A Revolution in Renewable Energy

Towering like a beacon of hope in Germany’s North Sea stand wind turbines. Stretching as high as 60-story buildings and standing as far as 60 miles from the mainland, the turbines are part of Germany’s push to find a solution to global warming.

Some call it change. Some call it transformation. We call it a revolution.

According to an article in the The New York Times, it is expected that by the end of the year, scores of new turbines will be set in place – thus allowing low-emission electricity to be sent to German cities hundreds of miles south.

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Climate Case for Open Access

This weekend I watched the recently released short film, Disruption, which is available online for free viewing. In less than one-hour, the scientists, authors and activists featured in the film highlight some truly frightening data and trends. As those who believe in the vast majority of the science already understand, we must do more to limit greenhouse gas emissions if we want any chance of keeping global temperature change below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels.

Thankfully, the conversion to a clean energy economy is already feasible, both economically and technologically. Countries like Germany have been demonstrating the possibilities of renewable energy, despite having sunshine similar to that of Alaska. We also know the scientists of ECS are currently working on even more exciting research to improve our understanding and technological capabilities in photovoltaics, nanotechnology and fuel cells, among other cutting-edge fields.

In my view, the bold pledge to move toward open access at ECS has serious implications for action on climate change. If we can make the scientific research results and latest findings more widely accessible, we may speed up the scientific discovery process. Perhaps a young scientist in the developing world will unlock the key to some perplexing scientific dilemma, once we’ve made the latest findings more freely available in an ECS journal. Many of us believe we can accelerate the pace of innovation, and help solve critical challenges by opening access to scientific research. You can support those efforts by donating to the ECS Publications Endowment.

PeoplesClimate.orgIn the meantime, I plan to attend the Peoples Climate March on Sunday, September 21. There is an entire staging area for scientists, among the various  1,500 other groups, including students, environmentalists, labor unions, and community activists. Together, we’ll be demanding action on climate change, just two days before President Obama and other world leaders are set to attend a Climate Summit at the United Nations hosted by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The Protest for Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

On September 10th, sites across the web will display an alert with a symbolic “loading” symbol and promote a call to action for users to push comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House.

Today a group of popular websites that rely on speedy Internet have launched an online protest against proposed changes to “net neutrality.” They call themselves Team Internet and are comprised of popular websites, such as Netflix, Vimeo, Reddit, and WordPress – just to name a few.

The protest aims to fight policy changes via the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that would overturn a 2010 ruling that required Internet service providers to treat all web traffic the same.

This from TIME:

Since May, the FCC has been weighing changes to its regulations on “net neutrality” — the 2010 rules requiring Internet service providers to treat all web traffic the same. The changes would allow cable companies to grant paying customers faster service, but ban them from slowing down, or throttling, the access of nonpaying companies. The FCC has already lost two court cases brought by cable companies who have challenged the legality of its existing net-neutrality rules.

Read the full article here.

ECS fights a similar battle in the realm of publication. In order to avoid the dissemination of science and research that creates a world of haves and have-nots, ECS fully supports open access publishing.

Find out more about open access and check out our Digital Library to find the latest published OA pieces.

Free the Engineering!

Vijay Ramani

Co-editor of Interface, Vijay Ramani, talks about open access publishing in this letter from the editor.

The following is an article from the latest issue of Interface by co-editor Vijay Ramani.

Late last year, I accepted the invitation to become co-editor of Interface safe in the knowledge that I would not actually be called upon to do anything for the foreseeable future.* Thanks to the outstanding ECS staff and conscientious guest editors and authors, this happy state of affairs has persisted until now. But just as “even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea,” so it is that the inevitable passage of time has brought upon a situation wherein actual effort is required on my part, viz. this editorial. The increasingly plaintive entreaties from our admirably patient Director of Publications seeking the contents of this column can no longer, in good conscience, be ignored or fobbed off with feeble excuses.

Read the rest.

Google Science?

Google scholar logo

“Google Science” would launch a number of journals, be “self-organising” and yet have a team of “qualified reviewers.”

There is a Google Scholar, but what if there was a Google Science? The UK edition of Wired magazine is tracking the mystery of whether it is or is not in the mix in How ‘Google Science’ could transform academic publishing.

