Thomas J. Schmidt is chair and professor of electrochemistry at ETH Zürich, and head of the Energy and Environment Research Division at Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland, where he investigates various aspects of electrochemical energy conversion and storage. In 2010, he received the ECS Charles W. Tobias Young Investigator Award.

Schmidt has recently been reappointed as an associate editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) and handles manuscripts submitted to the fuel cells, electrolyzers, and energy conversion topical interest area.

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ECS Editors Share Insights on Peer Review

Peer Review Week 2018 is still going strong, and ECS is celebrating by highlighting insights on peer review from some of the most-qualified authorities on the subject—ECS journal editors.

The opinions shared below are those of technical and associate editors of ECS journals. The majority of these comments were originally published in Interface or on the ECS Redcat Blog within recent years.

Learn more about ECS journals and their editorial boards: Journal of The Electrochemical Society ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology.

Join the celebration! There’s still time to participate in the week’s events and join the global conversation about peer review by tweeting @PeerRevWeek and following #PeerReviewWeek18 and #PeerRevDiversityInclusion.

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Celebrate Peer Review Week with ECS

Join ECS as it celebrates Peer Review Week 2018 (September 10-15), the fourth annual installment of an international event dedicated to recognizing and examining the pivotal role that peer review plays in scholarly communication.

The theme of this year’s Peer Review Week is “Diversity in Peer Review.” The week’s events, which will consist of in-person seminars, webinars, interviews, and social media activities, will focus upon the importance of diversity and inclusion in peer review.

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Charles HusseyCharles L. Hussey is Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Mississippi and professor of chemistry. He is a fellow of ECS and a recipient of the Society’s Max Bredig Award in Molten Salt and Ionic Liquid Chemistry. His scientific research with molten salts/ionic liquids has been directed at the electrochemistry and spectroscopy of d- and f-block elements, the electrodeposition of aluminum and corrosion-resistant aluminum-transition metal alloys, the electrodissolution of metals and alloys, and the electrochemical processing of spent nuclear fuel. Hussey was recently reappointed as technical editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society in the area of electrochemical/electroless deposition.

The Electrochemial Society: What has your experiences as a JES editor been like?

Charles Hussey: I was appointed as an associate editor in 2000 and continued in that role until 2011. As an associate editor, I handled manuscripts on all topics for JES and Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters. Handling a variety of topical manuscripts for JES and ESL was the job that needed to be done, and it was a very challenging and sometimes uncomfortable assignment, but also highly educational.

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Peter MascherPeter Mascher is a professor in the Department of Engineering Physics and holds the William Sinclair Chair in Optoelectronics at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. There, he leads a research group specializing in the fabrication and characterization of nanostructures. Mascher was recently named technical editor of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS) in the area of dielectric science and materials.

The Electrochemical Society: What made you want to take on an ECS editorial role?

Peter Mascher: I’ve been a member of the ECS Dielectric Science and Technology Division for many years and we’ve had many discussion on how to raise the quality of submissions to JSS and by extension, the quality of the journal overall. At some point in time, when the opportunity arises, one should try to make a contribution rather than just discussing it. I think there are avenues toward increasing the profile of the journal and I hope I can make a contribution there.

ECS: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role as JSS technical editor?

PM: I would like my colleagues who contribute to the ECS meetings in the various symposia to be much more aware of the journal and the opportunity to publish in JSS, which will help increase the overall quality. There should be a strong connection between the excellent presentations that are given at the various symposia at ECS meetings and the manuscripts that are being submitted to the journal.

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Stephen MaldonadoStephen Maldonado is an associate professor at the University of Michigan, where he leads a research group that focuses on the study of heterogeneous charge transfer processes relevant to the fields of electronics, chemical sensing, and energy conversion/storage technologies. He was recently reappointed as an associate editor for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) in the area of physical and analytical electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, and photoelectrochemistry.

ECS: When did you become an ECS associate editor? What made you pursue an editorial role at ECS?

Stephen Maldonado: I started my time as an ECS associate editor in 2014. I pursued the opportunity for two different reasons. The minor reason was that I was genuinely curious about the “sausage making” process of accepting/rejecting a paper. That is, as an author, I had prepared and submitted plenty of papers but I had little idea about the other side of it. I had reviewed plenty of papers, too, but how those reviews factored into the final fate of the submission was a mystery.

