Editorial: Physical Review in Physics Education Research 2.0 (July 24, 2012)
I am honored to be selected as the Editor of Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research (PRST-PER). I am fortunate to inherit a smooth-running operation from founding Editor Robert Beichner. Beichner established PRST-PER in 2005 to provide an archival research journal for the growing body of knowledge produced by the physics education research community. This online journal is part of the American Physical Society’s Physical Review series and seeks manuscripts that are aimed primarily at other researchers in physics education. Since 2005 PRST-PER has grown to become a highly respected publication venue for physics education research. The 2010 Impact Factor (most recent available) was 2.302, a strong showing in the field of educational research, where Impact Factors greater than 2.0 are unusual. PRST-PER is also the fastest growing journal in the Physical Review series, growing by 19.8% last year. These results are a testament to the tremendous work of Beichner, Associate Editor, Sanjay Rebello, the Editorial Board, and the remarkable staff of APS including Senior Assistant Editor, Debbie Brodbar, Editorial Director, Daniel Kulp, and Editor in Chief, Gene Sprouse.
PRST-PER is an innovative journal. It is committed to both excellence and access. At a time when traditionally-published journals are seeing decreased subscriptions and are struggling to develop new publication models, the author-financed model used by PRST-PER is increasingly popular within the publishing industry. In addition, because authors pay article-processing charges, articles can be distributed without charge, thus increasing the reach of the journal. This does not mean that high-quality articles are turned away for financial reasons. Thanks to the support of the American Physical Society, APS Forum on Education, and the American Association of Physics Teachers, funds are available to support authors who are not able to pay the publication charges. PRST-PER is also published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. This allows authors and others the right to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt the work, provided that proper credit is given.
As Editor, my first priority is to maintain the high standards of the current journal as well as to maintain or shorten the time from submission to publication. As it always has, PRST-PER will accept articles covering the full range of experimental and theoretical research related to the teaching and/or learning of physics.
In addition to continuing on the course set by Beichner, I look forward to working with the Editorial Board to develop ways to use PRST-PER to increase communication and build capacity within the PER community. I would like to experiment with developing themed ‘issues’ on topics of interest to the PER community. I would like to strengthen the international vitality of PRST-PER through an increased participation of authors and readers with diverse international perspectives on the teaching and learning of physics. PER has and holds the potential to continue to influence the dialog and investment in educational research within scientific and engineering disciplines, and PRST-PER is a key venue for us to contribute.
Of course, PRST-PER can only be successful with the help of people like you. “How can I help?”, you ask. If you are not currently in the reviewer pool for PRST-PER, please send me a short note with your contact information and areas of expertise. If you receive a request to review a manuscript, remember that the quality and timeliness of your review directly shapes the quality and timeliness of the final article. Let me know if you have suggestions for themed issues. Finally, in order for PRST-PER to be the archival research journal for the field of PER, it is important for all research-based knowledge in physics education to be represented. When you see high quality research in physics education that has not yet been published, encourage the researcher to develop an article and submit it to PRST-PER. And of course, please continue your investment in PER by publishing and sharing results through the PRST-PER platform.
I always welcome your suggestions, comments, and constructive criticism. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published 24 July 2012