1961–2011: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of physica status solidi !


  • Martin Stutzmann

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Fifty years, half a century, are a long time not only for human beings, but also for scientific journals. When physica status solidi was founded as a new journal dedicated to all aspects of solid state physics by K. W. Böer, W. Franz, P. Görlich, P. T. Landsberg, A. Seeger, and F. Stöckmann on 12 December 1960, nobody would have expected this new-born child conceived among quite turbulent boundary conditions to have such a long and prosperous future. Only one month after the first issue of physica status solidi was published on 1 July 1961, the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain erected since August 1961 completely transformed the world in many ways, and science certainly also was severely affected by this change. During the time of the Cold War, under the Editorship of K. W. Böer (1960–1961), P. Görlich (1962–1986), and E. Gutsche (1986–1995), physica status solidi fulfilled the important task of providing a forum for the scientific exchange between researchers from the East and the West. During those times, physica status solidi also became known for the excellent service the journal provided for its authors in terms of editorial support in copy-editing and production. More importantly, physica status solidi from the start was dedicated to keeping production and publication times as short as possible, without compromising on the quality of the peer review that published articles have to satisfy. We have done our best to maintain this philosophy over the years, also after the iron curtain came down in 1990. At that time, physica status solidi suddenly was exposed to the “advantages” of capitalism and went through several iterations of changes in ownership (Akademie-Verlag, VCH Publishing Group, Wiley-VCH) and the corresponding changes in management. The fact that physica status solidi has weathered all these changes in good spirit as a scientifically and economically sound enterprise on its own clearly demonstrates that the general concepts and ideas behind an international journal started 50 years ago are still valid today: broad coverage of all aspects of solid state physics, strict and fair peer review, and last but not least excellent day-to-day editorial support of our authors.

However, the prospects of physica status solidi were not always as positive as they are now. Following the fall of the Iron Curtain, the submission of high quality original papers to physica status solidi was dwindling, the Impact Factor of the journal had reached an all-time low, and the international awareness of the journal was decreasing rapidly. In order to counteract these negative developments, three measures were taken: (i) publication of the proceedings of international conferences with a high international standing in order to increase the awareness of physica status solidi in the scientific community, (ii) increasing the visibility of the journal by a very active distribution of published articles via the World Wide Web, and (iii) establishing a new medium for ultrafast publication of peer-reviewed articles, the Rapid Research Letter section of physica status solidi. As you can find out from the following section “Facts and Figures”, all three strategies have paid off in the long run. The publication of special issues and conferences started in 1996 and enjoyed a rapid growth, eventually leading to the foundation of physica status solidi (c) in 2002 to accommodate the by then more than 1000 conference papers submitted per year. After a short delay, this also lead to an increase of regular paper submissions, as scientists became more and more aware of the excellent service provided by the Editorial Office in Berlin and the numerous Guest Editors of major international conferences, the proceedings of which were published in pss (a), (b), and (c). Also the letter section of physica status solidi, the highly successful Rapid Research Letters pss (RRL), experienced a rapid increase since this new format was established in 2005. An extremely short publication time of, on the average, less than 15 working days plus an Impact Factor above 2.5 turned out to be a very interesting combination for many scientists.

As a consequence, the number of submitted manuscripts has increased by a factor of three since 1995, and the editorial team lead by Stefan Hildebrandt works extremely hard to process these manuscripts in a timely fashion, despite a fairly steady headcount in the Berlin office. In order to organize a fair peer review by at least two knowledgeable experts for regular submissions and outstanding conference papers, we have systematically expended our referee data base to by now more than 10 000 scientists. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of them for their help in maintaining a high scientific standard for all papers published in physica status solidi. Please also have a look at the list of the 50 most active referees in the following section, to whom I extend my particular gratitude on this occasion! A clear indication of these high scientific standards is the development of the acceptance rate for submitted manuscripts, which decreased from 70% in 1996 to less than 30% at present, both for Original Papers and Rapid Research Letters. A direct consequence of this is the steady increase of the journals' Impact Factors by almost a factor of three in the last two decades. Moreover, since physica status solidi went online in 1996, the number of full text downloads virtually took off, now approaching one million downloads per year. This also holds for the backfiles of pss (a) (1970–1996) and pss (b) (1961–1996) available online since 2006, showing the longevity of scientific results published in physica status solidi.

