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Meet the editor: Stephen Hyde

Professor Stephen Hyde tells us about his role as a Journal of the Royal Society Interface Editorial Board member.

Overview

"...my role on the journal allows me to quietly promote an agenda for research that encourages deep and thoughtful science in the face of so much pressure to publish, to compete and to make an immediate impact."

Journal of the Royal Society Interface has a dedicated Editorial Board that helps the journal run smoothly. We spoke with one of our editors, Professor Stephen Hyde at the University of Sydney, about his background and role on the journal.

a) Can you tell us about your background and research?

I am an Australian physicist by training, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Australia, Perth and Monash University, Melbourne. I completed my PhD at Monash University in 1986 under the supervision of Dr A.C. McLaren, based on research done jointly with Dr Sten Andersson in Lund. Since that time, I have been interested in understanding the structure of condensed materials, from synthetic inorganic frameworks to the self-assembly of unconventional inorganic ‘biomorphs’ and soft liquid crystals in vitro and in vivo. My focus has been on understanding structure from the perspective of low-dimensional topology and two-dimensional non-euclidean geometry. My current interests include enumeration of tangled networks and (bio)molecular strings, such as RNA.

b) What’s your role on the journal?

My role in recent years has been focused on broadening the perceived focus of Journal of the Royal Society Interface to include studies exploring biological phenomena from physical and/or mathematical perspectives, from string folding to intracellular structures.

c) What do you enjoy most about being an editor?

An enjoyable aspect of my role as an editor at J. R. Soc. Interface is to scan preprint archives and follow work beyond my own specific research interests in order to maintain the journal's awareness of new trends in these areas. Conversely, I communicate fairly regularly with researchers to let them know J. R. Soc. Interface may be a good place to publish their work. The ever-expanding stable of research journals is a problem that encourages a current culture of over-publishing. I feel it is important for responsible journals to avoid that temptation and to focus on fewer articles of higher quality and originality. At the same time, I attempt to promote J. R. Soc. Interface as a journal that welcomes ideas that cross conventional disciplinary boundaries. So, in those senses, my role on the journal allows me to quietly promote an agenda for research that encourages deep and thoughtful science in the face of so much pressure to publish, to compete and to make an immediate impact.

d) Do you have any advice for researchers planning to submit to the journal?

The primary role of J. R. Soc. Interface is to support cross-disciplinary research from basic to applied. It is not a club, but a safe house for those who want to publish substantial, well-founded research which looks at scientific questions from beyond the narrow view of the discipline with which the problem is associated. Your work will be reviewed with care, and if accepted, published to the highest quality, thanks to an extremely professional production team. If your work straddles traditional disciplinary boundaries and is — from your own self-critical perspective — conclusive, original and profound, submit! 

To find out more about Journal of the Royal Society Interface and to submit your work, take a look at our website.

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