Focus IssueThe Journal of The Electrochemical Society Focus Issue on Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: Materials, Mechanisms, Modeling, and Applications is now complete, with 18 open access papers published in the ECS Digital Library.

“Lithium sulfur batteries are in the focus of research at many hundreds of prominent research groups throughout the world and at several industrial firms as well,” says JES Technical Editor Doron Aurbach in the issue’s preface. “These batteries are highly attractive due to their theoretical high energy density, that may be 4–5 times higher compared to that of Li-ion batteries.”

The focus issue includes invited papers and selected papers from the 2017 Li-SM3 Conference.

“The important technical challenges of Li-S batteries are dealt with in the papers of this focus issue, including development of new sulfur cathodes, protected Li anodes, new electrolyte systems including solid state electrolytes, study of degradation mechanisms, in-situ spectroscopic efforts, surface and structural aspects,” Aurbach continues. “This focus issue of JES is indeed a very suitable epilogue for a very successful and fruitful meeting on a very “hot” topic in modern electrochemistry in general and advanced batteries in particular.”

Read the full JES Focus Issues on Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: Materials, Mechanisms, Modeling, and Applications.

Elsevier Making Deals?

South Korean universities have successfully negotiated a better pricing deal from publishing giant Elsevier, according to a report from Science Magazine. This deal comes after a standoff between the consortium of hundreds of institutions and the publisher, where database access contracts were refused due to exorbitant price increases.

Earlier this month as Elsevier threated to cut access to ScienceDirect, a database containing content from over 3,500 academic journals, the two parties came to an agreement of a subscription price hike of between 3.5 and 3.9 percent, instead of the initial 4.5 percent as pushed by Elsevier.

“We want Elsevier to abolish the minimum flat rate system, in which our universities have to pay for digital content that nobody reads,” Lee Chang Won, secretary general of the Korea University & College Library Association, told Science Magazine.

South Korea’s pushback against Elsevier follows the trend of many similar efforts still underway in Germany, including Projekt DEAL. While over 200 German institutions have already canceled their Elsevier subscriptions in protest of skyrocketing prices, the publisher has still not terminated access, looking to continue negations.

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Most Read Focus Issue of 2017

To date, the ECS Digital Library contains over 40 completed focus issues across the Journal of The Electrochemical Society and the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology.

All of these issues, devised to highlight rapidly accelerating areas of scientific and technological interest, continue to attract significant attention from ECS’s readership.

During 2017, the average ECS focus issue received 12,495 full text downloads.

One particular focus issue of 2017, however, proved no average issue, acquiring nearly 9.5 times that amount.

The JES Focus Issue of Selected Papers from IMLB 2016 with Invited Papers Celebrating 25 Years of Lithium Ion Batteries amassed a whopping 119,465 full text downloads over the course of 2017, securing its place not only as the most read focus issue of the year, but also as the most read focus issue in ECS history.

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Journal of The Electrochemical SocietyOver 1,840 articles were published in ECS journals in 2017, ranging from battery technology to materials science. Among those articles, “The Development and Future of Lithium Ion Batteries” by ECS member of 48 years, George E. Blomgren, stood out as the most downloaded paper of the year, with over 25,000 downloads in total.

The open access paper was published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) and has held the number one top download spot for the majority of the year. In November 2017 alone, it hit a record-setting 4,080 downloads. Blomgren credited the paper’s outstanding success to the continued surging interest in lithium-ion batteries, a technology that has made its profound mark on consumer electronics such as cellphones and computers, and continues to be applied to emerging innovations ranging from large scale energy storage to electric vehicles.

The paper, which highlights the past, present, and future of battery science and technology, was published as part of the JES Focus Issue of Selected Papers from IMLB 2016 with Invited Papers Celebrating 25 Years of Lithium Ion Batteries. The focus issue contains contributions from veteran scientists considered by many to be founding fathers in lithium battery science, including Emanuel Peled, Tetsuya Osaka, Zempachi Ogumi, Jeff Dahn, Robert Huggins, and of course, Blomgren.

