Chemical Science Reviewer Spotlight – January

By .

To further thank and recognise the support from our excellent reviewer community, we are highlighting reviewers who have provided exceptional support to the journal over the past year.

This month, we’ll be highlighting Nan-Nan Deng, Ashraf Brik, Goran Angelovski and Jiang Weng. We asked our reviewers a few questions about what they enjoy about reviewing, and their thoughts on how to provide a useful review.

Nan-Nan Deng, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Nannan’s research focuses on bottom-up construction of artificial cells and their behaviors using microfluidics.

Ashraf Brik, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. My research focuses on using chemical approaches to shed light on the function of proteins—the molecules that carry most cellular tasks, studying how malfunction in their role can lead to disease development and find solutions to such defects for drug development.

Goran Angelovski, Chinese Academy of Science. My research is focused on the design, preparation, and validation of bioresponsive MRI probes that are sensitive to calcium ions or neurotransmitters. These are intended to serve as markers for the functional molecular imaging applications, particularly the neuroimaging.

Jiang Weng, Sun Yat-sen University. Jiang’s research focuses on developing efficient methods for the synthesis of functional small molecules. Currently, we are involved in the areas of asymmetric catalysis and SuFEx click chemistry, and their further application in medicinal chemistry.

 

What do you enjoy most about reviewing?

Ashraf Brik: Being able to review for excellent journals is a privilege! This is because you not only being among the first people to see the emergence of great science but also being part in shaping it. With this also comes the responsibility of being very rigorous and updated of your particular research area and in science general.   

Goran Angelovski: I like observing the evolution of the manuscript from its initial version, to being published in the final form. I enjoy the exchange of arguments and a constructive communication between the reviewers and authors, even if strong criticism has been expressed.

What are you looking for in a paper that you can recommend for acceptance in Chemical Science?

Jiang Weng: I think sufficient novelty and/or significance is the most essential element for the acceptance of a manuscript. In addition, telling a science story clearly and concisely is also very important.

What would you recommend to new reviewers to ensure their report is helpful?

Goran Angelovski: Be critical but fair. Do not focus on the final recommendation to accept or reject the manuscript, but how you can help identifying its shortcomings, eventual flaws, or parts where it may become even better. Focus on your role as the evaluator and how/if you can help the work submitted for publication become even better, in the submitted journal or elsewhere. Always have in mind that your role is the assessment of the work under the review, not the decision making. Leave the latter part to the editor.

What encouraged you to review for Chemical Science?

Nan-Nan Deng: Chemical Science is a journal that I usually glance over on-line for finding good papers in my fields.  I have read many great papers from the journal, and am glad to be a reviewer of it.

 

Tune in next month to meet our next group of #ChemSciReviewers!

If you want to learn more about how we support our reviewers, check out our Reviewer Hub.

Interested in joining our ever-growing reviewer community? Send us your CV and a completed Reviewer Application Form to becomeareviewer@rsc.org.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

How can cooling rate define the nature of nano-structures formed using block copolymers?

Block copolymers (BCPs) consist of amphiphilic molecules that can self-assemble in selective solvents and generate various types of nano- and micro-dimensional structures. The unique self-assembly process is low-cost and relatively straight forward in solution phase.  The final structures have morphological diversity and complexity.  These self-assembled structures have been widely used in various applications such as drug delivery, catalysis, and water purification. The self-assembly process follows a heating step for dissolution of all the components and a subsequent cooling step. Both the steps and the parameters are vital for final structural characteristics of the assembled structures. A group of scientists from two esteemed universities in Canada recently studied the effects of rate of cooling in the self-assembly process.

Schematic representation of how cooling rate can change the morphology of formed micellar structures using PFS BCP and homopolymers

The authors used a systematic approach to explain the influence of cooling rate on micelle morphologies for a series of PFS based BCPs. The cooling rate greatly influences the size and the shape of colloidal structures. Rapid cooling increases branching and opens a new avenue to manipulate micelle morphologies. The study finds that rapid cooling reduces crystallinity, as polymer chains do not have enough time to pack in ordered structures.

