Excellence – energy – ethics


  • Stefan Hildebrandt,

  • Sabine Bahrs

Dear pss readers,

As the previous year approached its end, news on three excellent prize winnings and nominations of pss authors and editors reached us: Gerhard Abstreiter of TU Munich will receive the Stern–Gerlach Medal 2014, the highest prize of the German Physical Society for experimental physics, honoring his work on low-dimensional electron systems in semiconductor hetero- and nanostructures. His Review@RRL on InGaAs nanowires on silicon is opening the 2014 volume of pss (RRL) [1]. It is a welcome addition to our recent successful Focus Issue on Semiconductor Nanowires [2]. Our long-term Editorial Advisory Board member, Wiley author and Guest Editor, Rainer Waser of RWTH Aachen and Research Centre Jülich, is one of the 11 winners of the highly prestigious Leibniz Prize for his outstanding research on nanoelectronics, especially oxides, ferroelectrics and resistive switching [3, 4]. Last but not least, one of the three nominated teams for the German Future Prize has been led by Wolfgang Schnick, LMU Munich, and Peter J. Schmidt, Philips Lumileds Aachen. Their groundbreaking work on new phosphor materials in white light emitting diodes (LEDs) for solid-state lighting [5] goes back to a highly-cited pss (a) article from 2005 [6] (see figure). The technology is now being commercialized and expected to enable energy savings on a grand scale in the coming years.

Speaking of energy, research results related to this global challenge have been important throughout the year, touching areas such as thermoelectrics [7], efficiency of organic LEDs [8] and photovoltaics [9]. The latter field has been even better represented since the recent introduction of our section rrl solar, covering solar cell materials or device development and characterization (see Editorial [10]).

The full-paper sister journals pss (a) and (b) presented an unprecedented number of high-profile special issues in 2013 [11-15]. With heartfelt gratitude we look back onto fruitful collaboration with highly engaged guest editors, who helped bring to light issues such as the “Advanced Concepts for Silicon Based Photovoltaics” [11], the “Quantum Criticality and Novel Phases” [12], the “Disorder in Order: A special issue on amorphous materials” [13], the “Substrate Interactions in Heterogeneous Catalysis” [14], and the “Quantum Transport at the Molecular Scale” [15] among other interesting topical issues and sections. Both contributors and fine articles are too numerous to do justice to all of them here. We must restrict ourselves to a general invitation to browse this content, only hinting a few possible starting points, such as topological insulators [16], molecular electronics [17] and quantum phase transitions [18].

Figure 1.

Artist's view of two-phosphor converted white light LED (from [6])

On the editorial and technical side, we look back on a busy year dominated by the globalization of the Berlin Editorial Office home base [19], with Wiley colleagues in Weinheim, Beijing and Hoboken now contributing to our joint success, and by the introduction of Editorial Manager (EM). This state-of-the-art online submission, reviewing and editorial handling system provides much better, more flexible and very reliable service to our thousands of authors and helpful reviewers. As every year, we extend our sincere thanks to our ever-growing and extremely supportive community of anonymous peers who have decisively contributed to keep our editorial standards up or even raise them further.

Adding to strict peer review, the installation of EM was accompanied by the introduction of iThenticate, an online tool which checks a submitted manuscript against published literature (from publishers participating in the CrossCheck initiative) and other internet sources. This helps us to prevent plagiarism, i.e. unauthorized and unmarked copying of text written by others, as well as significant text recycling from authors' previous own articles which we, unfortunately, sometimes encounter among the manuscripts submitted for consideration. Such tendencies are clearly discouraged by the Editors as documented in the various sources informing about our editorial and ethical guidelines [20, 21], and we are glad to have a tool at our disposition that assists us and the reviewers in ensuring these standards.

In result of all the above-mentioned efforts we are proud to report that visibility and impact of pss publications have further increased during the past year. Please be invited to follow pss content on Wiley Online Library (WOL), our table of contents alerts and RSS feeds as well as indexing services. As a final outlook into the New Year, early 2014 will see the launch of Anywhere Article, a new user interface to WOL providing better access to our content especially for users of mobile devices. So watch out for this exciting new feature!

With best wishes for a successful and healthy 2014, on behalf of all pss colleagues

Stefan Hildebrandt and Sabine Bahrs