Transparency and ECS

With Peer Review Week 2017 in full swing, researchers, reviewers, and publishers worldwide are currently engaged in critical conversations about the role of peer review in scholarly communications.

In the spirit of the week’s theme of “Transparency in Review,” ECS hopes to shed as much light as possible upon its own peer review process. After all, the way peer review is conducted affects all participants involved in scientific scholarship—authors, reviewers, publishers, and consumers.

ECS prides itself on its commitment to rigorous peer review, which has remained a focus for the Society since 1902.

“All the work that we publish goes through a very rigorous peer review,” says Robert Savinell, editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, in a podcast on open science. “If you look at the editorial board that we have that makes the decisions, these are all experts in the field. We can give critical feedback to the authors that can make the papers much stronger and much better.”

Likewise, ECS takes pride in being forthright about its peer review practices. It believes all of its authors, reviewers, and readers have a right to know how peer review is performed at ECS. ECS’s goal has always been to disseminate science you can trust. Transparent peer review is the cornerstone of this trust.


Peer Review Week 2017

The third annual Peer Review Week will take place September 11-17, featuring a series of panels, webinars, interviews, and communications on the multidimensional and imperative topic of peer review.

Though no one peer review process is quite the same as the next, scientists around the world depend on peer review. Whatever its form—closed, open, even post-publication—good peer review ensures quality in scientific research and communication. It evaluates the legitimacy of scholarly work and offers potential for the improvement and expansion of research.

Peer Review Week is a global event aimed at honoring the fundamental role peer review plays within the scholarly community. More than that, though, Peer Review Week extends authors, reviewers, and thinkers worldwide an opportunity to analyze the construct of peer review in its many shapes—to assess its many challenges and successes while considering its future.

The theme of Peer Review Week 2017 is “Transparency in Review.” The week’s events will deliberate what transparency means in peer review and examine its connection to scholarly accountability.

The week will feature virtual and in-person events from Monday, September 11 through Friday, September 15. Be sure to check out the full listing of Peer Review Week 2017’s activities.


Focus IssuesThe Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) Focus Issue on Oxygen Reduction and Evolution Reactions for High Temperature Energy Conversion and Storage is now complete, with 16 open access papers published in the ECS Digital Library.

“In this new and exciting era of distributed electricity generation, the modularity (sub-kW to 100 kW systems) with minimal efficiency loss at small scales makes solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) an exciting energy conversion technology,” the authors say in the focus issue’s preface. “This focus issue presents some of the latest research in understanding fundamental mechanisms of ORR and OER, and highlights new materials and concepts to achieve both greater performance and long-term durability.”

Read the full JES Focus Issue on Oxygen Reduction and Evolution Reactions for High Temperature Energy Conversion and Storage.

ECS would like to thank JES technical editor Tom Fuller and this focus issue’s guest editors Sean Bishop, Ainara Aguadero, and Xingbo Liu.

ECS Intern Spotlight

By: Laura Villano, Publications Intern

Laura Villano

Laura Villano, Publications Intern (Click to enlarge.)

The purpose of an internship is to benefit both the student and organization. For that reason, I believe my internship at ECS was a success. I gained valuable experience, new skill sets, and many new acquaintances, as well as benefitted the Society. My name is Laura Villano and I am a senior marketing major at The College of New Jersey. During my time at ECS, I worked as an intern for Beth Craanen in the publications department. When I first applied, I was thrilled by the idea of working for a nonprofit and trying to make a difference. The more I learned about ECS and its Free the Science campaign, the more I found myself bragging to my family and friends about the company I interned for.

During my time in the publications department, I performed many marketing duties for ECS’s various publications. The beginning of my internship focused mostly on writing-based projects. I created blog posts and emails regarding subscriptions, journal focus issues, author information sessions, and several other various mini-marketing campaigns. The scope of my internship changed over my six months at ECS, and those duties slowly transformed into more digital advertising and graphic design projects. I transitioned into creating digital advertisements such as banner and carousel ads for the ECS website. I also created flyers about the content in the ECS Digital Library and subscription packages. If you are a member of ECS and attended the New Orleans meeting, you may have also seen some of the larger signage I created!

One of my favorite projects at ECS was helping to redesign the ECS Transactions logo and cover. Unfortunately, I had to leave the internship before the project was carried out but I am excited to see the final product in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the projects with all of the ECS staff. Everyone was friendly and always willing to help.


Tech Highlights

ECS journalsTech Highlights was prepared by David Enos, Mara Schindelholz, and Mike Kelly of Sandia National Laboratories, Colm Glynn and David McNulty of University College Cork, Ireland, and Donald Pile of Rolled-Ribbon Battery Company. This article was originally published in Interface. Read the original article.

Spray Drying-Assisted Synthesis of Li3VO4/C/CNTs Composites for High-Performance Lithium Ion Battery Anodes

Published in the “Focus Issue of Selected Papers from IMLB 2016 with Invited Papers Celebrating 25 Years of Lithium Ion Batteries.” Graphite-based materials continue to be the most commonly used anode materials in commercial Li-ion batteries (LIBs). However, the practical application of graphite anodes in largescale LIBs may be hindered by safety issues arising from Li dendrite formation on the surface of the anode when cycling at fast rates. Read the full paper.

From: Yang Yang, Jiaqi Li, Dingqiong Chen, and Jinbao Zhao, J. Electrochem. Soc., 164, A6001 (2017).