The authors standardized sample preparation protocol and then varied the cooling times, with quick cooling of 2.5 min producing flower like structures and median cooling time of 50 mins leading to the same structural features with larger size. Co-self-assembly of homopolymer BCP mixtures with variable cooling rate also shows that quick cooling generates uniform sized branched micellar structures with elongated central platelets whereas slow cooling led to a long single fiber with a dark circle platelet in the centre.

With several examples and optimization conditions, the effect of cooling in the formation of self-assembled micellar structures has been evaluated. The main outcome of this study is that the cooling rate is another parameter to manipulate crystallization-driven self-assembly and to control micelle morphologies. There exists a lot of possibilities to use the findings and apply them to generate BCPs with a crystallizable block with important optical or electronic properties.

For details, please visit the entire article at https://doi.org/10.1039/D1SC05937H

About the author:

Dr Damayanti Bagchi is a postdoctoral researcher in Irene Chen’s lab at University of California, Los Angeles, United States. She obtained her PhD in Physical Chemistry from Satyendra Nath Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, India. Her research is focused on spectroscopic studies of nano-biomaterials. She is interested in exploring light enabled therapeutics. She enjoys food and experimenting with various cuisines, which she found resembles products/ side products of chemical reactions!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Chemical Science HOT Articles: December 2021

New month, new HOT articles!

We are pleased to share a selection of our referee-recommended HOT articles for December 2021. We hope you enjoy reading these articles, congratulations to all the authors whose articles are featured! As always, Chemical Science is free to read & download.

You can explore our full 2021 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection here!

Browse a selection of our December HOT articles below:

Linking metal-organic cages pairwise as a design approach for assembling multivariate crystalline materialsve zinc thiolates for low-cost aqueous rechargeable Zn-ion batteries
Adrian W. Markwell-Heys, Michael Roemelt, Ashley D. Slattery, Oliver M. Linder-Patton and Witold M. Bloch
Chem. Sci., 2022,13, 68-73

The role of cooling rate in crystallization-driven block copolymer self-assembly
Shaofei Song, Jingjie Jiang, Ehsan Nikbin, Jane Y. Howe, Ian Manners and Mitchell A. Winnik
Chem. Sci., 2022,13, 396-409

Structure, reactivity and luminescence studies of triphenylsiloxide complexes of tetravalent lanthanides
Aurélien R. Willauer, Iskander Douair, Anne-Sophie Chauvin, Farzaneh Fadaei-Tirani, Jean-Claude G. Bünzli, Laurent Maron and Marinella Mazzanti
Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article

Visible-light-induced transition metal and photosensitizer free decarbonylative addition of amino-arylaldehydes to ketones
Yi Wang, Yatao Lang, Chao-Jun Li and Huiying Zeng
Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article

Kinetic trapping of a cobalt(ii) metallocage using a carbazole-containing expanded carbaporphyrinoid ligand
Weinan Zhou, Tridib Sarma, Yonghuan Su, Chuanhu Lei and Jonathan L. Sessler
Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article

 

Chemical Science, Royal Society of Chemistry

Submit to Chemical Science today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

Keep up to date with our latest articles, reviews, collections & more by following us on Twitter. You can also keep informed by signing up to our E-Alerts.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Chemical Science Reviewer Spotlight – December 2021

To further thank and recognise the support from our excellent reviewer community, we are highlighting reviewers who have provided exceptional support to the journal over the past year.

This month, we’ll be highlighting Tarun Panda, Sofia Pauleta, Anmin Zheng and Natalia Shustova. We asked our reviewers a few questions about what they enjoy about reviewing, and their thoughts on how to provide a useful review.

