Q&A with Professor Caterina Cocchi

Q&A with Professor Caterina Cocchi

We talk to Professor Caterina Cocchi, who is heavily involved in Electronic Structure (EST)’s Emerging Leaders issues (2020 and 2021) as well as the past events, and who has also joined EST as a guest editor.

How can IOP Publishing help early career researchers who are starting out in their publishing journey?

“IOP Publishing and publishers in general could offer more resources to train young scientists to write papers and to act as peer reviewers. For some unknown reason, academic education does not typically include official seminars or training about scientific writing and publishing. Both activities are typically passed on from mentor to mentee, naturally generating big gaps among scientists, which may ultimately affect their career. The ability to write a clear and convincing scientific text is not only key for publishing good papers but also to win grants, positions and, ultimately, to be visible in the community.”

Are there any tips, tools or websites that you would recommend?

“When writing a paper, it is important to communicate a clear message and to give the manuscript a clear structure. Also, using only essential words is much more effective than diluting the content in endless prose. During the peer-review process, it is important to always consider the referees’ comments on a factual level. Never take them personally.

I follow a few blogs about scientific writing. I can definitely suggest the one by Anna Clemens. It is regularly updated and offers a broad spectrum of suggestions and hints about scientific writing and about the whole publication process.”

What did you do after you published your paper? Did you promote it? How?

“I published my first paper in 2010 and back then social media was not very much used by the scientific community. To disseminate, I attended a number of conferences and workshops in which I presented the results of that paper.”

What would you say to an early career researcher who is asking the question “Should I consider publishing my research?”

“Publishing is the essence of scientific work. Any piece of work that is not published or disseminated to the community simply does not exist. Hence, if you want to give visibility to your work, you have to publish it. Very often, I see in young scientists the fear of submitting something that is not perfect, and this is usually the cause of big delays in publications. My motto is “published is better than perfect” and I encourage my young co-workers to wrap up their work effectively and disseminate it in a timely manner. Should the results be disproved later, well, this is how science works, right?”

Q&A with Dr Eden Morales-Narváez

Q&A with Dr Eden Morales-Narváez

We chat with Dr Eden Morales Narvaez, winner of the Emerging Leaders 2020 award in JPhys Photonics, who has published 20 papers, starting with his first paper on Plasmonic colored nanopaper: a potential preventive healthcare tool against threats emerging from uncontrolled UV exposure published in 2019. Eden is now an editorial board member for the JPhys Photonics journal.

What made you decide to publish your first research paper?

“A great mentor combined with surprising results led me to publish my first paper.

I joined Professor Arben Merkoçi’s team (Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology) in early 2011. In those times, our research team was very motivated by graphene: the wonder material. So, I performed some experiments with graphene oxide and discovered that we were able to quench the photoluminescence of quantum dots with an almost 100% efficiency.

At the beginning, I did not feel convinced about this surprising results that I was getting (I believed that perhaps my results were wrong), but a chat with my mentor was really encouraging, and then my mind changed completely. I remember that he said: Yes, Eden, people in science get surprising results, people do that! So, my mentor vitalized my self-confidence, and this was simply the starting point of my first research paper and somehow my scientific journey. Nowadays, I still publish papers taking advantage of the wonder material and its photoluminescence quenching capabilities.”

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting the process to publish your paper?

“I have to confess that at the beginning I was looking for a publication related to the biomedical field, because my thesis was expected to be focused in such a field. However, when I published my first paper in the materials field, I realized that early career researchers can modify the scope of their thesis to eventually unveil new steps and future opportunities in their career.

Besides, I am now aware that writing skills are your Swiss Army knife to succeed in the process to publish your paper. Editors and reviewers demand high quality papers, but they also enjoy manuscripts nicely and clearly written, the same as the readers. Professor Osvaldo Oliveira (University of São Paulo) says that writing skills are your best investment as a scientist and he also points out that a scientist with good writing skills is much better equipped than a scientist with other kinds of skills or resources. I could not agree more with Professor Oliveira.”

What did you enjoy/not-enjoy about publishing your research?

“I enjoyed sharing and discussing my published results in conferences and presentations. Seeing that my peers were reading and citing my research was also very satisfying. But no one enjoys rejection of their manuscripts, which is also part of the journey. Rejection is discouraging, but it is also an opportunity to change the scope of your research and/or improve the quality of your manuscript.”

How can IOP Publishing help early career researchers who are starting out in their publishing journey?

“Offer webinars on writing skills, promote all type of tools which are valuable in such a journey and explain their particularities and usefulness; for example, scientific search engines, journal suggesters/finders, plagiarism detectors, journal citation reports, research metrics, etc.”

