President's Letter — August 2012
On July 16th, 2012, The United Kingdom announced that all research funded by its main grant-funding bodies must, within six months of publication, be made free and open to the world – in other words, “Open Access". This announcement prompted an opinion piece in The Economist on July 21st suggesting that “if scientific publishers are not trembling in their boots, they should be.” I don’t think that this has to be the case. Open Access is hardly a new concept. It is based on the idea that taxpayer-funded research should be made expeditiously and freely available to all readers, and the potential ramifications, benefits, and drawbacks of the philosophy have been discussed and debated throughout publishing circles for quite a long time now. Even without explicit mandates, many scientific publishers have been moving toward some flavor of Open Access in a way that is economically sustainable for them and for their authors because they believe it is the right thing to do. If scientific publishers are given flexibility in the manner in which Open Access practices are implemented they will continue to move further in that direction without the need for trembling in their boots. The recent announcement by the British government will not be the last of its kind, and I look forward to stimulating discussion within the CSE community about what the continued movement toward Open Access means for us as scientific and technical publishers.
Here's what's happening:
Thanks to Editor Patty Baskin and the cast of outstanding talent that she has assembled, we can all look forward to the relaunch of Science Editor this fall. Let’s take a moment to thank the wonderful sponsors who are helping to make this a reality by contributing composition, printing, and manuscript tracking services, respectively: Aptara, Allen Press, and Aries Corporation.
Would you or one of your colleagues like to become a leader in the Council of Science Editors (CSE)? The CSE Nominations Committee is currently seeking your nominations to fill three positions on the Board of Directors: Vice President, Secretary, and one Director. Click here to view the position descriptions.
The CSE Board of Directors is responsible for steering the organization forward in a manner that reflects the interests of the membership. Board members provide leadership, a shared vision, a sense of mission, and are responsible for the fiscal health of CSE.
The Nominations Committee seeks candidates who are dedicated to the future of CSE and possess the following leadership skills and attributes:
Master communicators who ask great questions and cultivate thought provoking conversations that reveal the ideas that will inspire the organization's progress.
Determined problem solvers who see challenges not as obstacles, but as opportunities.
Passionate advocates with a deep-seated commitment to CSE's mission and whose enthusiasm can enliven and motivate their colleagues.
Change agents who provide the stability CSE needs to operate, while serving as a catalyst for transformational change.
Please take a few moments and think about whether you or someone you know is ready to become a CSE leader. To submit your own name or that of a colleague, please click here to complete the nomination form. The deadline for nomination submissions is Monday, September 24, 2012.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Chair, Nominations Committee
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Best to all,
Ken Heideman, CSE President