 

 

 

Tarun Panda, IIT Hyderabad, India. Tarun’s research interests include the development of well-defined earth-abundant and environmentally benign metal complexes using non-cyclopentadienyl-based ligands and their utilization as homogeneous catalysts in various organic transformations under ambient reaction conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sofia Pauleta, Nova University Lisbon, Portugal. Sofia’s research focuses on the characterisation of molecular systems involved in responses to microbial stress to metals and hydrogen peroxide, and on the application of spectroscopic techniques for the characterisation of (metallo)enzymes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anmin Zheng, Chinese Academy of Science, China. Anmin’s research focuses on studying the structure and reaction mechanisms of solid acid catalysts by means of experimental solid-state NMR and theoretical quantum chemical calculations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalia Shustova, University of South Carolina, USA. Natalia’s research focuses on the design, photophysics, and electronic properties of hybrid materials including metal- and covalent-organic frameworks for their utilisation in catalysis, logic-gate development, nuclear waste sequestration and separation, and optoelectronics.

 

 

 

 

 

What encouraged you to review for Chemical Science?

Anmin Zheng: Chemical Science has a great reputation in the chemical and physical sciences, and publishes leading edge papers with a deep and novel understanding of chemical transformation processes and reaction mechanisms. During the review process, I really enjoy learning about these new discoveries across a broad range of multidisciplinary research.

Natalia Shustova: The emergent research topics, high-quality publication material, constructive communication with the Associate Editors, and the transparency of the reviewing process to the scientific community. 

 

What do you enjoy most about reviewing?

Sofia Pauleta: Reading high quality research first-hand and being able to provide a critical analysis of research work to authors. It can be seen as a scientific discussion. Peer review is essential in order to validate the high impact science that is being considered.

Tarun Panda: By reviewing a manuscript, I mostly enjoy learning about how contemporary researchers work with novel ideas that have the potential to shape future developments in the chemical sciences. It’s a great feeling when reading a manuscript ahead of it being published. 

 

Do you have any advice to our readers seeking publication in Chemical Science on what makes a good paper?

Natalia Shustova: I believe that a concise and informative abstract is the first “gate” which should be open for efficient presentation of the publication for a general audience. As a second important component, I would highlight the inclusion of illustrative material that can tell a story even without a detailed textual description of the presented content. 

Anmin Zheng: In addition to innovative, eye-catching images, in-depth analysis and precise expressions are also very important for the acceptance of a manuscript.

What has been your biggest learning point from reviewing?

Tarun Panda: I always find an opportunity to improve my skills while reviewing a manuscript, learning not to make similar mistakes. Furthermore, it gives me a flavor of the advanced level of research that is being conducted around the globe.

What are you looking for in a paper that you can recommend for acceptance in Chemical Science?

Sofia Pauleta: Outstanding research, coherent and complementary data, and novelty in the research performed (in the subject and methodology used).

 

Tune in next month to meet our next group of #ChemSciReviewers!

 

If you want to learn more about how we support our reviewers, check out our Reviewer Hub.

Interested in joining our ever-growing reviewer community? Send us your CV and a completed Reviewer Application Form to becomeareviewer@rsc.org.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Chemical Science HOT Articles: November 2021

New month, new HOT articles!

We are pleased to share a selection of our referee-recommended HOT articles for November 2021. We hope you enjoy reading these articles, congratulations to all the authors whose articles are featured! As always, Chemical Science is free to read & download.

You can explore our full 2021 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection here!

Browse a selection of our November HOT articles below:

Redox-active zinc thiolates for low-cost aqueous rechargeable Zn-ion batteries
Madison R. Tuttle, Christopher Walter, Emma Brackman, Curtis E. Moore, Matthew Espe, Chris Rasik, Paul Adamsb and Shiyu Zhang
Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 15253-15262

Asymmetric patterning drives the folding of a tripodal DNA nanotweezer
Daniel Saliba, Tuan Trinh, Christophe Lachance-Brais, Alexander L. Prinzen, Felix J. Rizzuto, Donatien de Rochambeaua and Hanadi F. Sleiman
Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article

Ligand-controlled regioselective and chemodivergent defluorinative functionalization of gem-difluorocyclopropanes with simple ketones
Leiyang Lv, Huijun Qian, Yangyang Ma, Shiqing Huang, Xiaoyu Yan and Zhiping Li
Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 15511-15518