The major reason, though, is that electrochemistry has been a principal aspect of my adult life. I got into science because, at a fundamental level, I thought electrochemistry was cool. Accordingly, my interests were aligned with the ECS at the start and it has been a major influence on my professional development. After getting tenure, I felt the time was right to give back to this community. So when I was asked to consider the position, I jumped at the chance.

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Minhua ShaoMinhua Shao is an associate professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where he leads a research group pursuing work in advanced material and electrochemical energy technologies. Shao’s current work focuses on electrocatalysis, fuel cells, lithium-ion batteries, lithium-air batteries, CO2 reduction, and water splitting. Shao was recently named an associate editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society in the area of fuel cells, electrolyzers, and energy conversion.

The Electrochemical Society: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role as associate editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society?

Minhua Shao: As an associate editor, I hope to accelerate the manuscript handling process by identifying suitable reviewers and making fair decisions. I also hope to promote the journal at conferences and among peers, attracting high-quality manuscripts.

ECS: How has scholarly publishing evolved throughout your career?

MS: Scholarly publishing has changed significantly in the past two decades. Now researchers have many more choices on which journals to publish their results. The adoption of the so-called impact factor in assessing the quality of journals/papers has misled the scientific community. More seriously, there is a trend that scholarly publishing is more of a business than a platform for sharing research results.

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Transparency and ECS

With Peer Review Week 2017 in full swing, researchers, reviewers, and publishers worldwide are currently engaged in critical conversations about the role of peer review in scholarly communications.

In the spirit of the week’s theme of “Transparency in Review,” ECS hopes to shed as much light as possible upon its own peer review process. After all, the way peer review is conducted affects all participants involved in scientific scholarship—authors, reviewers, publishers, and consumers.

ECS prides itself on its commitment to rigorous peer review, which has remained a focus for the Society since 1902.

“All the work that we publish goes through a very rigorous peer review,” says Robert Savinell, editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, in a podcast on open science. “If you look at the editorial board that we have that makes the decisions, these are all experts in the field. We can give critical feedback to the authors that can make the papers much stronger and much better.”

Likewise, ECS takes pride in being forthright about its peer review practices. It believes all of its authors, reviewers, and readers have a right to know how peer review is performed at ECS. ECS’s goal has always been to disseminate science you can trust. Transparent peer review is the cornerstone of this trust.

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Peer Review Week 2017

The third annual Peer Review Week will take place September 11-17, featuring a series of panels, webinars, interviews, and communications on the multidimensional and imperative topic of peer review.

Though no one peer review process is quite the same as the next, scientists around the world depend on peer review. Whatever its form—closed, open, even post-publication—good peer review ensures quality in scientific research and communication. It evaluates the legitimacy of scholarly work and offers potential for the improvement and expansion of research.

Peer Review Week is a global event aimed at honoring the fundamental role peer review plays within the scholarly community. More than that, though, Peer Review Week extends authors, reviewers, and thinkers worldwide an opportunity to analyze the construct of peer review in its many shapes—to assess its many challenges and successes while considering its future.

The theme of Peer Review Week 2017 is “Transparency in Review.” The week’s events will deliberate what transparency means in peer review and examine its connection to scholarly accountability.

The week will feature virtual and in-person events from Monday, September 11 through Friday, September 15. Be sure to check out the full listing of Peer Review Week 2017’s activities.

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Brett LuchtBrett Lucht is a professor of chemistry at the University of Rhode Island, where his research focuses on organic materials chemistry. Lucht’s research includes the development of novel electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries and other efforts to improve the performance of electrolytes for electric vehicles. Lucht has recently been named associate editor for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

The Electrochemical Society: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role as associate editor?

Brett Lucht: I hope to improve the prestige of the journal. While the Journal of The Electrochemical Society is the oldest journal of electrochemical science, competition from other journals has become fierce.  The Electrochemical Society is the largest scientific organization focused on electrochemistry and ECS meetings are very well attended. Thus publishing electrochemical research in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society should be the most prestigious place to publish.

ECS: Why should authors publish in ECS journals?

BL: The Journal of The Electrochemical Society has been in continuous production since 1902—115 years. While many new journals come and go, they are frequently focused on narrow topics which fluctuate in importance.  Publications in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society will last the test of time.  In my area of research, lithium-ion batteries, many new journals are publishing research in this area. However, many of the fundamental research articles providing the foundation for this field were published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

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