In an emerging field with so many prominent researchers, I am tremendously humbled to have been appointed as Co-Editor of Biomicrofluidics alongside Professor Hsueh-Chia Chang, who has done such a terrific job in leading the journal since its inception in 2007. It is, therefore, with great honor that I assume this editorial responsibility, having had the privilege of serving the journal first as an Editorial Board member in 2007 and as Associate Editor in 2008. The journal, of course, would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the various staff at the American Institute of Physics, who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to maintain the high standards of the journal. We are also grateful for the many authors who have chosen to publish their research in Biomicrofluidics even in its infancy and look forward to your continual support of the journal.
Biomicrofluidics is first and foremost your journal. It exists to serve the needs of an interdisciplinary community spanning science, engineering, and medicine who broadly work on research themes associated with fluid flow and manipulation at the smallest scales ever imaginable. Our aim is, therefore, centered around improving the journal to serve these needs. With this in mind, our goals for Biomicrofluidics are indicated below.
To improve the quality and visibility of the journal so that it is ranked among the leading journals in the field. It is my desire to see not just an increase in the number of submissions but also an increase in the quality of the manuscripts we publish. Very soon, the journal will receive an impact factor and associated bibliometrics, which will allow us to monitor the quality of the journal and to strategically plan ways to continually increase our presence in the scientific community. However, we also realize that a crucial and indispensable part of quality is our author services, such as ease of submission, as well as the speed and quality of the review process, which we will seek to improve. Another example of continuous improvement is the new sectioning of journal articles, which includes a provision for brief communications, reviews, and perspective articles. Other services to the community will also be promoted, such as job postings on the journal’s website, which we believe will be a helpful service to postdoctoral researchers and graduate students.
To widen the appeal and accessibility of the journal both geographically and to the broad interests of the community. We recognize that the microfluidics and nanofluidics community is, indeed, interdisciplinary—spanning fields as wide as physics, chemistry, biology, applied mathematics, rheology, pharmaceutical science, biomedical science, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and electrical engineering, to say the very least. We would like to see every one of these fields represented in the articles we publish and cater to both fundamental and applied research in the broadest sense. In addition, we will work toward building the eminence of the journal by increasing its international involvement, particularly in Australasia and in Europe, where the microfluidics and nanofluidics community is growing rapidly. The journal is already involved with the organization of the Advances in Microfluidics and Nanofluidics conference, which seeks to bring together the best researchers in the Asia–Pacific rim region, as well as sponsorship of other conferences and symposia. You may already have seen some of the special conference issues that have appeared as a result, and we anticipate this to grow in number as we strive to increase the relevance of the journal to researchers in academia and professional scientists and engineers in industry worldwide.
These are challenging goals, especially as we attempt to steer the journal in the early stages of its growth. Nevertheless, they are relevant and feasible goals, which we believe we can achieve with your support. Already, we are putting our minds to work with creative new initiatives that we hope will distinguish the journal and at the same time serve the needs of the microfluidics and nanofluidics community.
Open-access model. The journal was conceived with the open-access model in mind, with the aim of enhancing accessibility to a wide readership and to improve the dissemination and recognition of the articles we publish. We certainly hope that this will be evident in terms of the citation impact when the journal receives its impact factor and associated metrics shortly. What distinguishes Biomicrofluidics from most other open-access models, however, and what we believe to be unique in the community, is that the publication charges have now been removed. All articles published in Biomicrofluidics are, therefore, made available to anyone and everyone for free.
Multimedia capability. We are greatly aware of the increasing emphasis on multimedia-associated publishing. This is especially relevant to the microfluidics and nanofluidics community given the need to disseminate information, which is not necessarily macroscopically apparent or which occurs at very fast time scales. While multimedia archiving has been a central part of our published journal papers since the launch of the journal, we are constantly seeking ways to enhance the use of multimedia both as a research and a pedagogical tool. We are launching an open-access multimedia collection in which video files associated with our journal papers are collated into a searchable thematic library. As each video is linked with the journal paper, we believe this is a great way to improve the visibility and impact of our papers. Moreover, with the increasing number of graduate and even undergraduate courses in microfluidics and nanofluidics, we feel this will be a great resource for both instructors and students in aiding the understanding of microfluidics and nanofluidics science and technology.
Fabrication and Laboratory Methods section. An integral part of the new journal sectioning is the Fabrication and Laboratory Methods section, which, quite unique to the community, is intended to be a collection of published “recipes” on novel and classic techniques of laboratory methods and micro-/nanofabrication procedures. We believe making such procedures freely available will help in the promotion and acceleration of microfluidic and nanofluidic research. We are also convinced that the articles appearing in this section, each of which will be rigorously peer-reviewed according to the high standards of the journal and carry a journal citation in their own right, will be a way to make our research directly relevant to other researchers, particularly in other disciplines and even to industry practitioners, thereby increasing the scientific impact of our work.
There is, therefore, lots to do, but I am greatly excited by these opportunities to serve the community. Biomicrofluidics is a young journal, and we are keen to see it grow; with your help and support, it will. I am particularly interested in involving our authors and readers every step of the way, and, therefore, especially welcome feedback and dialog on your views as to how we can improve the journal to meet your needs. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.