Condensed Matter Seminar Series

Title: Physical Review and the battle of the bulge

 Jessica Thomas

Assistant Editor, Physical Review Letters

Thursday February 19,  11 am, Room 298,  Physics Building

The criteria for a paper published in Physical Review Letters are that it be ‘important’ and of ‘broad interest’, in addition to being top quality research. But, scrolling down the table of contents for the journal, which publishes roughly 80 papers per week, one might reasonably ask:  Are all of these papers presenting ground-breaking research?  Are they all majorly advancing the field? (One might even ask what some of the titles or acronyms in the abstracts mean.)

These issues are not new to the journal, but have been a concern since its inception 50 years ago.  In this talk, I will discuss continued efforts at Physical Review to maintain the prestige and aims of PRL, and its other journals, as submissions grow, fields mature and become highly specialized and the field of publishing becomes increasingly competitive.   These efforts include a new online-only, free publication called Physics that is highlighting some of Physical Review’s most important papers with expert and editor written commentaries. 

 The format of the talk is intentionally open to encourage comments and suggestions about the journal.

Bio:  Jessica Thomas obtained a BSc at Yale University (1997) and a PhD at MIT (2003).  She completed her post-doctoral work at Brookhaven National Laboratory and was a staff member of the Department of Condensed Matter and Materials Science at BNL until 2006.  She left research to join the launch of Nature Nanotechnology, a new publication from Nature Publishing Group.  Since 2008, she has been an Assistant Editor at the American Physical Society, working for Physical Review Letters and Journal Innovations at the Physical Review.
Host: Gleb Finkelstein

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