Guidelines for Correspondents

Please identify two to three papers in a given year which you have come across that you find particularly interesting. These papers should be available either on the cond-mat. archives or in any of the regular scientific journals which are also available on the internet. Papers that have appeared during the previous year are to be preferred but this is not a requirement. Please supply the reference. We will form a web-link to the paper chosen.

Please write half a page to a page commentary (about 500 to 1000 words) as to why you think a wide community of practitioners of condensed matter physics ought to read it. This contribution will appear under the recommendation and your name will appear with this contribution.

What is interesting is best left to the taste of the correspondent. So is the style of the commentary. A few remarks may nevertheless be useful. The idea is that about a quarter of the readership should be interested in more than one paper identified in a given month. Therefore the papers ought to be not too specialized or technical. New experimental developments and new theoretical ideas, and the identification of new lines of inquiry, fully developed or not, ought to be the primary criteria. Some well-tempered adventurousness is suggested. The criteria for selection of a paper may be summed up as intellectual appeal, setting up directions for further inquiry by its seminal nature and the breadth of the community it might touch.

We would like to establish in the Journal Club a positive tone towards the developments in condensed matter physics and physicists and to go to some lengths to avoid any ill-will. The Journal club of-course ought not to be used as a column for ” I told you so” remarks. It is also important that the correspondents not write about their own work or of their immediate colleagues. Identification of a paper for being awful is strongly discouraged. Critical remarks of a positive nature on papers chosen for their high quality are of-course very welcome.

If a correspondent comes across a paper which seems interesting but he/she prefers not to write about it, a note to the organizers about it, with a recommendation of a correspondent on our current list or outside it would be most welcome.
The organizers will occasionally draw the attention of a correspondent to papers which they think might be of interest.

We would like to run this experiment so that it is as little taxing of the correspondents’ time as possible. The organizers may however ask for occasional clarifications in the correspondents’ commentary. The organizers expect that every recommendation of the correspondents will go on the Journal club. If however, it is felt that the purpose of the Journal club is being affected adversely by a particular contribution, the organizers will ask the Advisory committee’s opinion about it and act on it based on their advice.

Note Added (May 2004) The contributions of each correspondent may be found by clicking the icon next to the contributors name. The status as a corresponding member will in general lapse after a year of inactivity.


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