In 1988/1989 the foundations were set for the international, interdisciplinary journal you are reading today. We will be celebrating our silver jubilee in a number of ways, described below over the course of the next year, but looking back over the last 25 years it is somewhat difficult not to treat ourselves to a little nostalgia. Much has changed, and the pace of change is increasing tough, so in this article I will take a brief look back, but also describe some of the trends we see and some of the new things in store for our authors and readers.
Ten years ago Esther Levy, then Editor, described (Adv. Mater. 2003, 15, 13–18) the beginnings of the journal and its progress over the first 15 years. She also posed for a photo with the team at the time (Figure 1a).
Of the old editorial team (picture reproduced from Esther Levy's article), which was based in Weinheim, Germany, Agnes Petersen has retired but continues to support our production editors, Johanna Blessmann and Renate Dötzer left the company, Susanne Stoll who was there at the birth of the journal tragically died young in 2008. Melanie Schmitt (now Rettenmaier) now leads the administration team, Andreas Muth still works on developing our electronic services and processes, Vicki Cleave is the Editor in Chief of her own journal, the Journal of Polymer Science– Polymer Physics, based in our Hoboken, New Jersey office, Esther Levy works for the journal from Sydney, and Karen Grieve from Adelaide.
The current team has some 20 editors contributing to the journal from offices across the world, in Weinheim, Berlin, Hoboken (US), Beijing, and in Australia, along with a very effective admin team, and additional colleagues in production and marketing functions. In 2003 we were eagerly awaiting the submission of the 5000th communication and these days we receive over 6000 submissions per year. In the first 15 years we published some 3300 papers. The last ten years have seen over 7000 added. Clearly the field of “advanced” materials science has grown strongly, and the popularity of Advanced Materials with it.
One measure of this development is the Impact Factor (IF) of the journal. Figure 2shows how the IF values have changed from the start. Periods of fast growth (2001 – 2005; 2009 – 2012) to a certain extent coincide with reasonably stable numbers of published articles and strongly increasing rejection rates. As research funding in relevant areas grows and whole new communities of authors, such as those in China and India, join the fray, output is forced to increase in order to maintain sensible acceptance rates, and, down the line, the denominat or in the IF calculation rises. Where Advanced Materials has become one of the journals of choice for fast growing areas, such as graphene research from 2009 onwards, then a further boost to the IF results.
The field of advanced materials, involving as it does chemistry, physics, engineering and other areas, is blessed with many strong journals to publish in. Nature Materials publishes only around 120 papers per year, but with an IF over 34 it is an attractive choice for the lucky few. Figure 3shows the recent development of the IFs of Advanced Materials and its mainstream competitors, which all publish large numbers of excellent papers. With Advanced Materials being one of only few journals that are listed in six difference ISI subject categories, the interdisciplinary nature of the content is confirmed, but the range of strong competitors is also broadened.
Impact Factors are calculated on the basis of article citations and, of course, not all papers and not all topics are cited to the same extent. Tables 1 and 2 show the most cited Advanced Materials articles prior to and after 2002. The growth of “nano” is clearly shown, as is the application relevance (solar cells, for example). Some people have also consistently published highly cited papers with us over many years and, as we can see, some articles attain very high citation levels. As Impact Factors are in effect averages across these articles and all the others, including some that have not been cited at all (even by the authors themselves), they need to be carefully interpreted. Such a range in citation also says that the peer-review and manuscript selection processes are not 100% solutions and that the job of making those selections is not an easy one, even for fully trained, professional editors with interdisciplinary backgrounds.
|Polymer Layered Silicate Nanocomposites||E. P. Giannelis||1996||2324|
|Catalytic Growth of Zinc Oxide Nanowires by Vapor Transport||M. H. Huang, Y. Y. Wu, H. Feick, et al.||2001||1784|
|Nanoengineering of Particle Surfaces||F. Caruso||2001||1781|
|Energy Level Alignment and Interfacial Electronic Structures at||H. Ishii, K. Sugiyama, E. Ito, et al.||1999||1644|
|Organic/Metal and Organic/Organic Interfaces||G. Horowitz||1998||1493|
|Organic Field-effect Transistors|
|One-dimensional Nanostructures: Synthesis, Characterization, and Applications||Y. N. Xia, P. D. Yang, Y. G. Sun, et al.||2003||5012|
|Organic Thin Film Transistors for Large Area Electronics||C. Dimitrakopoulos and P. Malenfant||2002||3143|
|Electrospinning of Nanofibers: Reinventing the Wheel?||D. Li, Y. N. Xia, et al.||2004||1901|
|Design Rules for Donors in Bulk-heterojunction Solar Cells - Towards 10% Energy-conversion Efficiency||M. C. Scharber, D. Wuhlbacher, M. Koppe, et al.||2006||1597|
|Growth of Arrayed Nanorods and Nanowires of ZnO from Aqueous Solutions||L. Vayssieres||2003||1421|
The undoubted trends towards application relevance have also spurred us on to extend the Advanced Materials family of journals. Advanced Energy Materials has made an excellent start, with over 1200 submissions per year and a first Impact Factor of above 10, and Advanced Healthcare Materials and Advanced Optical Materia ls are developing well, offering more space and additional options to authors and readers alike. Towards the end of this year the newest family member will be started: Advanced Materials Interfaces will address the need for a focus on integrating materials in systems and with each other and for exploiting surface and interface technologies and effects.
