If you have adressed a research problem but could not finish with a positive result or a non-ambiguous conclusion, send us your work in form of a communication. We accept projects that have been scientifically well conducted and well written – regardless of results and conclusions. Your contribution will be subject to a peer review process.

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Jul 312016

Alexander F. G. Goldberg,a Klaus Roth,b,1 CJ Chemjobberc

a Department of Organic Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
b Institut fuer Organische Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universitaet Berlin
c 3170 Road 40 1/2, Shell, WY 82441, USA

Adapted and translated with permission from A. F. G. Goldberg, K. Roth, CJ Chemjobber, Chem. unserer Zeit 2016, 50, 144–145.
© 2016 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co KGaA, Weinheim.

JUnQ, 6, 2, 8–9, 2016

Household products from the food and cosmetics industry are advertized as “chemical free” in a nearly inflationary way. This declaration is mostly incorrect and it suggests that the products are produced from natural products, are extremely healthy, or completely free of artificial ingredients. We have investigated these labels for a broad variety of such products, including herbal supplements, processed food and beverages, next to cosmetic products and cleaning agents. As a result we were able to compile a complete list of all “chemical free” domestic products.

Download the article here: Chemical Free Household Products

Apr 142016

M. Dornbusch, T. Biehler, M. Conrad, A. Greiwe, D. Momper, L. Schmidt, M. Wiedow

University of Applied Sciences, Adlerstraße 32, 47798 Krefeld, Germany

Received 12.06.2015, accepted 29.02.2016, published 14.04.2016

JUnQ, 6, 2, 1–7, 2016

The formation of a conversion layer for corrosion protection based on phytic acid (PA) solutions is described several times in the literature. The promising results induced us to verify the performance of PA based conversion layers as pre-treatment for organic coatings. The spectroscopic and optical analysis with infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy of the generated layer strengthened the hypothesis of a corrosion protective layer. Furthermore, the electrochemical analysis with cyclic voltammetry supported it but the results of the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy provided a first hint of an instable layer. Unfortunately, all kinds of tested conversion layers based on PA with and without a combination with molybdate increased the delamination of an applied coating and accelerated the corrosion process in the salt spray test. Therefore, all investigated PA based conversion layers are not suitable as pre-treatments for organic coatings.

Download the article here: Unstable Pretreatment of Steel and Zinv Surfaces Based on Phytic Acid

Jul 162015

M. Gommel, H. Nolte and G. Sponholz
Team Scientific Integrity

JUnQ, 5, 2, 11–16, 2015

In 2009, a good scientific practice curriculum was developed and published on behalf of the “Ombudsman f?r die Wissenschaft”. Soon after we had started giving courses for doctoral students that follow this curriculum, we listened to many stories about scientific misconduct – related by the participants. Since these stories were far more numerous than we had expected from the published literature, we decided to ask the participants about their experience with malpractice with the help of a short explorative survey.
387 doctoral students returned our questionnaire after participating in a two-day good scientific practice course between November 2011 and December 2012. 76 students – about one in five – admitted to have been involved in one of six forms of severe scientific misconduct with consequences upon their work: plagiarism; data manipulation, fabrication or theft; honorary authorship; duplicate publication.
More than half of the respondents stated that they were involved in, or had witnessed problems with unclear data ownership or honorary authorship. In the courses, many participants told us that data management and authorship issues had never been addressed thoroughly prior to the course, although they are important aspects of the scientific process. This leads to several unsolved questions concerning the supervisors’ role in the fostering of good scientific practice, and to an assumption of “inherited unawareness” and systematic non-communication. We suggest that the issue should be tackled by educating all members of the scientific institutions, accompanied by structural changes.

The article we originally posted was missing two entries in table 3.

Find the corrected version here: Teaching Good Scientific Practice (corrected 20.07.15)

The original article can be found here: Teaching Good Scientific Practice

Apr 012015

W. Bishop,a B. S. Johnson,b and W. Seuntjensc
aUniversity of Berlin, Berlin
bSt. Luke’s College, Cambridge
cDutch Academy of ‘Pataphysics, Amsterdam

Received 20.03.2015,1 accepted 31.03.2015, published 01.04.2015

JUnQ, 5, 2, Article – Rapid Communication, 08-15, 2015

Using the technique of gene silencing, it was possible to turn three-leaved clover into four-leaved clover. Exposure to genetically modified four-leaved clover over a period of one week increased aggregate happiness in human subjects by approximately 200 percent. This technological adaptation of an age-old idea opens up the possibility of piecemeal social engineering and grand-scale political engineering. Ultimately it might lead to global peace.

1International Day of Happiness; vernal equinox (Le printemps est arriv?. L’amour et la joie sont revenus chez toi.)

Four Leaf Clover or read more about recent developments at this website.

