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