15 Aug 2017

Papers for Pedagogy

Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

About 1 year ago I was invited to attend an editorial board meeting for Organometallics. It was incredibly interesting to be on that side of the discussion and I got a lot out of it. For me, the most significant was the hatching of an exciting new idea about teaching--a virtual issue with a VIPEr theme. I was very excited that the editor-in-chief of the journal, Paul Chirik, was supportive of this idea and I knew that I needed to make this happen quickly. I initally hoped to build the issue out of existing literature discussion learning objects on VIPEr, but it was made clear to me that I could only use papers from ACS journals, especially Organometallics, and at that point in time there weren't enough of those on VIPEr. At that point I needed help, so I spoke with my fellow LC member, Adam Johnson, about the idea and he loved it. He referred me back to his student-led organometallics LO, and mentioned that the original idea was a collaboration with Drew Duncan, and that we should get Drew onboard with the project. We contacted Drew and he was happy to join. Next we needed to build the number of lit discussion LOs based on papers from ACS journals, especially Organometallics. I put out a call in a community challenge and got two great groups that created two excellent lit discussion learning objects. At this point, I will admit to a bit of a character flaw, so I took the bull by the horns and went on a LO creation binge. Finally I presented a complete list of papers for the virtual issue to Paul and he approved it. That meant it was time for Adam, Drew, and I to spring into action and write an editorial. The result of this labor of love has just been published as a virtual issue and you can check it out here. I am thrilled this is finally out there, but now is the time for you, the VIPEr community to act. Hopefully you will find the LOs to be useful for your classes; I know I am looking forward to using them. But YOU, our VIPEr users, are the ones that can make this issue a success. Take a look at it. Download some of the papers. Post it to social media. Let the community know, even if you aren't an organometallic chemist. Why? To stoke my ego of course. No, I am kidding. I hope that this is the first of several virtual issues from the IONiC community. It would be great to see virtual issues dedicated to teaching solid state, bioinorganic, coordination chemistry, etc. But that is only going to happen if we can show ACS that this issue is a success. So, we hope that you will help by clicking on, downloading, and teaching with the papers. And we hope you will join in the process for our next virtual issue.