Director's Message

by Kenneth Rutherford, Ph.D. [ Center for International Stabilization and Recovery ]

Dear Readers,

Ken RutherfordFor nearly 15 years, The Journal of ERW and Mine Action has been a fundamental information source for the ERW and mine-action communities by generating conversations; providing useful and timely information from a variety of viewpoints; sharing project successes, challenges and failures; and creating an historical record.

The Journal provides interesting content written by field experts. Like any periodical, we do our best to verify information, question inconsistencies and provide clarity. Since our staff is not embedded with demining organizations, we have no way to verify if figures are absolutely correct. We expect our authors to provide content in good faith, having confirmed and documented the information and quotations in their articles. We leave technical critiques to our readers.

Recently, however, online fora have been ignited with unfair and often spurious comments about The Journal and its work ethic. The listserv conversation regarding an article in Issue 14.2 (pp. 40–45) raises important questions about the sad state of global information management; however, it incorrectly frames the question of responsibility for the articles content. All of the facts and figures within it were furnished by the authors from internal organizational documents. Consequently, the responsibility for the numbers lies with the authors.

With all this in mind, I want to share with the community what our publicationis and is not. All sections of The Journal of ERW and Mine Action are dedicated to those involved in making the world safer. The Journal covers innovations in technology and research, lessons learned in programming and development, and current trends in humanitarian intervention. It has contained a section on Research, Development and Technology since 2004, and this section has been peer-reviewed since Issue 8.2 (November 2004). In the interests of keeping The Journals publication timely and affordable, the remainder of its articles are not peer-reviewed but rather depend on authors to provide accurate information.

I invite those disaffected by any article’s content to use The Journal as it is intended—to drive conversations, ask questions, support your peers and challenge the community by writing an article or Letter to the Editor. All submissions to The Journal will be considered under the same unprejudiced conditions all authors receive from our editorial staff.

If we are to advance as a community, those with the knowledge to write articles and critique the work of others must take responsibility for their comments and suggest improvements. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Kenneth R. Rutherford, Ph.D.,
Director
Mine Action Information Center
Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
E-mail: maic(at)jmu.edu

PHOTO COURTESY OF MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY PHOTO SERVICES