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Editor in a (60-second) spotlight – Yanlei Yu

February 20, 2018 | 3 min read

By Yanlei Yu

two standing lamps with blue green background

"When you explore an unknown field with curiosity and innovation, you will enjoy remarkable achievement."


Name: Yanlei Yu

Institute: Fudan University Department of Material Science

Journal: European Polymer Journal

Journal role: Editor

Average number of submissions per year: 1,800

Rejection rate: 70%

CiteScore: 3.75

IF 2016: 3.531

  1. What inspired your career in research? Completing my Ph.D. course at the Tokyo Institute of Technology was an exhausting process since my research topic is a cutting-edge field with little published reference material. However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I felt a sense of achievement and decided to pursue a career in research after overcoming more and more research problems, especially after I published a paper in Nature as the first author.

  2. How would you describe a typical working day? Normally, I come to the office at 8 am. During working hours, I check emails, do editorial work, give lessons, and discuss research work with my masters and doctoral students. Sometimes, I work through to midnight for example writing grant applications and research papers because I find it quite efficient to think during the quiet of night.

  3. How do you measure success in your work? To do the top research work with peer recognition and to cultivate excellent students.

  4. Do you have any particular advice for younger researchers? As my doctoral supervisor told me “The top research work should be 0 to 1. If you copy the experience someone has achieved, you just follow others’ paths directly from 1 to N. When you explore an unknown field with curiosity and innovation, you will enjoy remarkable achievement.” I think this is very useful advice for younger researchers.

  5. What drove you to become an editor? This is my first experience editing a scientific journal. It enables me to be at the forefront of research by reading excellent manuscripts first hand and provides me with opportunities to communicate with academic colleagues all over the world.

  6. What is the most rewarding aspect of editorial work for you and what do you find difficult about the role? As an editor, I am privileged with opportunities to discover the latest research, which helps me to keep track of the up-to-date advances in the field of polymers. Concerning difficulty, it is painful to have to reject many manuscripts which are not good enough, since for I’m responsible for making sure we have sufficient original, high quality content for each issue.

  7. What is the most important attribute in your opinion for being an editor? It is important to keep an open mind concerning the forefront in different research areas within our broad scope.

  8. Name one item/tool/resource that you cannot do without in your editorial role? The “Reviewer Finder” tool is really convenient.

  9. What would you be doing now if you were not a researcher? I would like to be a traveler or photographer.

  10. What is the most interesting image/photograph you have come across in your journal? An inserted cartoon character in the graphical abstract in European Polymer Journal was creative and brought me a lot of fun.


Investigating the structure of crosslinked polymer brushes (brush-gels) by means of Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy, European Polymer Journal, Volume 99, February 2018, Pages 415-421 in new tab/window)

NB The Editors and Editorial Board of the European Polymer Journal are dedicated to supporting mid-career researchers and are delighted to announce a new biennial mid-career best EPJ paper award named the Materials Today EPJ Award. For more information, click here.