A year of Open Access for Heteroatom Chemistry

A ‘heteroatom’ is any atom other than carbon or hydrogen, but the term is most frequently used for main-group elements when replacing C or H within hydrocarbon molecules. This substitution can be synthetically challenging, but often endows molecules with desirable functional properties. Whilst being a field of study in its own right, heteroatom chemistry also touches a multitude of other sub-disciplines throughout chemistry and material science. 

Traditional heteroatom chemistry focuses on molecules containing nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorous. Dr Steven Mansell and colleagues, from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, chose Heteroatom Chemistry as the venue for their report on the synthesis of a Hydroxyalkyl-Substituted Imidazolinium Salt. We asked about whether being open access was important in choosing where to publish. Dr Mansell said:

“Yes, Open Access was a key driver. This was a self-contained project that we were looking to make as widely available as possible in order to let other researchers build on these ideas, as our own research is moving in different directions.”

Heteroatom Chemistry is a fully open access journal, published by Hindawi as part of a publishing collaboration with Wiley. Authors retain full copyright of their articles, and all published article will be openly available for anyone to read completely free of charge.

In March, a team from the Rhodes University, University of Ibadan and Nelson Mandela University published an article on the synthesis, spectral properties and in vitro antimicrobial activity of SN-donor methylthioanilines and copper(II) complexes. We asked the team what they thought was exciting about Heteroatom Chemistry. Dr Temitope Olalekan, principle investigator for the project, said:

“The different arrays of compounds usually displayed in Heteroatom Chemistry and the diverse investigations make it exciting to me.”

We can see that studies so far have covered new synthetic approaches for heteroatom compounds, their characterization and physical properties, and practical applications (particularly from a biological perspective). Approaches to these studies have been both experimental and theoretical. It’s pleasing to see articles covering the breadth of the scope of the journal.

The diversity in Heteroatom Chemistry also has proven to extend to its authorship and readership. The lead authors of 17 articles published between January and September hail from 14 different countries around the globe and attracting 48,000 journal website visitors to date, resulting over 12,500 article usage.

Aside from traditional heteroatoms, chemists have recognised the favourable influence of more exotic heteroatoms, including the halogens and metalloids. Halogens hold particular interest in heteroatom chemistry, not least on account of their ability to engage in unusual bonding and non-covalent interactions. Dr. György Keglivich (Budapest University of Technology and Economics), an Editorial Board Member for the journal explains why he’d like to see more submissions on the subject submitted to the journal: 

“Heteroatom chemistry is a special part of organic chemistry. There are common heteroatoms like O, S and N, and more ‘sophisticated’ atoms like P, As, Sb, Bi and metals. In the series, halogen atoms occupy a special place. I am interested in halogen interactions and hypervalent halogen compounds in organohalogen chemistry, as it embraces the wide and exciting field of synthetic intermediates for a series of reactions such as substitutions, eliminations and cross-couplings. The synthesis and reactions of hypervalent halogen compounds, as well as halogen interactions, are indeed a very hot topic in the field of heteroatom chemistry.”

If you have an article you’d like considered for publication, whether based on traditional heteroatom species or more exotic compounds, you can read more about the journal and how to submit at: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/htrc/.


Monti Rodgers is Publishing Editor at Hindawi. This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). The illustration is by Hindawi and is also CC-BY.