Are there any tips, tools or websites that you would recommend?

  1. Feel passionate about your field or research topic. Mix such a passion with patience and resilience, which are crucial abilities to be developed in a scientific career.
  2. Seek a mentor whose results are inspirational and motivating for you. Mentors not only shape your current career but also the future of your career.
  3. Invest in your writing skills (as highlighted by Professor Oliveira).
  4. In order to publish innovative literature, you have to be aware of the state-of-the art in your field.
  5. Read, read and read more, especially the journals you would like to publish in.
  6. Be critical, spot agreements, gaps and controversies in your field.
  7. One of your goals should be to write and publish a review article related to your thesis/research topic.
  8. Avoid plagiarism, this type of misconduct can be easily spotted by peers using tools like ithenticate.
  9. Promote your research on social media using messages easy to understand. Social media is a perfect way to reach society, decision-makers, colleagues and stakeholders. Follow and interact with inspirational colleagues on social media.
  10. If you are not sure about the target journal of your manuscript, I recommend Master Journal List. This fantastic tool helps you to find suitable journals for your manuscript depending on the title and abstract.

What did you do after you published your paper? Did you promote it? How?

“The acceptance and publication of your first paper is a very special moment. Nausea, by Beck, was playing on my computer when I received the news of the acceptance of my first publication (I will never forget it). I happily jumped from my seat and celebrated the good news with my wife. In those times, I was not particularly active on social media but I immediately had the opportunity to share my results in NanoSpain 2012 (Santander), where I received valuable feedback on my research. It was really useful to plan new experiments and future work.”

How has publishing your paper influenced your career and networking?

“As I previously mentioned, I still publish papers taking advantage of the wonder material and its photoluminescence quenching capabilities. I am also the inventor of two related patents and several of my post-graduate students are developing their thesis taking advantage of the wonder material, even in translational settings. My networking opportunities were also enhanced; for instance, together with prestigious colleagues, I have organized some special issues dealing with 2D materials in reputable journals, I have several collaborations related to 2D materials and I have been invited by many editors to review countless manuscripts related to graphene derivatives. My first paper is also one of the most cited in my list of research papers. Definitely, that first publication represents a cornerstone in my career and networking opportunities.”

What would you say to an early career researcher who is asking the question “Should I consider publishing my research?”

“Absolutely! It will boost your career!”

Author Insights Summary

We hope you enjoyed reading these inspiring interviews and have gathered some useful knowledge to help you with your publishing journey. Below are some of our key take-aways from both interviews useful for early career researchers publishing their first article.

Alongside this, we also have an extremely useful Publishing Support hub for both authors and reviewers which include free resources such as:

  • Article templates – both double and single anonymous templates. These may help to speed the publication of accepted articles.
  • Editage – Language and figure editing services. Helping you prepare your paper ready for submissions.
  • Track my article – a platform which helps you find out where in the journey your paper is at.
  • Paperpal Preflight – A free pre submission feedback service which checks for and highlights issues before you submit your paper.
  • IOP Academy resources and events – workshops, webinars and online training covering various aspects of publishing in journals.
  • Submission checklist – check you have covered everything before submitting your paper.

Key findings:

Promoting and networking is important:

  • Take part in discussions and presentations at conferences and workshops to present the results of your paper.
  • Use social media to get your messages across in an accessible way.

Rejection isn’t bad:

  • Rejection is part of the journey – it’s an opportunity to change the scope of your research as well, potentially unveiling new steps and future opportunities.
  • Always consider the referees’ comment on a factual level. Never take them personally.

Writing skills are key:

  • Writing skills are your “Swiss Army knife” to succeed in publishing your paper.
  • Make sure you have clear and well written manuscripts.
  • There are useful blogs and websites about scientific writing.

Keep on top of the research in your area:

  • Be aware of the state-of-the art in your field.
  • Read more, especially the journals you would like to publish in.

Pros of publishing

  • “Any piece of work that is not published or disseminated to the community simply does not exist.”
  • Having published work helps networking and other opportunities for your career.
  • “The ability to write a clear and convincing scientific text is not only key for publishing good papers but also to win grants, positions and, ultimately, to be visible in the community.”