In the early days Advanced Materials also contained a news section, and information on conferences, publications, etc. This has gone, but in its place has grown our full-service news websites MaterialsViews.com and its Chinese counterpart, MaterialsViewsChina.com, as well as our extensive social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, etc., and these services are delivered by the same editorial teams that are working on the other journal content.
So what is coming up? From this autumn, Advanced Materials will have Anywhere Article functionality, enabling attractive mobile usage, and it will soon be offering “Smart Article” functionality, where the content of the articles is enriched with database, teaching, and other data-oriented function. Add to this the new editorial office system, Editorial Manager, that went live in August offering authors and referees a far more comfortable and functional experience, and I hope you will agree that there are exciting things ahead.
As part of the silver jubilee celebration we will be publishing a series of “AM25” articles written by distinguished, invited authors on the hottest topics out there. A selection of the first articles in the series is shown in Table 3.
|Understanding the Lithiation of Silicon and Other Alloying Anodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries||Y. Cui, et al.||adma.201301795|
|Engineering Hydrogels for Biofabrication||J. Malda, D. W. Hutmacher, et al.||adma.201302042|
|Colloidal Quantum Dot Materials and Devices: A Quarter-Century of Advances||E. H. Sargent, et al.||adma.201301947|
|Dynamic Interfaces for Responsive Encapsulation Systems||E. V. Skorb and H. Möhwald||adma.201302142|
|Recent Advances in n-Type and Ambipolar Organic Field-Effect Transistors||Y. Q. Liu, et al.||adma.201302315|
|The Evolution of Electronic Skin (E-Skin): A Brief History, Design Considerations, and Recent Progress||Z. Bao, et al.||adma.201302240|
|Reversible and Adaptive Functional Supramolecular Materials: “Noncovalent Interaction” Matters||X. Zhang, et al.||adma.201302015|
|Ion Exchange in Colloidal Nanocrystals||A. L. Rogach, et al.||adma.201302400|
|Key Points for High Mobility Organic Field-Effect Transistors||H. Dong, W. Hu, et al.||adma.201302514|
|A Decade of Organic/Polymeric Photovoltaic Research||G. Li, R. A. Street, Y. Yang, et al.||adma.201302563|
|CVD Polymers: A New Paradigm for Surface Modification and Device Fabrication||K. Gleason, et al.||adma.201301878|
|No Assembly Required: Recent advances in Fully Conjugated Block Copolymers||C. J. Hawker, et al.||adma.201302677|
|“Cooking Carbon with Salt”:||M. Antonietti, et al.||adma.201301975|
|Carbon Materials and Carbonaceous Frameworks from Ionic liquids and Poly(ionic liquid)s|
|What can be done with Langmuir-Blodgett Method? Recent Developments and its Critical Role in Materials Science||K. Ariga, et al.||adma.201302283|
|Rise to Power-OPV based Solar Parks||F. C. Krebs, et al.||adma.201302031|
|Design of Polymethine Dyes for All-Optical Switching Applications: Guidance from Theoretical and Computational Studies||S. R. Marder, J.-L. Bredas, et al.||adma.201302676|
|Galvanic Replacement: A Simple and Versatile Route to Hollow Nanostructures with Tunable and Well-Controlled Properties||Y. Xia, et al.||adma.201302820|
|Designer Hydrogels for Cell Cultures: A Materials Selection Guide||W. Huck, et al.||adma.201302958|
|Rational Design and Application of Hydrogels in Regenerative Medicine||A. Khademhosseini, et al.||adma.201303233|
|Progress in Chemistry and Applications of Functional Indigos for Organic Electronics||E. D. Glowacki, et al.||adma.201302652|
Finally, keep a lookout for the forthcoming Advanced Materials iPad app that puts the very best materials science at your fingertips.
The editorial team will also be travelling extensively over the next year, visiting major conferences and top institutions. We look forward to meeting old friends, making new ones, and celebrating the vibrancy of the field of advanced materials.