Generation of oligonucleotide conjugates via one-pot diselenide-selenoester ligation–deselenization/alkylation
Christopher Liczner, Cameron C. Hanna, Richard J. Payne and Christopher J. Wilds
Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article

Synthesis of a heterobimetallic actinide nitride and an analysis of its bonding
Selena L. Staun, Guang Wu, Wayne W. Lukens and Trevor W. Hayton
Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 15519-15527

Improving the intrinsic activity of electrocatalysts for sustainable energy conversion: where are we and where can we go?
Nitish Govindarajan, Georg Kastlunger, Hendrik H. Heenen and Karen Chan
Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article

 

Chemical Science, Royal Society of Chemistry

Submit to Chemical Science today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

Keep up to date with our latest articles, reviews, collections & more by following us on Twitter. You can also keep informed by signing up to our E-Alerts.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Chemical Science HOT Articles: October 2021

New month, new HOT articles!

We are pleased to share a selection of our referee-recommended HOT articles for October 2021. We hope you enjoy reading these articles, congratulations to all the authors whose articles are featured! As always, Chemical Science is free to read & download.

You can explore our full 2021 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection here!

Browse a selection of our October HOT articles below:

Quantification of the charge transport processes inside carbon nanopipettes
Rujia Liu, Yingfei Ma, Xiaoyue Shena and Dengchao Wang
Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 14752-14757

Artificial transmembrane signal transduction mediated by dynamic covalent chemistry
Carlo Bravin, Nol Duindama and Christopher A. Hunter
Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 14059-14064

Pair distribution function and 71Ga NMR study of aqueous Ga3+ complexes
Ida Gjerlevsen Nielsen, Sanna Sommer, Ann-Christin Dippel, Jørgen Skibsted and Bo Brummerstedt Iversen
Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 14420-14431

General stereoretentive preparation of chiral secondary mixed alkylmagnesium reagents and their use for enantioselective electrophilic aminations
Alexander Kremsmair, Henrik R. Wilke, Matthias M. Simon, Quirin Schmidt, Konstantin Karaghiosoff and Paul Knochel
Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article

Inhibition of (dppf)nickel-catalysed Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling reactions by α-halo-N-heterocycles
Alasdair K. Cooper, Megan E. Greaves, William Donohoe, Paul M. Burton, Thomas O. Ronson, Alan R. Kennedy and David J. Nelson
Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 14074-14082

Impact of symmetry-breaking of non-fullerene acceptors for efficient and stable organic solar cells
Peddaboodi Gopikrishna, Huijeong Choi, Do Hui Kim, Jun Ho Hwang, Youngwan Lee, Hyeonwoo Jung, Gyeonghwa Yu, Telugu Bhim Raju, Eunji Lee, Youngu Lee, Shinuk Cho and BongSoo Kim
Chem. Sci., 2021,12, 14083-14097

 

Chemical Science, Royal Society of Chemistry

Submit to Chemical Science today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

Keep up to date with our latest articles, reviews, collections & more by following us on Twitter. You can also keep informed by signing up to our E-Alerts.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Chemical Science Reviewer Spotlight – November 2021

To further thank and recognise the support from our excellent reviewer community, we are highlighting reviewers who have provided exceptional support to the journal over the past year.

This month, we’ll be highlighting Christine Luscombe, Peng Yang, Shigeyoshi Inoue and Jennifer Brodbelt. We asked our reviewers a few questions about what they enjoy about reviewing, and their thoughts on how to provide a useful review.

Christine Luscombe, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan. Christine works on developing organic semiconducting polymers for applications including light-emitting diodes, photovoltaics, mixed ionic-electronic conduction, and stretchable electronics.
Peng Yang, Shaanxi Normal University, China. Peng’s group develop coatings by exploiting the chemical diversity of amyloid-like protein aggregation and use them in applications including bio-interfaces, flexible electronics and adhesives.
Shigeyoshi Inoue, Technische Universität München, Germany. Shigeyoshi’s research focus is on the synthesis, characterization and reactivity investigation of compounds containing low-valent main group elements with unusual structures and unique electronic properties.
Jennifer Brodbelt, University of Texas at Austin, USA. Jennifer’s group develop high performance mass spectrometry strategies, such as ultraviolet photodissociation, to analyze and quantify molecules in complex mixtures, such as proteins and lipids.

