Research News

Vanderbilt physicist plays key role in making top physics journals available to minority colleges and universities

Vanderbilt physicist David Ernst played a key role in a new agreement designed to encourage minority students to pursue science careers by giving them easier access to top physics journals.

The agreement, announced on Feb. 20, was struck by the National Society of Black Physicists, the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, the Southeastern Universities Research Association and journal publishers the American Physical Society and American Institute of Physics. The publishers have agreed to offer historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving academic institutions with free access to their online journals in 2008 and then allow them to acquire the publishers’ entire collection of journals – valued at more than $35,000 – at very low prices in 2009.

“This is the seed of what we hope will become a much larger and more encompassing program,” said Ernst, who directs the Minority Serving Institutions Project at the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA). He is also a co-founder and the current administrative executive officer of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists. He represented the two organizations in the negotiations that led to the current agreement. In the future, SURA plans to expand the program beyond physics into other physical sciences and mathematics, he said.

Media Contact: David F. Salisbury, (615) 322-NEWS