Archive by category | Stuart Cantrill

A blind date for peer review

When we ask a potential reviewer if they would be willing to referee a paper for Nature Chemistry, we tell them the title of the paper, who the authors are, and also send along the abstract to help them decide if it is really a paper that they are qualified to referee. If the person agrees to review for us, the manuscript that they have access to includes the names, affiliations and contributions of all of the authors.  Read more

A day of isotopes

This wasn't just a dinner party, this was a defining-moment-in-chemistry dinner party.

  Today we published a Thesis article in our December issue (subscription required) that commemorates a century of isotopes — following the first use of the term by Frederick Soddy in the pages of Nature in December 1913. Written by Brett F. Thornton and Shawn C. Burdette, the article describes early work by Daniel Strömholm and Theodor Svedberg on radium, that was largely ignored at the time it was published. The story then turns to Soddy:  … Read more

Happy birthday Robert Boyle!

Apparently today is Robert Boyle‘s 386th birthday. He also happens to be the reason that this blog is called ‘The Sceptical Chymist’. So today, of all days, why not go and have a look at the first ever post on this blog (almost 7 years ago — wow…) explaining a little more about Boyle and his ‘The Sceptical Chymist‘.  Read more

Top 10 in 2012

Of those 118 articles published in volume 4 of the journal (as mentioned in the last post), I was curious to see which were the most popular. Based on the ‘page views’ (full-text article views that includes HTML views and PDF downloads) that appear on the associated article-level-metrics pages, here’s the top 10 (you’ll need to be a subscriber to access the articles). Page-view numbers are correct as of December 28th, so apart from #6 and #7 — who can slug it out to see who comes out on top by year’s end — the positions shouldn’t alter too much.  Read more

Nature Chemistry by the numbers – 2012

Nature Chemistry by the numbers – 2012

As 2012 is winding down, I thought I’d take a look back at volume 4 of the journal. This isn’t a terribly in-depth analysis, and it’s based on what we’ve published rather than what was submitted, but you might find it a little bit interesting. Here are the covers of the 12 issues that made up the 2012 issues.  Read more

Chemistry for Christmas

For those of you who haven’t noticed yet, this year’s Christmas Lectures at The Royal Institution are about chemistry! Yay! They are being given by Dr Peter Wothers from the University of Cambridge, who is also one of the authors of my favourite organic chemistry textbook.  Read more

Some cunning ChemDraw

You probably wouldn’t expect the Chief Editor of a journal to spend much time using ChemDraw (or maybe you would?) — it’s just that I can’t imagine the editors of too many other chemistry journals (such as the Stangs and Gölitzs of this world) redrawing the structures provided by 75+% of the authors. For my sins, I do. I like to think I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to ChemDraw, although members of my team might use a different word (or two). One of the most challenging papers included structures such as this one.  Read more

A team photo shoot

A team photo shoot

For those of you who haven’t noticed yet, there is a guest Thesis article this month from Dennis Curran — the article is available to subscribers and can be found here. It was not a straightforward essay to illustrate, but in the end we decided to hold our own photo shoot (after making our own protest signs!). The picture features five of us from the Nature Chemistry team — from left-to-right: Russell (associate editor, hiding behind his sign), me, Gavin (senior editor), Rebecca (senior editorial assistant) and Alison (senior production editor). The pic was taken by Alex (art editor), who was balanced precariously on top of a chair or two… missing from the picture are the very perplexed-looking passers-by!  Read more

December 2012 issue

December 2012 issue

Our December issue went live today and I just wanted to highlight a few things here on the blog. The issue includes a focus on site-selective reactions, including an editorial, two Articles — one from the group of Scott Miller and the other from Martin Burke’s group — and a News & Views article from Jacobsen and Tadross looking at those two pieces of research. The editorial is completely free (all of those in Nature journals are) and the other three articles are free to those registered on And if you’re not already registered, it is free to do so.  Read more