Annual Meeting Report

Plenary Address: Survival of the Fittest: Evolution as Applied to the Future of Scientific Publishing

SPEAKER: Marcia McNutt President US National Academy of Sciences REPORTER: Diane M Sullenberger Executive Editor National Academy of Sciences Dr. Marcia McNutt, president of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), addressed the participants of the 60th CSE Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. McNutt, who holds a BA in physics and a doctorate in earth sciences, has served as the director of the US Geological Survey (USGS), editor-in-chief of Science, and president of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The focus of McNutt’s talk was the crucial role of the publishing community in the scientific ecosystem. Throughout her presentation, she drew analogies between the evolution of a resilient ecosystem and a thriving scientific publishing community. McNutt began by asking, “What does the future of scientific publishing look like?” Evolutionary change is often subtle and not easily seen if viewed too closely, and scientific publishing has experienced transitions akin to evolutionary shifts throughout its history. Currently, we are seeing the industry transform through the adoption of a preprint culture in the biological sciences, different models of open access publication, and new models of peer review. The editor of the first scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions, could not have imagined the evolution of the scientific publishing more than 350 years later. McNutt remarked, “Every time is a time of huge change.” McNutt noted that our goal in the scientific publishing community is to foster a strong and resilient publishing system. As an analogy, a thriving ecosystem is one that is diverse, contains […]

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