Focus IssuesThe Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) Focus Issue on Mathematical Modeling of Electrochemical Systems at Multiple Scales in Honor of John Newman is now available online, with 72 open access papers published in the ECS Digital Library.

“This focus issue of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society is devoted to the mathematical modeling of electrochemical systems across multiple scales,” the authors say in the focus issue’s preface. “It is dedicated to the work of Professor John Newman from UC Berkeley, who helped establish the field of modeling of electrochemical systems, and is aligned with a previous focus issue and regular symposium on multiscale modeling for electrochemical systems at ECS biannual meetings.”

Newman is a renowned battery researcher and developer of “The Newman Method” — a sophisticated approach to mathematically analyzing complex electrochemical problems. He clarified the physicochemical laws that govern the behavior of electrochemical systems and demonstrated how to use these laws to correctly formulate and solve problems associated with batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers, and related technologies. He is the author of the book Electrochemical Systems.


Open Science and ECS

On October 4, during the Society’s 232nd meeting, ECS will be hosting its first ever ECS Data Sciences Hack Day. This event will be ECS’s first foray into building an electrochemical data sciences and open source community from the ground up.

On this episode of the ECS Podcast, we discuss the upcoming ECS Data Sciences Hack Day, the importance of dataset sharing, how open source software can transform the field, and the future of open science.

This episode’s guests include Daniel Schwartz, Boeing-Sutter Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington; David Beck, Director of Research with the eSciences Institute at the University of Washington; and Matthew Murbach, president of the University of Washington ECS Student Chapter.

Schwartz, Beck, and Murbach will be at the 232nd ECS Meeting this fall in National Harbor, Maryland participating in OpenCon and running the ECS Hack Day. There’s still time to register for both of these events.

Listen to the podcast and download this episode and others for free on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Podbean, or our RSS Feed. You can also find us on Stitcher and Acast.

Q&A series with ECS OpenCon 2017 speakers

Daniel Schwartz

Dan Schwartz, Boeing-Sutter Professor and director of the Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington

ECS will be hosting its first ever OpenCon event on October 1 in National Harbor, MD. OpenCon will be ECS’s first, large community event aimed at creating a culture of change in how research is designed, shared, discussed, and disseminated, with the ultimate goal of making scientific progress faster.

During ECS’s Open Con, Dan Schwartz, director of the Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington, will give a talk on the open science movement and academia. In addition to speaking at OpenCon, Schwartz will also co-organize the ECS Data Sciences Hack Day.

The following conversation is part of a series with speakers from the upcoming ECS OpenCon. Read the rest of the series.

ECS: When we say “data sciences,” what does this encompass?

Dan Schwartz: “Data science” is shorthand for the scientific and engineering principles that underpin efficient creation, visualization, analysis, and sharing of data. I have a conjecture—unevaluated but euphemistically called “Schwartz’s law” around here—that every PhD I graduate produce more data than the sum of all prior PhDs. Basically, each year cameras and detectors have deeper bit depth, equipment and software get more automated, more of the software tools allow data and simulation to be animated, etc. In short, both experimentalists and simulation people are seeing huge growth in data they need to analyze, visualize, and share with collaborators.

ECS: Specifically, what areas of electrochemistry and/or solid state science can most benefit from the various components of data sciences, such as open data, open source software and cloud-based computing tools, etc.?

DS: I believe we can accelerate progress and improve reproducibility of all ECS science and technology through open data, open software, and access to shared computational resources. A critical part of this is building the ECS community that establishes standards for data repositories, creates, peer evaluates, and improves software tools.


Charting the Growth of ECS Plus

Click to enlarge.

Since its launch in 2016, ECS Plus has flourished into a widespread movement. At its forefront are leading, forward-thinking institutions that recognize the value of incentivizing open access publishing on an individual, institutional, and global scale.

ECS Plus offers institutions a competitively priced subscription package that grants access to all of the content in the ECS Digital Library, including our top-ranking, authoritative, peer-reviewed journal content, as well as free and unlimited open access publishing for affiliated authors.

Immediately following its January 2016 launch, ECS Plus acquired the National Science and Technology Library of China—a consortium then consisting of just under 800 institutions—as a subscriber. Over the subsequent months, ECS Plus saw a steady rise in subscriber count, reflecting a desire shared among institutions worldwide to make open access publishing a viable option for authors.

If data trends serve as any indication, this desire holds fast. In recent months, ECS Plus gained two new subscribers: Arizona State University and the University of Michigan. Just last month, the National Science and Technology Library of China increased its ECS Plus subscriber count from 907 to 924. The University of South Carolina recently confirmed an ECS Plus subscription for 2018.


A debate held at the annual Charleston Library Conference tackles the journal impact factor, with speakers looking at the metric and analyzing if it does more harm than good. The debate was moderated by Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication; and argued by Sara Rouhi, director of business development at Altmetric; and Ann Beynonn, manager at Clarivate Analytics.

A journal’s impact factor is a long-established metric intended to evaluate the relevancy of a publication by factoring the average number of times its articles were cited over the course of the prior two years. However, the metric does not reflect journals that continue to have impact long after the two year time-span.

Opening polls of the debate showed that 54 percent of all respondents believed that the impact factor does more harm than good. By the end of the debate, that number had grown to 57 percent. However, because the debate garnered a small number of attendees, the vote does not represent a true statistical significance.

Read full transcripts here.