 

What encouraged you to review for Chemical Science?

Jennifer Brodbelt: Chemical Science has a broad readership and covers a diverse range of topics. This contributes to its high impact factor and makes it a must-read journal. Serving as a reviewer is a natural part of the whole publishing process, and it is just as important to review manuscripts as it is to submit excellent manuscripts to keep the entire cycle strong.

 

Christine Luscombe: I am big supporter of society journals and I am also a stronger believer in trying to give back to the community. Additionally, Chemical Science is a top tier journal, so I see it as a privilege to be able to be part of the publication process.

 

What do you enjoy most about reviewing?

Shigeyoshi Inoue: By reviewing papers, I will always be able to read and learn from the latest results and may even be able to contribute to the paper in some way.

 

Peng Yang: I can learn from other scientists with a new point of view. The reviewing process is also an evaluation of myself and helps to improve my own work.

 

What makes a paper truly stand out for you when you are reviewing?

Shigeyoshi Inoue: Of course, the quality of the reported results and great research ideas are important. However, I personally like papers that contain a simple and readable introduction and a conclusion that reflects well on the results obtained.

 

Jennifer Brodbelt: I definitely appreciate good quality figures. Good figures can capture the whole story.

 

What would you recommend to new reviewers to ensure their report is helpful?

Peng Yang: Evaluate papers from a scientific perspective and guide authors to do more innovative research rather than simply following others. Guide the authors to do more research on basic mechanism studies and more real or close-to-real applications, instead of only proof-of-concept showcases.

 

What has been your biggest learning point from reviewing?

Christine Luscombe: To treat people with respect and remember that there is someone who spent months/years collecting the data that went into writing the paper. We owe it to them to be careful as possible in our reviewing process.

 

Tune in next month to meet our next group of #ChemSciReviewers!

 

If you want to learn more about how we support our reviewers, check out our Reviewer Hub.

Interested in joining our ever-growing reviewer community? Send us your CV and a completed Reviewer Application Form to becomeareviewer@rsc.org.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Associate Editor highlight – interview with Professor Tanja Junkers

Professor Tanja Junkers is a polymer chemist. Her research group work to control and manipulate the structure of polymers in any possible way with the aim to create sophisticated materials that can mimic materials made by Nature. Tanja’s group now also explore machine learning and how this can be utilised to advance chemistry and chemical synthesis itself.

What excites you most about your area of research and what has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?

If I think about what brings me joy in my work, it is actually the small things, like when an experiment actually confirms that my predictions were right, or – not so small – when one of my PhD students graduates successfully. That makes me proud! It’s all these little moments that make my research worthwhile.

What do you feel has been the most important development with your area of research since your publication in Chemical Science in 2015?

There are so many! It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I would probably say that within my very specific area of research, an important development is that we now have the ability to control the shape of the molecular weight distribution of a polymer. This is something that has just emerged in the last few years, and it provides so many new possibilities. It is a whole new dimension that’s opening up at the moment, and it is an important thing for us to be able to do as chemists if we want to bridge the synthetic gap between the materials that we can develop in the lab and those that nature creates. It has a tremendous influence, so I’m really excited about this development.

Why do you feel that researchers should choose to publish their work in Chemical Science

Chemical Science is the flagship chemistry journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, which I see as being in the same league as Angew or JACS.  Whenever I talk to colleagues and they ask me, would you choose Journal of the American Chemical Science or would you choose Chemical Science, I always point them to the fact that Chemical Science is Diamond Open Access!

The Diamond Open Access service that Chemical Science offers is what makes the real difference. I feel very strongly about open access. As scientists, our research should not be exclusive. The majority is funded by taxpayer’s money. I therefore feel that it is our duty to make our research openly available to all, including non-scientists who may not completely understand what we are doing but should have the opportunity to read it. It is also our duty to make our content as accessible to a general reader as possible.

