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A blog for discussing fracture papers

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The aim of ESIS is not only to develop and extend knowledge in all aspects of structural integrity, but also to disseminate this knowledge world-wide by means of scientific publications and to educate young engineers and scientists.
For these purposes, three Elsevier journals - Engineering Fracture Mechanics , Engineering Failure Analysis and International Journal of Fatigue - are published in affiliation with ESIS.

Promoting and intensifying this aim is what we want to achieve through a new blog that ESIS will manage here for discussing some of the papers which appear in Engineering Fracture Mechanics. Its editors, Profs. Karl-Heinz Schwalbe and Tony Ingraffea,fully support this initiative.

ESIS hopes that this blog will achieve the following objectives:

  • To start a scientific discussion on relevant topics through comments by leading scientists (the chief ‘commenter’ will be Prof. Wolfgang Brocks);
  • To remind the authors of papers in EFM (and all the fracture community) that perhaps they have forgotten something important which was published in the past (perhaps in old books): the policy of ESIS is to make some of these books available on-line to ESIS members;
  • To promote a real cross-citation of the papers and a substantive discussion of ideas in a scenario where, in spite of the easy on-line access to most journals, there is a serious tendency to restrict the number of ‘external references’ and a snobbish tendency to promote ‘auto-citations’ (to the same group, the same journal, the same country);
  • To focus attention on new ideas that run the serious risk of not emerging from the noise of too much published “stuff”;
  • To induce bloggers to communicate their opinions on a paper, in particular their interpretation of the research results, thus adding new thoughts to that paper. In addition, to promote excellence in publication in a scenario where deficiencies of a paper may not have been detected by the reviewers, simply due to the pressure of time the reviewers have to do their work.

The proposed rules of usage of this blog include:

  1. A group of leading scientists headed by Prof. W. Brocks will post onto this iMechanica node comments and remarks to some of the papers  published in EFM;
  2. The authors of the papers will receive a notification of the remarks by ESIS Webmaster and they will be invited to reply through a detailed document that will appear on the ESIS website;
  3. The replies will also be posted onto iMechanica by ESIS (so that the authors do not have to worry about technical details). Hopefully, we will receive further comments and questions by other scientists/practitioners.

To start, this blog will concentrate only  on fracture papers; later other sections devoted to fatigue and other sectors of structural integrity will be added.

If you like the idea, then post a comment and bookmark this iMechanica node. Shortly, as soon as we will have prepared all the technical details, we will be ‘on the air’. 


S. Beretta & W. Brocks ESIS Executive Committee


It is a good idea to share some thoughs after reading papers. It may also serve as a starting point, if someone wants to enter a specific sub-field within the wide scope of "fracture". The proposed site will be open to all blog writers, say article authors in these three journals and students and researchers in industry and academia? 

S. Beretta's picture

Liang thank you for the question.

Yes the idea is exactly what you are asking: a commenter (W. Brocks or other colleagues) is launching the discussion of a paper into the ESIS blog and then all the imechanica users can further contribute (perhaps counterdiscussing the arguments of the commenter). On my side I will send an e-mail to the corresponding author that his paper is being discussed on imechanica so that he can prepare a reply: he will reply directly or otherwise I will post it for him.

Obviously all the steps (comment, reply, ..) will be open to other comments and questionsby the imechanica users.

We thought that we need this kind of open discussions (that you can still find only in small conference sessions) and imechanica is a superb environment where everybody can contribute: questions and comments by other researchers are the 'second aim' of this blog.

S. Beretta

Professor Beretta, That is interesting. I personally appreciate this kind of idea to foster discussion without boundary. I have seen some Springer journals have some sort of online depository that authors can upload videos etc. as supplementary materials to their papers. Maybe your blog website can serve for the same purpose. I am looking forward to the first paper open for discussion.

Teng Li's picture

Great idea to leverage iMechanica for discussion of fracture papers.

Based on the success of jClub, I'd like to suggest a similar set up for this discussion blog. A new post can be made to serve as the index post for all future paper discussions in this blog. Each discussion (one paper or a series of paper of similar topic) can be hosted in one individual post. Every time a new post is added, the index post is updated accordingly. This way, the whole discussion blog can be easily accessed at , instead of just one post.

Hope this is helpful. Best wishes for a thriving initiative in iMechanica!

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