About EPJ

The European Physical Journal (EPJ) is a series of peer-reviewed journals covering the whole spectrum of physics and related interdisciplinary subjects. EPJ is committed to high scientific quality in publishing and is indexed in all main citation databases.

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Author contribution statement

Authors submitting to the EPJ Open journals EPJ DS, EPJ TI, EPJ QT and EPJ NBP are asked to give details of how each author contributed to the work reported in the publication, and their statement becomes visible at the end of the paper. This practice is relatively new in physics journals. As the size and internationality of scientific collaborations has grown, the number of co-authors on each paper has increased. In many cases the conventions about authors listing developed in certain fields or countries are often insufficient and in some cases collide with each other. On the other hand, academics face mounting pressure to be more transparent about their work and to provide quantitative metrics of their contribution to science and society, beyond the number of citations to their papers. A further important consideration is ethics. Inclusion of authors who have not participated in the work reported is unethical, as is the exclusion of names who have actually given a contribution. Such disputes over authorship do arise, accompanied by unwieldy arguments, which journal editors find difficult to resolve. The request for a statement detailing each author’s contribution is meant to heighten awareness of all these issues when submitting a paper. From now on EPJ B, D and E will start requesting an author contribution statement for multi-authored papers.

EPJ B Highlight - Winner and losers of the EU funding challenge

A representative Minimum Spanning Tree of the network of countries involved in the FP7 accepted proposals, which captures the backbone of interactions between the countries. © M.Tsouchnika et al.

Successfully attracting EU funding could depend on the nature of the research consortium

The European Union has a well-oiled funding mechanism in the form of grants given to research consortia. These are essentially made up of collaborating academic and industry-based research organisations. Understanding which type of consortium work receives funding could help future applicants. And it could also bring further transparency on how public funds are spent. Now, Maria Tsouchnika and Panos Argyrakis from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, have brought valuable insights into the structure of research consortia that are most likely to attract EU funding, in a paper published in EPJ B.

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EPJ E Highlight - Biomimetic dew harvesters

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A preserved specimen of the Tenebrionind beetle (Physasterna cribripes) was used for this study, displaying the insect’s mechanisms of dew harvesting. © J.M. Guadarrama-Cetina et al.

Understanding how a desert beetle harvests water from dew could help to improve drinking water collection in dew condensers mimicking the nanostructure of the beetle’s back

Insects are full of marvels—and this is certainly the case with a beetle from the Tenebrionind family, found in the extreme conditions of the Namib desert. Now, a team of scientists has demonstrated that such insects can collect dew on their backs—and not just fog as previously thought. This is made possible by the wax nanostructure on the surface of the beetle’s elytra. These findings by José Guadarrama-Cetina, then working at ESPCI ParisTech, France—on leave from the University of Navarra, in Spain—and colleagues were recently published in EPJ E. They bring us a step closer to harvesting dew to make drinking water from the humidity in the air. This, the team hopes, can be done by improving the water yield of man-made dew condensers that mimick the nanostructure on the beetle’s back.

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