The Texas Water Journal (ISSN 2160-5319) is an online, peer-reviewed, and indexed journal devoted to the timely consideration of Texas water resources management, research, and policy issues from a multidisciplinary perspective that integrates science, engineering, law, planning, and other disciplines. It also provides updates on key state legislation and policy changes by Texas administrative agencies. The Texas Water Journal is published by the Texas Water Journal 501(c)(3) in cooperation with the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University and the Bureau of Economic Geology in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin.
The mission of the Texas Water Journal is to provide peer-reviewed water science and policy for Texas. The vision of the Texas Water Journal is to be the definitive source on Texas water. The Texas Water Journal is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is governed by a voluntary board of directors.
The Texas Water Journal started as a gleam in our eyes back in 2006. We saw the need for a widely-available journal specifically focused on Texas water and were enamored with the concept of non-profit open-sourced journaling. We created the Texas Water Journal to:
Provide greater access to information on Texas water; for example, the Texas Water Journal is free and the articles can be distributed, posted, and printed with the proper attribution included;
Provide more timely access to information on Texas water; for example, Texas Water Journal articles are posted and distributed as they are completed — there is no delay as often occurs for a print publication when a full slate of articles must be completed before an edition can be printed and distributed; and
Eliminate unnecessary barriers to publication, such as limits on the frequency of publications by the most productive authors.
Texas water knowledge is distributed across the state. A great deal of knowledge resides at Texas colleges and universities, but much is also spread across the agencies and organizations working in the state. Texas water knowledge can be found at Texas’ state agencies, such as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Water Development Board, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and federal agencies working in Texas, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Texas also has over 7,000 water supply districts, 100 groundwater conservation districts, 24 river authorities, two subsidence districts, and numerous nongovernmental organizations and consulting firms. All these groups contribute vital knowledge about Texas water issues. The public—often an untapped resource—also has water knowledge to share.
Except for academic institutions, few of the above entities actively encourage their experts to publish scholarly articles on topics on which they have expertise. Fewer still pay the publication fees that some journals charge, and even fewer allow employees to allocate work hours to preparing journal articles.
In contrast, the Texas Water Journal does not charge author publication fees, in order to make scholarly publishing more accessible to the range of Texas water experts. And because the Texas Water Journal’s goal is to make essential water knowledge available to everyone, the journal also does not charge readers fees.
Given that many Texas Water Journal authors must prepare their submissions in their spare time, the journal does not require authors to turn around revisions as quickly as other journals. The Texas Water Journal also aims to provide authors with reviews from subject matter experts from a range of backgrounds, including academic institutions, government, nongovernmental organizations, consulting firms, and more. These are the characteristics, goals, and philosophy that separate the Texas Water Journal from other publications. We welcome your article submissions and your support.
A paper submitted to the Texas Water Journal will receive a pre-review by the editor-in-chief to ensure that paper meets the Texas Water Journal's basic requirements (see Author Guidelines). The Journal expects papers to be well written, well organized, factual, adequately referenced, and of a topic germane to the Texas Water Journal. If the editor-in-chief determines that the paper meets the Journal’s basic requirements, the editor-in-chief will assign the paper to one of the article editors. The article editor will seek at least three peer reviewers for each submitted paper. The article editor will select potential reviewers from qualified registered users who have identified a willingness to review submitted papers and recognized experts on the article subject matter. Potential article editors and reviewers must notify the article editor if serving as a reviewer creates a potential conflict of interest (see Statement of Ethics/Conflict of Interests).
Blind Peer Review
All reviews will be blind. Authors will not know who is reviewing their paper; however, reviewers will know the names of the authors. Reviewers typically have one month to complete their review and then submit it to the article editor through the Texas Water Journal submission system. Reviewers must remove all references to their names as well as other identifying information before uploading their review. Once the paper has been reviewed, the article editor will read the reviewers' recommendations and notify the author whether the submission is being recommended for publication to the editor-in-chief with or without modifications, or whether the submission is being recommended for rejection to the editor-in-chief. In some instances, additional rounds of reviews will be required before the article editor notifies the author of the recommendation regarding the submission. Once the author has addressed the reviewers' and article editor's comments and the editor-in-chief has conducted a final review, a copy editor will prepare the paper for final publication. The author will have an opportunity to review the article PDF before the paper is published. Once the paper is published, the Texas Water Journal will send an email to registered users that the paper is available to read and download.
Reviews for Commentaries and Book Reviews
In addition to articles, the Texas Water Journal also publishes commentaries and book reviews. Commentaries are only received and considered by invitation of the editor-in-chief. Individuals wishing to submit a book review may contact the editor-in-chief to determine if the Journal is interested in receiving a review of a specific book. Reviews for commentaries and book reviews will be conducted by the editor-in-chief and could include additional editors at the editor-in-chief’s discretion.
Papers Withdrawn from or Rejected by Other Journals
A paper submitted to the Texas Water Journal may not have been published in another journal. If a paper has been rejected or withdrawn from another journal, the author must notify the editor-in-chief of this at the time the paper is submitted to the Texas Water Journal.
