This year, the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design will be thirty five years old. So this is a good time for celebration and also for reflection. The design universe has grown steadily over the past decades: Renewed awareness of the role of design in our personal daily lives and the creation of social wealth; recognition that design is a discipline in its own right worthy of knoweldge creation and propagation (i.e., research and education); creation of a plethora of journals that have design as their main theme or catering to a significant design-oriented audience; and finally, an insipient understanding and acceptance that design is approached by different people from different angles, yet what unites designers of all colors is stronger than what differentiates them.

Journals can and do play a major role in shaping awareness. This past couple of years, I had several opportunities to sit together with chief editors of other journals, both design oriented and not. Oftentimes, the goal of these events was to promote good journal practices, to share some common experiences, and—in the case of design-oriented journals—to educate audiences about successful design research.

A practical way to increase awareness and to provide more depth in our research work is to study the right references. I elaborated on this topic in my November 2011 editorial ( A nice service we have for JMD is the ability to sign up for RSS feeds or automatic email alerts ( While the insistence on proper refrencing is sometimes viewed as self serving, it is actually the best way for building a community and for ensuring rigor: For recognizing the expanse of the design universe from a journals’ perspective.

In this spirit, I have decided that in my future communications to our JMD authors, I will be suggesting that, as part of their JMD manuscript preparation, they should examine articles that appear in specific other journals—what I have often called JMD’s sister journals. Some examples of such journals are: ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics; ASME Journal of Computing and Information in Engineering; Journal of Mechanisms and Machine Theory; AI for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing; Journal of Product Innovation Management; Computer-Aided Design; Research in Engineering Design; Journal of Engineering Design; Design Studies; Mechatronics; Engineering Optimization; Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. The list is not exhaustive and one can argue that it is really impossible to put boundaries or to cover all the areas of relevance to JMD authors. While this may be true in general, it does not prevent us from presenting specific opportunities for exploration, particularly for authors new to design research.

My plan then is to maintain a suggested list of sister journals in our dedicated website along with their links. To this end, I invite all of you, our JMD constituents, to provide me with input for this list (email me at

I am also discussing this idea with my editor colleagues in other journals. Some of them are actually former JMD associate editors or chief editors—showing that the community is closer together than one might think. I do not expect reciprocity from the other journals but if it happens so much the better for everyone. Building a strong design research and education community is our common goal.

Please accept my wishes for a Happy New Year 2012 along with my grateful thanks to all of you JMD authors, reviewers, editors, and staff for your efforts for another successful year in JMD’s life!