Journal of Physical Chemistry
Featured Journal Interview
For the past year, the Journal of Physical
Chemistry C has claimed the title of Rising Star
among journals in the field of Physics, meaning that at
each bimonthly update, this journal has had the highest
increase in total citations. The journal's current
Essential Science IndicatorsSMfrom
Reuters includes 6,670 papers cited a total of
20,942 times up until June 30, 2009.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry C has
been in print since January 2007, and is published by
the American Chemical Society.
In the interview below, ScienceWatch.com
talks with Editor-in-Chief Professor George Schatz
about the journal's history and citation record.
When and under what circumstances was the
Journal of Physical Chemistry C founded?
The dramatic growth of physical chemistry at the end of the 20th
century led to the split of the Journal of Physical Chemistry into
parts A and B in 1997. Since 1997, several areas of physical chemistry have
emerged and have been experiencing significant growth, including studies on
nanomaterials and nanostructures, optical and electronic devices, and
energy conversion and storage. The American Chemical Society Publications
staff and editors of the journal recognized that these emerging areas were
important for the physical chemistry community, and the Journal of
Physical Chemistry C was created to give researchers in these emerging
areas a highly reputable forum in which to publish their work.
Did you expect the Journal of Physical Chemistry
C to become highly cited, or is this surprising to you?
"Perhaps one of the biggest
contributions of the journal is the drawing
together of many different types of
researchers to address scientific challenges
of interest to the physical chemistry
It was certainly our hope that the journal would do well, and we are
obviously very pleased by its success thus far. A new journal always takes
some time to get established and known within research communities, so the
biggest surprise was that the journal seemed to become recognized as one of
the preferred places to publish in these new and emerging areas and
communities so quickly. The journal only published its first issue in
January 2007, but we published over 3,000 articles in 2008. The success of
the Journal of Physical Chemistry C demonstrates that there is
still a desire for authors to publish in a multidisciplinary, multi-scoped
How would you account for the increased citation rate of
the Journal of Physical Chemistry C?
The large numbers of citations are likely the result of: (1) the rigorous
and selective editorial process of articles in which every article
submitted is handled by one of 30 editors who are also professors and
active researchers and (2) the exciting and growing nature of the topics
chosen for the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. This combination
has helped us to attract and publish high-quality articles which authors
and readers have found to be immediately useful and relevant.
Was there a change in policy or editorial direction that
might account for this?
One decision that may have affected the growth in citations was the choice
of topics to be published in Journal of Physical Chemistry C. The
distribution of topics in Journal of Physical Chemistry A, B, and
C was based on several considerations, including what made sense
scientifically and balanced out the three journals. Some topics, such as
nanomaterials and catalysis, were largely transferred from the Journal
of Physical Chemistry B. However, some new topics were added,
including energy research and electron transport processes, reflecting
growth of these subdisciplines of physical chemistry.
What historical factors have contributed to the success
of the Journal of Physical Chemistry C?
As I mentioned earlier, the Journal of Physical Chemistry C was
split from Journal of Physical Chemistry A and B. The
Journal of Physical Chemistry has a long history, publishing its
first issue in 1896, and finally growing so much that it needed to be
reorganized into two separate parts in 1997. Throughout the journal’s
history, it has continued to evolve as the field of physical chemistry
progressed, and the journal has become well known in the process for
keeping up with the changing field.
I think that the history and established reputation of excellence of
Journal of Physical Chemistry A and B certainly has
helped Journal of Physical Chemistry C achieve success so quickly.
In addition, the rigorous and efficient editorial and publication processes
established with the Journal of Physical Chemistry A and
B forged the way for part C to achieve rapid success.
Have there been specific developments in the fields
served by the Journal of Physical Chemistry C that may have
"The journal only published its
first issue in January 2007, but we published
over 3,000 articles in
The Journal of Physical Chemistry C covers several areas that have
seen tremendous growth in recent years. One of the largest areas is
nanoparticle research, which involves structural, chemical, magnetic,
electrical, and optical properties of nanoparticles and related
nanostructures, as well as nanoparticle interactions with surfaces and
biomolecules. Other major areas include catalysis and surface science,
energy storage, and various types of solar cells. The ongoing growth of
these areas is a major cause for the growth in citations for the journal.
What, in your view, is this journal’s main
significance or contribution in the field of Physics?
The Journal of Physical Chemistry C has become a multidisciplinary
journal. Authors contributing to the journal are physical chemists,
physicists, biophysicists, chemical engineers, and surface scientists. The
research topics within Journal of Physical Chemistry C involve all
of these different types of researchers. Perhaps one of the biggest
contributions of the journal is the drawing together of many different
types of researchers to address scientific challenges of interest to the
physical chemistry community. The emphasis on physical chemistry makes the
Journal of Physical Chemistry C distinct from a number of physics
How do you see your field(s) evolving in the next few
I would expect that we will see continued growth in all the subdisciplines
represented in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Energy
research received a big boost in funding in many countries recently, so
this field of research should really take off. The
nanoparticles/catalysis/surface-science fields continue to evolve rapidly
due to applications in sensing, electronics and photonics, new materials,
conventional and nonconventional fuels, etc. We even see manuscripts
related to food science and cosmetics, but of course with a focus on
What role do you see for your journal?
The Journal of Physical Chemistry will continue to keep up with
the pulse of physical chemistry and reorganize when there are significant
changes to the field and/or community the journal serves. The Journal
of Physical Chemistry C, in particular, will play a key role in
dissemination of important research results in the new areas I outlined
above. With the excellent group of editors and staff working on the
journal, I am confident that it will continue to attract and publish
high-quality, cutting-edge research in all areas of physical
Journal of Physical Chemistry C George Schatz,
American Chemical Society, Publishers