And now to something completely different…

As a parent, scientist, and citizen, the past three years have been challenging in many ways, mainly because of the confusing and unreliable data on which public information and political decision-making were based. The societal pressure for anyone raising doubts about the public narrative​1​ and the perceived fast and loose labeling of dissenting voices as conspiracy theorists with right-wing ties has been taxing and worrisome.

Link to our paper on filtering mechanisms in masks submitted to “Environmental Research”

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“We are sincerely grateful to scholars who give their time to peer-review articles submitted to MDPI journals. Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high quality academic publishing.”

— The MDPI editorial team.

MDPI is a open access publishing power house with 390 published journals which get listed by Web of Science and Scopus. The company is officially based in Switzerland with offices in Serbia and China. It used to be listed as a predatory journal, but was removed in 2015 on appeal.
I personally had my doubt about this outfit and want to recall an experience that seemed to solidify my concerns.

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Scientific discussion or intimidation?

Most of the editorial rejections we received were rather generic – not interested to our (unspecified) audience or not in the scope of the respective journal. However, the editors of the Journal of Experimental Biology did suprise us by disqualifying our work for questionable reasons. We expressed this surprise in a letter to the journal’s leadership and were quite surprised by the response.

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Finally published

One year and 23 days since our first submission have passed and finally our article​1​ is published and featured in Physics Magazine.

We are proud of this work and are looking forward to feedback and discussions.


  1. 1.
    Renjewski D, Lipfert S, Günther M. Foot function enabled by human walking dynamics. Phys Rev E. Published online December 8, 2022. doi:10.1103/physreve.106.064405


The “International Centre for Mechanical Sciences” in Udine (Italy) is a result of European integration after WWII and was setup to bring together mechanists from all over the world. The center offers summer schools regularly and I had the pleasure to attend the 27th CISM-IUTAM Summer School on “Sports Physics and Technology”.

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Publication process

Initially submitted on Nov. 16th 2021, rejected by 11 editors, our paper has finally been accepted for publication after one round of reviews on Oct. 23rd, 2022. It has been a long ride I will be sharing some insights in upcoming posts. Currently we are busy to accomodate all editorial requests and edit the proofs we have gotten two days ago.

It seems like we might be getting some public attention – the tentative publication date is Dec. 1st. Above is a little video that visualizes parts of our approach.