25 Years of Interface

Interface Prototype

In December of 1992, the premier issue of Interface was published with a cover celebrating Rudolph Marcus’s winning of the Nobel Prize that year. But did you know that prior to that first issue of Interface, ECS published its members magazine prototype named the Quarterly? It was published in January 1992 and its cover showed a porous silicon sample luminescing in the visible when irradiated by an argon ion laser.

In that prototype issue, then ECS president Larry Faulkner said in his Letter from the President, “The periodic self-analysis of the Society’s agenda and structure is an extremely important part of our life. Without it, we will fail to adapt effectively to a changing environment, so the work is essential in the strictest sense.” Still good advice today.

Now, over 90 issues later, we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of Interface. Throughout the issues this year, readers will be treated to special excerpts looking back at some of the top moments in the magazine’s history.

We’re inviting readers to share their thoughts about Interface, in particular how the magazine may have impacted your research or career. Send your thoughts to Interface@electrochem.org.

ECS Publishes New Article Type

Communication article highlights scientific breakthroughs

JES/JSSIn an effort to more quickly disseminate breakthrough research and bolster the scientific discovery process, ECS has established Communication articles for researchers to quickly get the word out to a large scientific community on impressive preliminary research results.

ECS has been publishing Communication articles since October 2015. These articles define a special category of short reports for publication in either the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) or ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS).

“Although the research is preliminary,” says Dennis Hess, editor of JSS, “the content of these articles has the potential to change the direction of a field or supply the solution to a critical problem, thereby benefiting greatly science, technology, and society.”

With little time between acceptance and publication and concise reports of 2,000 words or less, Communication articles have the potential to open the door to the faster development of practical applications and overall advancement of the science.

All Communication articles undergo the same rigorous peer-review process associated with ECS publications. Each report is designed to demonstrate the high-impact of the research to the scientific community at large, providing a preliminary step for authors to highlight significant breakthroughs prior to publishing a full study/paper.

Learn more about Communication articles.

PS: Check out the Communication articles that have already been published in JES and JSS.

Open Access vs. Illegal Access

openaccessroundIt’s always questionable to blog about something that is gaining attention because it’s illegal, but that’s the case with the latest crop of articles about open access in popular media.  While the scientific community has been debating the merits of open access for a while now, the business behind scientific publishing is getting a lot more attention lately because of Alexandra Elbakyan, a graduate student from Kazakhstan who has hacked into hundreds of scholarly journals.

Elbakayn leaked millions of documents, opening a (albeit illegal) door for the public to freely access just about every scientific paper ever published.

To some, Elbakyan is a hero – taking a stand for the public’s right to know. To others, she is a criminal.

“Realistically only scientists at really big, well-funded universities in the developed world have full access to published research,” said Michael Eisen, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a longtime champion of open access. “The current system slows science by slowing communication of work, slows it by limiting the number of people who can access information and quashes the ability to do the kind of data analysis” that is possible when articles aren’t “sitting on various siloed databases.”

This from The New York Times:

Journal publishers collectively earned $10 billion last year, much of it from research libraries, which pay annual subscription fees ranging from $2,000 to $35,000 per title if they don’t buy subscriptions of bundled titles, which cost millions. The largest companies, like Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, Springer and Wiley, typically have profit margins of over 30 percent.

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ecstA new issue of ECS Transactions has just been published: Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition 2015.

The papers in this issue of ECST were presented in Los Angeles, CA on Nov. 11-16, 2015. ECST Volume 71, Issue 1 can be found here.

This is the first ECST publication to be made available via download in the ECS Online Store. You may purchase this issue as a full text PDF download here.

JES Seeks Technical Editor

ECS is seeking to fill the position of technical editor of the electrochemical engineering topical interest area for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

Wanted: JES EditorThe topical interest area includes industrial electrochemistry, the mathematical modeling of electrochemical reactors and devices, electrochemical machining, and the electrochemical synthesis of compounds. Specific topics include: kinetics, selectivity, and yields; mass, momentum, and heat transport; and electrode designs and evaluation.

Self-nominations and third-party nominations are due no later than February 5, 2016.

Full applications are due no later than February 12, 2016.

Learn more!

Please share with anyone you feel would be a good candidate.

Ways to Get ECS Article Credits

In 2015 ECS published just over 700 Open Access papers. This was fantastic news for ECS’s mission to Free the Science, and even better news for our authors as 96% of those papers were published as OA at no charge.Open Access Logo

Why were we giving away so many article credits? When ECS first launched our Author Choice Open Access program in February 2014, we wanted to explore the feasibility – both financially and practically – of supporting OA as far as we could in our publications.

It quickly became obvious how eager our community was to assist in ECS’s commitment to disseminate our research as widely as possible. In another commitment to our libraries, though, we had promised not to increase subscription prices, and have stuck by that commitment since 2013.

Moving into 2016, we wanted to continue to offer Article Credits to as many authors as possible, but also needed to ensure that our publications are self-sustaining. In order to accomplish this, we launched a new product called: ECS Plus. This offers libraries a subscription to all of our content PLUS unlimited Article Credits for authors affiliated with their institutions.

