials, lots of interesting articles about the Middle East and North Africa, and several articles discussing the environmental impact of demining. This issue also brings with it several personal stories and the sad news of people in the demining field who have died in the line of duty.

On a happier note, we have some exciting news to tell you! Please help us welcome our new sponsor, the United States Army Humanitarian Demining Division of Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate. Their sponsorship allows us to continue to bring you in-depth R&D articles in the JMA's technology section. We appreciate their support.

One problem has come to our attention lately, and I must mention it here. U.S. copyright laws do not allow us to knowingly publish sentences, paragraphs or complete articles under the name of an author who did not originally write them. This is called plagiarism. We can quote other writings, providing the proper citation, and we can rewrite the comments in our own words. But we cannot pretend someone else's words are our own. During our editing process for this issue, we found that a few authors had plagiarized the work of others, including Wikipedia. If it was a sentence or two, we rewrote the material; if it was lengthy, we rejected the article. We have implemented a stronger review process to find plagiarized material and hope this will solve the problem. Please do not submit articles that have been plagiarized. We cannot accept them.

I'd also like to introduce our new Assistant Editor, Holley Watts. Before joining the JMA, she was a professional fundraiser for public TV and radio in Michigan and Virginia. In 2004 she wrote a memoir about her Red Cross 1966–67 experience in Vietnam, and she most recently co-wrote and narrated a documentary film about the program for release in 2008. For mini-biographies of all our JMA staff, visit http://maic.jmu.edu/journal/index/staff.htm.

We're thrilled that so many of you have taken time to write for us. Please continue to send us your articles. And as always, we look forward to your raves (and rants) about anything we have published. Please send your comments directly to me; you help us improve.

HeadshotMay peace prevail on Earth,

Lois Carter Fay
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Mine Action