“Google Science” would launch a number of journals, be “self-organising” and yet have a team of “qualified reviewers”.

“99.9 percent of the work, including peer review would be done by the scientific community,”

This is, of course, about open access an issue we at ECS are committed to. There’s a great discussion on this. The article says:

“Most [academics] don’t particularly care about open access, in part because they are not incentivised to do so. This is changing, but only slowly, and right now most still care more about publishing in established, high-profile journals and in gaining a lot of citations.”

Google could change the game, if they really were going to get involved. Spoiler alert: Wired found no evidence a Google Science was in the works.

Find out more about ECS open access.

ECS Urges Constituents to Join ORCID

ORCID

ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors, and national boundaries and its cooperation with other identifier systems.

ECS is pleased to announce that it recently became a member of the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) registry. ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort founded by academic institutions, professional bodies, funding agencies, and publishers to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers intended to remedy the systemic name ambiguity problem seen in scholarly research. ORCID resolves the confusion brought about by name changes, the cultural differences in name order presentation, and the inconsistent use of first-name and middle-name abbreviations on published research papers.

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U.S. Energy Department Moves to Open Access

ECS Open Access Word CloudWe have been beating the drum about open access here at ECS for some time. This taken from Interface magazine over one year ago:

Commercial publishers have learned that the subscription-based model could be played to their enormous benefit, placing a further cost on the scholarly publishing system. There has been a proliferation of new journals being added to subscription packages, burdening library budgets with additional journals and without providing reciprocal scientific value. This has been coupled with the excessively high prices being charged by many scientific publishers for the dissemination of technical knowledge, and collectively the money now being extracted from the process is stifling scientific advancement. (Read the rest.)

(We noted when Tesla was getting it right, too.)

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My Top 5 Reasons for Publishing with ECS

ECS Open Access Word CloudThis is from ECS President Paul A. Kohl.

One of the joys of being President of ECS is contacting ECS contributors about good news. I am especially excited about ECS journals and the direction they are taking. I believe they are the quite simply The Best Place to publish electrochemical and solid state papers – especially now they are also enabling Open Access (OA). In short, ECS journals (JES, JSS, EEL, SSL) are:

  • well-established–we have been publishing since 1902
  • high quality–our peer-review is excellent and we publish one of the most-cited journals
  • fast–submission to first decision regularly takes less than a month; and once the paper is accepted it usually takes ten days or fewer for the Version of Record to be published online–faster than any other journal in our field
  • open access–authors now have the choice of publishing as Open Access, which enables the widest possible distribution because there is no subscription or barrier for readers to access your paper
  • FREE open access for many of our authors: publishing OA is free to ECS members, ECS meeting attendees, and authors coming from subscribing institutions

No other journal offers this combination of quality, speed, and full open access at no cost to the author.

By publishing your research in our highly respected journals–and choosing to make your papers Open Access–you’re helping us make OA widespread and sharing the outputs of your important research with scientists around the world. I did (see my latest article) and will be doing so in the future.

Yours,

Paul

Paul A. Kohl
ECS President

PS: Find out how to publish your manuscript.

Latest Open Access Papers

ECS Digital Library

Easy-to-search, high-tech platform ensuring a progressive atmosphere for the exchange of knowledge and ideas.

As of today, 205 Open Access papers have been submitted to ECS journals of which 87 were published to the ECS Digital Library. Here are the three latest:

Free the Science

ECS Open Access Word Cloud

What is clear is that an important part of the future is the increasing adoption of Open Access.

This piece, by ECS Executive Director, Roque Calvo, appeared in Interface, Spring 2014 issue. This is the heart of where we are headed as an organization. (The new Interface is out soon. Watch your mailboxes. Find out how to subscribe to our journals.)

Since the dawn of modern science, the key to scientific advancement has been the exchange of knowledge in publications, meetings, and through other collaborations; and in the past decade we have experienced a significant change in the way this scientific exchange occurs. Digital information and the Internet have dramatically improved our ability to disseminate science on a worldwide scale and should lead to global advances at a pace never considered before. But there are obstacles because these technological advancements in the digital age have come at a high cost to scholarly publishing; not for producing scientific content but for the cost of dissemination incurred by users of the research and their institutions.

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