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Monday, 27 October 2014

Samindranath Mitra discusses about how to publish in Physical Review Letters

ICREA Research Prof. Stephan Roche invited the Physical Review Letters Editor to talk about this influential journal and its publishing policies. The seminar was useful and hopefully might help ICN2 researchers and attendees from other institutions to publish even more often in PRL.

The Physical Review Letters (PRL) Editor Samindranath Mitra visited today ICN2 to discuss about how their paper selection works and present this influential journal’s philosophy in a Seminar. This publication covers all areas of applied, fundamental, and interdisciplinary physics research.

The total number of citations to PRL articles in 2013 was 378,568 (roughly, one citation every two minutes). With a 2013 Impact Factor of 7.728 and over 60.000 active referees, PRL is ranked first among physics and mathematics journals by Google Scholar using their five-year h-index metrics, and first among physics journals with an Eigenfactor of 1.01. The number of articles published in PRL in 2013 was 3,657, with a total of 18,258 pages.

Samindranath Mitra’s recommendations on how to get published in PRL included: Omitting needless words (he suggested reading The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr); Don’t overuse acronyms (although the magazine is specialized and could be “hard to read”, don’t make it harder!); At least the introduction should be accessible to a physicist not in your field (hopefully the whole paper!); Adequately reference previous publications, including current work; Write a cover letter explaining why you believe PRL is the right magazine and commenting on current competitor’s work; Readers are busy, so concentrate special efforts in the introduction because a lot of them won’t read the whole paper.

The Editor closed the talk by assuring that the role of physics journals has evolved. In addition to contributing to the dissemination of the work, they provide a stamp of validity. He ensured that when you read a magazine such as PRL you can be confident that the quality standards are kept high.