- Published on 06 May 2017
It is the tricks that often form the commonality between researchers working in different fields. A little over a year ago the European Physical Journal E published the first papers in a new section called Tips and Tricks (T&T). The goal of this new section was simple: to provide a venue to publish a novel numerical recipe, sample preparation method, or experimental design.
Such details are often only briefly described in the scientific literature, passed only from student to student, or simply shared as a ‘personal communication’ between research groups. Sometimes such enabling techniques are not passed on at all. In all such cases, the scientific community as a whole is not able to use this knowledge to move forward. Moreover, while the research of some team may not be directly relevant to another, a computational method, experimental procedure, or sample cell design has the potential to be broadly transformative. We have found during our careers that various sample cell configurations, experimental designs, or sample preparation techniques were shared amongst our colleagues. In some cases the science became secondary to a particular technique, and more emails were shared describing a trick than citations earned on a paper where only a brief description was provided. The first year of EPJE's T&T has been exciting, with 13 papers that span many different tools and methods, from vesicles-on-a-chip to a three-body potential for molecular dynamics. You will find them all listed below with their respective links.
The expectations for an article appropriate for T&T are different from a typical research article. While the expectation for an EPJE publication is the development of new science, for T&T the scope is rather a newly described method with which one can do science. The same high quality standards still apply but with the requirement of presenting new science replaced by a new tip or trick. Looking at the T&T published in this first year we are convinced that this section will become a unique resource and provide an opportunity to make an impact by sharing a methodology.
After a year of T&T, we believe more than ever that the T&T section in EPJE will fill this much needed niche and are excited about the success of the first year’s articles. We wish to continue to curate and expand this section with your help both as a reader and contributor and hope that you will find T&T a valuable resource and venue for your research.
Your Tips & Tricks Editors Kari Dalnoki-Veress and James A. Forrest