Scholarly publishing has received an increasing share of media attention in the last few years. We’ve seen articles and press releases in both traditional news sources and science journals about contentious issues such as open access, peer review, and conflict of interest, to mention just a few. In meetings, listservs, and blogs, the publishing community has conversations about new means of disseminating and reusing content, changing models of peer review, and improving the quality of peer review as well as editorial-office workflow. Publishers wrangle with the issues of content quality, reporting standards, monetizing content, making content easily discoverable, and housing research data. Disruptive shifts in the realm of scholarly publishing include the proliferation of open-access journals, which although welcomed by many has also been accompanied by an undesirable rise in the publication (by unscrupulous or careless publishers) of articles that have not been subjected to adequate peer review.
We talk about these and other trendy topics at CSE’s annual meetings. The 2013 CSE annual meeting, to which the current issue of Science Editor is devoted, focused on communicating new discoveries effectively—reaching appropriate audiences and providing accurate information. Intriguing sessions provoked conversations during networking breaks and later in our places of work, where we all strive to improve the quality and practice of scholarly publishing. Thanks to the efforts of Dana Compton, our reporter coordinator, and to the many volunteer reporters, we received summary reports of nearly all the sessions presented at CSE 2013. Those summaries not appearing in this issue will be published in a future issue.
We begin with an introduction by the co-chairs of the 2013 Program Committee, Mike Friedman and Tony Alves. The reports cover the fascinating keynote address by Jeffrey Drazen, editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, on the evolution of communication in medicine over the last 200 years and also the plenary presentation on issues and opportunities in the current communication climate by New York Times blogger Andrew Revkin. Reports in this issue include summaries of sessions on editorial decision making, new standards in identifying funding sources, conflict-of-interest reporting, improving peer-review quality, managing production workflow changes, new journal metrics, the journal–society relationship, preventing publication of products of research misconduct, and advances in publishing technology. And . . . we managed to sneak in a few other great items: You can read the story of the establishment and current activity of the Fishbein Fellowship for medical editors at JAMA, an article on writing effective queries to authors, and an Ethical Editor column with comments about “predatory publishers”.
I hope that Science Editor readers who attended the Montreal meeting enjoy these flashbacks and that those who were not present resolve to attend next year’s CSE meeting in San Antonio 2–5 May 2014. Don’t miss it!