Interviews

Patty Baskin, Executive Editor: A Journal Is Her Business

Patty Baskin is the executive editor of the Neurology journals, which consist of two renowned print journals, two open-access online-only sub-specialty journals, three international editions, two curated collection blogs, and a highly successful podcast. Patty undertook management of Neurology in 2007. The extensive array of related publications and products were all established under the innovative leadership of Baskin in the executive editor role. Executive editor positions have increased in prevalence over the last 6 to 7 years. An executive editor is more than a managing editor (Figure 1), with the responsibility of directing on or more journals and applying high-level thinking—strategic planning and other “big-picture” aspects (rather than day-to-day publishing operations). Further, it is typically not the function of the executive editor to decide a journal’s content but to act as an adjunct to the editor-in-chief whose primary responsibility is content (Figure 1). Baskin describes the position as the hub of a wheel—the key contact for everyone contributing to the publications. This central location allows Baskin to set the tone for the journals’ business: collaborating with editors to help establish a journal’s vision and mission, and strategizing how to reach those goals. It is her job to use strategic planning to promote growth (e.g., launching sub-specialty journals), to keep up with the changing landscape in scientific publishing (e.g., open access), and to establish and uphold the journals’ policies. At its core, the business of the journals is the foremost responsibility of the executive editor position. The “business” of a journal […]

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