Open AccessOn June 21, publishing giant Elsevier won a legal judgement against websites like Sci-Hub, which illicitly offer access to over 60 million academic articles. The court ruled in Elsevier’s favor, awarding the publisher $15 million in damages for copyright infringement.

Since its establishment in 2011, Sci-Hub has become one of the most recognized sites in unauthorized paper sharing. Recent data suggests that the site receives upwards of 28 million download requests in just six months. However, Sci-Hub and other related sites were found to violate U.S. copyright laws in 2015. While the court filed an injunction, many continued providing free access to the otherwise paywalled content.

(RELATED: Open Access vs. Illegal Access)

Now, Elsevier is taking the fight to these websites. According to Nature, Elsevier holds copyrights for the largest share of the 28 million papers downloaded from Sci-Hub among all publishers. Further, copyrights for nearly 50 percent of all articles hosted on sites like Sci-Hub are held by three major publishers: Elseiver, Springer-Nature, and Wiley-Blackwell.


By: Delaney Hellman, ECS Development Associate

Sci-Hub launched a few years back when Alexandra Elbakyan of Kazakhstan was struggling to find affordable and relevant research through her institution. Fast forward to 2017 and Sci-Hub serves as one of the most common sites that seeks to circumvent paywalls and provide access to scholarly literature.

While 25 percent of scholarly documents on the web are now open access, thanks to the growing movement, Sci-Hub offers access to around 62 million academic articles. Its unconvincing legality has caught the attention of major proponents of publishing, including Elsevier.

Despite the whirl-wind of controversy surrounding the site’s launch, Sci-Hub data was able to answer some important questions: who needs access to research, what do they need access to, and how much do they lack access to?


In May 2017, we sat down with ECS journal editors Robert Savinell and Dennis Hess at the 231st ECS Meeting to discuss the future of scholarly publishing, open access, and the Society’s Free the Science initiative. The conversation was led by Rob Gerth, director of marketing and communications at ECS.

In 1978, Savinell became an active member of ECS, serving as an associate editor for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) in 1984. He was appointed editor of JES in 2013, where he began focusing on continuing the tradition of rigorous review, enhancing timeliness of decision and publication, while transitioning JES to full open access. Savinell has recently been reappointed as editor JES for a three-year period, from May 18, 2017 through May 17, 2020.

Hess became a member of ECS in 1974. He has been active in both the ECS Dielectric Science and Technology and Division and ECS Electronics Division, serving as a divisional editor from 1978 through 1990. Currently, Hess is the editor of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology.

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By: Kevin Smith, In the Open

Open AccessRecently there has been a spate of comment expressing frustration about the allegedly slow progress of open access, and especially Green open access. It is hard to disagree with some of this sentiment, but it is important that frustration not lead us into trying to solve a problem with a worse solution. The key, I believe, to making real advances in open access is to walk away from the commercial publishers who have dominated the market for scholarship. Only if we do that can libraries free up money from our collection budgets to do truly new things. A new business model with the same old players, even if it were possible, would be a mistake.

The most articulate call for an open access future for scholarship – the Budapest Open Access Initiative — was issued fifteen years ago, in February 2002. There is no one better qualified to speak about the meaning of that declaration today than Professor Jean-Claude Guédon, who signed the original Budapest statement and last month published a brilliant and compelling article about where we are and where we need to go next in the movement toward open access scholarship.

Guédon covers a lot of ground in his article “Open Access: Toward the Internet of the Mind.” I want to focus on two points, one I think of as a warning and the other a signpost.


Sharing the Science

Free the Science Week

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In April 2017, ECS celebrated its first annual Free the Science Week, giving the world a preview of what complete open access to peer-reviewed scientific research will look like.

Free the Science Week is part of ECS’s long-term Free the Science initiative, which will provide free access to the peer-reviewed research in the entire ECS Digital Library, not just for a week, but permanently.

Here are just a few insights from the week:


By: Elizabeth Gilbert, The Medical University of South Carolina and Katie Corker, Grand Valley State University

ResearchWhat is “open science”?

Open science is a set of practices designed to make scientific processes and results more transparent and accessible to people outside the research team. It includes making complete research materials, data and lab procedures freely available online to anyone. Many scientists are also proponents of open access, a parallel movement involving making research articles available to read without a subscription or access fee.

Why are researchers interested in open science? What problems does it aim to address?

Recent research finds that many published scientific findings might not be reliable. For example, researchers have reported being able to replicate only 40 percent or less of cancer biology results, and a large-scale attempt to replicate 100 recent psychology studies successfully reproduced fewer than half of the original results.

This has come to be called a “reproducibility crisis.” It’s pushed many scientists to look for ways to improve their research practices and increase study reliability. Practicing open science is one way to do so. When scientists share their underlying materials and data, other scientists can more easily evaluate and attempt to replicate them.

