Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
American Society of Nephrology
Carolyn de Court
J&J Editorial, LLC
Cary, North Carolina
Electronic Journal of Biotechnology
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
American Society of Hematology
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine
Associate Managing Editor
Durham, North Carolina,
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
Associate Professor of Rheumatology
Revista Brasileira de Reumatologia
In the first-ever “At My Desk After CSE, Now What?” session, seven first-time attendees to the 2016 Annual Meeting returned to distill their lessons learned from the meeting in Denver, whether from a session, a networking opportunity, a dinner conversation, or otherwise. Personally, I was motivated by my co-presenters upon seeing the actions they took in implementing what they learned at the 2016 meeting and I was grateful to be returning as a presenter in 2017.
Topics covered career development, editorial transitions, strategies to increase journal visibility, and publication ethics. Presentations from these early-career professionals highlighted impactful sessions from the 2016 meeting, and provided practical, hands-on applications in their respective positions back at their desks. Each speaker shares below their biggest takeaways and learning points, helpful not just for other early-career professionals, but for everyone as reminders for how to translate the excitement, enthusiasm, and education from 2017’s meeting into their roles back home.
Carolyn de Court: The primary takeaways I implemented were from the session “Insights and Strategies for Career Development” with speaker Lauren Fischer. Fischer discussed the lack of a clear career path in the scholarly publishing industry. As an early-career professional, I described in my presentation both traditional and nontraditional strategies for advancement. Fischer encouraged attendees to get involved with a professional organization and join committees. I took this suggestion and not only became a part of the CSE Professional Development Committee, but also joined the Certificate Subcommittee, which led to conversations that have helped me build valuable relationships with others in the industry. At Fischer’s recommendation, I also began representing my company at multiple industry conferences. As for nontraditional paths to success, Fischer encouraged her audience to get outside their comfort zones. Taking this advice to heart, I faced my fear of public speaking and signed up to moderate a session at the next CSE conference, placing me in front of my peers, colleagues, and other professionals in the industry. This not only includes speaking in front of a group, but also planning, organizing, and securing speakers for the session. Agreeing to speak for “At My Desk after CSE, Now What?” pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it was a great experience to share my knowledge with others and show how I advanced to my current position. Similarly, Fischer also encouraged us to learn what other teams do at our companies. It is always a great idea to branch out from your day-to-day responsibilities and roles, and learn more about other aspects of the industry.
Even though I have only been in this industry for 3 years, I feel knowledgeable, involved, and engaged because of all that is offered for professional development in our industry.
Graciela Munoz: Each of the sessions I attended at the 2016 CSE Annual Meeting was a unique opportunity to have informal discussions with editors, and to think in depth about the editorial process. Also, I was impressed to see how the editors shared their knowledge, especially in the Short Course for Science Editors and in the session “Demand a Recount: Investigating and Correcting Indexing Errors” with Keith Gigliello and Carissa Gilman. Back at my desk as the Editor-in-Chief of the Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, my mind was focused on my journal and the other journals that my university publishes. Despite great efforts, only a few of them are currently indexed in the Web of Science. Moreover, they are in the lowest quartiles of their subject categories, being practically invisible to authors in a world that clearly promotes publishing in the best journals, i.e., those with the highest metrics. What we need is to publish not only good manuscripts but also to make them visible to the whole scientific community. Based on the short course and this session, I planned to address this situation by first increasing the scientific quality of manuscripts by strengthening the peer-review process through the careful selection of reviewers. We also invited authors of highly cited articles to become new reviewers, as well as inviting them to submit manuscripts free of charge.
Second, improving the visibility of manuscripts by selecting appropriate keywords for each manuscript and by monitoring database updates. After each new edition of the Journal, we created a plan for periodic monitoring to verify whether the corresponding databases are up to date.
Third, implementing these actions at my University by submitting a project entitled “Improvement of Visibility and Quality of the Journals of the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso and Construction of a Manual of Good Publishing Practices” to the Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research in October 2016. As a result, financing was obtained for a period of 2 years (the project started in March of 2017).
In conclusion, what I learned after CSE 2016 has already started implementation in a set of journals published by the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso – Chile.
Keith Gigliello: I presented a few brief thoughts on public access mandates and described how sessions that I attended at the 2016 CSE Annual Meeting influenced my perspective. Both “Public Access Policy Mandates and How Publishers Are Responding” and “Implementing Standards: Data and Data Exchange in Scholarly Publishing” elicited questions: Should a single mandate be applied to all fields? Can dialogue on public access and copyright be decoupled? When is more information problematic? Scholarly publishers need to continually monitor new developments, keeping an open mind. In particular, it is important to acknowledge that publishers and funders share many of the same objectives, such as accessibility to research and advancing scientific discovery. Certain initiatives such as CHORUS are mutually beneficial for publishers and funders, and cooperation on all sides helps to spur these efforts.
