This is the traditional triennial note used by the editors to give the readers of 4OR information on the state of the journal and its future. In the 3 years that have passed since the last editorial note (Liberti et al. in Q J Oper 13:1–13, 2015 ), three volumes (each containing four issues) of the journal have been published: vol. 13 (2015), vol. 14 (2016), and vol. 15 (2017).