Engineers Australia Technical Journals banner
Australian Journal of Water Resources

The Australian Journal of Water Resources (AJWR) aims to support innovative water resources planning and management and the advancement of related professional practice in Australia and its surrounding region by publishing fully refereed technical papers and a range of articles of interest to the profession.

Papers submitted for publication in AJWR are first subjected to an initial review by the Editorial Panel and, if they pass this successfully, will be submitted for independent peer review by at least two reviewers with relevant expertise.

Initial Review of AJWR Papers

Scope of AJWR

All papers to be published in the journal must fall within the scope defined by the Mission Statement (above). The following specific criteria will be used in this initial review:

Relevance to water resources planning/management and related professional practice

While it is difficult to clearly define a boundary around the topics covered by the intended scope of AJWR, the Editorial Panel will generally reject a paper if:

  • the topic of water resources plays only a very marginal role in the paper
  • the paper deals with such a highly specialised area of application and is of such a highly theoretical nature that it would be of interest to only a very small number of readers
  • the paper deals with a topic which is more appropriately covered by another Australian journal.


cover AJWR 12 Vol 1 2008

Relevance to target region

The primary target area of AJWR is Australia and its surrounding region, and papers to be published in AJWR should be of direct relevance to this target region. A paper that clearly focuses on issues and applications in countries outside this region will only be accepted for publication if it:

  • deals with the issues in a generic fashion and contains significant innovative aspects, thus making the material of the paper relevant to the target region
  • draws clear links to important issues or applications in the target region.

Innovative element

All papers must have an innovative element, either in terms of new scientific knowledge, new methods/models/data sources or novel ways of applying established methods. The presence and significance of an innovative element may be difficult to assess in the initial review - unless the lack of an innovative element can be clearly established, the paper will go on to detailed review.

Category of Publication

The AJWR Editorial Policy distinguishes between the following categories of publications:

Fully refereed papers (preferred)

  • Formal Professional and Scientific Papers – reporting on research, development of new methods or innovative applications of existing methods
  • Review Papers – on topics of significant current interest
  • Technical Notes – providing practical guidance on application

Other articles and communications (occasional)

  • Conference Papers – reprinted keynote papers or orations from Engineers Australia sponsored conferences
  • Position Papers – prepared by the National Committee on Water Engineering
  • Discussion Papers – exposing issues for feedback by the profession
  • Practice Notes – updates to current guidelines (after completed peer review)
  • Discussions of published papers
  • Occasional Communications – notices of general interest to the profession.

The initial review will assess which of these categories the paper would qualify for and what level of review will be required if the paper is accepted for detailed review.

Standard of manuscript

Manuscripts of papers submitted for publication in AJWR must satisfy a minimum standard in terms of organisation and presentation of their content. The intent is to avoid time-consuming effort by reviewers if the authors have clearly not put sufficient effort into these aspects of their manuscript. A paper may be rejected at the initial review stage if it fails to satisfy any of the following criteria:

  • The structure and organisation of the paper makes it very difficult to follow the main arguments of the paper, and it is likely that the reviewers would request major rewriting of the paper.
  • The standard of English expression is so poor to make it difficult to clearly understand the intent of significant parts of the paper.
  • The standard of spelling is so poor that an unreasonable amount of effort would be required in the review process to fix this.
  • The quality of figures or tables is generally of such low standard that major upgrading is required before the paper could be considered for publication.
  • The paper appears to contain substantial amounts of material from other sources without acknowledging these sources, and plagiarism appears to be an issue.

Response to Authors

If a paper clearly fails to satisfy any of the criteria under "Scope of AJWR", it will be rejected. The response to the author will clearly spell out the criteria on which this decision was based and, if appropriate, indicate suggested alternative avenues for the authors to publish their paper.
In general, failure to satisfy one or several of the "Standard of manuscript" criteria will not result in outright rejection of the paper but in a request to the authors to resubmit their manuscript with the specific shortcoming(s) attended to. Such a request will include a specific description of the basis for rejection and a clear indication of what would be required to overcome the shortcoming(s).

Authors will also be advised of the successful outcome of the initial review and the acceptance of the paper for detailed review.

Independent peer review

The detailed peer review of an article submitted for publication in AJWR will first determine the appropriate category for publication and then rate the paper in relation to the following criteria:

  • Value of content to engineering knowledge: The work must be relevant to the field.
  • Degree of originality: The work should reflect new developments or, in the case of review and tutorial papers, contribute to the understanding of new developments.
  • Degree of interest created.
  • Logical development, clarity and completeness: The paper should be clearly laid out, well-written and grammatically correct.

The reviewer will then make a recommendation in line with one of the following four options:

  • Accept – Reviewer recommends the paper for inclusion in the journal. Author is to note minor corrections, remarks, typographical errors, etc.
  • Minor revision – Reviewer recommends the paper for inclusion in the journal subject to author addressing specific comments from the reviewer.
  • Major revision – Reviewer does not recommend the paper for publication in its present form. Complete revision in line with reviewers’ comment is required and further review by original reviewers is essential.
  • Reject – Reviewer does not recommend the paper for publication at all.

The initial review should assess which of these categories the paper would qualify and what level of review will be required if the paper is accepted for detailed review.

Editorial panel for AJWR

The Editor of this journal is Brett Phillips. The members of the Associate Editor panel are Katherine Daniell, Trevor Daniell, Martin Lambert, Grace Mitchell, Ataur Rahman, Dhrubajyoti Sen, Mark Thyer, Erwin Weinmann and Thomas Wöhling.

To submit a paper to this journal, go to