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Computing for Clean Water on the road to publication
By: Dr. Francois Grey
CNMM, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China and Citizen Cyberscience Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
9 Feb 2015   

The Computing for Clean Water team has written a paper describing the results of their research on World Community Grid. They’ve described the novel flow effect that all you volunteers helped discover. Their paper is currently under consideration at a prestigious journal.

The scientific process has many phases, and one of the most challenging of these is publishing results. What often amounts to years of a scientist’s working life has to be distilled to just a few pages, and done so in a way that is both clear and compelling - at least for other experts in the field. The team behind Computing for Clean Water worked for many months last year on drafting and polishing such an article, which sums up several years of work. Indeed, if we included all the processing time that you, the volunteers, have contributed to the project with your PCs and laptops, we could argue that the article represents many thousands of years of collective effort!

The article was submitted to a prestigious journal. Choosing the right journal is always a tough process; the most famous journals apply very strict criteria, which mean that even excellent articles get rejected, simply because the editor decides they are not of an adequate level of significance. This is inevitably a harsh blow for the scientists involved, but a necessary procedure; you don’t get selected for the Olympics unless you are a truly outstanding athlete, and in much the same way, top journals need to be very selective.

We have been waiting several months now to see whether we are amongst the lucky few, or whether we will have to revise our article and perhaps consider submitting it to a less demanding journal. Ultimately, the goal is to get the information out there so other people can benefit from it. So there is always a balance between wanting to ensure the broadest possible audience for our results by publishing in a top journal, and simply ensuring that the information is accessible to other scientists, by publishing in a more lenient one. In the case of Computing for Clean Water, it’s fair to say that the whole team behind this project feels an additional responsibility to the large community of volunteers, to do the best possible job of promoting their diligent efforts.

So thanks again to all the volunteers on Computing for Clean Water for your help and for your patience with this process. Rest assured that you will be the first to know when and where the results will be published.

The Computing for Clean Water team


Project Update

Dr. Francois Grey
CNMM, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China and Citizen Cyberscience Centre, Geneva, Switzerland