Frontiers announces new major award for outstanding research collaboration

Please see here for the Second annual Frontiers Spotlight Award announced for 2018

At Frontiers, shining a spotlight on seminal and emerging fields of research is at the heart of what we do. Our recent analysis based on the annual Journal Citation Reports (Thomson Reuters) shows that Frontiers journals are the most-cited open-access journals in several subject categories. With over 2000 Research Topics already launched, 58 million article views and 15 million downloads, it can be seen that they have made a significant contribution to this success.

With Frontiers Research Topics, you have the opportunity to specify the theme of research you want published so you can highlight advancements made in this area and stimulate discussion and collaboration. As a grassroots, community-driven initiative, launching your own Research Topics enables you to spotlight your area of research and focus the attention of the community around it.

Already over 2,000 Research Topics have been launched by the research community, receiving 58 million article views and 15 million article downloads, while sparking new discussions and innovative collaborations along the way. “Frontiers Research Topics empower scientists to set the mission, scope and direction for their research, and reach a critical mass,” explained Fred Fenter, Executive Editor of Frontiers.

Frontiers Spotlight Award – recognizing collaboration and excellence

Having pioneered Article Level Metrics and Author Impact Metrics, Frontiers captures and monitors the global impact and discussion that each Research Topic triggers. To recognize the most active, collaborative and engaging Research Topic across the entire Frontiers community, we have established the Frontiers Spotlight Award. The award of US$100,000 will enable the winning community to organize a scientific conference around the Topic to further deepen collaborations and stimulate even more community engagement. The winners of the Frontiers Spotlight Award will be chosen by the scientific community based on analytics compiled from our suite of Impact Metrics and will recognize both collaboration at an international scale as well as excellence of contributions.

In 2014, Frontiers granted more than US$ 1 million in honoraria and awards to the community. “The Frontiers Spotlight Conference Award is our first major single award,” said Kamila Markram, CEO of Frontiers.


All Frontiers Research Topics completed in 2016 will be eligible for the Frontiers Spotlight Award.


The impact of the research topic will be assessed using four types of metrics:

Content Metrics: The Research Topic should achieve comprehensive coverage of the proposed research area and involve researchers at an international scale.Article Impact Metrics: Views, downloads, social media mentions and international reach (citations may be considered, but are usually at a later stage).Author Impact Metrics: Citation benchmarking and profile views of the Topic Editors and authors.Loop Metrics: Number of followers of the Research Topic on Loop; comments, discussion, shares, related blog posts, media coverage, demographic impact, etc.

Based on these metrics, a short-list of ten Topics will be posted on the website by the end of February 2017, together with an expert evaluation of each Research Topic by the respective Editor-in-Chief. The winners of the Frontiers Spotlight Award will be announced in March 2017.

Use of the Award

The award shall be used by the Topic Editors towards the organization of a conference around the subject of the Research Topic with the award funds used to cover travel, lodging and registration of conference speakers, costs related to the conference venue, as well as support for local organization, launch of a conference website and promotion to a wider audience via traditional and social media coverage.

The conference will be open to other participants as well and will take place in a premier location in Switzerland at the Swiss Tech Convention Center located in the Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL).

More on Frontiers Research Topics

Frontiers Research Topics are open to researchers at mid to late stages of their career, who will become Topic Editors. The role of a Topic Editor is intended for more senior scientists with previous editorial experience because she/he oversees the peer review of submitted papers. If you are a young scientist with a record of reviewing papers in journals indexed in ISI, you can pair up with a more senior scientist.

All proposals for Research Topics are evaluated and require the formal approval of the Editor-in-Chief of the specialty that will host your Topic. Research Topics are not the same as special issues in other journals. They are your ideas and you set the scope and mission for your Research Topic. All papers must go through Frontiers rigorous, fair and transparent Collaborative Peer Review process that has proven effective in maximizing the quality of articles.

TIMELINE: It takes about 9 months to run a Research Topic – from initial proposal, through the article submission and review process, to closing.  Your Frontiers Research Topics must be completed in 2016 to be eligible for the Frontiers Spotlight Award.

To learn more about Frontiers Research Topics, please watch the video below. You can also learn more at this link.

Frontiers Research Topics from Frontiers on Vimeo.