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New Quantum journal extends accessibility to research

8 May 2017

Accessing quantum research
Greater community access to quantum research. Image: ThinkStockPhotos

The first edition of Quantum, an open access peer-reviewed journal for quantum science and related fields is well supported by UTS:QSI, Australia’s only quantum software research centre.

This new journal has been established by the international quantum community, for and by researchers to make their work more visible, open and accessible.  

Dr Marco Tomamichel, Senior Lecturer, UTS:QSI, is a member of the editorial board and says the aim is to attract contributions from both theoretical and experimental researchers.

“A critical problem with publishing today is that the peer-review process is no longer working as it should. Fewer and fewer academics are willing to spend work hours - or mostly their weekends - reviewing papers for commercial publishers, reducing the quality of peer review,” he said.

“Many editors of commercial journals are far removed from the research community itself, so are working with, and reliant on, reviewers they have no personal connection with. This often leads to a mismatch between the papers assigned to a given reviewer and his or her interests.

“However, a  community-driven journal like Quantum can solve both of these issues by drawing on a broad pool of editors who are themselves active researchers in the quantum information community,  and can access their own networks to find suitable reviewers.”

Quantum will source its reviewers from this existing research infrastructure and by producing online-only publications can provide a key service at a fraction of the cost charged by for open-access publications, and with faster production schedules.

For acceptance by Quantum, original research should either have a very significant technical or conceptual contribution, or combination of both. The inaugural issue features two papers by UTS:QSi researchers.

Professor Michael Bremner is the lead author of Looking For The Quantum Frontier – Beyond Classical Computing Without Fault-Tolerance?

He is part of a team of researchers from Australia and the UK who have developed a new theoretical framework to identify computations that occupy the ‘quantum frontier’ – the boundary at which problems become impossible for today’s computers and can only be solved by a quantum computer. They demonstrate that these computations can be performed with near-term, intermediate, quantum computers.

“To date, it has been widely accepted that error correction would be a necessary component of future quantum computers, but no one has yet been able to achieve this at a meaningful scale,” said Prof Bremner.

“Our work shows that while some level of error mitigation is needed to cross the quantum frontier, we may be able to outperform classical computers without the added design complexity of full fault tolerance,” he said.

Senior Lecturer Dr Chris Ferrie, who recently joined UTS:QSI, is a co-author of Qinfer: Statistical Inference Software For Quantum Applications

Ferrie and his collaborators have developed open-source software (QInfer) for other researchers to use in the analysis of experimental data.

“This paper itself is not the typical journal article: it describes the software and how to use it through examples and a detailed manual. One of the crucial problems QInfer addresses is with science itself, namely the lack of transparent and reproducible methods as research becomes more and more reliant on the development of new software solutions,” he said.

Quantum joins an increasing number of community-driven online journals, in fields including of discrete analysiscomputer sciencemathematical physics, and astrophysics.

For up to date information on UTS:QSI research projects, publications and presentations follow us on Twitter: @UTS_QSI