One of ASCE’s most valued contributions to the profession is marking its 60th anniversary this year. The 12 flagship ASCE Journals began publishing in 1956.
The journals’ origins, however, go back 84 years earlier, to publication of the first volume of Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1872, featuring technical papers that had been read to Society members at conferences and other meetings. The idea was to share information – new techniques, materials, best practices, and lessons learned within the industry – to the organization’s membership beyond the events held in New York City.
By 1956, the Society’s growth and increasing specialization within the profession necessitated new divisions. Transactions split that year into ASCE’s first 12 journals covering these technical divisions. They are the:
Journal of Energy Engineering
Journal of Engineering Mechanics
Journal of Environmental Engineering
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Journal of Structural Engineering
Journal of Surveying Engineering
Journal of Transportation Engineering
Journal of Urban Planning and Development
Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering
To commemorate the anniversary, the journals’ editorial boards have solicited papers to showcase their publication history and high regard in the civil engineering community.
“I do a lot of international travel, and everywhere I go in the world, ASCE journals are right at the top of the list as the most respected journals program,” said Ken Carper who helped start the Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities in 1986 and served as its editor for 30 years.
Carper saw a lot of changes during his tenure. For a long time, he handled the revision process through snail-mail and the telephone. ASCE switched its submission and review process online, cutting down on Carper’s phone bills.
“Made life a lot easier,” he laughed.
Today, ASCE publishes 36 journals across many civil engineering disciplines. Authors are ASCE members and non-members alike. The community surrounding each journal is international and multidisciplinary. Responsibility for reviewing manuscripts submitted to ASCE for publication rests with the editors and editorial boards of each journal.
“Over the years I have met editors and associate editors and authors, and they’re all doing the same thing – advancing the profession through their published work,” Carper said. “And it is a whole system that relies on altruistic contributions of editors, reviewers, authors. Nobody gets paid for this. It’s really remarkable.”