All in all it can be concluded that physica status solidi celebrates its 50th anniversary in very good health and spirit, and can look forward to a prosperous future. For me personally, this is the last Editorial which I have the pleasure to write since I assumed responsibility as Editor-in-Chief in 1995. Obviously, I am very pleased with the development of the pss family of journals during that time. As one should leave a party when it is at its best, I will resign as Editor-in-Chief after the pss birthday celebrations at the end of 2011 and go on to new endeavors. For me, the past 16 years were a great experience with many challenges, but also many rewards. In particular, I am deeply grateful for the unique opportunity to work with so many highly dedicated authors, referees, editors, and a wonderful editorial team towards one common goal: advancing science!

Thank you all, my best personal wishes for 2011, and happy 50th birthday, physica status solidi!

50 years pss – facts and figures

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Editors and Editorial Boards of physica status solidi

Full listing of pss Editors and Editorial Board members since 1961 (EiC – Editor-in-Chief, RE – Regional Editor)

SurnameInitialsPlacePeriod and role
BauerE.Tempesince 2003
BöerK. W.Berlin/New York/NewarkEiC 1961, since 1972
Bonch-BruevichV. L.Moscow1968–1987
BrandtM. S.Garchingsince 2003, RE 2001–2009
CaldasM. J.São Paulosince 2006, RE 2008–2009
CardonaM.Stuttgartsince 1972
CowleyJ. M.Tempe1993–2003
DeákP.Budapestsince 1999, RE 1995–2005
EfrosAl. L.Washingtonsince 2009
FauchetP.RochesterRE 1995–1998
FortunatoE.Caparicasince 2007
GilB.Montpelliersince 2006
GörlichP.Jena1961–1986, EiC 1962–1986
GutscheE.Berlin1970–1998, EiC 1987–1994
HatoyamaG. M.Tokyo1970–1991
HeydenreichJ.Hallesince 2004
HilsumC.Gt. Malvern1970–1987
HoffmannA.Berlinsince 2006
JagadishC.Canberrasince 2010
KaminskiiA. A.Moscowsince 2003
KolomietsB. T.Leningrad1970–1991
KondoM.Tsukubasince 2006
LandsbergP. T.Cardiff1961–2009
LeeC. S.Hong Kongsince 2008, RE 2008–2009
LeeS. T.Hong Kongsince 2004, RE 2004–2007
LeisingG.Grazsince 1999, RE 1998–2003
LeitchA. R.Port Elizabethsince 2006
LeiteJ. R.São Paulo2003–2004, RE 1998–2004
Lloyd-SpetzA.Linköpingsince 2006
MerzW. J.Zürich1970–1991
MüllerE. W.University Park1970–1977
MüllerG. O.Berlin/Palo Alto/San Josesince 1987
NasledovD. N.Leningrad1970–1976
OrdejónP.Barcelonasince 2004, RE 2004–2009
PrietoP. P.Calisince 2006
RhodinT. N.Ithaca2003–2006
RobertsonJ.Cambridge, UKsince 2006
SeegerA.Stuttgartsince 1961
SeitzF.Urbana/New York1967–2008
ShurM. S.Troysince 2005, RE 2005–2009
SpeckJ. S.Santa Barbarasince 2007
StutzmannM.GarchingEiC since 1995, RE 1995–2000
SuskiT.Warsawsince 2006
TamargoM. C.New Yorksince 2006
ThomsenC.Berlinsince 2003
TrebinH.-R.Stuttgartsince 2003
UlloaS. E.Athenssince 2009
Van VlietK. M.Minneapolis/ Montreal1970–1999
WaserR.Jülichsince 2006
WilsonJ. I. B.Edinburgh1999, RE 1998–2007
WohlfahrthE. P.London1987–1988
WybourneM. N.Hanoversince 2006
ZawadzkiW.Warsawsince 1993

