The Latin American Journal of Solids and Structures: a personal view of the beginning
by Marcílio Alves, November 2003
The idea of a high quality technical journal in the field of solid mechanics goes back a few years ago. But it was in the year 2001, during the major Brazilian conference in mechanical engineering, COBEM2001, in Uberlandia, that I realized such a journal would really be important and necessary. In that conference, more than one hundred papers were presented only in the field of solid mechanics. I wondered then why not to have a journal dedicated to this area, having so many researches going on only in Brazil.
I then wrote to Prof. Norman Jones, from the Impact Research Centre in U.K., accessing his opinion on the topic, already with the name Latin American Journal of Solids and Structures in mind. He had been my Ph.D. supervisor and is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Impact Engineering, so his opinion was high valuable. His reply was very supportive and I commissioned an electronic home page, as a draft for a more definitive one.
In the beginning of 2002, I stayed one month in the Impact Research Centre where Prof. Jones put me in contact with Elsevier representatives. I also made contacts with other publishers and researchers and return to Brazil very much decided to launch the journal.
I shared this plans with two researchers in Brazil, from University of Sao Paulo, my colleagues Dr. Larissa Driemeier and Prof. Miguel Bucalem, to whom I showed the first draft of the home page. They were equally all very supportive.
I addressed next, Prof. Paulo de Mattos Pimenta, who was enthusiastic with the idea. He then traveled to Germany, where he invited Prof. Wriggers, to become a member of the editorial board, and to Portugal, inviting Prof. João Antônio Teixeira de Freitas. By then, Prof. Pimenta had agreed to be one of the editors of the journal.
In September 2002, our Group of Solid Mechanics and Structural Impact organized a course on Non-linear Computational Mechanics, taught by Dr. Eduardo Souza Neto, from Wales University. This course was attended by people from the Federal Universities of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, and from University of Campinas, and I shared with some of the attendees the idea of the journal, which was once again warmly welcome.
I formally invited to be associate editors Prof. Paulo de Tarso R. Mendonça, from University of Santa Catarina, and Prof. Jun Sérgio Ono Fonseca, from University of Rio Grande do Sul, who invited Prof. Hansen and Prof. Sigmund, respectively.
Next, Prof. Idelsohn, from Argentina, and Prof. Herrera Revilla, from Mexico, warmly accepted the idea of the journal and also become Associate Editors.
Prof. Zanotto was very much helpful in a long discussion with me on the journal policy and Profs. Devloo, Feijoo, Mamiya and Steffan have all agreed that a journal with the scope set would be most welcome by the engineering community.
Invitations were accepted by Profs. Belytschko, Gupta, Inman, Onãte and Yu to become Associate Editors, so establishing the basis for a strong editorial board, a necessary condition to give to the Latin American Journal of Solids and Structures a high visibility.
The names for the editorial board were carefully chosen in order to represent well the continents and the countries in Latin American, their members being highly accredited for their technical achievements.
Under similar guidelines, the Editorial Advisory Board was formed, from suggestions of the associate editors.
A more efficient electronic page was commissioned, with a better visual and also with tools for handling the papers submission process.
Papers were submitted by enthusiastic authors and they were all reviewed. It came then the typesetting phase, with LaTeX being chosen for the electronic handling of the formatting. A hard work came ahead regarding formatting the cover, choosing colors, styles and, mainly, converting different formats to LaTeX.
The deadline, November, was set and, only in the first week of November, was all the journal assembled and sent to the print house. Within a week all the copies were printed and the journal was distributed for the COBEM participants, as I planned two years ago.
During all this period of planning, we always found extremely well accepted the idea of a journal, which is very supportive for a continuing work aiming to offer high quality papers.