I wanted to use this blog post as an opportunity to remind authors interested in publishing Open Access to take advantage of the many ways you can publish OA with ECS for free, or at a very reduced cost:

  • Our new product, ECS Plus, is exceptionally competitively priced and includes a complete subscription to ECS’s Digital Library, as well as unlimited article credits for affiliated authors. Please encourage your librarians if this is something that you or your colleagues value!
  • ECS Members receive 1 free article credit per year – if you’re not yet a member, it might be time to consider joining us. Find out about becoming an ECS member, and other benefits of joining, by checking out our new membership page!
  • Once an ECS Member’s article credit has been used, any subsequent OA publications receive a 75% discount – that’s $600 off our already low APCs.

If you have any questions about changes to our Author Choice Open Access program, you can find out more on our information pages about OA, ECS Plus, and on our subscription information pages – or you can get in touch with us directly at oa@electrochem.org.

ECS’s goal is to make Open Access publishing free for all our authors. To help make this a reality please give to the Free the Science Fund.

New ECS Transactions

ecstA new issue of ECS Transactions (ECST) has just been published. Browse Volume 70, Issue 1 of ECST ABAF 15 here. The 16th International Conference on Advanced Batteries, Accumulators and Fuel Cells (ABAF 2015) was held in Brno, Czech Republic, on August 30-September 3, 2015

For additional information on ECS Transactions and for all published issues, please visit the ECST homepage.

Savinell_Robert_F

Robert Savinell, editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Since 1902, ECS’s flagship journal—the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) originally published as Transactions of The Electrochemical Society—has published some of the best and most innovative research in the field of electrochemical science and technology.

With a historical tradition of scientific excellence and commitment to the pursuit and open exchange of scientific knowledge, JES has accumulated papers through the years that have long-lasting merit. In an effort to preserve the voices of distinguished scientists and engineers who have helped shape our world, the Society implemented the ECS Digital Library Leadership Collection.

Robert Savinell, professor at Case Western Reserve University, is one of the newest faces to conserve this highly significant research. Through a generous gift to the ECS Digital Library, The Robert F. Savinell Collection has been established and the Society has taken yet another step toward its commitment to open access publishing.

Preserving the science of the past

“Most of the papers that get published in the ECS journals have long-lasting value,” says Savinell, editor of JES. “They’re more than just recent news blurbs that introduce a new idea that in a few years will fade away.”

Through a strong editorial and peer-review process, the papers published in JES are not only topically relevant when they are published, but also carry a fundamental insight that applies more broadly than their specific application.

“I think there’s a lot of value in that kind of information that’s being archived forever,” Savinell says.

Beyond the preservation of these timeless voices, Savinell’s gift to the leadership collection supports ECS’s commitment to open access publishing—something Savinell sees as the ultimate future of scholarly publications.

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Breakthrough in Polishing of Silicon Carbide

Microscopic interferometric images and slope images of SiC surface (a) before (PV: 23.040 nm, Ra: 1.473 nm, RMS: 1.885 nm) and (b) after (PV: 2.070 nm, Ra: 0.198 nm, RMS: 0.247 nm) polishing with soda-lime glass plate.

Microscopic interferometric images and slope images of SiC surface (a) before (PV: 23.040 nm, Ra: 1.473 nm, RMS: 1.885 nm) and (b) after (PV:
2.070 nm, Ra: 0.198 nm, RMS: 0.247 nm) polishing with soda-lime glass plate.

Guest post by Jennifer Bardwell, Technical Editor of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS).

This paper, from Kumamoto University in Japan, concerns a technique for abrasive-free polishing of silicon carbide (SiC). This topic is timely as SiC is an important material for wide bandgap electronics, both in its own right, and as a substrate for gallium nitride electronics. The reviewers note that:

“Defect free polishing of SiC surface has high significance” and that “The results are amazing”

In the words of the abstract: “The experimental results showed that an oxide layer was formed on the SiC surface as a result of the chemical reaction between the interfaces of the synthetic SiO2 glass plate and the SiC substrate. This generated oxide layer was effectively removed by polishing with the soda-lime SiO2 glass plate, resulting in an atomically smooth SiC surface with a root mean square roughness of less than 0.1 nm for 1.5 h. Obtained experimental results indicate that the component materials, temperature and water adsorptive property of the soda-lime SiO2 glass play an important role in the removal of the tribochemically generated layer on the SiC surface during this polishing.”

Read the paper.

Image Credit: Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown

Image Credit: Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown

For well over a year now, ECS has been actively pursuing its mission to Free the Science™ with our Author Choice Open Access program. We have seen amazing uptake, and we would like to take a moment to thank these authors for their valuable contributions to both our journals and our mission.

We would also like to take a moment to encourage those who have yet to publish OA to do so—after all, it is Open Access Week!

Publishing OA helps authors, researchers, and the society at large (not that there isn’t some overlap between those categories) – here’s how: (more…)