Croatica Chemica Acta

  ☆   published by the Croatian Chemical Society   ☆   est. 1927


The 70th Anniversary of
1927 – 1997

Written after Croat. Chem. Acta 70 (1997) I-IV.

The first issue of Croatica Chemica Acta (Croat. Chem. Acta) appeared under the name
Arhiv za hemiju i farmaciju (Archive for Chemistry and Pharmacy)
in Zagreb on April 1, 1927.
It was published by the Yugoslav Chemical Society as a quarterly chemical journal. The Yugoslav Chemical Society was founded in Zagreb on January 23, 1926. The first President of the Society and the first Editor of the journal was the analytical and inorganic chemist,

Professor Vladimir Njegovan (b. 1884 in Zagreb-d. 1971 in Zagreb).

He remained editor of the Archive until 1933. During his editorship and more or less until the end of the Second World War, the journal had been publishing scientific papers, lectures, announcements of scientific events, reports or titles of papers published by Croatian or Yugoslav chemists in foreign journals, book reviews, obituaries etc. These contributions were mostly published in some kind of a hybrid of Croatian and Serbian languages commonly not spoken by individual scientists.
Njegovan was succeeded by a metallurgist,

Professor Franjo Hanaman (b. 1878 in Drenovci – d. 1941 in Zagreb).

Professor Hanaman and Dr. Aleksandar Just (1872-1937) discovered the electric bulb with wolfram wire . This discovery made them known in our country and abroad. During Hanaman’s editorship (1933-1939), the journal changed its name twice. The first change of the name (1938) to Arhiv za hemiju i tehnologiju (Archive for Chemistry and Technology) was induced by the fact that papers reporting pharmaceutical research were rather scarce. In 1939, the term “hemija” was replaced by the Croatian “kemija” giving the name Arhiv za kemiju i tehnologiju. As well, the name of the Yugoslav Chemical Society was changed into the Croatian Chemical Society. This happened due to the political changes in the pre-war Yugoslavia. In 1939, Banovina Hrvatska was formed after an agreement between the leading Croatian political figure of those days Vlatko Macek (1879-1964) and the liberal president of the Yugoslav Government Dragisa Cvetkovic (1893-1963). The use of the Croatian language, instead of the mentioned hybrid-language, was finally possible.

Professor Hanaman suddenly died in 1939 and the geochemist,

Dr. Stanko Miholic (b. 1900 in Zalec, Slovenia – d. 1960 in Bolø, Norway)

was appointed Editor and he performed this duty until 1940. Before the war, the papers written by the Croatian Nobel Laureates, Leopold Ruzicka (1887-1976) and Vladimir Prelog (1906) appeared in the journal:

L. Ruzicka,
From Dalmatian Chrysantemum (Pyrethrum) cinerariifolium Boc. to Sexual Hormones (in Croatian)
Arhiv za kemiju i tehnologiju 14 (1940) 1-20.
V. Prelog and E. Cerkovnikov,
Syntheses from Tetrahydro-pyran-gamma-aldehyde (in Croatian with an abstract in English)
Arhiv za hemiju i farmaciju 9 (1935) 14-18.

In 1941, a physical and organic chemist,

Professor Mladen Deželić (b. 1900 in Zagreb – d. 1989 in Zagreb),

became the Editor of the journal. He took over the journal in the hard times of the Second World War. However, by the end of the war in 1945, he managed to publish three volumes of the journal. In 1941, the journal changed its name again, this time into Kemijski vjestnik (Chemical Gazette). During the war, an important paper on the first synthesis of adamantane was published by Rativoj Seiwerth (1916), who got his Ph. D. degree under Prelog.

R. Seiwerth
On the Synthesis of Adamantane (in Croatian, an abstract in German)
Kemijski vjestnik 15-16 (1942-1943) 20-44.

In 1946, the former name of the journal, in its shorter and much more fitting version: Arhiv za kemiju (Archive for Chemistry), was restored. Its pre-war Editor,

Dr. Stanko Miholic,

took over the editorship again and held this appointment until 1952.