Bethanie Rammer: My experience adapting lessons learned from the session “Managing Editor-in-Chief Transitions” to a small, society journal had its positives and negatives. I learned a lot of practical strategies for dealing with the challenges associated with searching for, and transitioning to, a new Editor-in-Chief, although I didn’t always apply what I learned exactly how I expected. For example, running a full-scale search for a new Editor-in-Chief was not practical for the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine for a number of reasons, including the fact that the outgoing Editor-in-Chief was unavailable due to his involvement in controlling the Ebola epidemic in Guinea. However, when it came time to bring the new Editor-in-Chief on board, I was able to make sure the new editor had a contract with the society—something previous editors had not had. The contract included essential items like compensation structure, term of service, and a clause about editorial independence. Not everything from that session could be directly applied to my journal. Both the journal and its society are very young, so I ended up doing a lot more ‘educating’ than ‘implementing’ than I expected. The main thing I would tell people is to be ready to adapt best practice recommendations to your own journal’s culture.
Julie Vo: I landed in Denver armed with questions regarding a publication ethics inquiry my journal received a few weeks earlier. A science blogger brought an image suspected of manipulation to our attention. After our own initial investigation, we hit a roadblock, so I took advantage of the meeting to ask questions to help solve this, my first ethics case. In the Publication Ethics short course, reviewing ethics issues outlined in the CSE White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications, Eric Pesanelli presented “Rules and Tools for Addressing Image Manipulation,” and I learned about basic MS PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, and Photoshop tools to aide in the preliminary investigation.
I met Liz Wager, co-author of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) flowcharts. She provided advice on how to interpret results, corresponding with authors and institutions, and the potential consequences of issuing an expression of concern or retraction.
I attended a session moderated by Anne Coghill and featuring speakers who provided differing perspectives in “Scientific Misconduct: Investigating Alleged Misconduct and Educating to Prevent It.” The session presented a dialogue between a professor (author), Office of Research Integrity (ORI) director (an institution’s research integrity and compliance officer), and a journal managing editor. The conversation revealed differing opinions but also a mutual understanding—all must tread lightly, but deliberately, to follow proper procedure and foster open communication.
I returned to my desk and performed further image analyses with the help of our co-publisher, and we found no evidence of manipulation. With the case closed, we took the opportunity to reevaluate our workflow and defined a protocol and a detailed workflow for future cases.
Carolyn Unck: My presentation described how I learned about predatory journals/publishers at the 2016 CSE Annual Meeting and how I implemented this knowledge at my university. I was introduced to the world of predatory publishers in “Think. Check. Submit—The Impact of Predatory Journals and How to Identify Them.” My follow-up research revealed how the open-access movement was being exploited by the corrupt world of predatory publishers. I learned that their tactics include “recruiting” phony editors and providing false contact details on websites made to mimic those of reputable publishers, aiming to deceive early-career scientists into paying large sums of money to publish with them. I shared this knowledge with researchers at my university to help them avoid the trap of predatory publishers.
I reached out to my colleagues in the university library to find out what they knew on the topic and to determine what resources might exist on campus. We began alerting each other to developments in the area, including the unexplained disappearance of Beall’s List. Our knowledge of the scheme grew as we began sharing articles from the mainstream media. We agreed that we needed a resource at the university and that the best platform would be in the form of a library guide, an online resource available to everyone at the university. This library guide, resulting from knowledge I gained at the meeting, aims to expose predatory publishers by describing how to identify them and why they are a detriment to authors, readers, and scholarly publishing as a whole.
Simone Appenzeller: In 2016, I attended a CSE Annual Meeting for the first time. One of the sessions I attended was “Demand a Recount: Investigating and Correcting Indexing Errors,” Keith Gigliello and Carissa Gilman explained how to verify the data calculated by Thomson Reuters. I learned how to audit an Impact Factor calculation and also the steps to correct any miscalculations. As co-editor of Revista Brasileira de Reumatologia, I wondered whether to demand a recount. With no information regarding which articles were citable, we followed the recommended steps from the session on how to correct the Impact Factor and reevaluated the journal sections. We then submitted a demand for a recount to Thomson Reuters, since we found case reports, short communications, an editorial, and a duplicated article in the miscount. Several weeks later, Thomson Reuters responded with an email detailing which items were citable, and the Impact Factor of the journal increased from 0.74 to 0.85.
In this informative session, each speaker shared key takeaways and learning points to help other early-career professionals and remind all attendees how to translate the excitement, enthusiasm, and education from the annual meeting to their roles back home.