Of course, I know that you can’t change the system overnight. You must work with what is currently available, and I do feel that the community is headed in the right direction. Long-term, I believe that we must find a way to publish Open Access as standard.

What are you most looking forward to when acting as Associate Editor for the journal?

I see this as a great opportunity to gain experience myself. I’ve learnt a lot during my time with Polymer Chemistry and I’m pretty sure I’m going to learn even more at Chemical Science. As it is a general chemistry journal, rather than a focused polymer journal, I will need to carry out my own research on new ideas and topics in the literature that I wouldn’t have needed to research before.

Mostly I’m looking forward to seeing some really cool science!

What impact do you feel your area of research can make over the next 10 years? 

This is where I think that machine learning and the whole concept of digitisation will really have an impact. Currently, the utilisation of machine learning in my area of research is not widespread, but it is becoming more commonplace. I’m an advocate for the incorporation of machine learning. Chemists, on the whole, are very traditional, and chemistry is basically still carried out the same as it was 150 years ago. I think that’s about to change. We are finally going to see digitisation of the chemical sciences, and that will change the way we do chemistry fundamentally.

For Chemical Science, it is important that we have an open and inclusive board. How do you feel we are advancing in this area?

Progress is being made! Though I sometimes wonder if people define inclusivity in the right way. People usually think mostly about race and gender equity, which, of course, is very, very important, but I think we also need to think about other aspects of inclusivity.

One thing that I often think about is the dominance of the Western world in science, which is of course connected to money. If you go to a smaller university in a poorer country, researchers based there can’t always carry out the most impactful chemistry because they don’t have the financial means to, or they don’t have access to the right information. This makes it difficult to promote inclusivity, because it is harder for these institutes and researchers to compete with others from larger institutes with greater funding. These researchers have incredible ideas and are incredible scientists, but don’t always have the means to carry out what we in the ‘developed’ world deem cutting edge research. This is something that we must work on and acknowledge more.

I also think that this a question that should really be answered by the more stereotypical chemist in higher positions. We will only reach our diversity and inclusion targets if those who are in these higher positions are on board and advocate for increased diversity and inclusivity. It’s easy for those from a minority background to say that things should be more integrated. For example, I can say that of course trans people should be much more visible because I have a personal interest in that, but it’s a totally different thing if a person who is not personally affected actually makes the call for more inclusion and diversity. Therefore, I think this question should really be directed to people who belong to the traditional majority.

On a good note, this is why I like the Royal Society of Chemistry. I know that, as an organisation, the Royal Society of Chemistry is really trying to promote inclusion and diversity. Of course everyone knows that women, for example, have less opportunities in the chemical sciences, but actually publishing a study [through the gender bias report] which the community can refer to and which highlights the statistics is really, really important.

Submit to Chemical Science today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

Keep up to date with our latest articles, reviews, collections & more by following us on Twitter. You can also keep informed by signing up to our E-Alerts.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Chemical Science Reviewer Spotlight – October 2021

Welcome to this month’s edition of Reviewer Spotlight! To further thank and recognise the support from our excellent reviewer community, we are highlighting reviewers who have provided exceptional support to the journal over the past year.

This month, we’ll be highlighting Diego Andrada, Marina Kuimova, Sayaka Uchida and Kjell Jorner. We asked our reviewers a few questions about what they enjoy about reviewing, and their thoughts on how to provide a useful review.

Diego Andrada, Saarland University, Germany. Diego’s search focuses on the preparation, description, and applications of main group compounds bearing exotic multiple bonds.
Sayaka Uchida, The University of Tokyo, Japan. Sayaka’s research focuses on synthesis of porous ionic crystals based on molecular metal-oxides with unique guest (ions/ molecules) sorption, conduction, and transformation properties.
Marina Kuimova, Imperial College London, UK. Marina’s research interests are in understanding biologically relevant processes using different types of fluorescence imaging. Marina’s group have developed methodologies in Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM) to use viscosity-sensitive fluorophores, termed ‘molecular rotors’, to measure viscosity of cellular organelles and to image a clinically relevant unusual DNA conformation, termed G-quadruplex, in live cells.
Kjell Jorner, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and University of Toronto, Canada. Kjell uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to find new molecules and chemical reactions. Kjell’s special niche is to combine these methods with traditional computational chemistry.