Until 1946, the papers in the journal appeared either in Croatian or Serbian, but also in a hybrid of these two languages. Several papers were printed in German, as well. After 1946, the papers were published in foreign languages regularly. The first paper in English appeared in 1946, written by Professor Krešimir Balenović (1914) and his doctoral student Rikard Munk (1918-1970):

K. Balenović and R. Munk,
Contribution to the Knowledge of Polyoxocompounds III
Sym-Dibenzoyl-acetone (1,3,5-trioxo-1,5-diphenylpentane)
Arhiv za kemiju 18 (1946) 41-44.

In the volume 19 (1947), the names of the members of the Editorial Board of the journal appeared for the first time: Krešimir Balenović (1914), Ivan Brihta (1903-1960), Eugen Gustak (1916-1975), Hrvoje Iveković (1901-1991), Miroslav Karsulin (1904-1984), Mirko Mirnik (1916) and Mihovil Proštenik (1916-1994).

In 1953, the physical chemist,

Professor Božo Težak (b. 1907 in Varaždin – d. 1980 in Zagreb),

a member of the Editorial Board since 1949, became the Editor of the journal. At its annual assembly the Croatian Chemical Society appointed Težak to be Editor. Then, Težak became Editor-in-Chief with two Assistant Editors, Egon Matijevic (1922) and Velimir Vouk (1919-1984), and the Editorial Board consisting of four members: Petar Alaupovic (1925), Ivan Filipovic (1911), Eugen Gustak (1916-1975) and Dionis Sunko (1922). This was the beginning of the journal new era, since Professor Težak started to introduce changes into editorial policy. The journal developed from a small provincial chemical journal of inconsistent quality into an internationally recognizable publication. The changes introduced by Professor Težak could be summarized as follows:
Manuscripts had to be submitted in one of the main European languages: English, French, German or Russian (later in English only). However, the manuscripts in Croatian were accepted until the late fifties. Manuscripts were sent to at least two anonymous referees. The manuscripts of Croatian authors were always sent to foreign referees and only those with favourable reports were published. The journal appeared regularly and technical improvements were continuously introduced.

Thanks to Professor Težak, the present name Croatica Chemica Acta was introduced in 1956. This was not an easy task, since there was a considerable opposition to any change of the name. The struggle for this change lasted for almost a year, and then finally at the annual assembly of the Croatian Chemical Society the proposal was approved.

The change of the name from Arhiv za kemiju into Croatica Chemica Acta was introduced so as to avoid the confusing similarity with the citations of Arkiv Kemi which was the abbreviation of the much better known chemical journal: Arkiv för Kemi published by the Swedish Academy of Science. The choice of the name Croatica Chemica Acta was supported by following arguments: The Latin name of the journal indicated that the articles were printed in one of the main European languages; the term Croatica in the name indicated the national origin. The form of the name was chosen to be Croatica Chemica Acta instead of Acta Chemica Croatica, which would be more in the genius of the Latin language, because there were many journals beginning with Acta and thus among them Acta Chemica Croatica would have been less discernible. Professor Božo Težak was the Editor-in-Chief of Croatica Chemica Acta until his premature death of a heart attack, in 1980.

During Težak’s editorship, Croatica Chemica Acta became an established quarterly chemical journal in which the papers covering all fields of chemistry: physical and theoretical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic and structural chemistry, analytical chemistry and materials science, were published. He also introduced author(s)’ reviews and conference issues.

Težak was succeeded by a biophysicist,

Dr. Siniša Maričić (b. 1926 in Skopje, Macedonia),

who remained Editor-in-Chief until 1985. Maričić had already been an Editor in Težak’s time, since 1975, and a member of the Editorial Board of Croatica Chemica Acta since 1959. Dr. Maričić introduced special issues of Croatica Chemica Acta with Guest-Editors.

As Editor-in-Chief of Croatica Chemica Acta, Dr. Siniša Maričić was succeeded by the physical chemist,

Professor Vladimir Simeon (b. 1939 in Zagreb),

who had been a member of the Editorial Board since 1968. Simeon held the position until 1994. During his editorship, feature articles were introduced, and Honorary Editors and the Advisory Board were added to the structure of the Editorial Board. The first Honorary Editors were the Nobel Laureates: Jean-Marie Lehn, Linus Pauling and Vladimir Prelog. After the death of Linus Pauling in 1994, Jean-Marie Lehn and Vladimir Prelog remained the only Honorary Editors.