The Texas Water Journal is web-based and free of charge, with peer-reviewed papers posted in Adobe Acrobat PDF form. Readers may print, e-mail, or post papers as they please, provided that the proper author and journal attribution is included. The appropriate citation is available on the webpage and PDF of each paper. The intent is to provide the public with maximum access to in-depth discussion of significant water issues and policies. The Texas Water Journal has been awarded the Directory of Open Access Journals' (DOAJ) Seal, which is awarded to journals that demonstrate best practice in open access publishing.
The Texas Water Journal is a diamond (also known as platinum) open access journal, which means that all Texas Water Journal content is freely available, without charge to users or their institutions. Under the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge users are permitted to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles, or use them for any other lawful purposes. This may be done without asking for prior permission from the publisher or the author. This open access policy is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in the Texas Water Journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in the Texas Water Journal. The required acknowledgement is: “This article ([article’s DOI]) was originally published in the Texas Water Journal (texaswaterjournal.org) in [volume and issue].” Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.
The Texas Water Journal does not charge any fees (often referred to as article processing charges or APCs) to publish in the Texas Water Journal. The Texas Water Journal also does not charge any subscription fees to our readers.
The Texas Water Journal uses the Public Knowledge Project's Preservation Network to digitally preserve the journal.
The Texas Water Journal's preferred style guide is The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition. The Texas Water Journal also accepts The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition, and Suggestions to Authors of the Reports of the U.S. Geological Survey, 8th Edition. For legal articles, the preferred style guide is The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 21st Edition.
Some exceptions have been made to these styles. The Texas Water Journal therefore maintains its own style guidelines, which authors should use in conjunction with the their selected style. See the Author Guidelines for more information about the journal's style and formatting.
The Texas Water Journal publishes one issue per year, and each issue contains approximately nine to 12 papers. Papers are published continuously as they are finished. The journal may occasionally create a second issue, such as a special issue on a specific subject matter. The editors may collect a series of papers for limited hardcopy publication and archiving.
All manuscripts submitted to the Texas Water Journal must be the original work of the authors. Plagiarism is strictly forbidden and when discovered will result in an article's rejection or retraction as well as a report of the incident to those individuals whose works were plagiarized. Original research should present an accurate account of the work performed and an objective discussion. Data should be represented accurately in the paper. Other authors’ works must be appropriately cited. Authorship of the paper should include only those who have made significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the article. Contributing authors should be listed as co-authors, and other participants should be acknowledged. Authors may not submit the manuscript to more than one journal concurrently. Authors should only submit papers on work that has been conducted in an ethical and responsible manner. Unethical behavior is unacceptable.
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation and responsibility to promptly notify the editor-in-chief and cooperate with the editor-in-chief to retract or correct the paper and publish an Erratum.
Authors should disclose any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript and acknowledge individuals or organizations that have provided financial support for research. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
The editor-in-chief is responsible for deciding which manuscripts submitted to the Texas Water Journal should be peer-reviewed for consideration for publication and for assigning a section editor for each article. In addition to technical merits, the editor-in-chief will make review and publication decisions based on maintaining the integrity and reputation of the Texas Water Journal, the Texas Water Resources Institute, and Texas A&M University. After peer review, the section editor will make a decision on the acceptance of the article for publication. The editor-in-chief will review each publication decision. If the section editor and editor-in-chief disagree about the publication decision, the editor-in-chief may convene the editorial board, which will make a publication decision by simple majority. Publication decisions should be guided by the policies of the Texas Water Journal 501 (c) (3) Board and should be based exclusively on the academic merit and the decision of the reviewers. All manuscripts must be peer-reviewed to assist the section editor in making editorial decisions through the necessary editorial communications. The author will be required to assist the section editor in edits to improve the paper. The editorial board and editorial team must not disclose any information about the submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author(s), reviewers, potential reviewers, and the publisher. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in any of the Texas Water Journal editors’ own research without the expressed written consent of the author. The editorial board, section editors, advisory board members, reviewers, and editorial team will conduct themselves in a balanced and objective manner, acting out their duties in an unbiased and nondiscriminatory fashion (race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, political, or any other major identifiable markers).
Section editors should excuse themselves (i.e., should ask the editor-in-chief to reassign the article to another section editor) from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors or companies. When the editor-in-chief is notified or discovers a significant problem regarding errors/inaccuracy, undisclosed conflict of interest, or plagiarism in a published article, the editor-in-chief will promptly notify the corresponding author and the publisher and will undertake the necessary actions to clarify the issue and in case of need to retract the paper or publish an Erratum.
Peer reviewers will assist the section editors in making editorial decisions. If a selected reviewer feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible, the reviewer should notify the section editor and excuse themself from the review process. Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor-in-chief. Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the section editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
The Texas Water Journal is indexed by Google Scholar, Scopus, and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The Texas Water Journal has also been awarded the DOAJ Seal, which is awarded to journals that demonstrate best practice in open access publishing. Around 10% of journals indexed in DOAJ have been awarded the Seal.