Recent Guest Editors of physica status solidi

Listing of 2010 pss Guest Editors of special issues, sections, and proceedings

SurnameForenamePlaceProject or conference
AdriaenssensGuy I.LeuvenAmorphous and Nanocrystalline Semiconductors
BriotOlivierMontpellierGroup III Nitride Semiconductors
CaoZexianBeijingSolid State Physics at IOPCAS Beijing
ChichibuS. F.SendaiNitride Semiconductors
ChiuPo-WenHsinchuCarbon Nanotubes and Graphene
ChristenJürgenBerlinTheory of Nanophotonic Devices
CorreiaAntonioMadridTrends in Nanotechnology
CricentiAntonioRomeOptics of Surfaces and Interfaces
Del SoleRodolfoRomeOptics of Surfaces and Interfaces
DinsePeterDarmstadtElectronic Properties of Novel Materials
DollTheodorMainzEngineering of Functional Interfaces
DoraYuvarajSanta BarbaraCompound Semiconductors
EsserNorbertBerlin/DortmundFormation of Semiconductor Interfaces
FortunatoElviraCaparicaTransparent Electronics
GodlewskiMarekWarsawWide Band Gap II–VI and III–V Semiconductors
GrundmannMariusLeipzigNano- and Microdimensional Building Blocks
HaenenKenHasseltHasselt Diamond Workshop
HoffmannAxelBerlinGroup III Nitride Semiconductors
IvanovSergeySt. PetersburgII–VI Compounds
KaiserAlan B.WellingtonCarbon Nanotubes and Graphene
KellerStaciaSanta BarbaraCompound Semiconductors
KnorrAndreasBerlinTheory of Nanophotonic Devices
KulikTadeuszWarsawBulk Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Alloys
KuzmanyHansViennaElectronic Properties of Novel Materials
MaierStefanLondonPlasmonics and Nanophotonics
MartinRobertGlasgowNitride Semiconductors
MauriFrancescoParisCarbon Nanotubes and Graphene
Meiwes-BroerKarl-HeinzRostockClusters at Surfaces
MeyerJannik C.UlmCarbon Nanotubes and Graphene
NanishiYasushiShigaGroup III Nitride Semiconductors
NesládekMilošHasseltHasselt Diamond Workshop
OleszakDariuszWarsawBulk Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Alloys
OrdejónPabloBarcelonaTrends in Nanotechnology
PonceFernando A.TempeGroup III Nitride Semiconductors
RathJatindra K.UtrechtAmorphous and Nanocrystalline Semiconductors
ReichStephanieBerlinElectronic Properties of Novel Materials
RichterWolfgangRomeOptics of Surfaces and Interfaces
RocheStephanBarcelonaTrends in Nanotechnology
RothSiegmarStuttgartElectronic Properties of Novel Materials
SáenzJuan JoséMadridTrends in Nanotechnology
SchmidtWolf GeroPaderbornFormation of Semiconductor Interfaces
SchöningMichael J.JülichEngineering of Functional Interfaces
SchroppRuud E. I.UtrechtAmorphous and Nanocrystalline Semiconductors
SeongTae-YeongSeoulNitride Semiconductors
SkakalovaVieraStuttgartCarbon Nanotubes and Graphene
SteglichFrankDresdenQuantum Criticality and Novel Phases
StockertOliverDresdenQuantum Criticality and Novel Phases
ThomsenChristianBerlinElectronic Properties of Novel Materials
ToropovAlexeySt. PetersburgII–VI Compounds
TuomistoFilipEspooInN Material and Alloys
WagnerPatrickDiepenbeekEngineering of Functional Interfaces
WetzelChristianTroyNitride Semiconductors
WirthSteffenDresdenQuantum Criticality and Novel Phases
ZachariasMargitFreiburgNanowires and Nanotubes
ZakrzewskiAdam J.WarsawWide Band Gap II–VI and III–V Semiconductors
ZemanMiroDelftAmorphous and Nanocrystalline Semiconductors

Statistics: Submissions, accepted papers, article downloads and Impact Factors

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Most active referees of physica status solidi

The Top 54 referees who have supported pss with at least 10 and, in several cases, up to 30 substantial referee reports during the years 2008–2010.

  1. (We sincerely apologize if the list is not fully complete for technical reasons.)

KaminskiiAlexander A.Moscow
LambrechtWalter R.Cleveland
LeipnerHartmut S.Halle
ScottJames F.Cambridge
SvaneAxel TorsteinAarhus
Van de WalleChrisSanta Barbara
ZhangShujunUniversity Park

pss Editorial Office Team

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Stefan Hildebrandt (Managing Editor) Stefan Hildebrandt, Managing Editor of the physica status solidi journals since 2000, has been with the Editorial Office at Wiley-VCH since 1999. Previously he studied and worked at the Universities of Halle (Germany) (Ph.D., 1988), Moscow and Cork (Ireland). He is a solid state physicist with the main background in semiconductor and surface physics. His tasks include the organization of special issues and conference proceedings in pss as well other editorial work concerning peer-review and acquisition for all 4 pss series.

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Sabine Bahrs (Series Editor pss (RRL)) Sabine is a solid state physicist who studied at the University of Manchester (then Institute of Science and Technology), UK, and the Technical University Berlin, Germany. She obtained a PhD for her research on optical spectroscopy and high-temperature superconductors in the group of Prof. C. Thomsen (Berlin, Germany). After a brief post-doc period she joined the Editorial Office in 2006, first as an Editor of pss (a). Since 2009, her main responsibility in the Editorial Office of pss is the physica status solidi (RRL) – ‘Rapid Research Letters’ series.

