Ľubica Vitková

Since its birth, the peer-reviewed scientific journal ALFA has positioned itself as a solid ground for presenting the outcomes of research conducted at the Faculty of Architecture and Design STU and its partner institutions. Along with this, or let us say, principally, it gives our students in doctoral programs an opportunity to gain publishing-related experience and, on a periodical basis, it is also a platform where they can positively confront themselves with colleagues from a greater cross-border region.

Individual issues are typically composed of a series of scientific studies, dealing with a wide range of topics from architecture, urbanism and landscape, through design up to art. Accordingly, the journal reflects the present-day research ongoing at the faculty and topics of dissertation theses. Furthermore, it presents differentiated methodology approaches applied in the above disciplines. This might provide inspiration for others to do research of their own or spark off a stimulating and fruitful cooperation.

Hence, ALFA has an important mission to do: it creates scope mainly for young researchers who are beginners in our disciplines and allows them to earn “domestic” experience in publishing and be educated about the research and its domain.

The Faculty of Architecture and Design of the Slovak University of Technology aims to improve the quality of doctoral studies through placing higher demands on the publication quality level. The ALFA journal should contribute to this effort by switching from the Slovak-and-English to English-only version. Thus it will be open to a broader international community of scientists and experts, and we believe it will also inspire scientific discourse, at least in the area of Central Europe; a discourse that must also develop more intensively as part of doctoral studies.

Higher demands and increasing requirements are key topics of today. With the creation of new standards for the programs of study as well as new standards for the internal system of education quality assurance, the international scientific or artistic activity that is—by expectation—top-class and internationally recognized, gains more importance. Such activity is essentially vital for the existence of the faculty. What is more, it is us who have to check on keeping these new and more demanding criteria. We will only be able to meet this goal through purposeful effort and close cooperation among educators, researchers, and students of doctoral programs. Traditionally, our scientific journal ALFA has been crucially involved in these efforts and is a stepping stone for publishing our scientific outcomes in journals of renowned databases.

Keywords: editorial, ALFA, doctoral study, dissertation theses, FAD STU, PhD students, research