As a young engineer in the 1990s, I considered Electronics Cooling magazine as one of the first ports of call as a reference source when venturing into a new area of electronics thermal design. When I was invited to join Electronics Cooling’s editorial team, I re-read the first editorial by Kaveh Azar . He outlined the need at that time (1995) for a publication vehicle that could assemble, focus and disseminate pertinent practical information related to electronics cooling. Emphasis was placed on the word “practical,” to ensure that Electronics Cooling would serve as a source of useful information to the thermal community. Eighteen years later, there is little doubt that Electronics Cooling’s has succeeded in its mission, and the editorial teams over the intervening years deserve a word of praise for this achievement. In this context, it is a privilege and honor to be invited to now serve as an associate technical editor for Electronics Cooling, and help perpetuate Electronics Cooling’s mission in serving the electronics cooling community.
To help maintain this momentum, and given that this is my first editorial, I would like to outline my personal views for possible improvements on the dissemination of ongoing knowledge in the electronics cooling community. Having worked on the thermal management of electronic systems in both industry and academia for over two decades, I appreciate where the focus of these two communities ultimately lie in the pursuit of knowledge. Electronics cooling conferences in the past have served a pivotal role in facilitating the exchange of ideas and information between these communities. As my Ph.D. advisor eloquently said to steady my nerves before my first oral presentation at an international conference, “Don’t worry if you make a mess of the presentation, it’s the publication that has the lasting impression.” Is this comment still of value today, given the declining archival quality of many conference publications? To set out this view, I recall that when I was a graduate student in the early 1990s, the peer review process of electronic cooling conferences appeared to be more rigorous and selective than today for the same conferences. Although some authors may receive reviews of a similar standard as in the past today, many others will receive no more than a paragraph in length of comments that may be of limited assistance in improving their paper. Conferences for various reasons appear to now inadvertently focus on “What’s New, NOW?” and not necessarily on the “everlasting truth.” This raises the question as to what should be the future role of electronics cooling conferences, and where is their value proposition?
In this line of thought, I would like to cite two early Electronics Cooling articles contributed by Moffat  and Belady & Minichiello  in 1999 and 2003, respectively, that have as much archival value today as at the time of their publication. Moffat outlined the need for uncertainty analysis in the planning stages of an experiment to judge the suitability of the instrumentation; during the data-taking phase to judge whether the scatter on repeated trials is “normal” or means that something has changed; and in reporting the results, to describe the range believed to contain the true value. How many conference papers today incorporate “error bars” in plotted experimental data, or a basic assessment of measurement uncertainty? Belady & Minichiello summarized the necessary framework of a thermal design methodology which comprised three distinct phases: concept development, detailed design, and hardware test.
This methodology suggested at which phase of the thermal design cycle correlations, numerical analysis and experimental prototype characterization should be most applicable. Today, many conference papers present numerical predictions with little or no form of validation, no discussion of solution independence to computational domain or discretization, or no documentation of solution convergence.
In spite of this, extensive parametric analyses will be presented. In many instances, the findings – either experimental or numerical – remain essentially case-dependent, rather than sufficiently generic to permit the derivation of design rules, contrary to efforts in the 1980’s and 1990’s. But perhaps the most concerning is that too few conference papers today undertake a basic literature review to establish the originality of the work.
As a result, one now essentially refers to high quartile ranked journals for archival material, with conferences merely serving as a forum for keeping up-to-date with “who is doing what.” No doubt that this critique may be controversial, but we all bear a responsibility when we either submit or review a conference paper to maintain standards that will ultimately best serve the electronic cooling community in the long term. Like many other conference organizing committee members, I often question where the line should be drawn between rigor and “giving the benefit of the doubt” to the authors. Since article acceptance/rejection decisions are rarely individually made, should conference organizing committees re-evaluate their objectives and organizing practices in the long term interest of the community?
Given the current economic environment, will companies continue sending employees to conferences that do not enforce sufficient standards?
 Azar, K., 1995, “Editorial: Introducing Electronics Cooling,” ElectronicsCooling, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 1.
 Moffat, R.J., 1999, “Uncertainty Analysis,” ElectronicsCooling, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 33-36: https://electronics-cooling.com/1999/05/uncertainty-analysis/
 Belady, C.L., and Minichiello, A., 2003, “Effective Thermal Design for Electronic Systems,” ElectronicsCooling, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 16-21: http://www.electronics-