This is the last issue of the year 2015 and it is also the last special issue under my editorship of International Journal of Performability Engineering being published for last 11 years under the ownership of RAMS Consultants. As you will note from the Update on IJPE on page 520 (next page) of this issue, we have published 25 special issues on all the aspects of Performability Engineering, covering Quality, Reliability, Maintainability/ Maintenance, Safety and Risk and lastly Sustainability. We had invited the well-known experts and researchers for these special issues practically from all parts of the world. In all, we have published 57 regular issues incorporating 479 full papers, 52 short papers and 112 reviews of latest books published by well-known publishers in all areas of Performability Engineering covering 6067 printed pages in these 11 years of my editorship. It is a matter of great satisfaction for all of us who supported the mission of Performability Engineering over these 11 years. I like to thank them all for their kind support and good wishes, particularly, the Editorial Board members who whole-hearted gave their unflinching support in the face of constant demands on them by me. I also like to thank all the authors from 51 countries who published their papers in the IJPE over these 11 years. Lastly, I like to sincerely thank Rayomond Chinoy and Vinita Chinoy of Level9Solutions, USA, who offered generous support by way of hosting the website of IJPE (www.ijpe-line.com), 24/7 a week without any break over all these 11 years. Thanks are also due to my colleague Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi of Reliability Engineering Centre, IIT Kharagpur, India, who helped IJPE all these years in the editorial work maintaining the time constraints. I would also like to thank the Printer of IJPE for last 11 years, namely, Milestone Information Services (P) Ltd., Jaipur, particularly Mr. Sanjay Jain and his staff for the excellent printing of the journal over these years.
IJPE will still continue to publish papers in the areas of Quality, Reliability, Maintainability/Maintenance, Safety and Risk and Sustainability from January 01, 2016 under the ownership of Totem Publisher Inc, USA whose owner is Professor Eric Wong of University of Texas, Dallas, USA (http://www.utdallas.edu/~ewong/ ),Professor & Director of International Outreach & Director of Advanced Research Center on Software Testing and Quality Assurance. He is also the Vice President Vice President for Publications of the IEEE Reliability Society. From January 01, 2016, this journal will have two Co-Editor-in-Chiefs, namely, Dr. Dianxiang Xu, Professor and Graduate Coordinator of the Department of Computer Science at Boise State University, USA (http://cs.boisestate.edu/~dxu/), and Dr. V.N.A. Naikan, -the current Assistant Editor-in-Chief of IJPE and Professor and Head of the Reliability Engineering Center at IIT Kharagpur, India (firstname.lastname@example.org ). Also the Editorial Board shall remain unchanged at least for next three years. I am sure the IJPE would continue to flourish under the leadership of these people and will be printed and published timely with excellence in the years to come.
Coming to the theme of the present special issue, which is, Risk Communication and Risk Management, we invited Professor Ortwin Renn (a well-known authority in the area) and Dr. Pia--Johanna Schweizer of ZIRIUS, Senior Researcher at the Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies at Stuttgart University in Germany, to guest-edit this special issue and the result is before you to see in this issue.
Risk Communication is the exchange of information and opinions, and establishment of an effective dialogue, among those responsible for assessing, minimizing, and regulating risks and those who may be affected by the outcomes of those risks. Effective communication of information and opinion on risks associated with real or perceived hazards is an essential and integral component of the risk analysis process. Risk communication may originate from official sources at international, national or local levels. It may also be from other sources such as industry, trade, consumers and other interested parties. In this context, interested parties may include government agencies, industry representatives, the media, scientists, professional societies, consumer organizations and other public interest groups and concerned individuals. The objective of risk communication is to:
- Promote awareness and understanding of the specific issues under consideration during the risk analysis process, by all stakeholders and to promote consistency and transparency in arriving at and implementing risk management decisions; Provide a sound basis for understanding the risk management decisions proposed or implemented;
- Contribute to the development and delivery of effective information and education programmes, when they are selected as risk management options;
- Foster public trust and confidence while strengthening the working relationships and mutual respect among all stakeholders;
- Promote the appropriate involvement of all interested parties in the risk communication process; and,
- Exchange information on the knowledge, attitudes, values, practices and perceptions of interested parties concerning risks under consideration.
The problems in risk communication involve how to reach the intended audience, to make the risk comprehensible and relatable to other risks, and how to predict the audience's response to the communication, etc. A main goal of risk communication is to improve collective and individual decision making. Risk assessment is the process that is used to quantitatively or qualitatively estimate and characterize risk. Before a formal risk assessment is initiated, appropriate information must be obtained from interested parties to prepare a “risk profile”. Risk management is the weighing and selecting of options and implementing controls as appropriate to assure an appropriate level of protection. Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of hazardous events. This is followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of hazardous events.
I like to thank the Guest Editors of this issue, Dr. Pia-Johanna Schweizer and Professor Ortwin Renn, who helped ensure quality papers for this issue. My thanks are also due to reviewers, who helped in maintain timeliness in reviewing process. I would also like to thank the authors whose contributions are included in this issue and for maintaining the dead-lines. It is hoped that this issue of IJPE will provide impetus to research in this important area.