Advances in Natural Sciences: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: 2021 Outstanding Reviewer Awards

Outstanding Reviewers

Suvardhan Kanchi, Durban University of Technology, South Africa

Raja Selvaraj, Manipal Institute of Technology, India

Surendra Nimesh, Central University of Rajasthan, India

Muhammad Ikram, Government College University Lahore, Pakistan

Ratiram Gomaji Chaudhary, Seth Kesarimal Porwal College of Arts and Science and Commerce, India

Baolin Guo, Xi’an Jiaotong University,China

Rajesh Kumar, Indian Institute of Technology, India

Mansour Mashreghi, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

Suminar Pratapa, Institute of Technology Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia

Yusuke Yamauchi, University of Queensland, Australia

José Campos-Martinez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain

Rouhollah Heydari, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Firdos Alam Khan, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, South Africa

Ahmad Kueh, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia

Kavitha Pathakoti, Jackson State University, United States

Antonello Santini,University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, Salk Institute, United States

Khawla S. Khashan, University of Technology, Iraq

Bryan M. Wong, University of California Riverside, United States

Fluid Dynamics Research: 2021 Outstanding Reviewer Awards

Outstanding Reviewers

Alexander Klimenko, UQ, Australia

Takashi Arima, National Institute of Technology, Japan

Long Chen, Northeastern University. China

Kazuhide Ito, Kyushu University, Japan

Yoshifumi Kimura, Nagoya University, Japan

Xing Zhang, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

FAQ’s for authors

What benefits will authors get from publishing under a transformative agreement with IOPP?
As well as removing the administrative burden of dealing with invoices for APC’s, authors will benefit from greater visibility and impact for their research. IOPP’s open access articles typically receive 81% higher downloads and 31% higher citations when compared with non-open access articles. Authors can also comply with, and future-proof themselves against, a growing number of funder requirements while retaining their copyright with a CC BY 4.0 license.

How does IOPP identify an author’s eligibility?
We check corresponding authors’ affiliations against all known variations of institution name to ensure we capture eligible articles under an agreement.

Which author is the eligible author?
All our agreements are based on the corresponding author at the time of acceptance. The corresponding author is the author who submits the manuscript and is responsible for communicating with the journal during the submission, peer review, and publication process.

What do authors need to do to take advantage of a transformative agreement?
They simply need to submit their work as they normally would, ensuring that their affiliation is correct at submission, and we will identify if it is eligible, and contact the author to let them know.

What date do you use to decide eligibility?
Eligibility is assessed using the acceptance date of the article.

Is there a grace period for authors who paid an APC just before the transformative agreement was signed?
For an article to be included in the transformative agreement, the acceptance date must be within the license term.

Can authors opt out of open access publishing under the transformative agreement?
Publishing within a TA is always the author’s choice.  In case the benefits are unclear, we encourage authors to read our guide that debunks some of the myths surrounding OA publishing.

Is there a period of time in which the author must opt out?
We encourage corresponding authors to make a decision within 5 days to ensure our excellent author service standards are maintained. However, to publish open access, all authors have to sign a CC BY license associated with their article, so the timing choice is ultimately theirs to make.

Are there any fees for the author to pay?
A very small number of journals have page charges and/or colour image charges, and these remain payable by the corresponding author.

What copyright license is applied to articles published through transformative agreements?
Articles published through transformative agreements are published under a CC BY 4.0 license. This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the author’s work, even commercially, as long the original work is appropriately credited.

FAQ’s for librarians

How can we find out what has been published under our agreement?
IOPP provides quarterly reports of all articles published under the agreement, complete with relevant metadata.

What happens if an article is missed? 
In the unlikely case that an article that should have been made open access under the agreement was missed, we will quickly investigate. We will contact the author to request they sign a CC-BY license, which is required before the article can be made open. We will also re-check our identification process. We will make every reasonable effort to correct the error promptly.

Can IOPP include an acknowledgement of the transformative agreement funding on the published articles?
IOPP’s agreement allows the author to mention transformative agreement funding text in their own articles at the author’s discretion.

Where can I find a list of journals that are included in the transformative agreement?
The included journals can be found in your license agreement/proposal. They can also be found on our website here.

Does IOPP provide support during the transformative agreement term?
IOPP’s dedicated staff will work with you to provide resources to help make your agreement a success, and can provide resources including a library toolkit and training workshops.

What happens if an author opts out of publishing open access under the agreement?
If an author opts out, we will make every effort to inform our library partner in case they wish to make direct contact with that author to understand their reasons.

Resources for transformative agreements

The transition to open access presents significant change for library staff and authors. Having worked with hundreds of librarians and institutions on that journey, we are well placed to support you through the process. We signed the first open access agreement with Austria in 2014, and since then we’ve been expanding our commitment to open access. Today we support more than 280 institutions to open up their research through transformative agreements.