Also, open science can help speed scientific discovery. When scientists share their materials and data, others can use and analyze them in new ways, potentially leading to new discoveries. Some journals are specifically dedicated to publishing data sets for reuse (Scientific Data; Journal of Open Psychology Data). A paper in the latter has already been cited 17 times in under three years – nearly all these citations represent new discoveries, sometimes on topics unrelated to the original research.


Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (2e)Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (2nd Edition), by Mark E. Orazem and Bernard Tribollet, provides the fundamentals needed to apply impedance spectroscopy to a broad range of applications with emphasis on obtaining physically meaningful insights from measurements. The second edition provides expanded treatment of the influence of mass transport, time-constant dispersion, kinetics, and constant-phase elements.

The new edition improves on the clarity of some of the chapters, more than doubling the number of examples. It has more in-depth treatment of background material needed to understand impedance spectroscopy, including electrochemistry, complex variables, and differential equations. This title includes expanded treatment of the influence of mass transport and kinetics, and reflects recent advances in the understanding of frequency dispersion and interpretation of constant-phase elements.

This monograph is sponsored by ECS, and published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

About the Authors

Mark E. Orazem is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida. He organized the 6th International Symposium on Electrochemical Impedence Spectroscopy and teaches a short course on impedance spectroscopy for The Electrochemical Society.

Bernard Tribollet is the Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Associate Director of the Laboratoire Interfaces et Systémes Electrochemique at Pierre and Marie Curie University. Dr. Tribollet instructs an annual short course on impedance spectroscopy.

Visit the ECS Online Store to purchase your copy today!

ECSTTen new issues of ECS Transactions (ECST) have just been published for the upcoming 231st ECS Meeting. The papers in these issues of ECST will be presented in New Orleans, Louisiana, May 28 – June 1, 2017.

ECST Volume 77, Issues 1 to 10 can now be accessed online through the ECS Digital Library.

These issues are also available for purchase from the ECS Online Store:

  1. 1. Battery Electrolytes
  2. 2. Emerging Materials for Post CMOS Devices/Sensing and Applications 8
  3. 3. Plasma Nano Science and Technology
  4. 4. Processes at the Semiconductor Solution Interface 7
  5. 5. Silicon Compatible Materials, Processes, and Technologies for Advanced Integrated Circuits and Emerging Applications 7
  6. 6. Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Materials and Devices 18
  7. 7. Solid-State Electronics and Photonics in Biology and Medicine 4
  8. 8. Properties and Applications of 2-Dimensional Layered Materials 2
  9. 9. Oxygen or Hydrogen Evolution Catalysis for Water Electrolysis 3
  10. 10. Solid-Gas Electrochemical Interfaces 2 – SGEI 2

All issues are currently in stock as CD/USB combos, but will also be made available for purchase as instant PDF downloads beginning May 27, 2017.

While at the ECS meeting in New Orleans, limited CD/USB copies will be purchasable at registration – please be sure to stop by to browse available issues and to check out our new exhibit booth!

ECSTA new issue of ECS Transactions (ECST) has just been published. This issue includes 19 papers which will be presented at the Sixth International Conference on Semiconductor Technology for Ultra Large Integrated Circuits and Thin Film Transistors (ULSIC vs. TFT 6), in Schloss Hernstein, Hernstein, Austria, May 21-25, 2017.

ECST Volume 79, Issue 1 can be found here.

Issues of ECST can also be purchased in the ECS ONLINE STORE as full-text digital downloads.

JSS CoverDeadline: June 14, 2017

ECS is seeking to fill the position of Technical Editor in the Dielectric Science & Materials Topical Interest Area for the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS).

The Dielectric Science & Materials (DSM) Topical Interest Area (TIA) includes theoretical and experimental aspects of inorganic and organic dielectric materials, including electrical, physical, optical, and chemical properties. Specific topics include growth processes; reliability; modeling and property measurements; polarizability; bulk and interfacial properties; interphases; reaction kinetics; phase transformations; thermodynamics; electric and ionic transport; polymers; high k, low k, and embedded dielectrics; porous dielectrics; thin and ultra-thin films.

JSS has been in existence since 2012. It was created as an outgrowth of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) to deal more exclusively in solid state topics. JES and JSS provide unparalleled opportunities to disseminate basic research and technology results in electrochemical and solid state science and technology. JSS publishes a minimum of 14 regular and focus issues each year. All ECS journals offer author choice open access.

ECS maintains 13 TIAs, and there is one Technical Editor (TE) for each TIA, supported by Associate Editors and an editorial advisory board. TEs for the ECS journals ensure the publication of original, significant, well-documented, rigorously peer-reviewed articles that meet the objectives of the relevant journal, and are within the scope of the Society’s TIAs.


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