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By Gary Leal, John Kim, and Bradley Rubin
Physical Review Fluids (PRFluids) is one of the newest members of the APS journal family that grew out of the original Physical Review, which this year is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Following its first issue in May 2016, PRFluids has now published more than 1,000 high-quality peer reviewed papers—including more than 100 Rapid Communications, the shorter letter-style papers of special significance. PRFluids welcomes submissions in experimental, theoretical, and numerical research, from fundamental fluid physics of a wide variety of flows, to fluid mechanics with applications related to energy creation and harvesting, through biology, forensic science, and climate change.
The journal has made a great start and is firmly on track to becoming the fluid dynamics journal of choice. In achieving this, the journal has benefited greatly from the support of and collaboration with the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD), including the publication of the invited and prize lectures from the annual meeting, as well as the Gallery of Fluid Motion based upon the winning poster and video entries each year. In addition, the François Frenkiel Award of the DFD is awarded each year for the best paper by authors under the age of 40 published in PRFluids.
Although PRFluids is a relatively new journal, its roots date back more than 70 years. DFD has had a long tradition of close association with a journal in fluid dynamics. For many years the main venue for disseminating the work of DFD members was the journal Physics of Fluids, which is published by the American Institute of Physics Publishing. Indeed, the DFD was instrumental in founding Physics of Fluids in the first place.
The Physical Review, from the beginning, had included fluid mechanics in its coverage of physics, and especially since 1993, in a more broadly based APS journal, Physical Review E. However, in 2015 the DFD decided that it could better serve its members as well as the global readership by having a close association with a dedicated fluid mechanics journal published by APS. In support of the desire of the DFD, the entire editorial staff and the advisory board from Physics of Fluids moved to PRFluids in 2016.
PRFluids is relatively unique within the APS family of journals in that the Lead Editors and Associate Editors are located at universities and research institutions and are active research scientists. The Associate Editors in particular are among the most distinguished individuals in their fields, and they are chosen so that there is broad representation for nearly all of the subtopics within the field of fluid dynamics. The editors are complemented by a very strong Editorial Board, broadly representative in terms of both research expertise and geographic location, with current members based in ten countries. Our authors and referees are also broadly distributed; about half of recently published papers are from outside the United States.
PRFluids strongly encourages the submission of fundamentally oriented theoretical or experimental manuscripts. Although the traditional topics of fluid dynamics comprise a main focus of PRFluids, the editors encourage the submission of papers in newer and emerging areas, including bio-related fluid dynamics, micro- and nanoscale flows, fluid mechanics of complex fluids and soft materials, geophysical and environmental flows, and papers on topics crossing the traditional boundaries of fluid mechanics. The scope of the journal is reviewed regularly to ensure that it continues to serve the needs of the community and captures the most interesting papers in fluid mechanics. Overall, the quality of the journal relies on authors to submit their best work and on referees to write thoughtful, well-reasoned reports.
To increase the visibility of research and to facilitate understanding by those viewing the PRFluids website, every paper published in PRFluids appears prominently on the website with a key image and a short description. Authors are invited to submit this content upon the acceptance of their paper, or work with an editor to create it. In August 2018 the PRFluids editors initiated a further means of highlighting that has become standard in other Physical Review journals, designating a few papers each month as “Editors’ Suggestions.” These are papers that the editors feel deserve special attention because of their particular interest, significance, or clarity.
Fluid science continues to expand its already wide breadth, both in the variety of topics covered and in the scales of interest. Over past decades, there have been many changes both in our understanding of fluid science and in how it is communicated, and it is impossible to predict what advances will occur in the years ahead. But whatever the future holds, the mission of PRFluids will be to continue the high standards of peer review and publishing carried over from both our progenitor journal and The Physical Review.
Gary Leal, currently Schlinger Professor Emeritus and active Research Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at University of California, Santa Barbara, and John Kim, the Rockwell Collins Distinguished Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of University of California, Los Angeles, are co-Lead Editors of Physical Review Fluids. Bradley Rubin, who joined the editorial staff of Physical Review B in 1999, has been the Journal Manager of Physical Review Fluids since 2016.
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