 

What do you enjoy most about reviewing?

Marina Kuimova: I enjoy having a ‘preview’ of exciting results before they are widely available! It’s particularly exciting to review a good paper in my direct field of expertise – my goal as a reviewer is to assist the authors in making their work better by spotting something they may have overlooked. 

 

Diego Andrada: I enjoy thoroughly reading high quality work as well as spending time learning/reflecting about new chemistry, and the ways to communicate it. Although a (small) contribution, the opportunity to discuss one to one with authors is priceless.

 

Kjell Jorner: Reviewing is a very good opportunity for me to learn about the latest and most exciting new developments in my field. It is also one of few opportunities nowadays to really read a paper in detail from start to finish and think about it deeply. The ultimate hallmark of a positive review process for me is when the manuscript is improved by collaborative effort of authors and reviewers. It is heartwarming to see authors acknowledge the contribution of reviewers when posting about their paper on Twitter.

 

What encouraged you to review for Chemical Science?

Sayaka Uchida: Chemists usually submit their best papers to Chemical Science, and reviewers are privileged to be the first reader of those high-quality papers. Besides, I review papers because other chemists will review mine, so I also take it as a responsibility.

 

Marina Kuimova: I like publishing my work in Chem Sci – I believe it’s home to high quality research with a broad readership. It is a pleasure to act as a reviewer for a journal where I publish my own research, and part of our duty as authors to give something back to the community, by ensuring the journal maintains its high standards.

 

Are there any steps that reviewers can undertake to improve the quality of their review?

Diego Andrada: Be constructive! You might have a different opinion on the data/analysis. The importance is to clearly state your own arguments. If they turn out to be meaningful, the quality of the manuscript will definitely improve, and consequently your own way of conducting reviews will improve.

 

What advice would you give a first-time reviewer to maximise the chances of successful peer review?

Kjell Jorner: Employ a constructive mindset where you try to focus on the positive value of the scientific ideas and the results. One can always find problems with a paper, but there are often constructive suggestions which can resolve these problems and improve the paper. Keep a respectful and balanced tone where you also highlight the positive aspect of the paper as well as required revisions. Read the paper multiple times, at least twice and on different days. When making requests for revisions, consider the costs in terms of time and money in relation to what the value of the additions.

 

What has been your biggest learning point from reviewing?

Sayaka Uchida: Self-reflection and critical thinking. How I should improve to write high-quality papers with novel and clear messages, logical results and discussion, neat figures, concise conclusions, etc..

 

How do you find that Chemical Science has contributed to your research field?

Marina Kuimova: It is often hard to strike a balance between impact and reaching the right audience when publishing your papers. I believe Chem Sci is one of the journals that maintains this balance well, for chemical sciences research. I think Chem Sci provides a wonderful forum for multidisciplinary research in Chemistry (broadly defined!) and comes with a high impact, as a bonus. I remember the launch of Chem Sci when I was starting out as an independent group leader, and I was very happy that one of my first independent papers was published there and highlighted on the inside cover!

 

Tune in next month to meet our next group of #ChemSciReviewers!

Keep up to date on Peer Review Week 2021 on Twitter by following #PeerReviewWeek21 and #IdentityInPeerReview.

If you want to learn more about how we support our reviewers, check out our Reviewer Hub.

Interested in joining our ever-growing reviewer community? Send us your CV and a completed Reviewer Application Form to becomeareviewer@rsc.org.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Associate Editor highlight – interview with Professor Graeme Day

Chemcial Science Associate Editor Graeme Day

Professor Graeme Day joined the Chemical Science Editorial Board in 2021. To celebrate this occasion, we met virtually with Graeme to discuss his area of research and how he hopes to see his field progress in the next 10 years.

