In This Issue
Winter Bridge on Frontiers of Engineering
December 15, 2017 Volume 47 Issue 4

New Bridge Policy

Friday, December 15, 2017

Author: Ronald M. Latanision and Cameron H. Fletcher

New Bridge Policy

We appreciate suggestions for and feedback on The Bridge. For the most part these are positive, but in the past few months concerns were raised by two of our members about inaccuracies published in a Bridge article. We take such concerns very seriously. Previously, we have invited readers to communicate their concern to us and we shared it with the author. This was effective as author and reader communicated in reaching a resolution, which might include the reader’s submission of an op-ed or a stand-alone article for publication in a subsequent issue.

In  response to the current concerns we have made the decision to subject future articles to review by experts in the areas addressed in each issue. Guest editors, who themselves have expertise in the selected theme, will be asked to enlist colleagues to review (in aggregate) the articles for each issue. This policy will be effective with the spring 2018 issue.

It is important to note that formal peer review is neither appropriate nor necessary for The Bridge, which is clearly distinct from other academy publications:

  • The Bridge was established in 1969 as a member newsletter (and is still classified as such); there was therefore no need to consider peer review. In 1983 then–NAE president Robert M. White introduced the publication of “interesting and provocative papers on engineering and technology issues,” with the goal of “[making] The Bridge a more vital forum for matters of interest to members.”
  • The Bridge website states that “The Bridge publishes opinion and analysis on engineering research, education, and practice; science and technology policy; and the roles of engineering and technology in society. The intent is to stimulate debate and dialogue within the NAE membership and the broader outside community of policymakers, educators, business leaders and other interested citizens.”
  • The inside front cover of every issue states that articles “reflect the views of the authors and not necessarily the position of the National Academy of Engineering.”
  • While it is no longer appropriate to call it a member newsletter, it is not a technical journal. It is best referred to as a quarterly or periodical.

We believe the new policy addresses the concerns raised and will strengthen the quality of the NAE’s flagship quarterly.

As ever, we appreciate and encourage the respectful engagement and input of our readers. It would please us enormously if the contributions in our issues stimulated member thought and conversation on important contemporary engineering issues. Letters, comments, and submissions can be addressed to us at and

Ronald M. Latanision (NAE) is editor in chief of The Bridge and senior fellow, Exponent Failure Analysis Associates.

Cameron H. Fletcher is managing editor of The Bridge


About the Author:Ronald M. Latanision (NAE) is editor in chief of The Bridge and senior fellow, Exponent Failure Analysis Associates. Cameron H. Fletcher is managing editor of The Bridge.