International Journal of Nanotechnology
Journal Interview, November 2011
A recent analysis of Essential Science IndicatorsSM data from Thomson Reuters showed that the International Journal of Nanotechnology is having a growing influence in the field of Materials Science. The journal's current record in this field includes 371 papers cited 876 times from mid-2006, when it began to be covered in the database, to June 30, 2011. Its impact factor in the 2010 Journal Citation Reports® from Thomson Reuters is 1.335.
The International Journal of Nanotechnology was founded in 2004 by Dr. Lionel Vayssieres, who also serves as its Editor-in-Chief, and is published by Inderscience Enterprises, Limited. In addition to his editorial duties, Vayssieres is also a permanent independent scientist at the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan and a guest scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. His own work ranks in the top 1% among researchers in the field of Materials Science in Essential Science Indicators.
Below, ScienceWatch.com speaks with Vayssieres about the International Journal of Nanotechnology's history and citation achievements.
Did you expect the International Journal of Nanotechnology to become highly cited, or is this surprising to you?
The International Journal of Nanotechnology has released 25 special issues and nine regular ones, representing a total of over 450 articles (mostly invited) and over 8,000 pages of in-depth coverage of major topics related to nanotechnology (total citations over 1,500 with an h index of 17 according to Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge®) written by scientists from over 35 different countries. The journal has been released at major international conferences in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and is indexed in leading publication databases. Since inception, the quality and topics of the articles have remained at high level. The journal has truly become a worldwide major source of information on nanotechnology.
Well, as founding editor-in-chief, I was, of course, hoping this day would eventually come as we (the associate editor, guest editors, editorial board members, referees, and myself) started the journal with only scientific (and not financial) goals and have been looking for (and enforcing) quality and originality in the manuscripts before accepting them, so it is a good feeling that it is now recognized, and that it was indeed possible to do it.
How would you account for the high citation rate of the International Journal of Nanotechnology?
First, it is important to know that the high citation rate is not due to self citations. Indeed, according to Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports® and the Web of Knowledge, self-cites account for only 1% overall and 2% for 2010 cites. Second, given that we operate without any financial drive, we were able to focus on quality, i.e., most of the articles are invited (or carefully selected) by myself, the board of editors, and the guest editors, which certainly contributed to the high citation rate.
"We hope that the journal will bridge the gap between fundamental research and technological development as nanoscience bridges the gap between atomic and microscopic scales."
In addition, I must say that the journal has been releasing special issues on topics such as nanosensors, nanoelectronics, nanotechnology and social cohesion, transparent conductive oxides, nanomaterials for security technologies, nanotoxicity, nanopharmaceuticals, and nanomedicine very early on (for some, before they even become hot topics), which may have contributed to it as well.
Finally, we have released 13 special issues dedicated to nanotechnology in specific countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Greece, India, Iran, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Ukraine, and Vietnam) which have been a great success, despite the fact that very few believed in the idea initially. I believe it is a great achievement as the journal does not have a large distribution compared to major scientific publishers but despite that fact, it seems that the articles and the science they contained made their way through and actually inspired and served many authors in several fields. I am particularly proud of this, regardless of the actual citation analysis.
I am also happy to see, according to Scifinder® Citing Journal Name Analysis, that the top 15 citing journals (which account the most for the total citations to our journal since 2004) are (in descending order) the Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Journal of Applied Physics, Journal of Materials Chemistry, Physical Review B, Nanotechnology, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Langmuir, Chemistry of Materials, Applied Physics Letters, Nano Letters, Applied Surface Science, ACS Nano, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, and Angewandte Chemie International Edition; a broad variety of excellent journals, thus high-quality citations.
Would you give us a brief history of the journal?
It is actually interesting because I never thought of becoming an editor or creating my own journal until Dr. M. Dorgham (founder of Inderscience Publishers, Ltd.) kindly offered me the opportunity and so with complete freedom of operation. Interestingly, everything actually happened over the phone (between the US and UK) without even having met in person, and after arguing about a possible special issue for one of their journals on nanotechnology. He told me that since I was arguing so passionately only about a special issue why not starting an entire journal dedicated to nanotechnology of which I would be the founding chief editor.
Frankly, I was a bit surprised but I recall thinking, "how hard can it be?" and "that would actually be great," and thus accepting immediately over the phone. I was at the time a visiting scientist at Berkeley National Lab working with Dr. D.K. Shuh at the Chemical Sciences Division, Glenn T. Seaborg Center. I contacted many international colleagues and put together a great editorial board of eminent scientists (from 20 different countries), requesting from some of them to write a review of their own work for the journal. Amazingly, most agreed and delivered their manuscript in time for a first special double issue (copyrighted 2004), the inaugural release of which took place at the Fall Materials Research Society meeting in Boston in December 2003.
"Within the last decade, nanotechnology has reached the status of a leading science with fundamental and applied research in all basic sciences (physical, life, and earth sciences) as well as engineering and materials science."
