H. Frederick DyllaDirector's Matters

Each year, just as the summer sun hits the Northeast, Thomson Scientific heats up the entire scholarly publishing community by releasing the latest journal rankings. Among its many activities, Thomson Scientific tracks how many times researchers cite published journal articles and computes average citations made to a particular journal over a period of time. Through journal metrics, publishers, librarians, editors, authors, and others gain a partial measure of how much a particular journal is used by the community it serves.

Thomson publishes several journal metrics in its annual publication, Journal Citation Reports (JCR). You may have heard of one metric--the impact factor--a measure of average citations per published article. Another metric is the immediacy index, defined by JCR as "the average number of times current articles in a specific journal were cited during the year they were published."

AIP journals consistently outperform competing journals by any measure as ranked annually in JCR. Those of you whose efforts are associated with the AIP Journal Program should be gratified to know that you are working on the top publications in their fields. Below are some highlights from the 2006 JCR rankings:

All AIP employees can be proud of the success of the AIP Journals -- due, in no small part, to the efforts of our expert editors and the thousands of scientists who volunteer their time reviewing submitted manuscripts during the peer review process.

Thomson Scientific has made some useful white papers available on their website. Visit Thomson's Expert Essays for more information.

Sincerely yours,


Future vision
A draft version of the "AIP Publishing Center Three-Year Strategic Plan, 2008--2010" was distributed to the AIP Executive Committee, AIP Publishing Policy Committee, and key Member Society staff and officers in mid-July. An executive summary and financial forecast will be added to this draft in late August, timed to coincide with 2008 budget preparation. In early September, the Executive Committee will gather for their annual strategic retreat at which a revised version of the plan, including feedback from recipients of the first draft, will be discussed. Physics Resources Center is going through a similar process with its strategic plan.

Support site launched for PXP users
In early August, the Peer X-Press Team launched a user support site, available to all PXP participants. This new support site can be accessed easily via the "Help" link, which is displayed throughout PXP sites for both journals and conferences. The support site consists of a public page (with service advisories and FAQs for general users, authors, and reviewers) and a secure page just for editors and editorial staff (accessible via login/password). The secure section offers links to documentation, as well as answers to questions often asked by editorial staff. Future enhancements will include an online forum for staff and editors.

Meeting of the minds at AAPT
Racing car physicists, Vatican astronomers, Pluto demoters, and hundreds of physics teachers abuzz with energy for the new academic season, and, of course, AIP staff convened at the AAPT Summer Meeting in Greensboro, NC (July 28 -- August 1, 2007). AIP Education sponsored a poster session and reception showcasing research and outreach from approximately a dozen students across the country, including SPS interns Justin Reeder (right), Andrea Roma (middle) and Meagan Saldua (left), reporting on their summer outreach activities.

Jack Hehn moderated a vibrant session featuring advanced undergraduates who play important formal roles in the education of other physics students. Sandwiched between these events were classy and entertaining public speakers, including the former Indy 500 racer and physics major Janet Guthrie and astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, who amused a huge audience with his tales of confronting scientific illiteracy.

Highest honors
Daniel Kleppner, current Chair of the AIP Center for History of Physics Development Committee, was recently awarded the nation's highest science honors, the National Medal of Science. President George W. Bush presented the medal at a ceremony on Friday, July 27 in Washington, DC. The National Medal of Science was established in 1959 to honor individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical or engineering sciences." Kleppner is a professor emeritus at MIT and a longtime author of many articles for Physics Today. Extracted from his biographical sketch on MIT's website, "He has made fundamental contributions to atomic physics and quantum optics, mainly using hydrogen and hydrogen-like atoms." Kleppner also helped develop the hydrogen maser, was instrumental in pioneering the new field of ultra-cold gases, and helped create tools leading to the discovery of Bose-Einstein condensates.

"America's Student Physics Team Triumphs at World Olympiad"
The U.S. Physics Team was featured in the home page of The Washington Post online on August 9, 2007. Now that's making the news!

Color my GroupWise
GroupWise provides a number of features to help you manage your inbox. Has an email thread morphed over time resulting in a subject line that no longer makes sense? Double click the email and click the "Personalize" tab. There you can enter your own subject line that will display in your inbox. You can also create categories, giving each category an identifying color. Red for urgent items, green for items that need follow up, etc. The colors display in your inbox and in the calendar allowing you to quickly find the emails. For more information on managing your mail, request a GroupWise "cheat sheet" from the Help Desk.

Evolving workforce at AIP
Don't be surprised to see new faces throughout the Institute! We are pleased to introduce a new intern program at AIP. Human Resources is working with local colleges and universities to recruit students to work at AIP, gaining workplace experience, and, at the same time, assisting AIP with the ongoing business activities and assuring regular contact with the emerging workforce.

We invite your feedback to this newsletter via email to aipmatters@aip.org.