Even with the convenience of on-line access, I know that one group of individuals enjoys flipping through the hard copy of the Journal of Mechanical Design, examining the table of contents and perusing all of the articles. It is our authors who receive a complementary copy of the journal as it is published each month.
If you were to scan this months hard copy issue of JMD, what is important is what you do not see. Since September 2006, ASME Technical Publications and I have worked to institute a new policy for the quality of figures that appear in print. The goal is no more jagged, rasterized lines or blurry, pixelated text in any proof copy of a JMD journal article.
Implementing this policy has been bumpy, particularly for authors who have had to scramble at the last minute to revise figures that appear poorly in the proofs. Thankfully this publication panic has been eliminated, but at the cost of preparing a two-column draft as part of the final submission. The benefit is that our authors can control how their figures appear in the text of the journal article, and can identify and fix line-weight and font problems. At the same time, this communicates to the printer the authors' preferences for the size and location of each figure.
The presentation of figures influences the perception of quality, and in this way our authors continue to ensure JMD is of the highest quality. If you are physically flipping through this issue, I want to thank you.