JACerS January 2023

[Image above] Credit: ACerS

By John C. Mauro, editor-in-chief of Journal of the American Ceramic Society

Recent years have seen exponential growth in the number of scientific journals being published, along with an increased emphasis on quantifying author and journal success through metrics, such as the h index or the journal impact factor. The rise of open-access publishing has had a huge impact as well, changing the model for publishing economics and dissemination of scientific research.

Unfortunately, there has also been a commensurate increase in the number of low-quality or predatory publishers who fail to meet reasonable standards for scientific integrity. Additionally, preprint servers allow for authors to share their work without any peer review or professional typesetting of their work.

With so many options for publishing, I make it a personal priority to publish in journals from professional societies, especially The American Ceramic Society. Why do I choose to publish in ACerS journals? I would like to summarize my top 10 reasons below:

  1. Society journals are rooted in community. The American Ceramic Society has been my professional home for more than 25 years, and I know it’s been the professional home for many of you as well. Publishing in ACerS journals helps to strengthen our community in many tangible and intangible ways. For example, our community nurtures the development of ideas and technologies through the journals, and many authors will be at the same conferences. These connections are especially helpful for young authors as they establish themselves in a research area.
  2. Professional societies like The American Ceramic Society are nonprofit entities. The formal mission of ACerS is “to advance the study, understanding, and use of ceramics and related materials, for the benefit of our members and society.” Personally, I would much rather support a nonprofit organization such as ACerS instead of journals run by for-profit publishers.
  3. The editorial boards of ACerS journals are members of our community who have deep expertise in our specific fields. This focus runs counter to many general scientific journals, where the editors lack specific knowledge in ceramics and glasses.
  4. ACerS journals are known for their high-quality peer review process. In my experience as an author and editor, the feedback from reviewers is almost always constructive and helpful. By and large, the reviewers are genuinely interested in the research being discussed and want to help improve manuscript quality.
  5. ACerS journals have a long history of publishing the most influential papers in the field. Particularly, Journal of the American Ceramic Society has been the most important outlet for research discoveries in ceramic sciences for more than a century. As editor-in-chief of JACerS, my primary goal is to ensure that this long tradition of quality and excellence continues.
  6. From the initial editorial reviews to the final typesetting process, ACerS journals have a focus on quality. Decisions are driven by the scientific merit of the papers and not by what will increase company profit or enhance the latest arbitrarily defined journal impact metric.
  7. ACerS offers the flexibility to publish as either open access or following the traditional subscription-based model, depending on the authors’ wishes.
  8. A major problem with publishing in out-of-field journals is that the target audience is missed. In contrast, publishing with ACerS journals ensures that your articles will reach the right audience of ceramic and glass scientists.
  9. ACerS helps to promote research news through articles written for a general audience, such as those appearing in Ceramic Tech Today and the ACerS Bulletin. These outlets are a great way to broaden the impact of your research across the ceramics community.
  10. I have always been impressed with the responsiveness and professionalism of The American Ceramic Society staff, and my respect for them has only grown over the years. This experience is in contrast to many less-than-positive experiences that I have had interfacing with for-profit publishers. ACerS staff members are always happy to answer your questions and solve problems in a timely and respectful manner.

With so many options for publishing scientific research, I think there has never been a more important time to be deliberate about your outlet for publication. For all the reasons above, I hope you will consider submitting your most exciting new research to ACerS journals.

About the author

John C. Mauro is the Dorothy Pate Enright Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and associate head for graduate education at The Pennsylvania State University. As editor-in-chief of Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Mauro strives “to continue the excellent progress of JACerS to attract the highest-quality, highest-impact manuscripts in the ceramic and glass sciences.” Mauro is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors.