Two of ACP's founding executive editors step down

18 July 2022

After 21 years as executive editors of ACP, Uli Pöschl and Thomas Koop have stepped down from day-to-day leadership of the journal and will take up positions on the journal's advisory board. Ken Carslaw and Barbara Ervens will continue as co-chief executive editors. Ken was one of the co-founding editors in 2001, and Barbara joined the executive committee in 2019 following nine years as a regular editor.

We are deeply grateful for all that Uli and Thomas have done for ACP and for scientific open-access publishing in general. Following Uli's initiative to create the journal in 2000, they have been passionate advocates for open access and transparent peer review with interactive discussion. In the 21 years since the journal was launched, ACP has grown to become one of the major journals in atmospheric science, now handling around a thousand submissions per year.

ACP's success was not assured when it launched. Transparent peer review, in which peer review comments, author replies, and additional public comments by the scientific community are published immediately, was radical in 2001. But risky ventures appear safer when they are led by individuals who provide convincing arguments and clear principles. In the case of ACP, the guiding principle was to ensure free speech between scientists in order to enable the highest levels of scientific integrity. Anyone who discussed publishing with Uli or Thomas will have been left in no doubt about their commitment to these principles. These principles have also been shared by a large editorial board (initially 70, now 170) of committed experts who supported ACP's publishing concept as volunteers.

The success of ACP also depended on responding to new ideas and shaping the journal to enable it to retain its place in an increasingly crowded publishing world. It is a reflection on Uli and Thomas's approach as executive editors that decisions on the evolution of the journal were always reached through discussion and consensus within the executive committee, and no lack of fun.

On stepping down, Thomas Koop said "it has been a privilege and joy to be part of ACP for over 20 years, supporting science, open access, and transparent peer review during that time, in particular in such a wonderful and collaborative team of friends."

Uli Pöschl added that "it has been a lot of joy and work to initiate, design, and establish interactive open-access publishing with an equally pleasant and strong team of friends and colleagues, including Paul Crutzen and Arne Richter, who are unfortunately not with us anymore but deserve special thanks for the swift initial gain of momentum."

Ken Carslaw and Barbara Ervens