Jul 312014

W. Seuntjens

Dutch Academy of ‘Pataphysics, Amsterdam

Received 25.03.2014, accepted 18.06.2014 published 31.07.2014

JUnQ, 4, 2, Article – Rapid Communication, 18-27, 2014

Symmetry is an esthetic quality both in art and in life. Symmetry is generally associated with beauty, evolutionary fitness, and perfection whereas asymmetry is associated with the lack of beauty, diminished evolutionary fitness, and imperfection. The physical aspect of praying behavior is almost exclusively bilaterally symmetrical. In the Christian tradition, praying with hands held together can be done in three ways: symmetrically, quasi-symmetrically, and asymmetrically. In the history of Christian art the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene are undoubtedly the two most frequently depicted women. Contrary to expectation, the praying postures in which the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene are depicted are not random. The Virgin Mary prays most often symmetrically whereas Mary Magdalene prays predominantly nonsymmetrically (first rule). Moreover, both Marys pray mainly symmetrically in depictions of pre- and post-Passion scenes whereas they pray mostly nonsymmetrically in Passion scenes (second rule). The exception to the second rule is the theme of The Penitent Mary Magdalene, in which Mary Magdalene is depicted mostly praying nonsymmetrically (third rule). As a tentative explanation of these differences it is proposed that: (1) The Virgin Mary is for the most part depicted symmetrically because she is the epitome of serene perfection whereas the more often nonsymmetrically depicted Mary Magdalene is the embodiment of emotional perfectability. (2) In Passion scenes both Marys are shown mainly in nonsymmetrical praying postures because of the extreme emotionality whereas in pre- and post-Passion scenes they both display the more beatific symmetrical praying postures. (3) The Penitent Mary Magdalene is generally depicted in the emotional nonsymmetrical praying posture because in that particular part of the post-Passion period Mary Magdalene’s sainthood was still in the balance.

Mary Symmetrical and Mary Nonsymmetrical
Apr 132014

Natascha Gastera, Jorge S. Burnsb, Michael Gastera

aLaboratory of Molecular Physiology, Departments of Pathology and Endocrinology, Odense University Hospital, 5000 Odense, Denmark
bLaboratory of Cell Biology and Advanced Cancer Therapies, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children & Adults, University Hospital of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41100 Modena, Italy

Received 13.01.2014, accepted 07.04.2014, published 13.04.2014

JUnQ, 4, 2, Article, 16-17, 2014

The ICMJE recommendations have recently been revised to include the addition of a fourth criterion to the Vancouver Protocol, the internationally recognized and globally applied standard for determining authorship on publications; authorship involves “Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved”.[1] This development serves to prevent authors from delegating responsibility without further ado to another author should part of the article be questioned. In addition to accepting full responsibility for the parts he or she has done, the author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for other parts of the work. Herewith, we consider possible outcomes of this latest revision especially with regard to its broadest implications. Does this change mean we can expect a shift in authorship patterns?

Read more: Does the new ICMJE criterion stem co-author overflow?

Dec 302013

Michael Schreiber1

1Institute of Physics, Technische Universität Chemnitz, D-09107 Chemnitz, Germany

JUnQ, 4, 1, Article, 5-10, 2014 (Received 16.10.2013, accepted 17.12.2013, published 30.12.2013)

The h-index proposed by Hirsch only 8 years ago is already frequently used to measure scientific performance. Nevertheless, several open questions are unsolved, e.g. what does the h-index really measure? Are there better variants available? How reliable is the determination of the h-index? Does it have predictive power?

Read more: Is it Possible to Measure Scientific Performance with the h-Index or with Another Variant from the Hirsch Index Zoo?

Aug 282013

Patrick Beyer, Rudolf Zentel1

1Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Mainz, Duesbergweg 10-14, 55099 Mainz, Germany

JUnQ, 4, 1, Article, 1-4, 2014 (Received 14.06.2013, accepted 25.07.2013, published online 28.08.2013)

Liquid crystalline (LC) elastomers are well known for their reversible shape variation at the phase transition from the LC to the isotropic phase. We managed to prepare an oriented smectic monodomain of a crosslinked LC-polysiloxane, which showed – contrary to the expectations – NO shape variation at all. This observation is in agreement with mechanical measurements on small LC-elastomer balloons made from the same materials. It is completely unknown, why this type of “diluted” LC-polysiloxane (only about 25% of the repeating units are functionalized with mesogens) behaves like this.

Read more: Smectic LC-elastomers with NO shape change at the phase transition

Jun 062013

Lukas Muechler and Claudia Felser

Max-Planck-Institut fuer Chemische Physik fester Stoffe, 01187 Dresden, Germany

JUnQ, 3, 2, Articles, 6–9, 2013 (Received 06.05.2013, accepted 26.05.2013, published online 06.06.2013)

In this paper we critically examine recent claims about half metallic ferromagnetism in open p-shell systems.
Odd valence electron compounds like CaAs have been predicted to show a 100 % spin polarization
at the Fermi level, if they can be grown in the zincblende structure. It has furthermore been argued that
this should be possible under special conditions. We will give several arguments against this claim based
on concepts from chemistry and density functional calculations.

Read more: Predicting Half Metallic Ferromagnets - A Little Bit More Realism Please


Nov 052012

C. Attaccalitea and S. Barlandb

aInstitut Néel, CNRS/UJF, 25 rue des Martyrs BP 166, Bâtiment D 38042 Grenoble cedex 9 France

bUniversité de Nice – CNRS UMR 7335, Institut Non Linéaire de Nice, 1361 route des lucioles, 06560 Valbonne, France

JUnQ, 3, 1, Articles, 1–5, 2013 (Received 30.08.2012, accepted 04.11.2012, published online 06.11.2012)

In this paper we study research trends in condensed matter physics. Trends are analyzed by means of the number of publications in the different sub-fields as function of the years. We found that many research topics have a similar behavior with an initial fast growth and a next slower exponential decay. We derived a simple model to describe this behavior and built up some predictions for future trends.

Read more: Trends in Condensed Matter Physics