About the Journal
Focus and Scope
EQA is an international, multidisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal that encourages high-quality submissions of original research or brief reviews and analyses dealing with the aspects concerning soil, water and air quality and the sustainable use of these environmental resources. Main research areas include: natural and anthropogenic processes affecting the soil, water and air biota; contamination of soil, water and air caused by waste management and disposal practices; ecological effects of pollutants in air, water and soil environments; environmental quality management techniques, methods, approaches and experiences to improve and remediate the environment and the dissemination of such knowledge. EQA particularly welcomes work addressed to scientific researchers in environmental sciences, agricultural and biological sciences.
EQA has been supported by the European Society for Soil Conservation (ESSC), Italian Society of Soil Science (SISS – Società Italiana della Scienza del Suolo), Italian Society of Pedology (SIPE – Società Italiana di Pedologia).
The acronym EQA derives from "Environmental quality-Qualitè de l'Environment-Qualità ambientale", title of the proceedings of scientific conference that have been held annually in Imola (Italy) since 2006. In the proceedings, each paper had a title, abstract and keywords in the three languages (English, French and Italian), while the text of the manuscript could be written in one of the languages.
In 2009 the annual proceedings were published together with the first two volumes of the "International Journal of Environmental Quality", where 16 articles were published. From 2010 to 2013, three volumes of “International Journal of Environmental Quality" were published per year; from 2014 to 2019 there were four volumes per year; in 2020 five volumes were published, and in the last two years (2021-2022) thirty articles in six volumes. Over the years, therefore, the journal has experienced a slow but continuous progression in the number of articles and volumes published.
In 2019, for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of EQA, the editorial format of the published papers changed, improving the readability of texts, figures and tables.
Peer Review Process
EQA is a peer-reviewed open access journal. All publications in EQA undergo a single blind peer review process.
Submitted manuscripts will be assigned to one of the EQA editors. As part of the initial quality assessment, each article will undergo plagiarism detection through iThenticate. The editor and editorial board member will promptly assess the manuscript and will decide if it is likely to meet the requirement of providing a major advance in a particular field and describing a sufficient body of work to support that claim. After this formal assessment, if positive, the submission will be sent to two external referees, who are chosen on the base of their expertise and knowledge on the selected paper topics. The editor then makes a decision based on the reviewers' comments. There are several types of decision possible:
- Accept the manuscript as submitted
- Accept it with minor revision
- Invite the authors to submit a major revision of the manuscript before a final decision is reached
- Reject, typically because it does not fit the criteria outlined above of originality, importance to the field, cross-discipline interest, or sound methodology
When differences of opinion occur between reviewers, the editor weigh all comments and arrive at a balanced decision based on all comments. To assist in this process, the reviewer should provide the editor with as much information as possible. A review that clearly outlines reasons both for and against publication is therefore of as much, or even more, value as one that makes a direct recommendation.
If reviewers appear to disagree fundamentally, the editor may choose to share all the reviews with each of the reviewers and by this means elicit additional comment that may help the editor to make a decision. The editor then assesses the recommendations and comments of the reviewers alongside comments by the authors and material that may not have been made available to those reviewers. The names of the reviewers are hidden from the authors.
When a paper has been revised in response to comments by reviewers or when authors feel their argument has been misconstrued in review, we ask reviewers to offer additional comments on the revised or contested manuscript. We request that reviewers make themselves available to provide such follow-up advice. We are nevertheless aware that reviewers do not wish to be involved in extended discussions over papers, and we keep such consultations to a minimum while still allowing authors a fair hearing.
The journal is published six times a year. For the next future, the Editorial Board intents progressively increase the number of issues.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
It releases its articles under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This license allows anyone to download, reuse, re-print, modify, distribute and/or copy the contributions without commercial purposes. The works must be properly attributed to its author(s). It is not necessary to ask further permissions both to author(s) or journal board, although you are kindly requested to inform the journal for every reuse of the papers.
Authors who publish on this journal maintain the copyrights.
Authors are welcome to post the final draft post-refereeing (postprint) on a personal website, a collaborative wiki, departmental website, social media websites, institutional repository or non-commercial subject-based repositories.
The journal has neither article processing charges nor submission processing fees.
Code of Conduct
The following statement is inspired by COPE Code of Conduct:
Duties for the Editorial Team
Editorial team takes all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material published in EQA and has a duty to act if they suspect misconduct or if an allegation of misconduct is brought to them. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers. The decision of Editorial team as to accept or reject a paper for publication in the journal is based on subject relevance and originality and is guided by the review of suitably qualified reviewers. Editorial team will ensure that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions. Editorial team strives to ensure that peer review at the journal is fair, unbiased and timely. Editorial team evaluates manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. A description of peer review process is published, and Editorial team is ready to justify any important deviation from the described process. Editorial team’s decision may be constrained by such legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. Editorial team adopts a single blind peer-review protocol to ensure that material submitted to the Journal remains confidential while under review. Confidentiality of individual information obtained in the course of research or professional interactions is guaranteed. Editorial team strives to ensure that articles are published in open access and freely available for all the interested readers. Permanent identification with DOI guarantees the monitoring and preservation of articles over time.
Duties for Authors
Authors are responsible for the articles they submit: they must assure the originality of their works, being aware of the consequences of misconduct. Authors should always acknowledge their sources and provide relevant citation details for all publications that have influenced their work. Authors are asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication in order to provide access to such data. Authors are asked to follow the Author’s Guidelines published by the Journal, therefore ensuring accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting, including technical editing.
Duties for Reviewers
Reviewers are required to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission. Reviewers are encouraged to comment on the originality of submissions and to be alert to redundant publications and plagiarism. They will alert Editorial team regarding intellectual property issues and plagiarism and work to handle potential breaches of intellectual property laws and conventions. Reviewers should help identifying relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.
Handling of errors and misconducts
Editors will promptly act in case of errors and misconducts, both proven and alleged. In case such as errors in articles or in the publication process, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, appropriate steps will be taken, following the recommendations, guidelines and checklists from COPE. These includes the publication of an erratum (errors from the publication process), corrigendum (errors from the author(s)) or, in the most severe cases, the retraction of the affected work.
Indexing and Abstracting
The University of Bologna has an archival arrangement with the National Central Libraries of Florence and Rome within the national project Magazzini Digitali.
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences – DISTAL
Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna
Viale Giuseppe Fanin, 44
40127 - Bologna (Italy)