Thoughts – A Place for Some Introspection

Science these days has become a quick way to produce new information and knowledge. As scientists we sometimes do our daily tasks without even thinking properly about them. But critical thinking is crucial to clearing our minds and helping us visualize what really matters. This is a place where ElectroEnergy posts some interesting and recently published articles found in the literature that will make us think on our field of research, scientific politics and science in general.

What is quality in sience? What is the most important number: IF, citations or number of published papers? Is there a better way to analyse it? Does the IF really represent the reputation of a journal or is it dependent on a niche? Is it possible to succeed in a scientific career without having a solid background? How to attract the best minds to work in our universities? Is gender equality in hard sciences a policy to be implemented? and affirmative actions in graduate courses? What will be your legacy as a scientist?

Fewer Sandwich Papers, Please

Jin, S. ACS Energy Lett. 2022, 7, 10, 3727. You’ve probably heard about salami papers and how harmful it is to science. But what about sandwich papers?Just like the process of making sandwiches in fast-food sandwich shops, if one permutes different choices for each component and sets out to survey, many different (and perhaps nearly randomly designed) papers can be produced quickly (…) Different from the notorious salami papers, sandwich papers could show much hard work, be crammed with many figures, and employ the latest experimental techniques that involve the most advanced instrumentation, sometimes supplemented by theory or simulation that agree perfectly with the experimental results. They could look very impressive by most common standards, yet, the very impressive façade and dizzying display of results cannot conceal the paucity of thought behind the work. After reading some such papers, one could not help feeling that something is missing and left wanting more (…)Let’s put heart and soul into our work and make an honest and impactful contribution to science. A good insight is worth over a million papers of two digits IF.

Electrocatalysis Goes Nuts

Akbashev, A. R. ACS Catal. 2022, 12, 4296. You’ve probably heard about salami papers and how harmful it is to science. But what about sandwich papers? “Just like the process of making sandwiches in fast-food sandwich shops, if one permutes different choices for each component and sets out to survey, many different (and perhaps nearly randomly designed) papers can be produced quickly (…) Different from the notorious salami papers, sandwich papers could show much hard work, be crammed with many figures, and employ the latest experimental techniques that involve the most advanced instrumentation, sometimes supplemented by theory or simulation that agree perfectly with the experimental results. They could look very impressive by most common standards, yet, the very impressive façade and dizzying display of results cannot conceal the paucity of thought behind the work. After reading some such papers, one could not help feeling that something is missing and left wanting more (…)” Let’s put heart and soul into our work and make an honest and impactful contribution to science. A good insight is worth over a million papers of two digits IF.

San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

What is DORA? You’ve probably heard about salami papers and how harmful it is to science. But what about sandwich papers? “Just like the process of making sandwiches in fast-food sandwich shops, if one permutes different choices for each component and sets out to survey, many different (and perhaps nearly randomly designed) papers can be produced quickly (…) Different from the notorious salami papers, sandwich papers could show much hard work, be crammed with many figures, and employ the latest experimental techniques that involve the most advanced instrumentation, sometimes supplemented by theory or simulation that agree perfectly with the experimental results. They could look very impressive by most common standards, yet, the very impressive façade and dizzying display of results cannot conceal the paucity of thought behind the work. After reading some such papers, one could not help feeling that something is missing and left wanting more (…)” Let’s put heart and soul into our work and make an honest and impactful contribution to science. A good insight is worth over a million papers of two digits IF.