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Ingeborg Stass (Editor) Ingeborg studied physics at Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) and Universidad de Salamanca (Spain). Her dissertation deals with surface science using scanning tunneling microscopy, and was carried out at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California (USA) and Freie Universität Berlin. She joined the Editorial Office in June 2010, as an Editor of physica status solidi (b) – ‘basic solid state physics’.

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Ron Schulz-Rheinländer (Series Editor) Ron is a senior member of the pss team and has been Editor for the two main physica status solidi series (a) and (b). His responsibilities include, among others, managing the peer review process, inviting new authors, communicating with reviewers, authors, and members of the editorial board, as well as staying up-to-date with the latest developments in solid state physics and related disciplines. He studied physics at the Technische Universität Berlin and the RWTH Aachen. Ron joined the pss team in August 2002.

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Matteo Cavalleri (Consulting Editor) Matteo studied Chemistry at the University of Milan (Italy) and University of Valencia (Spain) before obtaining his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics at Stockholm University (Sweden) with a thesis entitled “Local Structure of Hydrogen Bonded Liquids”. After a 3 years experience at the Theory Department of the Fritz-Haber-Institut in Berlin (Germany) as an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral research fellow, he joined Wiley in August 2008 as an Editor of physica status solidi. Since April 2010 he is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics at Wiley Hoboken (USA).

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Heike Höpcke (Production Editor) Heike is responsible for coordinating the workflows between authors of accepted manuscripts, copy editors, typesetters, and printers for the series physica status solidi (b) – ‘basic solid state physics’ and physica status solidi (RRL) – ‘Rapid Research Letters’. This includes handling of the source Word and LaTeX files, checking the page proofs and proof corrections, as well as assembling the issues. for the series pss (a) - 'applications and materials science' she is responsible for all concerns related to issue compilation. Heike studied Mathematics and Physics at the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. She joined the pss team in 1996.

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Lars Herrmann (Editorial Assistance) Lars temporarily covers Julia's responsibilities. In addition to the handling of regular submissions via manuscriptXpress/OSM he administrates special issues and proceedings submitted via the recently installed submission system ScholarOne Manuscripts (S1M). He also handles and uploads news items to materialsviews.com and the pss homepages.

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Margit Schütz (Editorial Assistance) Margit supports the editorial staff as well as the authors and referees of regular online submissions to physica status solidi. Her tasks include the registration and technical examination of incoming manuscripts, support to authors and referees encountering technical problems with the online submission system (manuscriptXpress/OSM), response to queries from authors, and correspondence with referees. She is also responsible for the observance of deadlines and for reminding authors and referees accordingly. Margit has accompanied the physica status solidi journals since 1990.

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Irina Juschak (Production Editor) Irina's main responsibility is coordinating the production of Proceedings issues of physica status solidi (c) – ‘current topics in solid state physics’ between the organizers/authors and the typesetters/printers, including full accepted manuscript handling and communication in case of problems and workflow details. Authors and Proceedings organizers may know her from the e-mails clarifying publication details, and as a contact person for questions and orders concerning cover pages, reprints, issue copies, PDF files, invoices, etc. Furthermore, Irina is handing the articles of pss (a) - 'applications and materials science' from acceptances until Early View publications. Irina studied Crystallography at the Humboldt University of Berlin and joined the Editorial Office in 1975.

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Julia Hübner (Editorial Assistance and Project Editor) Julia's responsibilities include the administration of our online submission and refereeing system. She provides technical support for the Guest Editors and also assists the editorial staff in handling the proceedings. Moreover, she supports the editorial staff as well as the authors and referees of regular submissions to physica status solidi, where her tasks include the screening of newly uploaded, incoming manuscripts, support in case of problems with the regular online submission system (manuscriptXpress/OSM), response to author queries and correspondence with referees. She is also responsible for the observance of deadlines and for reminding authors and referees accordingly. Julia joined the physica status solidi editorial team in 2005.

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Biographical Information

Martin Stutzmann, Editor-in-Chief of physica status solidi since 1995, is Dean of the faculty of physics, Director of the Walter Schottky Institute and Chair for Experimental Semiconductor Physics at Munich University of Technology. His main scientific interests concern semiconductor heterostructures and devices for bioelectronics, sensors, spintronics, and photovoltaics.

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