Amit Bandyopadhyay, Professor at the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, and Chief Editor of Advances in Materials Science and Engineering, has been part of the 3D printing adventure from the very beginning. As the technology continues to evolve, he explains how an open access, high quality journal can encourage new discoveries in the field.
Once a far-fetched idea, 3D printing is now found in everyday technology applications. From cell phones to medical devices, 3D printing has improved existing equipment, accelerated production and created new breakthrough devices.
Amit Bandyopadhyay has been working as an expert in the 3D additive manufacturing of metallic and ceramic materials and their structural, biomedical and piezoelectric applications since the early days of 3D printing. He explains: “We did the science, the proof of concept, and improved the 3D technology, so that now it is almost a common procedure.”
“3D printing of advanced materials has greatly improved many fields and has had hundreds of different applications,” he adds.
3D printing has developed at a surprising rate. It is now not only possible to print all kinds of different shapes and structures, but you can also do a lot more by combining advanced materials. Scaling up the potential of 3D printing will bring about the next generation of devices and technologies. But for this to happen, there is still a need for more research in 3D materials.
“As actors in the field, it is our job to keep up-to-date with all the new technological advances,” explains Amit. Advances in Materials Science and Engineering helps in that way. It focuses on the dissemination of all scientific innovations and research papers in the area of advanced materials and 3D science.
Although there are many journals in this field, Advances in Materials Science and Engineering is one of the few open access publications which serves the materials science research community. Anyone can access published articles for free. “I am very excited in general about any journal in the field of advanced materials but I think this one is unique. A lot of innovation is happening today in the field of 3D science. I hope we can catch some of that high quality work and publish it in our open access journal,” says Amit.
Amit is currently in the process of restructuring the editorial board. He hopes to build a strong, varied team of editors. “We are going to have 11 Associate Editors and each and every one of them will be picked for their unique expertise as well as their regional and geographic diversity,” he explains. “We want to make sure that we are inclusive of the entire community and don’t just cover one area of research.”
The selection of Associate Editors will be crucial for the journal. For Amit, a good editor is capable of finding a solid paper and making it better. A distinguished editor, however, can spot the not so impressive papers that have potential and shape them up to be excellent. “So often, we mistakenly reject papers that have good ideas but lack construction or content. It is better to work with the authors and help them improve their work rather than immediately cast them aside,” explains Amit.
“Even I have had some of my papers rejected, which were then edited and published elsewhere. Reworked, with constructive comments, they turned out to be excellent, highly cited papers,” he adds. “Editors should treat the paper as if it was their own and do everything possible to have it published.”
Working with the authors is imperative to improve the quality of a manuscript and ultimately maintain high standards for the journal. “I want to create an environment where each author knows why their paper has been rejected and the ways they can improve it, so that next time they come back to us with an enhanced version,” says Amit.
For Amit, “the relationship with the author is very important.” But there is still work to be done once a paper has been published. Promoting the manuscript and the authors will directly improve the visibility of both the research and the journal. Identifying exciting and innovative content recently published in the journal will help drive interest and raise awareness of the latest research trends emerging in the field .
This, in turn, encourages the submission of more high quality papers. “Although initially intended to help the authors, highlighting and promoting papers post-publication will help publishers in the long run too,” concludes Amit. There is a real benefit in increasing research visibility for all stakeholders involved and Prof Bandyopadhyay is committed to not only helping uncover new breakthrough science but to also maximize the long-term impact of that research.
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