Chemistry of Materials’ Up and Coming articles: Meet Science’s Rising Stars

When scientists begin their research careers, they tend to think carefully about the research directions they will pursue. After all, their success depends on choosing research questions that are exciting, have broad societal impact, and have high growth potential. For this reason, early-career scientists tend to have fresh perspectives on which research directions are most interesting.

Chemistry of Materials wanted to hear from these emerging scientists. In 2014, the journal launched the “Up and Coming” series of perspectives, written exclusively by early-career researchers. The perspectives, according to Chemistry of Materials Editor-in-Chief Jillian Buriak, are a way to “hear what is up-and-coming from the front lines of research in the chemistry of materials, directly from the researchers who are themselves up-and-coming.”

Reports from the front lines of research

The articles are written by promising young researchers, typically pre-tenure assistant professors or others at government laboratories or in industry.

Up and Coming perspectives accomplish multiple goals. They highlight the work of future leaders in materials science and chemistry—and they provide insights into exciting, high-potential new areas in the field.

The perspectives are roughly the length of a traditional journal paper and typically include:

  • A brief review of existing work in a particular field
  • A description of what a researcher has accomplished
  • If applicable, explanation of latest works in progress
  • A discussion of a researcher’s outlook for the future of a field

Up and Coming perspectives have been among the journal’s most popular content since the series began in May 2014. The articles must have the same level of peer review required of all other Chemistry of Materials manuscripts.

The first up-and-comer, Darren Lipomi, wrote about molecularly stretchable electronics. Other recently featured researchers include François-Xavier Coudert, who described novel responses of metal organic frameworks to external stimuli. Lauren Marbella and Jill Millstone wrote about nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques for noble metal nanoparticles.

A unique take on emerging science

The journal expects to publish roughly 12 Up and Coming perspectives per year. There are no set criteria to qualify, but, says Buriak, “we want to feature up-and-comers that represent much geographic and topical diversity as possible.”

Researchers are excited about the potential of the series. Says Coudert, “In various conferences and visits to groups in my field, I’ve had good feedback about both the content and the medium of my perspective. It seems to have a wide reach and to be well read.”

“As an author, it’s a great platform to discuss the recent evolutions and future of one’s favorite topic.”

Chemistry of Materials welcomes nominations of talented researchers interested in contributing to the Up and Coming series. To nominate yourself or a colleague, contact Managing Editor Carlos Toro or Editor-in-Chief Jillian Buriak.