Many members and non-members ask themselves whether the Canadian Society for Chemistry owns a scientific journal. Well, as it turns out the CSC actually co-owns a rather “high-profile” journal and it is not the one you are thinking of! While we actively promote the Canadian Journal of Chemistry as a viable publishing venue for Canadian chemists, the CSC does not in fact own it. So which journal are we talking about?
Since 2010 the CSC has a share in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP), one of the leading journals in physical chemistry. PCCP publishes 50-80 articles every week, or about 3000 articles per year. With an impact factor around 4.0 PCCP is among the most cited topical journals. Having published several articles in PCCP in the last years, I can attest to the quick turn-around, very constructive reviews, and professional handling of the manuscripts. Also the articles end up looking quite pretty, should that be of great concern to you.
The journal is jointly owned by the physical chemistry societies or chemistry societies of 19 countries: Spain, Italy, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Austria, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, Korea, the UK, Turkey, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and, of course, Canada. Many of these societies merged their own physical chemistry publications with PCCP, such as the Transactions of the Faraday Society (UK), or the Berichte der Bunsengesellschaft (Germany). The ownership board has members of all constituent societies — I am the Canadian representative — and meets annually to assess the scientific and financial performance of the journal.
Their editorial board, the honourary board, and the advisory board are responsible for upholding the scientific standards of PCCP. The membership of these boards reads like a list of celebrity scientists in physical chemistry. For example, Paul Ayers of McMaster University is a member of the advisory board and John Polanyi, University of Toronto, is a member of the honourary board.
There are also two little known facts about PCCP that may be of interest to CSC members. First, the CSC receives just over $275 for every article that is published by a Canadian author in PCCP. This is a win-win for authors of PCCP: you can see your article published in a truly international journal and contribute to the CSC at the same time.
Secondly, the PCCP Emerging Investigator Lectureship was instituted to recognize early career researchers who have made a significant contribution in physical chemistry, chemical physics or biophysical chemistry as part of their independent academic work. Previous winners have published various articles in PCCP; nominations are open in the summer and the winner is announced in late fall. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details, should you know of someone who deserves that recognition.
I would encourage all of you physical chemists to consider publishing in PCCP. It is good for you and good for your society!
Professor Hans-Peter Loock is the Head of Physical and Analytical Chemistry at Queen’s University