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By: Brian Nosek, Center for Open Science

JournalsIn the Fall of 2011, Sarah Mackenzie, the maid of honor at my wedding, was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. Sarah and her family were motivated to learn as much as they could about the disease to advocate for her care. They weren’t scientists, but they started searching the literature for relevant articles. One evening, Sarah called us, angry. Every time she found an article that might be relevant to understanding her disease, she ran into a paywall requiring $15-$40 to access it. Public money had paid for the research, yet she was barred from making any use of it. Luckily, she had us. Most people in Sarah’s position don’t have the luxury of friends at wealthy academic institutions with subscriptions to the literature.

During this time, I was pursuing an interest in the business models of scholarly communication. I wanted to understand the ways in which these models interfered with the dissemination of knowledge that could improve quality of life. Sarah’s experience illustrated one key part of the problem–the outcomes of research should be public goods, but the business models of publishing make them exclusive goods. Lack of access to published literature limits our ability to apply what we know to improving others’ quality of life. If doctors can’t access the literature, they can’t keep up with the latest innovations for care. If policy makers can’t access the literature, they can’t create evidence based policies. To advance solutions and cures, the outcomes of research must be open.

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A new article from The Scholarly Kitchen provides a good summary (and a short read) of a recent action against a particular predatory publisher (OMICS) and why that’s important. As the last, independent nonprofit publisher in the top-ranked journals in our field, ECS lives up to its obligations to the community to maintain very high standards: dedication to mission, rigorous peer review, and transparency in our open access publishing practices.

Commercial publishers represent a major challenge for a scholarly society like ECS to uphold those standards and meet our mission; but the open access environment has created even more challenges. Authors have these same challenges. So it bears repeating that there are some “best practices” to which we should all do our best to adhere: carefully vet journals where we are submitting; create awareness with our various constituents (members, students, colleagues) that there are “good” and “not good” places to publish; and do a periodic Web scan of own own names from time to time to make sure we have not been added to an editorial or advisory board without our knowledge, which can compromise our personal identity and standing in the community.

ECS will continue to work toward its Free the Science goals to create a more open, but responsible, scholarly communications ecosystem.

OpenCon Q&A: Changing Culture

We are podcasting the question and answer section of the live broadcast ECS did of the OpenCon satellite event held at the 232nd ECS Meeting in October of 2017.

ECS OpenCon was a 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.

ECS was the first scholarly society to host an OpenCon satellite event.

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In a recent interview, ReasonsTV sat down with PLOS co-founder Michael Eisen to discuss open access, the academic publishing monopoly, and ways to democratize scientific progress.

PS: ECS’s Free the Science initiative is a move toward a future that embraces open science to further advance research in our field. This is a long-term vision for transformative change in the traditional models of communicating scholarly research.

Other ECS programs that advance the shift to open science include the upcoming launch of ECSarXiv, a preprint server through a partnership with the Center for Open Science, enhanced research dissemination with Research4Life, ECS OpenCon, and expanding our publications to include more research in data sciences.

Open AccessA new open access publication platform for African researchers is set to launch in early 2018. The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) has partnered with open access publisher F1000 to launch AAS Open Research, which will provide a transparent, post-publication peer review system for AAS-funded and affiliated researchers.

By using the F1000 publishing platform, African researchers will be able to immediately publish their work online and gain access to an efficient, transparent peer review. Once the article appears online, F1000 will arrange a peer review that will appear alongside the article. The authors of the work will then have the opportunity to make recommended changes based on the review. Upon passing peer review, the papers will be indexed in abstract databases.

The implementation of this system aims to level the playing field for research in low-income countries, where the perception of the quality of research may be lower than that of higher-income countries. Additionally, it also allows for African researchers to quickly and easily find a home for their work.

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Copyright Battle Impacts ResearchGate

ResearchA copyright battle between ResearchGate and a handful of publishing giants continues as the academic social network bends to pending legal pressure, restricting access to at least 1.7 million scholarly articles.

This move comes after a push from the Coalition for Responsible Sharing in early October, stating that if ResearchGate does not work to remedy what the CRS deems “copyright infringements,” that the group will begin taking formal steps to address the issue. The CRS consists of ACS Publications, Brill, Elsevier, Wiley, and Wolters Kluwer.

“ResearchGate’s primary service is taking high-quality content written and published by others and making as many as 7 million copyrighted articles—40% of its total content—freely available via its for-profit platform,” said an October 5 statement from CRS. “Numerous attempts to agree with ResearchGate on amicable solutions . . . remained unsuccessful. Members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing are therefore now resorting to formal means to alter ResearchGate’s damaging practices.”

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