CSE’s Social Media Subcommittee is completing its first year of service. Accomplishments in 2010 include establishing a presence on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com; search for “Council of Science Editors” under “Groups”), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/CouncilofScienceEditors), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/CScienceEditors). As of this writing, more than 100 people are members of the Council of Science Editors group on LinkedIn, more than 240 people like CSE on Facebook, and more than 400 people or groups are following CSE on Twitter. That’s quite a large network of colleagues in the field— a virtual resource center for all of us.
“Social networking” is the buzzword du jour when it comes to publishing’s immediate future. With Internet-capable “smart phones” becoming commonplace, many more people are obtaining their news and information via the instant updates found by using the LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter news feeds. Cell-phone “apps” have compressed the sites into easily accessible programs that further streamline the access to updates. The sites also enable unprecedented communal feedback: users’ opinions on the issues presented on the sites can easily be located by performing a simple search. Many publications in the scientific community and elsewhere in publishing have created new job opportunities to harness this technology.
The subcommittee hopes to nurture its own social-networking presence while educating fellow members on the best practices in social-media use. The subcommittee has encouraged fellow members to join the networks and provide their opinions on the material posted. The healthy discourse that can be found on the sites in turn helps to expand one’s presence, as increasing numbers of LinkedIn Group members, “likes” (users who add CSE to their Facebook news feed or “wall”), and “followers” (users who include CSE in their Twitter feed) enhance the reputation of the Council on the sites and create a more diverse forum for feedback.
The subcommittee is interested in finding out how people who fill the relatively new job types that have an emphasis on social-networking metrics handle their day-to-day operations. Viewers use the sites in different ways, and the subcommittee is interested in discovering the techniques that fellow members and others use to introduce and maintain the publication’s presence. Those wishing to provide this information may e-mail Bob Sumner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post a comment on CSE’s Facebook page.
As in any social network, the people behind the scenes are the most important in any success. The current social media subcommittee chair is Bob Sumner, editorial coordinator at Clinical Chemistry, the journal of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Assisting Sumner are subcommittee members Jo Ann Eliason, Jessica Engebretsen, Johanna Gribble, Jamie Holaday, Duncan MacRae, Sheehan Misko, Katharine O’Moore-Klopf, and E Mitchell Seymour. The social media subcommittee reports to CSE’s membership committee, which is chaired by Tim Cross. As part of his function of leading the subcommittee, Bob is a member of the membership committee as well.
Science Editor will be working closely with the group to establish the journal’s presence in social media. An editor’s blog has been established at http://csescienceeditor.wordpress.com. The blog will regularly cover the following topics: Science Editor content, CSE news, education (for example, in managing an office and using journal metrics), ethical issues, peer review, and related research. In addition, the blog will seek to highlight CSE members and what they do in their day-today lives. Finally, guest bloggers and the Science Editor Editorial Board will be invited to contribute. CSE members interested in volunteering may e-mail Rebecca Benner email@example.com.
Social media has created new opportunities for editors and publishers. One of the most exciting is the ability to create virtual networks of people and shared knowledge. The social media subcommittee looks forward to nurturing CSE’s professional network online in 2011 and beyond.