As part of its annual “dies academicus”, the Faculty of Science of the University of Basel, Switzerland, awarded an honorary doctorate to the Editor of Angewandte Chemie, Dr Peter Gölitz. He is praised for the “quality and innovation in his scientific publishing”. Over the past 30 years, Gölitz has developed the journal to a worldwide leading position. Moreover, he was instrumental in the consolidation and modernization of the publishing landscape in cooperation with numerous chemical societies in Europe and Asia.
“Thanks to Peter’s creativity and energy, Angewandte Chemie was transformed from a primarily German journal to an international star in the field”, comments Professor François Diederich, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, and Chariman of the Editorial Board of Angewandten Chemie. In fact, 90 % of the manuscripts that the editorial office receives today are from abroad. The quality control is strict and only 20 % of these manuscripts are accepted for publication after peer review. Most published articles originate from the USA, Germany, Japan, and China. Gölitz also developed the journal’s content, which today covers chemistry in its widest meaning from physics and materials to life sciences. New sections enhance the relations with both authors and readers.
Peter Gölitz was born in 1952 in Germerode, Hesse, Germany, and studied chemistry at the University of Göttingen, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1978 under the guidance of Armin de Meijere. He carried out postdoctoral research with Robert D. Miller at IBM in San José, California, USA, and de Meijere at the University of Hamburg, Germany. In October 1980, he joined Verlag Chemie (later VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, now Wiley-VCH) to work in the editorial office of Angewandte Chemie, a journal of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (German Chemical Society, GDCh), and was appointed Editor in 1982. In this position, he also founded a number of journals that quickly became mainstream publications under his leadership. The cooperation with learned societies, who co-own some of these titles, and excellent scientists such as Nobel Laureates Jean-Marie Lehn and Ryoji Noyori was essential in these projects. As a VP and Publishing Director with Wiley-VCH, he currently leads a team that publishes about 25 chemistry journals. He contributes to the GDCh as a member of various committees.
His achievements have been recognized through various awards:
- Literary Prize of the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie, 1991
- Gmelin-Beilstein Medal of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, 2000
- President’s Award, John Wiley & Sons, 2000
- Medal of the Société Chimique de France, 2005
- Kulturpreis Deutsche Sprache (for Angewandte Chemie), 2007
- Burckhardt Helferich Prize of the Universität Leipzig, 2008
- Member of the Academia Europaea, 2010
- Angewandte Chemie International Edition
- What Makes a Great Chemistry Journal?
Peter Gölitz discusses impact factors, dealing with criticism, and the future of science publishing