Your library toolkit
If your institution has a transformative agreement, this free toolkit will help you promote it to everyone who can benefit from it.
The toolkit includes an editable leaflet, poster, and e-mail template, as well as artwork which you can use for social media or a banner advertisement.

Download your toolkit here (4.7MB)

If you would like to request something specific, or would like personalised versions of any of the materials here, please e-mail us at library.relations@ioppublishing.org.

Training events
Register for forthcoming or on-demand events using the links below:

How to get published – a webinar for Canadian researchers September 28th 2022, 11-12am CDT
Find out how to take advantage of our agreement with Canadian Research Knowledge Network, providing open access publishing for researchers at more than 40 institutions in Canada.

How to get published in Israel
Find out about open access options for Israeli authors.

Why publish under a transformative agreement?
As well as removing the administrative burden of dealing with invoices for article publication charges,  authors can benefit from greater visibility and impact for their research. IOPP’s open access articles typically receive 81% higher downloads and 31% higher citations when compared with non-open access articles.

This video explains the benefits in a clear and simple way:

What our authors say

Discover more about what it is like to publish in journals with IOP Publishing through the voice of our authors.

Support your peers in the research community by providing them with testimonials of your publishing experience with us using this quick form.

Professor Anna Gina Perri, Polytechnic University of Bari

(Review—Thermal Effects in the Design of CNTFET – Based Digital Circuits, ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology)

“It was great for me to publish with IOP Publishing / ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology.

The whole process of submitting the paper, its peer review, the acceptance and post acceptance processes were fast and I never had any problems in getting in touch with either the editor or the publishing staff regarding the progress of publishing. In particular I wish to thank James Cottle, Production Editor, and Paul Cooper, Beth Schademann and Andrea Guenzel, Editorial Managers of ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology, for their constant support and kindness.

Moreover, I am very impressed by the high quality of publications in IOP Publishing journals, which are of great benefit to all researchers and students around the world to get information on state-of-the-art technologies.

With the kind of experience that I have had, I would love to publish with IOP Publishing again in the future too and, in particular, to support the prestigious ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology, whose topics fall into my research field.”

Mr. Chia-Lung Hung, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

(Design, Process, and Characterization of Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor Circuits and Six-Transistor Static Random-Access Memory in 4H-SiC, ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology)

“The reason I chose the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology for my research works is because of it’s reputation and the peer review process is rigorous and time-efficient compared to other journals. The most important thing is the quality of the published papers. As you may know, there are lots of so called ‘predatory journals’ prevailing the academic field. Papers from those kinds of journals normally don’t have qualified review and could make the reader glean the wrong information or, even worse, make a researcher take the wrong direction in their experiments. This is the main point I want to highlight about IOP Publishing.

I also want to highlight the submit and review system. It is very easy for an author to deliver works without spending too much time figuring out what they need to do with the system. During the review process, I also felt comforted by the question feedback and solutions from the Editor in Chief.

So overall, IOP publishing is very helpful to authors who can deliver their research works efficiently and quality controlled. I would be happy to deliver my works to IOP publishing in the future.”

Dr. Ridwan Wicaksono, Chiba University

(Wearable sectorial electrical impedance tomography and k-means clustering for measurement of gastric processes, Measurement Science and Technology)

“IOP Publishing provides good reviewers for student’s manuscript, especially to improve their research level.”


Nishant Kumar Kolli, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning

(Exploring the potential structural, optical, dielectric facets and in-vitro behavior of combeite synthesized by the sol-gel route, Physica Scripta)
“IOP Publishing is doing a great job in all aspects!!”

Dr. Peter Tsung-Wen Yen, National Sun Yat-sen University

(First-principles study of the crystal and magnetic structures of multiferroic Cu2OCl2, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter)

“The peer view process is fast, and unbiased. I believe my article is examined carefully without delay. The editorial team is professional.”



Dr. Ayman Sandouqa, Al-Balqa Applied University

(Comparison study of bound states for diatomic molecules using Kratzer, Morse, and modified Morse potentials, Physica Scripta)
“High quality journal”

Dr. Woyengipere Oluwaseun Etebu, Federal College of Education Technical Omuku

(SU (1,1) the hidden dynamical symmetry group for an exact bound state of the Hulthen potential, Physica Scripta)

“IOP Publishing organization is a great place to publish your fascinating ideas that would lead to the the development of needed scientific knowledge. Their website is loaded with lots of guide tips and some relationship tips, on how to present your written article and respond to the referees comments. I bet you, u would learn a whole lot even if your article is rejected.”



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