Annual Meeting Report

Advanced Publication Management Short Course

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Amy McPherson
Director of Publications
Botanical Society of America
St Louis, Missouri

Rob Bernstein
Senior Publisher, Americas
IOP Publishing
Washington, DC

Angela Cochran
Managing Director and Publisher
American Society of Civil Engineers
Reston, Virginia

Jennifer Deyton
Senior Partner
J&J Editorial, LLC
Cary, North Carolina

Lindsay MacMurray
Managing Editor
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Arlington, Virginia

Julie Steffen
Director of Publishing
American Astronomical Society
Washington, DC

Jennifer Chapman
Managing Editor
American Society of Civil Engineers
Reston, Virginia


Lindsay MacMurray, Managing Editor for the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, started the day off with leading organizational change. Change is constant in the industry and being able to adapt to these changes plays a role in management. A key to remember that Lindsay said, “we represent a significant revenue stream for our societies and we represent the field for our members, so changes to our publications can significantly impact the field in which publish.”

Two models that can aid in being effective in your own organization are Lewin’s Three Phase Model and Kotter’s 8 Step Process.

Lewin’s Three Phase Model

  1. Unfreeze: preparing the desired change
  2. Change: implementing the desired change
  3. Refreeze: solidifying the desired change

Kotter’s 8 Step process

  1. Establish a sense of urgency
  2. Create a guiding coalition
  3. Develop a change vision
  4. Communicate the vision for buy-in
  5. Empower broad-based action
  6. Generate short-term wins
  7. Never let up
  8. Incorporate changes into the culture

Angela Cochran, Managing Director and Publisher, American Society of Civil Engineers, spoke about the story your data provides. Where does the data come from, and how do you provide this in the best manner to the end users? Your editorial system is a key component that can provide tons of information. Another source is the bibliographic data, online platforms, citation databases, and third-party analytics tools such as Impact Vizor. Providing data that tells the whole story, and not just bits and pieces, along with being able to pull different pieces from multiple sources guides us in being able to accomplish the end goal.

Cochrane indicated that one of the biggest game changers for her organization was pulling five years of information. This provides a wide base to the journals and how they compare to others. It lets us see where we are, where we have been, and how we are either growing or declining in important areas. Never disregard the competitive factor.

Not only pulling the right information but being able to place that information into the right hands makes a difference. Editors, associate editors, board members, publishers, authors, and reviewers all may have different questions, and being able to provide the appropriate data is key. Remember though, the more data you provide the more they may want. Make sure the data is valid and key for them to build on.

Document changes to your process and be able to explain what happens and why. Be consistent when providing data and where it comes from. Using this data to affect change is key.

Jennifer Deyton, J&J Editorial, spoke on peer review and its process. She handles a variety of different review processes which gives her a bird’s eye view of how things are changing and moving and the different technologies that are coming forth. She reviewed the different models, systems, and workflows that are relevant.

Before we move into those, what is peer review? Per the CSE White Pape on Publication Ethics,1 Peer review is the principal mechanism by which the quality of research is judged.

Different types of review:

  • Blind review: authors do not know the reviewers, but the reviewers know the authors
  • Double blind review: both authors and reviewers do not know each other
  • Open peer review: authors are known to the reviewers and reviewers are known to the authors and other reviewers

Review process in-house:

  • Review your journal workflow and make sure it’s the best fit for your derived outcome.
  • Have a detailed protocol for your editorial staff. This will help when you have turnover, and new staff is added.
  • When you’re just beginning, a standard workflow gets you off your feet and towards setting goals. Before moving into a more complex workflow ask what the benefits are; does it provide increased profitability for your overall production?
  • Optimize your workflow to hit key elements regarding data, authors, reviewers, and editors along with the end goal.

Julie Steffen, Director of Publishing for American Astronomical Society, spoke on the collaboration outside the boundaries of our jobs and how this can benefit your journal. Do outreach and provide marketing to promote your journals and gain a wider audience. Some of the different collaboration are:

  • ORCID: provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submissions, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities, ensuring that your work is recognized.2
  • Crossref: makes research outputs easy to find, cite, link, and assess.3
  • CHORUS: leverages existing infrastructure to ensure the output flowing from funded research is easily a permanently discoverable, accessible and verifiable by anyone in the world.4

Rob Bernstein, Senior Publisher, Americas, at IOP, spoke on customer service, customer focus, and customers experiences. Getting to know your customers by studying their actions and reactions, including the demographics of the customers, to the programs you offer can increase your ability to deliver on your mission.

Focusing on the customers and getting feedback with customer surveys and using the data in ways to gain insight will enhance the user’s quality of time. Make it easy for the customer to be able to find specific items directed to your services. When replying to a customer’s complaint or question write in simple terms. Do not use jargon that is not understandable or overcrowd your words. Apologize to the customer and keep the conversation open at the end.

Ways to stay ahead of complaints:

  • Answer in a timely manner.
  • Be easily accessible either by phone or email.
  • Tack the issues to decrease them in the future.

References and Links