This issue presents a special supplement on the theme of Spatial Mechanisms and Robot Manipulators edited by Gordon Pennock and Madhu Raghavan. This supplement is designed to combine the insights of leaders in mechanism theory and robotics with current research in this area of our mechanical design research community.
The Journal has seen a growth in submissions from around the world, which must be attributed to the efficiency of the web submission process, and the ability of our associate editors and reviewers to respond promptly. During the period of December 2004 through November 2005, over 450 papers were submitted to the Journal, and approximately two-thirds have been closed in an average of three months. The remaining papers have been open for an average of four months.
The acceptance rate among the closed papers is 28%, which is lower than in the recent past. This seems to be a result of a number of authors meeting our community for the first time, and learning the scope and depth of a contribution to mechanical design research. In this interaction I regularly see the profound benefit to the health and growth of our research community of detailed reviews for even those papers not deemed publishable. Few authors turn their back on careful though negative reviews, and most seem anxious to meet the challenge of generating a quality contribution as judged by their peers.
The growth of the Journal continues to be supported by the ASME Publication Committee, which has agreed to expand the page count to 1400 pages. This allows us to publish approximately 150 journal articles, or about 33% of the papers submitted in the past year. There is also some discussion of moving to monthly issues, perhaps as early as January 2007.
The success of the Journal relies on the hard work of Tara Smith and Cynthia Clark and their colleagues at ASME, and of Tanya Eberhard at UCI, as well as the daily efforts of our 22 Associate Editors, and their small army of reviewers. It is an honor to be part of this commitment to quality scholarship in mechanical design research.