1. Editorial

 Up until this edition the production of IJVS has been done by a company called Teamworks, based near Southampton. It was decided some time ago that early in the summer of 1998, the editorial team should take over production as well and that IJVS should have it’s own dedicated Web site. This change is well under way and as a result the address for the journal is now simpler and far easier to remember – http://www.teamworks.co.uk/ijvs becomes http:// www.ijvs.com.  [ It is now http://www.irdg.org/ijvs] For the immediate future if you use the old address your requests or contributions will be redirected. The change means that Louise Martin, our very able and enthusiastic Assistant Editor, has to worry about getting material from authors, refereeing, desk-editing, typing up, redrawing diagrams for contributors, prodding me (her biggest job) AND preparing all the material for web outputting – so her job has increased enormously.

You will notice yet another change in pagination in this edition. Don’t worry – it won’t effect the system we have adopted! You will see that each article or major section within an article is given a number. As a result the total number of numbers (!!) is far less than it was. The logic is that we scientists only want to refer to the first page of an article. So – to remind you – our feature article on Raman/HPLC should be cited R. Steinart, H.B. Betterman & K.K. Kleinermanns Int.J.Vibr.Spec.2 (1998)27.

Over the last few months I’ve become a great enthusiast for the diamond ATR accessory. Even, I a Raman man can be trusted to get decent mid infrared spectra. I asked David Coombs of Graseby Specac and the folks at Perkin Elmer’s Beaconsfield laboratories to write pieces telling us about diamond ATR, what it is, how it works and giving examples of applications. As it turns out the contribution from Sharon Cooke, Cathy Deeley and Mark Billingham puts forward a rather challenging idea – why not use the quantitative approach in mid i.r. and Raman spectroscopy normally associated with the new infrared? Don’t bother about the meaning of the spectra or the way that the data is recorded but rather identify spectral trends in series of calibrated samples and use these to quantitatively analyse unknowns. It’s a challenging idea that exploits the convenience of diamond ATR. I sense their approach is far from developed but it is challenging and of great potential value in industrial and Q.C. labs.

Janet Tyas of Kodak gave a wonderful talk at last Autumn’s P.E. Users meeting on her experience in running a routine ir/Raman/nir lab in a busy R&D Department. I recommend her paper to you.

Hans Betterman and his colleagues have recently demonstrated how, with careful application of good optical methods, Raman spectra, feint though they may be can be used to make measurements on low concentration solutions. So we asked Hans to produce a paper for us. Their sensitivity is really very impressive and as they point out lends to the possibility if using Raman for the analysis of components from chromatographic separators. One amusing point, when I read their paper I complained that the optical diagram was hard to follow because it was horribly out of scale. After all, one lens was shown as if it was enormous. Checking the manuscript again revealed that said lens was 47cm in diameter – obviously a typo – who had ever heard of lenses half a metre in diameter – the author must have meant 47mm. WRONG! – the figure is indeed to scale and these folks do use enormous optics! Read it – very interesting piece of work and it certainly refutes the idea that Raman will not work on traces.

Contributed articles – delighted to report that these are coming in at a steadily increasing rate and the coverage is very wide indeed. Everyone interested in vibrational spectroscopy should find the papers on offer this time really interesting. David Schmierer and colleagues tells us about polymorphism in drugs – a real problem in the pharmaceutical industry.

Liquid crystals are important to us all (and not only in LC displays) so a description from Jaap Leyte, of how mid infrared can be used to follow changes that occur when you apply an electric field (ah ah – as you do in a LC display) is timely.

Kristine Moore has contributed to Ed I, Vol I in the Dear Readers section, so I asked her for an account of the fascinating work she does on mediaeval paintings and documents.

And finally Derek Gardiner has responded to my request and tells us about the effect of stress on silicon slices. A wonderful varied bunch.

Patrick Hendra

2. Assistant Editorial

Adding to my seemingly endless list of things to do, Patrick has asked me to write a few words on the production side of IJVS. As he has already mentioned I am now responsible for the production of the Journal as well as administration, so my first request is PLEASE go easy on me. If there are any broken links or problems with this Edition, please do not hesitate to contact me, but take note that this is my first one!

The purpose of my section will be to advise and update readers and would-be authors how to get the best from IJVS, as we endeavour to provide a quality publication for you. Until now we’ve mentioned that the Journal is becoming increasingly popular, but possibly not clarified what this entails. Software built into the website, tells us how many people have visited the site, who subscribes to our mailing list and also readers comments – which we greatly appreciate. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that our last Edition (Ed I, Vol II) since it was issued on the Web in May had received nearly 900 hits! Our subscription list is around the 500 mark and steadily increasing at a rate of about 10 readers each week. It is all very encouraging.

As everyone will realise – IJVS is in colour. We invested in a colour printer a few months ago here in the IJVS office and were pleasantly surprised when printing out the last edition, to see it in colour. Relatively few readers use colour printers but if you do, the hard copy looks far better. One particular problem solved by the use of colour is that multiple spectra are easier to follow when overlapping occurs. More contributors are suppling some very pretty pictures, this Edition is no exception, so try to get access to a colour printer, its worth it.

I’m not going to say much more, other than a BIG thank you to all the contributors to this Edition and apologies for the lateness of this publication. I realise that we’re more than half way through this year, with only two editions to show for it. The remaining four editions planned for Volume II will be produced a lot quicker and closer together.

Louise Martin
Assistant Editor