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“Polymers from Renewable Resources” and “Precision Macromolecular Chemistry”–these two special issues are definitely among my very personal highlights in Macromolecular Rapid Communications in 2011. They not only show the diversity of topics covered in MRC, but also reflect the fruitful cooperation with our board members. In January 2010, Hans Börner and Jean-Francois Lutz (both board members of MRC since that very year) approached us with a proposal for a topical issue with which they wanted to advance a new field in macromolecular research: “precision macromolecular chemistry”. The issue was published in January 2011 and has already been proven to meet the interests of our readers (in terms of citations and downloads). The story of the second special issue was a bit different: After cleaning only a small stretch of beach from so many plastic bottles in southern India in winter 2009, I felt the urgent need to emphasize topics like sustainable and biodegradable polymers in our journal. At the ACS in Boston I met the perfect candidate for a potential project in this direction–Michael A. R. Meier (then University of Potsdam, Germany; now Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany). He became board member of MRC in 2011 and put together an excellent selection of expert scientists working in the field, resulting in the special issue published later that year.

What was most interesting to our readers in 2011? Among the publications with the most citations in 2011 (published in 2010-2011) one can find papers with a materials science focus (colloidal particles and elastomeric actuators) competing with classical topics of polymer chemistry (radical polymerization and click chemistry), and more bio-related themes (bioinspired polymers), cf. Table1. What is interesting is not only the thematic focus of the most popular papers of this year but also their origin. While the Macromolecular Journals have always been strong in Europe it is good to see that American authors also send their top papers to Macromolecular Rapid Communications - the top 3 papers all come from the United States.

Table 1. Most cited papers in 2011 (published in 2010/2011).
TitleAuthorsCitations
Fabrication, Assembly, and Application of Patchy ParticlesIlona Kretzschmar (New York, USA)43
Polymer Brushes via Controlled, Surface-Initiated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP) from Graphene OxideChristopher W. Bielawski and Rodney S. Ruoff (Austin, USA)33
Advances in Dielectric Elastomers for Actuators and Artificial MusclesQibing Pei (Los Angeles, USA)31
Poly(2-oxazoline)s as Smart Bioinspired PolymersHelmut Schlaad (Golm, Germany)21
Ultra Rapid Approaches to Mild Macromolecular ConjugationChristopher Barner-Kowollik (Karlsruhe, Germany)18
Fatty Acid Derived Monomers and Related Polymers Via Thiol-ene (Click) AdditionsMichael A. R. Meier (Karlsruhe, Germany)16

In order to further strengthen our ties and presence in the United States we have invited 2 new members from North America to our executive advisory board, members of which are ambassadors for the whole Macromolecular Journals family: Kristi Kiick (University of Delaware, Newark, USA) and Brent Sumerlin (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA). Additionally, we promoted three highly respected scientists and long-standing supporters of our journals from Europe: Christopher Barner-Kowollik (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany), Jean-Francois Lutz (Institut Charles Sadron, Strasbourg, France), and Brigitte Voit (IPF Dresden, Germany). The renewal of the executive advisory board is completed with Ben Zhong Tang (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China).

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With their support, the help of all other board members and critical reviewers, and your top research I am looking forward to another exciting year for MRC.

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Kirsten Severing Editor