Journal of Alloys and Compounds Special Anniversary Issue: "60 years Less Common Metals and 20 years Journal of Alloys and Compounds"

Journal of the Less-Common Metals was the original name of the Journal of Alloys and Compounds.  Launched in February 1959 with the publication of two issues containing 20 papers presented at the Symposium on the Study of Metals and Alloys above 1200 °C, held in Oxford in September of 1958, the journal recognized the need to create a venue for publication of research on the so-called “less-common” metals.  As noted in the editorial of the first issue, the journal was “intended to meet the need for an international medium for publication of work on the advancement of the chemistry and metallurgy of all metals which can justifiably be considered as falling within the orbit of its title.” Driven by important scientific discoveries and technological innovations, research on materials containing less-common metals expanded and strengthened over time.

 In the late eighties of the last century, many scientists on a global scene became engaged in broad interdisciplinary materials-oriented research largely exceeding the stated scope of this Journal. This led to a sharp decrease of articles submitted to the Journal of the Less-Common Metals with the number of published articles per monthly issues shrinking to about ten.  Recognizing the trend, the responsible Editors undertook three substantial measures.

Bearing in mind that authors are generally reluctant of publishing their results in a Journal with the attribution “less-common” in its title, the Editors aimed at a more appealing title that simultaneously widened its scope. This is how the title name “Journal of Alloys and Compounds” came into being. Initially this led to a significant growth of the monthly article publication rate. But this rate started to grow quite substantially after the Editors launched the announcement that articles in French or German language were no longer acceptable. The article growth rate also profited from the switch of the old-fashioned single-column text pages to two-column text pages. Ten years after the introduction of the three innovating measures mentioned it could be said that they had been most successful since they had led to an increase of the monthly article publication rate from about 10 to about 150.

It is interesting to note that this increase in publication rate was going hand in hand with a remarkable shift in the participating countries. Whereas the content of the Journal of the Less-Common Metals was predominantly defined by contributions coming from European countries, the first decade after launching the Journal of Alloys and Compounds showed a more homogeneous distribution of the participating countries. In the following decades the increase in the publication rate became even more pronounced and also now it was accompanied by distinct changes in the participating countries. This is particularly true as regards the strong participation of Asian countries.

Today, the Journal of Alloys and Compounds is a well-recognized name, and we are proud to note that at 60-years old, 8,323 papers published in the Journal of the Less-Common Metals and some 53,000 papers published in the Journal of Alloys and Compounds, the journal is strong as ever.  Journal pages are home to classics, such as “Heat of formation of solid alloys” by A.R. Miedema, R. Boom and F.R. de Boer, J. Less-Common Met. 41, 283 (1975); “Hydrogen absorption in LaNi5 and related compounds – experimental observations and their explanations” by H.H. Vanmal, K.H.J. Buschow and A.R. Miedema, J. Less-Common Met. 35, 65 (1974); “Judd-Ofelt parameters and chemical bonding” by C.K. Jorgensen and R. Reisfield, J. Less-Common Met. 93, 107 (1983); and “Ti-doped alkali metal aluminium hydrydes as potential novel reversible hydrogen storage materials” by B. Bogdanovic and M. Schwickardi, J. Alloys Compds. 253, 1 (1997), as well as hot topic papers, such as “Heat treatment of Ti6Al4V produced by selective laser melting: Microstructure and mechanical properties” by B. Vranken et al., J. Alloys Compds. 541, 177 (2012); “Study of polycrystalline Cu2ZnSnS4 films by Raman scattering” by P.A. Fernandes et al., J. Alloys Compds. 509, 7600 (2011); “Microstructure and room temperature properties of high-entropy TaNbHfZrTi alloy” by O.N. Senkov et al., J. Alloys Compds. 509, 6043 (2011); “Synthesis and photoluminescence properties of novel highly thermal-stable red-emitting Na3Sce(PO4)3:Eu3+ phosphors for UV-excited white-light-emitting diodes” by H. Guo et al., J. Alloys Compds. 741, 300 (2018); and “Selective laser melting of an equiatomic CoCrFeMnNi high-entropy alloy: Processability, non-equilibrium microstructure and mechanical property” by R. Li et al., J. Alloys Compds. 746, 125 (2018).

                In the survey given above the three Editors responsible for the publication of the Special Issue Jubilant 60 of the Journal of Alloys and Compounds have attempted to trace for our readership the historical path that eventually cumulated in the attainment of its 60th Anniversary. We are pleased to mention that the present status harbors about 17,000 annual article submissions. We are also pleased to mention that the scientific quality of the articles is most satisfactory as is witnessed by an impact factor of about 4.2. Here we wish to acknowledge the hard and committed work of the present 22 Editors and their corresponding Reviewers without whom this result would not have been achieved.

                Finally, a word as to the contents of the present Jubilant Special Issue: we will show here a selection of articles that might allow our readership to obtain an impression of the strong diversity of topics addressed in articles published in the Journal of Alloys and Compounds.