Google ScholarA journal’s impact factor looks at the number of citations within a particular year, but the significance of some research exceeds a one year time frame. To highlight these papers, Google Scholar released their Classic Papers collection, which highlights highly-cited papers that have stood the test of time.

“This release of classic papers consists of articles that were published in 2006 and is based on our index as it was in May 2017,” Sean Henderson, software engineer at Google Scholar, said in a release. “The list of classic papers includes articles that presented new research. It specifically excludes review articles, introductory articles, editorials, guidelines, commentaries, etc. It also excludes articles with fewer than 20 citations and, for now, is limited to articles written in English.”

In the category of electrochemistry, works by ECS members Gleb Yushin, Christopher Johnson, Yuri Gogotsi, and Bernard Tribollet made the list.

Additionally, Michael Graetzel’s 2006 paper published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES), “Highly Efficient Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Based on Carbon Black Counter Electrodes,” claimed the number eight spot.

“A journal from a professional society like ECS will look at the value of the science as the value of the science and not necessarily what its pizzazz is at that particular time,” Robert Savinell, editor of JES, told ECS in a recent podcast. “I think that’s one of the reasons we have this 10 year impact factor that’s at the top of the list. We’re looking at quality of the science in the long term.”

ECS OpenCon 2017

By: Delaney Hellman, ECS Development Associate

Open AccessECS is proud to announce that at the upcoming 232nd ECS Meeting, we will be hosting our first OpenCon satellite event! OpenCon is a conference that places a spotlight, produces discussion, and increases collaboration on issues of open access, open science, open data, open source, and open education. Initially hosted by the Right2Research Coalition and SPARC, satellite events can be held by anyone with an interest in the subject matter. As ECS works to advance its Free the Science initiative, we want to be at the forefront of the open discussion in our industry.

The event is completely free to attend on October 1, from 2:00 – 6:00 pm.

Don’t miss speakers from Dryad, The Gates Foundation, SPARC, Center for Open Science, and more.

RSVP as soon as possible: http://www.opencon2017.org/ecs_opencon_2017

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?

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Carbon dioxideA new study describes the mechanics behind an early key step in artificially activating carbon dioxide so that it can rearrange itself to become the liquid fuel ethanol.

Solving this chemical puzzle may one day lead to cleaner air and renewable fuel.

The scientists’ ultimate goal is to convert harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere into beneficial liquid fuel. Currently, it is possible to make fuels out of CO2—plants do it all the time—but researchers are still trying to crack the problem of artificially producing the fuels at large enough scales to be useful.

Theorists at Caltech used quantum mechanics to predict what was happening at atomic scales, while experimentalists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) used X-ray studies to analyze the steps of the chemical reaction.

“One of our tasks is to determine the exact sequence of steps for breaking apart water and CO2 into atoms and piecing them back together to form ethanol and oxygen,” says William Goddard professor of chemistry, materials science, and applied physics, who led the Caltech team. “With these new studies, we have better ideas about how to do that.”

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Fitness trackerA new biosensor technology, commonly referred to as a “lab on a chip,” could monitor your health and alert you of exposure to bacteria, viruses, and pollutants.

“This is really important in the context of personalized medicine or personalized health monitoring,” says Mehdi Javanmard, co-author of the recently published work on the development. “Our technology enables true labs on chips. We’re talking about platforms the size of a USB flash drive or something that can be integrated onto an Apple Watch, for example, or a Fitbit.”

This from Rutgers University:

The technology, which involves electronically barcoding microparticles, giving them a bar code that identifies them, could be used to test for health and disease indicators, bacteria and viruses, along with air and other contaminants, says Javanmard, senior author of the study.

In recent decades, research on biomarkers—indicators of health and disease such as proteins or DNA molecules—has revealed the complex nature of the molecular mechanisms behind human disease. That has heightened the importance of testing bodily fluids for numerous biomarkers simultaneously, the study says.

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By: Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan

Climate marchWhen politicians distort science, academics and scientists tend to watch in shock from the sidelines rather than speak out. But in an age of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” we need to step into the breach and inject scientific literacy into the political discourse.

