Janine Mauzeroll is an associate professor at McGill University, where she leads a research group focused on topics ranging from electrochemistry in organic and biological media to electronically-conducting polymers. Her work combines experimental and theoretical electrochemical methods and applies them to biomedical and industrial problems such as multidrug resistance in human cancer cells, neurotransmitter release, biosensor design, and high-speed scanning electrochemical microscopy. Mauzeroll has recently been named a new technical editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, concentrating in the Organic & Bioelectrochemistry Topical Interest Area.
What do you hope to accomplish in your role as Technical Editor?
I see no greater need than the one related to the promotion of fundamental research as a necessary partner to applied and industry driven science. As Technical Editor, I will put emphasis on complete experimental and full disclosures to generate “go to” manuscripts.
Moving forward, I hope to convince established researchers to continue sending in manuscripts by offering them visibility, such as special issues in or keynote addresses at symposiums. We need to seek out new researchers and deliver on our promise to provide a respectful and efficient review.
How has the rise of open access changed the current scholarly publishing model?
The rise of open access is a game changer and step forward for science. Strongly influenced by funding agencies, who have financed the publishing costs related to figures, covers and, general publishing costs, it is now a requirement in several countries that all publicly funded research be open access. In removing this budgetary constraints, we promote a publishing model focused on a desired target audience and impact.
Additionally, ECS’s Free the Science initiative will lead to a more general access to reliable and good scientific information, which is a basic requirement for further innovation and discoveries. In removing these constraints, more resources are being diverted to supporting the pillars of our research: students and fellows. Knowledge sharing basically forces us to move away from our protectionism inclinations and focus on our next great idea.
Why is access to scholarly research so important?
My graduate advisor, Allen J. Bard, would often say: “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel.” If you don’t know that the wheel exists, significant loss of time and resources are unavoidable. Access to scholarly research in my mind is on equal footing with access to information and freedom of speech. As individuals, researchers, universities, and societies, it’s a basic right.
What makes the peer review process such a central part of ECS’s publication process?
Peer review is based on the idea that if your work is scientifically sound and has merit, unbiased colleagues will recognize this. It’s the final step in a long process of validation that started when you decided to check with your lab-mate if your calculations were correct, when your colleagues proof-read your draft, when the editor perused your paper and decided to send it out for review, and when the referees delved into the work to provide you with comments to put forth the best possible paper. Peer review in ECS journals provides quality control ensuring that if you invest the time and resources to further your research with an ECS paper, you won’t be wasting eight months of your student’s time.
What role does electrochemistry have in solving some of society’s most pressing issues?
Electrochemistry offers some unique solutions to society’s most important problems. For example, the major problem now in application of renewable energy is arguably not cost of production, but how to store energy produced from intermittent sources. Batteries and fuel cell electrolysis combinations are very attractive technologies to this end.
In terms of providing health care to a rapidly growing and aging world population, electrochemistry has a major role to play in the development of point-of-care diagnostic tools and implantable monitoring sensors.
Finally, from an environmental perspective electrochemical based sensors are well suited for remote in-flow or on-line monitoring of water. They are low cost, easily combined with spectroscopic methods, and able to inform on quality of both natural waters and effluents from municipalities or industries.