If anyone is allowed to indulge in pedantry it should be editors, so here’s some: the end of this month, does not mark the end of the decade. Decades start with year 1, run through year 10, start again with 11, and so forth. So, if we’re counting correctly, there is one year remaining in this decade.
But I get it: 2020, just as a number if nothing else, certainly feels like the start of something new. So like everyone else, I’m going to take this opportunity to look back on the past 10 years and provide just a few of the highlights and significant changes that have occurred at Science Editor.
January 2010 began with then Editor-in-Chief Barbara Gastel looking back at the previous 10 years of her term at Science Editor in an article fittingly titled Multiples of Ten: Looking Back, Looking Ahead. Her 12-year term as EIC would conclude later that year, but the fact that she continues to contribute articles, provide valuable guidance, and attend nearly every Editorial Board meeting 10 years later speaks volumes about her dedication to CSE and Science Editor.
The following two years were a tumultuous time for Science Editor, as multiple editor changes and trying a model of hiring an outside editing company, eventually led to a year-long hiatus. Fortunately, recognizing its importance to CSE members, in late 2012, the CSE Board worked to restart and revitalize Science Editor under the expert leadership of Patty Baskin. Patty was the editor for 2 ½ years, during which she reassembled an active editorial board, solicited relevant content, and put Science Editor back on a track for success; she made it a goal “to find ways to ensure that the editorial model of Science Editor is sustainable and that it continues to provide educational and newsworthy articles for CSE members,” as she stated in her Viewpoint announcing her departure as Editor.
A series of several significant developments for Science Editor started in 2015, beginning with Tracey DePellegrin’s assuming the role of Editor-in-Chief and culminating with a complete modern redesign of the print edition and the creation, for the first time, of a dedicated website for Science Editor. The new website allowed for articles to be posted Early Online within days of acceptance and significantly improved the mobile reading experience. Around that time, Science Editor also gained the invaluable assistance of a Managing Editor, first Lindsey Buscher and now Beverly Lindeen.
In July 2018, I was honored to be selected as the next editor and we started the monthly Newsletter soon thereafter to provide more frequent updates and article highlights.
Which bring us to today. And the future, as we look to roll out new improvements to the online publication and continue to publish useful, interesting, informative, enjoyable, and hopefully important articles on all aspects of scientific editing and publishing.
In her article linked above, Barbara Gastel ended by asking “What about 2020, 2030, and beyond? The answer may be up to you.” At the time, I didn’t think the “you” would literally be me and I’d be writing these words as Editor-in-Chief heading into 2020. So, it’s possible the future Science Editor EIC of 2030 is reading this newsletter, and if so, I can’t wait to see what you have planned.
Editor-in-Chief, Science Editor
Call for Columnists
Science Editor has long had a tradition of publishing regular columns (or Departments), and while we have a few active ones, I’m opening a call for new recurring columnists. Do you have a topic you would like your write about on a regular basis? If so, let me know. If you’ve got a topic you’d like to hear about more often, but you’re not able to write a column yourself, let me know that too; if you have a suggestion for a writer, even better. Keep in mind, as a quarterly publication, committing to write a regular column for Science Editor isn’t too significant of a commitment and even a semi-annual or annual column might make sense depending on the topic. If you’re interested, let us know at email@example.com
Recent Early Online Articles
Since we’re looking back, it seems like we’ve been hearing for decades that the internet will remove international barriers to research. And yet, researchers in low- and middle-income countries continue to face significant challenges and barriers to acceptance in a scholarly communication system dominated by the “Global North”. In her recent article, Siân Harris, a communications specialist at INASP, outlines ways we can move Toward Global Equity in Scholarly Communication, including some specific recommendations for improving global diversity in journals.
Resource of the Month
Being an editor and working at scientific publication requires being ever knowledgeable of a rapidly changing scientific and publishing landscape, so each month we highlight a resource that will hopefully make this at least a little bit easier.
For the first time since they were originally published in 2009, COPE has updated their Guidelines for Retracting Articles. As they state, the Guidelines provide advice for editors on “when should a retraction be considered, what to include in a notice, how quickly to issue a retraction, who should issue a retraction, and what to do when there is inconclusive evidence of a retraction.” HT @mattjhodgkinson
Hot Articles from Recent Issues (For CSE Members only)
As a CSE member benefit, once Science Editor articles are moved to an issue, they are available only to CSE Members for one year.
The theme of the 2019 European Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) was “Scientific Communications in a Fast-Paced World: Fighting Fit for the Future” and in their meeting report, the organizers provided an overview of the key takeaways from the meeting by asking big questions related to harnessing data, maximizing impact, value, and readership, adapting to change, and ensuring integrity. In preparation for the upcoming 2020 European Meeting of ISMPP in January, take a moment to read back through this report to see how these editors and medical professionals are thinking about these topics and where we can go.
Not a CSE member? Additional membership info along with instructions for becoming a member of the Council of Science Editors can be found here.
This year, 2019, was a tough year. That can probably be said of most years, but this seemed to be a particularly rough year for many people I know. So I want to end by sharing something that made me smile: Did you know the first week in December is Caterpillar Week? Of course, I have not been able to verify this, but that’s what @Alex_Verbeek stated in a semi-viral Twitter post, so why not? To note the occasion, he shared the below video of beautiful caterpillars that I find rather captivating. There is probably a metaphor here about rebirth and starting afresh or something, but for now, check out that caterpillar that looks like a fruit salad! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wy0hiY5LTs
See you in 2020!
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