Nowhere is this obligation more vivid than the debate over climate change. Contrary to the consensus of scientific agencies worldwide, the president has called climate change a “hoax” (though his position may be shifting), while his EPA administrator has denied even the most basic link to carbon dioxide as a cause.

It’s another sign that we, as a society, are drifting away from the use of scientific reasoning to inform public policy. And the outcome is clear: a misinformed voting public and the passage of policies to benefit special interests.

Using data to meet predetermined goals

We saw this dynamic at work when President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. In making his case, he presented an ominous economic future: “2.7 million lost jobs by 2025,” and industries devastated by 2040: “Paper – down 12 percent. Cement – down 23 percent. Iron and steel – down 38 percent. Coal – and I happen to love the coal miners – down 86 percent. Natural gas – down 31 percent.”

These data were drawn from a study – one study! – funded by the American Council for Capital Formation, a pro-business lobbying group, and conducted by National Economic Research Associates (NERA), a consulting firm for industrial clients often opposed to environmental regulations. The New York Times Editorial Board called the data “nonsense” and “a cornucopia of dystopian, dishonest and discredited data based on numbers from industry-friendly sources.”

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BatteryIn an effort to increase security on airplanes, the U.S. government is considering expanding a ban on lithium-ion based devices from cabins of commercial flights, opting instead for passengers to transport laptops and other electronic devices in their checked luggage in the cargo department. However, statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration suggest that storing those devices in the cargo area could increase the risk of fires.

The FAA reports that batteries were responsible for nine airline fires in 2014. The number grew to 16 in 2015 and further to 31 in 2016. Most fires were able to be extinguished by passengers.
According to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the U.S. government is considering expanding the ban to 71 additional airports.

(READ: “What’s Next for Batteries?” with Robert Kostecki.)

Mainstream concern regarding lithium-ion battery safety became widespread in 2016 when videos of hoverboards exploding began to emerge. Since then, news reports of smartphone and laptop batteries have emerged.

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Launching the ECS Career Expo

At the 232nd ECS Meeting, we will feature the ECS Career Expo. This expo will be a tremendous platform for organizations to recruit potential employees from various backgrounds during ECS biannual meetings. This is an opportunity for employers to recruit the best and brightest in electrochemical and solid state sciences. The ECS Career Expo will serve as a perfect addition to our meeting and will help our job seeking attendees maximize their career potential by gaining access to a wide range of organizations.

Participating employers are offered the options to purchase a semi-private exhibit booth or an interview table to host interviews, meet and greets, or showcase their organizations. Both options include brand exposure through the meeting website, printed program and signage as well as the increase foot traffic on the exhibit floor which hosts our other exhibits and poster sessions.

Job seekers will be able to meet with employers to discuss career opportunities and how they may fit within their organization. Job hunting is stressful and competitive; let ECS aid you in your search for your seamless transition into a successful career.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved with the ECS Career Expo, contact our Director of Membership Services, Shannon.Reed@electrochem.org.

Student volunteers

Student volunteers Alexander Limia (left), Georgia Institute of Technology and Xinyou Ke (center), Case Western Reserve University assist a meeting registrant.

Since its establishment in 2016, ECS’s student volunteer program has helped provide unique opportunities to young researchers in the field while offering complimentary meeting registration. During the 231st ECS Meeting, more than a dozen students from around the world took part in the student volunteer program, working to assist ECS staff in executing a successful meeting while opening new networking and engagement opportunities.

“The highlight of my volunteer experience was helping at the registration booth,” says Julie Anne del Rosario, PhD student at the University of the Philippines Diliman. “I got to do my volunteer work and at the same time meet more people going to the conference. Being a familiar face during the conference helped me start conversations with peers and colleagues.”

Benefits of the program include unique networking opportunities with meeting attendees, symposium organizers, and ECS staff while gaining a behind-the-scenes look into ECS meetings, learning how registration operates, technical sessions run, and how major meeting programs are facilitated.

“I got to see a glimpse of how to manage a large conference such as an ECS meeting,” del Rosario says. “That experience is beneficial to me as our group is also about to organize a symposium.”

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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.

Listen to the podcast and download this episode and others for free through the iTunes Store, SoundCloud, or our RSS Feed. You can also find us on Stitcher.

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