An Interview with BMC Materials Section Editor, Professor Wenguo Cui

We are fortunate to have invited the Section Editor of BMC Materials, Professor Wenguo Cui from Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine to share his visions for the journal and to provide advice for researchers and authors who would like to submit their papers to open access journals.

Prof. Wenguo Cui
Prof. Wenguo Cui

When did you get to know about BMC Materials? And what made you decide to join the journal?

I learned about BMC Materials in October 2018 when Dr. Harriet Manning, Editor at BMC, set up the journal. After extensive survey and careful speculation, Dr. Manning determined that six major fields of materials would be incorporated into the scope of BMC Materials.  She also asked experts from the six fields to recommend researchers who can lead and voluntarily serve the new journal. It was really a great honor for me to receive the invitation from Harriet. After several pleasant rounds of emails and phone calls, I joined the editorial board of BMC Materials and now focus on biological and biomedical materials. I am a science researcher mainly engaged in the field of biomedical materials, which happens to be one of the six major fields within the scope of BMC Materials. I sincerely hope that the journal can bridge the fields of biology, medicine and materials science, helping clinicians to familiarize themselves with materials science and materials researchers with medicine.

As a Section Editor of the journal, do you have any plans for the job?

I am really grateful for the opportunity to serve the authors and readers of BMC Materials as well as for the trust of the BMC Editorial Board and peer experts. As a Section Editor of BMC Materials particularly in charge of the biological and biomedical materials field, which is both challenging and fulfilling, I would commit myself to the following aspects.

(1) In such a new era for publishing and journals, which features information explosion and non-stop emergence of well- known databases, how can we attract authors and readers to our journal? We will try to ensure that every biological and biomedical materials paper published in the journal represents a small breakthrough in the field. We will also publish commissioned commentaries from clinicians in the field, hoping that each topic can inspire new ideas for research and product development in clinical medical materials. We care more about the inspiration that researchers can get from our publications rather than the mere number of readers.

(2) In such a highly subdivided field as materials science with plenty of well established journals, how can we accurately position BMC Materials? Materials science is a huge research field, within which star materials alternate over time.  High exposure of the star materials is a common practice for journals to attract readers and enhance their impact. However, BMC Materials, particularly the biological and biomedical materials section, considers new materials and methods oriented by practical clinical problems equally with the so called hot materials. Special collections concerning specific diseases will also be launched. Researchers will be invited to propose treatments from different perspectives such as biology and materials. We intend to encourage in-depth discussion around biological and biomedical materials based on specific practical challenges.

(3) After submission, manuscripts will be subjected to assessment for scientific merit and quality. A fast and transparent review process is beneficial to both the authors and the journal itself. International experts in the relevant field will be invited to give an overall comment on the manuscripts. Comprehensive exploration and rich data will be a plus but not mandatory. We are more concerned about whether a problem is explained and solved by biomaterials methods rather than  comprehensive exploration and shining data. We will do our best to ensure that researchers can find illumination in every paper.

We will do our best to ensure that researchers can find illumination in every paper.

Compared with other journals in the field, especially established ones, what are the differences in positioning of BMC Materials?

As is mentioned above, we expect BMC Materials to be more focused on its distinctive scope, particularly in the long run. Readers should get in-depth understanding of the field by reading the research and corresponding commentaries. Details of the publishing plan will be clarified by discussion with the whole editorial team. We will work hard on every research contribution and its relevant application for better integration, thus truly setting up bridges among different disciplines.

What field are you particularly interested in and what progress has been made in it recently? What topics do you expect to see in BMC Materials?

Within the scope of BMC Materials, I am more enthusiastic about the field of biomedical materials. With the development of medical science and technology, different therapeutic strategies keep emerging, in which biomedical methods, especially the continuous innovation of nanocarriers, tissue regeneration, new polymers and other advanced technologies, play the leading roles. Therefore, basic research aimed at using innovative and practical biomedical materials to solve clinical problems are more likely to be considered by the journal.  We hope that the journal can be inspirational for readers, encouraging for researchers and informative for clinical doctors.

Could you please introduce your vision for BMC Materials?

The future is full of uncertainties and challenges. I do expect to see innovative fusion of multiple disciplines —— every single paper is of value, so are commentaries from different perspectives. That is how our journal will bring new ideas and perception in materials science to its readers.

What suggestions do you have for young researchers and authors who would like to submit their paper to an open access journal?

Open access is important for sharing research results and increasing international visibility. As long as the publication fee can be covered by the funding, it is entirely reasonable to give priority to open access journals. In addition, we should be fully prepared for different voices, whether they are positive or negative.


About Prof. Wenguo Cui

Prof. Wenguo Cui is a full professor at Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. He is currently the group leader of Regenerative Biomaterials. His scientific interests are focused on the development of novel biomaterials and nanomaterials for tissue regeneration, drug delivery and disease treatment. He has published more than 130 SCI papers (H=33, Citation>3,700, including an over 300 citation article), 13 granted patents, one chief editor of 1 book and 9 book chapters as first or corresponding author, and more than 30 patents, many of which licensed.

He worked as PI for three projects of National Natural Science Foundation of China and more than ten other grants in Shanghai. He has won the prize of Fundamental Bone Research Scholar in Chinese Medical Association, first prize of Scientific and Technological Progress of Shanghai, second prize of Outstanding Achievement Award in Science Research in the Ministry of Education twice and Chinese Medicine Award and Huaxia Medicine Award and so on.

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