We started with only four issues per year then quickly moved to six and finally settled on 12 issues per year. We could have increased the number of issues but we wanted to keep quality over quantity, and, well, this ranking as well as the constant increase in impact factor over the years showed it was the right thing to do.
What historical factors have contributed to the success of the International Journal of Nanotechnology?
I really believe that the special issues dedicated to nanotechnology in specific countries have contributed significantly to the success of the journal. The idea was very simple and consisted in inviting guest editors from a specific country and requesting them to collect manuscripts by inviting the best researchers of their country.
The aim of such an innovative series was to genuinely identify active and representative research themes and researchers involved in nanotechnology in various countries. It reveals the status and advances of nanotechnology as well as promoting scientists, institutions, laboratories, research networks, and funding agencies all over the world. Such an initiative has already contributed to developing a better knowledge of nanoscience and nanotechnology and thus, more active collaborations between researchers in different countries have taken place.
This successful innovative series has been achieved with the release of 15 special issues. This series is being perpetuated with a growing number of additional issues currently being prepared by eminent guest editors from all over the world without any bias or conflict of interest.
What, in your view, is this journal's main significance or contribution in the field of Materials Science?
Within the last decade, nanotechnology has reached the status of a leading science with fundamental and applied research in all basic sciences (physical, life, and earth sciences) as well as engineering and materials science. An important feature of nanoscience is that it bridges the crucial dimensional gap between the atomic and molecular scale of fundamental sciences and the microstructural scale of engineering sciences.
Accordingly, a vast amount of true multidisciplinary fundamental knowledge is to be explored and linked. It will lead to a tremendous amount of in-depth understanding as well as to the fabrication of novel high technological devices in many fields of applications from electronics to medicine. Therefore, it should improve tremendously the level of technological advance at a much greater rate than human history has ever experienced.
As a result, the technological, educational, and societal implications of nanotechnology are of immense importance, which are attested by the tremendous interests, the major economic efforts, and the national initiatives of many countries around the world. Among all, Materials Science have probably seen the most amazing contribution of nanoscience with major innovation in the fabrication of a plethora of novel functional nanostructures as well as the in-depth characterization of their fascinating structural, physical, and chemical properties.
How do you see your field(s) evolving in the next few years?
"I really believe that the special issues dedicated to nanotechnology in specific countries have contributed significantly to the success of the journal."
Well, with all the money being injected all over the world in the name of nanoscience and nanotechnology, I (and clearly I'm not the only one) am eager to see beside the very exciting fundamental knowledge and comprehensive understanding of this revolutionary field of science, many practical technological applications being manufactured at large scale for the benefit of humanity (and not just for personal electronics for social networking) but especially for sustainable development and health (e.g., early detection of cancer, organ engineering devices, targeted drug delivery), energy (e.g., third-generation solar cell panels, seawater solar hydrogen generation power plants, renewable fuels), and environment (e.g., more affordable cleaning and desalination water systems, highly selective and widespread portable chemical sensors and actuators, efficient devices for capture and utilization of greenhouse gases).
What role do you see for your journal?
The journal will continue delivering high-quality and geographically balanced articles related to nanoscience and nanotechnology and featuring special issues dedicated to important topics (before and/or after they become hot topics) as well as special issues dedicated to specific countries (Scotland and Czech Republic are already completed and scheduled for publication in early 2012; Brazil, Taiwan, Denmark, Belgium, Japan, Italy, Egypt, and Turkey are currently in preparation) along with regular issues featuring original and high-quality research with a 12-issue/year format. Both fundamental and applied aspects are equally represented by invited contributions from rising young scientists as well as more established ones.
Moreover, beyond the very exciting new science, knowledge, and applications being discovered and investigated, the public awareness, perception, and understanding of nanoscience/nanotechnology is also of tremendous importance for the implementation and commercial success of such evolutionary and revolutionary technology. We intend to pursue such an educational direction and sincerely believe the journal is actively contributing to a better understanding of such an exciting new field of science without any bias. We will make sure the journal contributes and facilitate fruitful international and multidisciplinary collaborations between scientists and engineers as well as being revealing and inspiring for new generations of researchers.
The International Journal of Nanotechnology provides a great source of information on any topics related to nanotechnology from academic and industrial standpoints. Consisting of invited contributions from worldwide experts, it aims to provide a major reference source of comprehensive fundamental and applied understanding of nanotechnology. It is dedicated to professionals, scientists, academics, engineers, and researchers, and represents an educational resource for students, teachers, and educators. We hope that the journal will bridge the gap between fundamental research and technological development as nanoscience bridges the gap between atomic and microscopic scales.
International Journal of
Dr. Lionel Vayssieres, Editor-in-Chief
Inderscience Enterprises Limited, publishers
- In October 2011, the International Journal of Nanotechnology has been named a New Entrant to the Essential Science Indicators database in the field of Materials Science.