APS News

Editor in Chief of APS Journals Steps Down

Gene Sprouse, Editor in Chief of the APS research journals since March 2007, has stepped down from the position as of April 28, 2015.

May 1, 2015

Gene Sprouse
Gene Sprouse

He had responsibility for Physical Review Letters, Physical Review X, Physical Review, Reviews of Modern Physics, and Physics. APS Chief Executive Officer Kate Kirby announced the resignation to staff and said that she would work with the APS Board of Directors to quickly fill the position given the importance of the publications to the Society.

"During the 5 years we worked together, it became clear to me that Gene’s dedication to the APS journals was exceptional,” Kirby said. “He raised the quality of the journals, launched vital new publications, and was instrumental in helping us anticipate and prepare for the new world of open access publishing."

2015 APS President Samuel Aronson added that "Gene leaves the APS family of journals stronger than they have ever been, and his many accomplishments have greatly benefited the Society. We will miss his commitment and expertise as we move forward, and we wish him the best in future endeavors."

"The journals are the jewels of the APS, a result of the hard work and dedication of all of the editors and the Ridge staff," said Sprouse. "It has been my privilege to work with these excellent people for the last eight years, and it has been most rewarding to see them grow professionally during this time. I am proud of the people that we have added to the staff during my tenure, including many outstanding young people who are the future of the APS journals. The journals are healthy and strong, and it must be the top priority of APS to keep them that way."

Sprouse, a Distinguished Professor of Physics at Stony Brook University, is the 10th physicist to hold the position during the Society’s stewardship of the journals. His resignation follows a period of reorganization of the APS leadership structure that was approved by the members in 2014. Among other changes, the roles of the governing bodies and the operating officers were updated to follow the practices of other nonprofit societies. "In the reorganized APS, I feel I must step aside and let the CEO put the new structure in place," Sprouse said.

During his tenure as Editor in Chief, Sprouse started three new major publications as part of a leadership team that included former Treasurer/Publisher Joe Serene - the online commentary journal Physics, and two research journals: the broad scope, highly selective, open access Physical Review X, and Physical Review Applied for the rapidly growing areas of applied physics. He also initiated the Outstanding Referee awards, which recognize the efforts and quality of the peer reviewers who globally volunteer their time for the journals.

Sprouse oversaw the design and construction of a remodeled and enlarged editorial office in Ridge, New York, and expanded the editorial staff. Part of that expansion involved reaching out to physicists in China and other countries outside the US, which constitute the majority of authors, referees, and readers of the APS journals.

Until a new Editor in Chief is appointed, APS Editorial Director Daniel Kulp will assume the responsibilities of the position.

"Following the work Gene has done,” Kirby said, “APS is primed to continue to advance the Physical Review family of journals."