Graeme’s research focuses on the development of computational approaches for predicting the structures and properties of materials, focussing mainly on organic molecular crystals and their applications in a range of areas from pharmaceuticals to organic electronics. Graeme’s research group have also started to explore the use of machine learning methods for exploring chemical space to find new molecules with exceptional properties.

What excites you most about your area of research and what has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?

Being able to predict the structure of a new material computationally, with the structure then going on to be found experimentally, is very exciting. Going back about 20 years, this is not something that was thought to be possible! The idea that I have seen the crystal structure of a molecule, possibly before that molecule has ever been synthesised, is pretty cool. I feel lucky that we can collaborate and combine our computational work with the experimental work from other groups to uncover new materials. It’s exciting to think about all of the possibilities of these kinds of structure and property prediction methods.

With regards to the most exciting moment of my career, it is difficult to pinpoint one moment. However, in 2004, I was able to take part in my first blind crystal structure prediction test as an independent researcher. This was exciting! Being the only entrant to correctly predict one of the targets gave me a lot of confidence that I had valuable ideas and methods to bring to the field. The field has moved forward dramatically since 2004, but we still use some of the methods that I was working on back then.

What has been the most challenging moment of your career so far?

It’s probably the supervision of a research group that I have found the most challenging, but also very rewarding. Within a few years, I went from carrying out a lot of the research on my own, to receiving an ERC grant and being able to recruit a group of ten or so researchers. I had a very short period of time to learn how to make that transition and accept that I would spend more time discussing results, with less time doing hands-on research. Thankfully, I’ve had the opportunity to work with lots of great people and I hope that they have enjoyed their time in my research group.

Which of your Chemical Science publications are you most proud of and why?

That’s a tough one. Looking back, I’m quite proud of the range of work that we have published in Chemical Science, from fundamental questions about crystal packing, prediction of co-crystallisation, and machine learning applications for structure prediction. I really liked our 2014 contribution, which investigated the conformational preferences of molecules in their crystal structures. This work has important implications for crystal structure prediction.

However, it’s probably our 2020 paper that I’m most proud of because it demonstrates an approach to materials discovery that has been a vision of mine for quite a few years: combining chemical space exploration to identify new molecules with crystal structure prediction to evaluate their likely solid state properties.

What do you feel has been the most important development with your area of research since your first publication in Chemical Science in 2011?

The most important thing has been the increasing trust that people put in computational methods for studying materials. Even just a decade ago, there was a lot of scepticism surrounding methods like crystal structure prediction. This has changed, partly because of the improved methods that are now available, but also due to better communication of the limitations and uncertainties in computational predictions.

What do you hope to be able to contribute to the community through your new role as Associate Editor?

I have tried to keep up a broad level of knowledge of computational chemistry methods and their applications and I hope that I can use this to make informed and fair decisions on what to publish in Chemical Science. I’m really excited to see what people submit because there’s so much interesting work going on.

Why do you feel that researchers should choose to publish their work in Chemical Science?

I feel that I’m joining an editorial board that has done a great job in attracting the highest quality work and building a strong reputation for this flagship journal of the RSC. This means that people read Chemical Science when looking for exciting work. That’s important for researchers: knowing that you’re publishing your best work in a journal where it will be picked up quickly by the community. I think that this is particularly true in the area of computational chemistry, machine learning and AI applications in chemistry. The journal has been a great place for work in these areas that are of broad interest. The journal being Diamond Open Access is, of course, also a great thing. Researchers can make their work freely available without needing to find the budget to pay open access fees.

How do you see your field progressing in the next 10 years?

One big area will be the increasing integration of computational methods with experiments, where automation and robotics will play a big role. I’m looking forward to seeing more experiments where ideas are seeded by computational modelling and machine learning. I also hope that we see some artificial boundaries fall away, particularly between theoretical and experimental chemists. Of course, we need specialisation, but I want to see more people working across that boundary.

Submit to Chemical Science today! Check out our author guidelines for information on our article types or find out more about the advantages of publishing in a Royal Society of Chemistry journal.

Keep up to date with our latest articles, reviews, collections & more by following us on Twitter. You can also keep informed by signing up to our E-Alerts.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)