公益社団法人有機合成化学協会 SSOCJ - The Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan

豊かな明日を創る有機合成

巻頭言

Publishing in 1946 and Now
野崎 一


 I recall the harsh days a half century ago. In September 1942 I started my research activity at the Department of Industrial Chemistry, Kyoto University, as one of the students of Professor Keiiti Sisido, who regrettably passed away early this year. I was fortunate enough to be exempt from military service due to a new law established for keeping young scientists at universities and was thus allowed to stay at the laboratory after my graduation in 1943. Shortly before this time, I was able to summarize my undergraduate research on the Friedel-Crafts reaction of 3,4dichlorohexane with benzene to write a paper in Japanese. It turned out that the reaction involved an initial isomerization step followed by a cyclic alkylation step to form 1,4-dimethyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalenaem among other products.

 When the War had ended and peace had resumed, Prof. Sisido said that from now on we should write our papers in English and try to publish them in American journals, as the Japanese ones were in quite a miserable state due to the shortage of materials. In reply to our inquiry whether papers from here would be acceptable or not, Prof. Arthur B. Lamb, the editor of J. Am. Chem. Soc. at the time, replied in the following way (if my memory serves me right) - "Naturally, Japanese people deserve a long and bitter life for what they have done in the past, the most important thing at present is the world-wide solidarity of scientists for recovering from the damage by the War." So our papers were subjected to the regular refereeing process and were eventually accepted for publication in the J. Am. Chem. Soc. as well as in J. Org. Chem. after 1947. I recall with much appreciation that one of the referees kindly combined our two papers into one, completely rewriting the discussion part.

 Since then five decades have passed and nowadays we are in comfortable circumstances with earthquakes like the Great Hanshin one being unfortunate exception for some of us. These days if one is to browse through only the limited titles of current journals, then we would be ignoring almost 80-90% of novel papers that could be of help to our own research project. Our colleagues, therefore, tend to try to publish their confident findings in journals of the best and widest circulation such as Nature, JACS, or Angew. Chem. and tend to dismiss the local, domestic journals. Their research accounts also appear very frequently in prestigious, foreign or international journals. Many Japanese chemists today do enjoy global reputation, while a large fraction of people of former generation never did. As I understand, this situation strictly reflects the global credit of Japanese chemistry level cultivated in decades. Establishing a review journal of international reputation in this country is, therefore, a good investment for chemists in the future. Our effort of publishing an English edition of the Journal of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan, is obviously a rewarding and gigantic step toward this goal.


(1995年2月2日)
ページ更新日
2012年4月20日