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I share the vision of iMechanica. How can I help?

Zhigang Suo's picture

You share the vision of iMechanica. How can you help? The best way to help iMechanica is to make iMechanica help you. Let software and the collective behavior of users take care of the community. This principle is illustrated in the following examples.

  • Pradeep Sharma, Michelle Oyen and several other young mechanicians would love to discuss in depth mechanics and its applications at the forefront of research. They created a Journal Club.
  • John Dolbow and N. Sukumar would like to spread the gospel of meshfree methods. They started Computational Mechanics Forum.
  • I want to learn where I can find an open-source finite element code, and posted a question in the Computational Mechanics Forum. The replies taught me more than I could ever hope for.
  • Many of us believe that some of our own research papers should be read by more people. We post our papers to the research channel. Posting preprints of your papers are permitted by most journals. You can even post a preprint of a paper already published in a journal, so that your paper gets one more chance to find its readers.
  • Bill Nix posted his lecture notes for a class at Stanford University on Mechanical Properties of Thin Films, so that his work will benefit people outside Stanford. John Hutchinsion posted notes of a course on fracture mechanics he has been teaching at Harvard University.
  • Alan Needleman has just moved from Brown University to the University of North Texas, and has posted an advertisement to recruit new colleagues.
  • Xi Chen and Rui Huang believe that it is good for their students to interact with a wide community of mechanicians, and have urged that all their students register for a free account on iMechanica.
  • Industrial scientists may not have much time to interact with academics, but can easily share their work and insight with fellow mechanicians in the industry channel.

Here are some other ways that you can help iMechanica to help you.

  • Register for a free account. Become an authenticated user by registering for a free account. Visit iMechanica as often as you find useful. The more registered users iMechanica has, the more people will be willing to post their best work, and the more useful iMechanica will be to you.
  • Publicize iMechanica to your friends and colleagues. Again, the more people register, the better posts iMechanica will have. Here is a post, Introducing iMechanica, that you can email to your friends and colleagues. You can also publicize iMechanica by linking iMechanica from other web sites.
  • email an interesting post to a friend. If you find a post or a comment that a friend might enjoy, send her an email. Here is how to send an email with a hyperlink to the post or comment with 3 clicks. If you think that she has an opinion on the entry, urge her to enter a comment. In doing so, you serve the function of an editor of a journal, matching a submission with a reviewer. iMechanica enables everyone to be an editor. Of course, you can always email the URL of your own post or comment to a friend and ask for comments.
  • Become an effective writer. Learn the elements of style to write in iMechanica.
  • Write comments on other people's posts whenever you feel like. A perceptive comment helps the author of the original post, and also brings credit to you.
  • Post your original ideas, unpublished anywhere. iMechanica will authenticate your priority by providing a time stamp. There may be ambiguity about whether an idea is original, but there should be no ambiguity about who posts what and when. You can always follow it up by publishing the same idea in a traditional journal.
  • Raise funds for yourself to run an ambitious experiment on iMechanica. iMechanica is running at a very low cost, and has no financial pressure. If you would like to develop an ambitious project on iMechanica, you may wish to raise funds for your work. Here is an idea suggested by Zak Stone.
  • Be creative and have fun. Mass publishing on the Internet is a very recent phenomenon. No body really knows what will be the long term impact of your participation on your career and your fulfillment. You'll never know unless you try. Have fun.

If you have yet another approach to enable iMechanica to help you, be an iMechanician and explain the mechanics of your approach in a comment below.

iMechanica runs like a common. It belongs to no one in particular. It belongs to whoever uses it.

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