Thorsten Becker (left) in Morocco conducting a service run of a PICASSO project seismic station, part of a multi-disciplinary effort to understand the geodynamics of the westernmost margin of the Mediterranean based on geological and seismological imaging, petrology, and fluid dynamical modeling. Credit: Meghan S. Miller

Funny how things go. 2002 assigned manuscripts and counting, and I get to look back on nine years with Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (or G-Cubed).

I remain in awe of the vision of the journal’s founders, to provide a new, interdisciplinary venue to advance the discourse in systems level Earth science. Those ideals stand strong, and the community continues to work for better ways of doing science in an open and fully reproducible way.

I marvel at the transformation that publishing has seen since G-Cubed’s inception, and how AGU has sometimes led, and always helped, to get our science out there in the best possible way. Much remains to be done, and exciting new efforts such as Earth science centric pre-print services are happening. However, if emulating G-Cubed is a compliment, then we are flattered.

None of the success of the journal would have been possible without the support of the community of authors and reviewers on which we rely. We are truly grateful, not only because they are, of course, the pillars of peer review, but also because they kept us on our toes and reminded us of the ideals of open science, throughout numerous challenges of transition.

I am proud of the editors and associated editors I have had the pleasure to work with, many of whom have become close personal friends. All are dedicated professionals, committed to getting authors constructive reviews in timely fashion. They also never (openly) complained when I kept nagging them about turnaround times, which have been close to our goal of six weeks median to first decision for years now. When I open my journal inbox every morning, I remain excited about the cool science I get to see, and I still think that being able to help with the scientific process is a great honor, pleasure, as well as responsibility.

Running a journal means worrying about the numbers, metrics, and competing, at times against powerful players who try to lure submissions and poach editors. The upshot is that science thrives in friendly competition, no matter, and G-Cubed was fortunate to see the collaborative support and dedication of our authors, and AGU and its dedicated staff and members.

I never planned to be in customer service, and some of the interactions over the years were slightly less than pleasant. I had to make tough calls, explain how the process works to senior authors unused to criticism, shield my editors from attack, and improve my diplomatic skills along the way. Through this, I never doubted my team and did not encounter any instance where I would have to question their actions. Thankfully, I can also count those encounters of the third kind on two hands, and the manuscripts that I screwed up on one. Well, at least the ones I know of.

Claudio Faccenna of Università di Roma TRE will take over G-Cubed in 2018, and I am thrilled that AGU chose a dear friend, outstanding scientist, and veteran of Tectonics to push things forward, in exciting ways. He will be able to rely on the continued support of editors Janne Blichert-Toft, Adina Paytan, Josh Feinberg, and Uli Faul, while Cin-Ty Lee and Yusuke Yokoyama will ride into the sunset with me. Much of me learning the ropes was tolerated under the mentorship of my first G-Cubed editor colleagues Jim Tyburczy and Lou Derry. I am much obliged to all of my colleagues for being such good sports, and wish the journal and its team the very best!

—Thorsten W. Becker, Editor in Chief, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, and Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin; email:


Becker, T. W. (2017), 2000 manuscripts under the G, Eos, 98, Published on 29 November 2017.

Text © 2017. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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