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Looking back on the first year with gratitude

This month marks the 1 year anniversary of opening Communications Physics for submissions. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of those who helped make the journal launch a success.

As mums and dads know, the achievements of a new born in his or her first year of life are a wonder. The first smile, the first crawl, the first step, the first word… For a new journal, the first year of life is also full of surprises, excitements, and “firsts”. In this first year, the editors at Communications Physics have seen the first submitted paper, the first reviewer report, the first editorial, and the first five papers published in February 2018, just over 6 months after opening for submissions.

This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long and bright future for our journal. They say “it takes a village to raise a child”, so it takes the physics community to build a journal. As a newcomer to the community, we could not have succeeded without the support of our authors, reviewers, editorial board members, and all the internal staff who helped us launch the journal.

“As a newcomer to the community, we could not have succeeded without the support of our authors, reviewers, editorial board members, and all the internal staff who helped us launch the journal.”

With this physics community in mind, it is appropriate that our 1 year anniversary falls near Peer Review Week when we take the opportunity to thank reviewers for their invaluable contribution. The impact of reviewers can often seem invisible, but we would not have been able to provide high quality articles without the referees who took a leap of faith providing insightful reviews for a new journal. Peer review remains the most widely accepted form of research assessment without which no reputable journal would exist. We are grateful for the time you have all taken to work with us.

The theme of Peer Review Week this year is “Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review”, and we are proud to see so much diversity at every level of our journal. Communications Physics has a shared editorial model with professional editors working alongside academic researchers on the editorial board. Our small team of internal editors and editorial board members come from a wide range of physics backgrounds, nationalities, career stages, and genders. The editorial board members have provided immense support and insight that will continue to shape and guide Communications Physics. Our referees represent a total of 40 countries and exhibit diversity in both gender and career level. We also see geographical diversity among our authors; so far we have received at least one paper from every continent (except Antarctica!) and from a total of 37 countries (Fig. 1). We are honoured that these authors from around the world entrusted us with their manuscripts.

Fig. 1
figure 1

Geographical breakdown of manuscript submissions. Our submissions between September 2017 and July 2018 have come from 37 different countries, listed above in order of the total number of submissions

We have published in diverse subject areas covering theory, experiments, modelling, and applied physics. The articles published in our first 8 months have spanned a range of topics: from condensed matter to biophysics, from astrophysics to materials science, from quantum information to optics, and many more. While maintaining our scope and criteria, we have attempted to provide a true “whole” physics outlet. These papers already represent quite a breadth of physics fields, but we are always working to publish more work across the full spectrum of physics research.

Moving forward, we will continue our mission to offer high-quality, specialist physics research tailored to a broad audience. In line with this goal, all of our content is open access ensuring that research can reach the widest audience possible. We are passionate about open access as the future of research journals.

To further our mission, we aim to expand our content and involvement. We will take a larger role in the physics community with an increased presence at conferences and more laboratory visits. Additionally, we plan to publish review and commentary articles from experts in the field. These articles are vital opportunities for communication about important advances as well as looming roadblocks. If you have a proposal for a review or commentary, please get in touch.

We are also pleased to announce our “Reviewer of the Month” initiative. Every month a reviewer for Communications Physics who has provided especially thoughtful and thorough feedback will be selected as “Reviewer of the Month”. The selection will be announced on our website and on Twitter. At the end of the year, we will publish an editorial providing a brief biography and research synopsis of these outstanding reviewers. We are excited to recognise the contribution of our reviewers on a more regular basis as well as give them a platform to present their research.

Finally, thank you, readers, for perusing our website, liking our tweets, and citing our articles. We hope you will continue to enjoy the content we provide.

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Looking back on the first year with gratitude. Commun Phys 1, 49 (2018).

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