Between 1995-2005, the theoretical chemist,

Dr. Nenad Trinajstić (b.1936 in Zagreb)

has been the Editor-in-Chief. To this position he was elected at the annual assembly of the Croatian Chemical Society in May 1994. He has retained the same structure of the Editorial Board, although its membership from Croatia largely changed. The editorial policy set by Professor Težak is still being followed to the letter, except for one: the Editorial Board meets five to six times a year, while in Težak’s times the meetings were held weekly. Now, many more papers are being submitted for publication both from Croatia and abroad and the size of each volume has increased considerably. The regularity of appearance of the journal is now strictly obeyed, which often has not been the case in the past.

Since 2006

Dr. Nikola Kallay (b.1942 in Zagreb)
is the new Editor-in-Chief.

Since 1975 Croatica Chemica Acta has been appearing in the Journal Citation Reports published by the Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia. Similarly, Croatica Chemica Acta has been also referred to by Current Contents since the inception of this important publication. The Journal Citation Report gives the ranking of journals in terms of their impact factors.

The impact factors for the years 1991-1994 indicate that the hard years during the Croatian Liberation War (1991-1995), especially while Zagreb was attacked by Serbian and Montenegrin aggressors, did not prevent Croatica Chemica Acta to publish quality papers by Croatian and foreign authors regularly. The impact factor of 0.625 (in 1994) compares favourably with the impact factors of the national chemical journals published in the neighbouring countries:

Austria-Monatshefte fur Chemie (0.618);
Czech Republic-Collection of Czech Chemical Communications (0.467);
Italy-Gazzetta Chimica Italiana (0.772);
Hungary-Acta Chimica Hungarica (0.445);
Romania-Revue Roumaine de Chimie (0.141);
Slovakia-Chemical Papers (0.224).

It should be pointed out that the most of these journals have 12 issues per year and are published in countries having far more chemists than Croatia.

Two most cited papers from Croatica Chemica Acta are:

W. Stumm, R. Kummert and L. Sigg,
A ligand exchange model for the adsorption of inorganic and organic ligands at hydrous oxide interfaces,
Croat. Chem. Acta 53 (1980) 291-312 (346 citation in Web of Science, ISI, Thompson Reuters – December 2009)
W. Stumm, C. P. Huang and S. R. Jenkins,
Specific Chemical Interactions Affecting the Stability of Dispersed Systems,
Croat. Chem. Acta 42 (1970) 223-245 (296 citation in Web of Science, ISI, Thompson Reuters – December 2009)

The research on which the second paper is based was reported at the Summer School on the Chemistry of Solid/Liquid Interfaces that was held in Dubrovnik and Cavtat, Croatia, in July 1970. These two articles became the Science Citation Classic in 1990 (having 105 and 110 citations, respectively, at that time). To the aquatic surface chemistry researchers these two papers have been continuously recommended (e.g. G. Sposito, in: Aquatic Chemistry-Interfacial and Interspecies Processes, edited by C. P. Huang, C. R. O’Melia and J. J. Morgan, ACS, Washington, DC, 1995, pp. 33-56). The above supports the view that a small journal is not a hindrance for the recognition of an outstanding work. This is correction of Editorial published in Issue 2 of Croatica Chemica Acta dedicated to Werner Stumm, 71 (1998) I-II. In addition, this is also correction related to Editorial by N. Trinajstić, The 70th anniversary of Croatica Chemica Acta 1927-1997, Croat. Chem. Acta 70 (1997) I-IV.

An analysis/overview of the most cited papers published in Croatica Chemica Acta was recently presented in: Croat. Chem. Acta. 83 (3) (2010) CCCVII-CCCXII.
Nenad Trinajstić (Croat. Chem. Acta 70 (1997) I-IV, updated/corrected after Nenad Trinajstić by NT and Bono Lučić)

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