Presidential Address: Starting on-line journal of BGS for applied and pure geophysics

by Ahmet T. Basokur (February 1998)

The Chamber of Geophysical Engineers of Turkey took over of the presidency of Balkan Geophysical Society (BGS) from the Hellenic Geophysical Union a year ago and I have completed my first year in the second executive committee. My predecessor Dr. George Sideris of Hellenic Geophysical Union, and the first executive committee members Dr. M. Loucoyannakis, Prof. E. Lagios and Y. Grigoriou successfully completed many hard works in the beginning years of the society. The First Balkan Geophysical Congress held in Athens proved that the society was well managed. On behalf of all member societies, I thank the first president and the executive committee for their prosperous works. I hope that the second executive committee will strengthen these activities.

At the moment, the second executive committee has completed the construction of the BGS web site ( We hope that our home page will open a wide window by supplying a direct link to all geoscientist. This will also give us a chance to electronically publish our scientific journal inside our home page. Our E-journal, ‘Journal of the Balkan Geophysical Society’ will appear quarterly in February, May, August and November. Publishing a journal on the Internet has several advantages, for example, speed and low cost. The authors will not wait for a long time (one and half year in favourable conditions) to see their manuscripts in the printed form. If the review process can be accelerated using the Internet then the Editor can publish the papers in six months after receiving. The second advantage is that any reader who has Internet access can read and print the papers without any extra cost. If someone has a computer and Internet access in the office or at home, then our journal is much closer than a printed one that is stored in the library of the company. We should also mention that many small companies and institutions might not have sufficient budget to buy several journals published on geophysics. Moreover, the readers can read or print only the interested papers instead of buying the complete volume of a printed journal. E-journals are cost effective for both the publisher and the readers. Still, there are additional advantages of E-journals such as coloured figures, and inserting movies and sounds in the near future. The most importantly, E-journals are not harmful for the environment and they save the nature and forests. Because, we waste electrons instead of papers produced by chemical processes that run out a lot of trees. At this point, more probably you are asking if there is any disadvantage of E-journals. In reality, there is not. However, the idea seems to be quite new. Whenever I mention publishing an E-journal, someone asks if the value of an E-journal would be the same as the printed one. I can plainly respond that the value of any journal in printed or in electronically published form, is defined by its contents. If the published papers are in high quality then the journal will be a valuable one.

The editor, Gregory N. Tsokas of Thessaloniki University has done his best efforts to create a valuable journal and now the first issue has already been published. We hope that you will support us by submitting valuable papers in future. Surely, our web page is not constructed only to publish our ournal. First of all, we should know that the construction of a web site is not sufficient that someone visits it ithout any reason. Except the students, nobody have free time to visit many web sites only for curiosity. The journal is good reason to take attraction of the geoscientists, but we have to provide additional services. For example, we can publish books, lecture notes, survey reports and software. The materials can be prepared in English or in one of the Balkan languages. We would like to receive such materials not only from the members but also from all over the world. We also open a page for ‘Exploration News’ so that our members will be aware of the company activities. Member societies should support the executive committee to make our web pages interesting.

Finally, I hope that our web site will make all geophysicists more closely than before. I thank again all colleagues who made contributions to the Balkan Geophysical Society.