Publications of the Institute
www.concreteinternational.com | Ci | SEPTEMBER 2019 7
In June, I had the opportunity
to visit ACI world headquarters
in Farmington Hills,
MI, for the summer Executive
Committee meeting. While
there, I briefly chatted with Rex
Donahey, Editor-in-Chief of
Concrete International. He
suggested that I discuss some of
the ideas that Robert Frosch has
regarding the ACI Structural
Journal—ideas that are also
relevant to the ACI Materials
Journal. Robert Frosch and
Jason Weiss were named
Editors-in-Chief of the ACI Structural Journal and ACI
Materials Journal, respectively, in 2018. Each Editor-in-
Chief is joined by four subject-matter experts to make up
an Editorial Board for each journal.
Like most things at ACI, the journals have been advancing
into the digital age. Hard copies of manuscripts are no longer
submitted and then mailed out to reviewers. Instead, there
is a publications portal on ACI’s website that manages the
submission, editorial reviews, and disposition of all peerreviewed
manuscripts. Also a change from the days of
receiving hard copies in the mail is the dissemination of the
bimonthly journals electronically to those who subscribe.
The Editorial Boards will focus on the mission of making
and keeping ACI’s serial publications the premier place to
publish for academic researchers in the field of concrete.
The Boards’ initial missions include identifying new topics
for commissioned works and special editions and advising
on the direction for the journals, making suggestions for
both subject matter and potential authors, providing content
by writing occasional editorials and other short articles,
overseeing journal quality, and more.
Last year marked the 115th year of publication of ACI
journals. Over the years, the format has morphed from an
annual Proceedings volume to the two bimonthly journals
and monthly magazine that we have today. During this period,
there have been over 9000 papers and discussions published
in the various ACI journals. What may not be known is
that all 9000 papers have been scanned by ACI and can be
downloaded at no cost to members of the Institute. Past papers
can be found on ACI’s website under each publication’s
portal. Over the years, these publications have influenced the
way concrete structures are built and how building codes and
specifications are developed, resulting in more economical
and safer concrete construction.
So, to keep the focus on improving the quality of publications,
Frosch believes that more experts need to be involved
as reviewers. Reviewing papers is probably not the top
priority on members’ lists of giving back to the profession.
However, providing one’s expertise in reviewing a paper
in one’s field can be profoundly rewarding. Reviewers’
comments can strengthen the content of the paper, and
such comments provide for continuous improvement in
the scholarly work published by ACI.
Frosch also argues that the best reviewers come from
members of subject-matter committees. Where else can the
best expertise be found other than from members of ACI’s
technical committees? These are the individuals who are
producing the consensus state-of-the-art reports, guidelines,
standards, and codes that are the hallmarks of ACI.
I spoke to Frosch about other ideas that might enhance the
ACI journals in the future. He had several good ideas, some of
which were discussed at the Executive Committee meeting.
These included ways to enhance the look and delivery of
the journals. While the journals are now sent to members
digitally, the reviewing of papers can be a bit cumbersome.
In addition, the website publications portal could be
restructured to make it a more user-friendly experience.
Frosch also indicated that it would be helpful to have
a singular point of contact for the journals—a Managing
Director/Editor of Publications. This would likely be an
ACI engineering staff person who would be the individual
that authors could reach out to concerning reviews or other
questions. Of course, this individual at ACI world headquarters
would have the Editors of the journals to rely on to discuss
specific issues, but the Managing Editor would provide
a single point of contact. These are some of the items
The journals are among the many strengths of ACI. We
should always be looking for ways to improve them so that
ACI remains the go-to place for learning about and advancing
all things concrete.
Randall W. Poston
American Concrete Institute
Randall W. Poston