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NETL Researcher Recognized for Expertise in Journal Review
NETL’s Scott Crawford investigates functional materials at the Lab.

NETL’s Scott Crawford investigates functional materials at the Lab.

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) recently recognized NETL’s Scott Crawford, Ph.D., as an outstanding peer reviewer for the open access journal RSC Advances. Peer review is an essential component for improving the quality and impact of published research while also ensuring that the research is conducted with integrity.

“Recognition as an outstanding reviewer shows that NETL researchers are leaders in this area, leveraging research expertise gained at the lab to provide valuable feedback to other researchers around the world during the peer review process,” said Darryl Shockley, Crawford’s supervisor and leader of the Lab’s Materials Characterization team. “Scott’s research successes have equipped him to provide thoughtful and meaningful contributions to the articles of his peers.” 

Crawford’s research at NETL focuses on materials science — work that has resulted in the development of a device to detect trace concentrations of rare earth elements (REEs), which are essential for the manufacturing of many green energy technologies. The technology stems from previous research by Crawford and his colleagues that demonstrated a metal-organic framework (MOF) material could detect trace concentrations of REEs using a commercial photoluminescence spectrometer.

In addition to his excellence in reviewing journal articles, Crawford has also authored and co-authored various high-quality journal articles related to his own research. One paper that he wrote with two other NETL researchers was republished in a special virtual-themed collection due to the wide attention and high impact it garnered following its initial publication. This manuscript focused on MOF thin films, which are made of metal ions linked together by organic molecules that can create highly porous structures analogous to microscopic sponges, a very useful property for detecting energy-relevant targets like gasses and valuable metals. 

“Peer review is a complex process that is both challenging and rewarding,” Crawford said. “It’s an honor to share my experiences gained at NETL with the global scientific community. Reviewer feedback can be vital for elevating the impact and reach of published research; for example, I might draw on my sensors research to recommend authors conduct experiments under more environmentally-relevant conditions, an important consideration when trying to eventually translate technology from the research lab into useful products.”

Crawford first joined the Lab as a Mickey Leland Energy Fellow in 2017 and then returned in 2019 as a post-doctoral research associate. He joined the Materials Characterization team as a federal researcher in 2023.

The RSC Advances website notes that “Every one of our peer reviewers makes a significant contribution to great science. Each year, our RSC Advances editorial team recognizes peer reviewers who have gone above and beyond. Join us in celebrating our outstanding peer reviewers for 2023. RSC Advances has a reviewer panel made up of global experts from across the chemical sciences, all at post-PhD career levels.”

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By using its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.