My colleague noticed that the online version of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Civil Engineering had an odd numbering system. The issues on their website are ordered 1, 2, 5, 3, 4, 6 for every volume. Right now, the only 2007 issues available are 1, 2, and 5. I contacted the publisher to point out the error, and found out that this numbering system is actually intentional. A rep explained:
Issues 1-4 are the ‘regular’ issues of the journal. Issues 5 and 6 are ‘one-off’ themed special issues of the journal. These are published simultaneously with issues 2 and 4 of the regular issue, but do not form part of the regular subscription.
So, not all subscribers to Civil Engineering, which is also distributed to all ICE’s members, also take the special issues. This is why the regular issues are numbered 1-4, and the special issues are numbered, for online purposes, 5 and 6.
We will look at your query and see if this is something we feel needs changing and if it can be done in a more intuitive way.
It’s great that they’re willing to take another look at their numbering system for the online articles. I’m always pleased that content providers consider our suggestions for improving access; in this case it’s nice that the publisher saw that my colleague’s question indicates a possible area for improvement.