Publication Statement

A Position Report on IAG/AIG Publications

Publication policy should serve the objectives of the IAG/AIG, that is development, promotion and dissemination of knowledge of geomorphology. In the last two years the issue of publication policy was one of the prime concerns among the Executive Committee. Following initial discussions at the Fourth International Conference on Geomorphology in Bologna in 1997, a special sub-committee (Prof. Christine Embleton-Hamann – Austria, Prof. Andrew Goudie – United Kingdom, Dr. Piotr Migon – Poland) chaired by Andrew Goudie was established in 1998. The statement on publication policy presented by the sub-committee has been approved by the Executive at its meeting in Nanjing in August 2000 and from now on it is the official guideline for handling all publication matters within the IAG/AIG. These rules will be in effect from the time of the Fifth International Conference on Geomorphology in Tokyo in 2001.

A) Introduction


The IAG/AIG needs to develop its publications for 4 reasons

(i)                  To develop geomorphology through international collaboration;

(ii)                To promote the study and development of geomorphology;

(iii)               To foster the dissemination of knowledge of geomorphology;

(iv)              To increase the revenue of the IAG/AIG.


B) The development of geomorphology through international collaboration


There are two main ways in which to develop publication to meet this goal. The first of these, which has already been achieved, is to publish a regular Newsletter in the main journals associated with the IAG/AIG (Earth Surface Processes & Landforms, Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Geomorphology, Geomorphologie, Transactions of Japanese Geomorphological Union). It is desirable to extend this circulation by encouraging the publication and translation of the Newsletter in other languages (e.g. Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Russian).

The second means of communication, which is likely to develop strongly both in nature and geographical extent, is the use of a web site. This could post news, details of IAG/AIG business, contact addresses, abstracts, conference details, etc., providing more detail and a wider range of information than the Newsletter. It is desirable to appoint a Web Master as a major priority.

C) Promotion of the study and development of Geomorphology as a discipline


(i)     Theme publications

International collaboration and the development of the discipline can be achieved by the publication of particular themes. Some of these could be related to working groups. Among the types of theme that could be treated are:

  • Collaborative volumes on facets of global scale geomorphology (e.g. world sand seas, world reefs, world karst);
  • Collaborative volumes on best practice (e.g. in land management or in new geomorphological techniques); Collaborative volumes on some innovative approaches to geomorphology (e.g. on biogeomorphology, rock mechanics and geomorphology, laboratory experimentation and hardware models, etc.).

(ii)    Translations

International collaboration and the development of the discipline can be achieved by the publication of translations of classic or seminal works from one language to another. This is unlikely to be commercially successful but is recognised as being intellectually desirable.

(iii)    Works of synthesis

There is scope for the IAG/AIG to produce a wide-ranging review of the scope and nature of modern geomorphology (e.g. the Oxford University Press Handbook Series) and to produce a large international encyclopaedia of the discipline

(iv)    Publications on the geomorphology of regions were international conferences or regional conferences are held

(v)    Conference proceedings

The IAG/AIG will publish the Abstracts of all its conferences in both paper and electronic form. In addition it will seek to publish papers presented at its conferences in internationally refereed thematic volumes of journals, especially those specifically associated with the IAG/AIG. However, given the volume of high quality papers arising from conferences, papers may also be published as appropriate theme volumes of other journals or in edited books. The editing of such materials would be carried out by session convenors in association with the Publication Officer. These editors would make special efforts to assist the authors of papers from developing countries or whose mother tongue was not English or French, but papers would only be published if they met international standards set by referees. There would, therefore, be no automatic publication of papers presented.

(vi)    Journals

Although the IAG/AIG might be able to raise revenue by producing its own journal and by introducing individual membership, the discipline is well served by journals and the establishment of a new journal could have an adverse impact on existing ones. The IAG/AIG has therefore decided it will not at this stage publish its own journal.

D) Fostering geomorphology externally

A major role of the IAG/AIG should be to foster knowledge of geomorphology amongst the general public, policy makers, other disciplines, potential students, etc. To that end, it should develop its web site with these ambitions in mind, produce a modest brochure on the discipline, act as a source of information and news when extreme geomorphological events occur, and produce a popular volume of classic world landscapes (including geomorphological World Heritage sites and GeoParks). It might also consider producing a CD (or other electronic medium) of world landforms.

E) The Publications Officer

The Publications Officer should oversee Publications Policy and co-ordinate the work of other individuals (e.g. editors, the Web Master) involved in this endeavour.

With the exception of the Newsletter, the web site and a brochure, the IAG/AIG should not be a publisher and in particular should not be responsible for the warehousing, marketing, distribution or selling of publication.

Prepared by the Sub-committee on Publication Policy, chaired by Andrew Goudie.
Approved by the Executive Committee at its meeting in Nanjing, 25 August 2000.

This is a report on IAG/AIG and IAG/AIG-related publications. IAG/AIG encourages its members to follow the editorial policy described below and to use international reviewers whenever feasible. IAG/AIG publications are classified according to the following categories:

  1. Conference Research Monographs. The monographs include peer-reviewed papers which have been given at the main congresses of the IAG/AIG. Starting from the Fourth International Conference at Bologna, Italy in 1997, these volumes will be co-ordinated by the Executive Committee of the IAG/AIG.
  2. Conference Abstract Volumes. These include conference programmes, abstracts and lists of participants of all official IAG/AIG meetings. These are edited by local organization committees.
  3. Conference Research Paper Collection. This is the outflow of symposia, workshops and individual sessions published in single issues of a peer-reviewed international journal.
  4. IAG/AIG Publication Series. Volumes in this series are major publications of international interest.
  5. IAG/AIG Special Series. This is a collection of classical papers translated from other languages to English, and developed in collaboration with the British Geomorphological Research Group.
  6. Newsletter. Series F is the IAG/AIG Newsletter, published four times a year.
  7. Field Guides. All field guides prepared for field trips in connection with IAG/AIG conferences are included in this category.
  8. Miscellaneous Conference Related Publications. These are publications of various types produced for IAG/AIG conferences, including regional geomorphological accounts and reports on geomorphological research in the countries represented in the IAG/AIG.
  9. IAG/AIG Reports. IAG/AIG Reports contain material and information related to IAG/AIG committee matters.

All publications currently need to be authorised before printing by both the President and the Publication Secretary of the IAG/AIG. Publication is approved under the following conditions:

  1. IAG/AIG is acknowledged on a separate title sheet on which is printed the IAG/AIG logo, the editor’s name, and the title, theme, date and place of the conference (if relevant);
  2. the reviewers are listed on the back of this title sheet;
  3. IAG/AIG receives royalties from the publication, or in case of a journal, usually a donation.

The Treasurer has to be informed of the arrangements and to approve the final contract.