At its best, planetary science is about exploring. Whether humans are discovering and investigating distant places for the very first time, unraveling the history of our Solar System, or examining ideas about how planets work we are participating in exploration at the edge of knowledge. Working on this edge is exciting – there are always new firsts to discover, new problems to solve, and new vistas that inspire.
Exploration of this kind requires strong foundations. Sharing and building knowledge and community are the bedrocks upon which exploration of planetary science rests. Since its inception, JGR: Planets has been focused on supporting these ideals.
Indeed, in the opening Editorial of the journal founding Editor Clark Chapman wrote: “JGR: Planets is intended to serve the entire planetary science community.” To that end, the journal has published excellent foundational and high-impact science covering the great breadth of the planetary sciences and strived to serve as a meeting place for our community.
Service to community has been the journal’s guiding principle since Day 1 and continues through to today. Planetary science moves as fast as the rockets that speed our robotic explorers to their destinations. As a journal we have aimed to bring crucial and clearly communicated science to the planetary science community quickly and efficiently. Over the nearly three decades since that first issue, JGR: Planets has built a strong reputation based on the quality of research our community produces and shares and aims to do so as quickly as we can.
Even as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landings that were the dawn of an expansive exploration of the Solar System, planetary science itself remains a youthful discipline. As a community, we have many opportunities to collect and reflect upon on foundational exploration, yet there is more to come. As a community journal, JGR: Planets has evolved, and hopefully will continue to, with the science we all do.
Over the past several years, we have strived to continually improve our ability to achieve that founding goal of serving the entire planetary science community. Clear communication enables a broader cross-section of our community world-wide, across disciplines, and throughout the educational and career-path to understand and engage with the science we do. JGR: Planets became the first AGU journal to offer Plain Language Summaries as a way to enhance the diffusion of knowledge detailed in its pages.
Planetary science has a legacy of recognizing the importance of preserving data for future generations and AGU and JGR: Planets are committed to furthering that legacy for all the science we do by focusing on FAIR data principles. Serving a whole community also means engaging on very human issues such as disparities in opportunities and facing the stunning realities of harassment in our field.
While planetary science is what draws us together, it is the people that make our community and JGR: Planets work. The spirit of service is evident in the many, many thoughtful peer reviews aimed at helping sharpen and clarify science that have been provided by and for our colleagues during the publication process.
In my time as Editor-in-Chief of JGR: Planets I have been continually inspired by the deep and thoughtful service for each other and for science in which our colleagues regularly engage. In turn, the journal has worked hard to respect the time of reviewers and authors, to broaden the pool of contributors of science and reviews, and to expand opportunities to participate.
As I come to the end of my term helping to lead the shared project that is JGR: Planets I am thankful both for the opportunity to serve and for the extraordinary contributions of a team of colleagues who have joined in this effort over the past several years. Every manuscript published by JGR: Planets is followed in its journey by careful and dedicated staff at AGU who help manage the details, troubleshoot with authors, editors, and reviewers, and keep us on track. I feel very thankful to have had the insights and efforts of Paige Wooden, Carol Mannix, Nick Violette, Tanya Dzekon, Sara Young, and Randy Townsend along the way.
The full breadth of disciplines covered by JGR: Planets requires the thoughtful efforts of many people to quickly and carefully oversee the peer review process. I am grateful for the expertise, support, and efforts of Associate Editors (current and former) Gareth Collins, Wenzhe Fa, Caleb Fassett, Justin Filiberto, François Forget, Tim Glotch, Jasper Halekas, Ozgur Karatekin, Anni Määttänen, Claire Newman, Francis Nimmo, François Poulet, Deanne Rogers, Yasuhito Sekine, and Zibi Turtle.
I am particularly indebted to my Co-Editors, Sabine Stanley and David Baratoux, whose shared vision, leadership, and friendship have helped make these past four and half years breeze by.
Now, I look forward to the future of JGR: Planets with the eminently capable and equally dedicated Laurent Montési taking the reins. As always in planetary science, the best is yet to come.
—Steven A. Hauck, II (email: [email protected]), Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Case Western Reserve University