February 2010

From the President

Two important CSE members are in the news this month.

For the past 12 years, Barbara Gastel has been the very capable Editor of Science Editor, CSE’s publication. In May 2010, however, Barbara will step down as Editor, and thus the Board of Directors is beginning the search for her replacement. Watch your e-mail and the CSE Web site for information about the position and how to apply for it.

I am saddened to report that CSE Past President Susan Eastwood passed away on 6 February 2010. Many of you knew Susan or benefited from her enthusiasm and vision for the field of scientific publishing. She will be greatly missed.

Diane Lang, President

Editor of Science Editor

Science Editor is CSE’s official publication and is distributed free to all members of the organization. Its purpose is to “serve as a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among professionals concerned with publishing in the sciences.” For the past 12 years, Science Editor has been under the very capable editorship of Barbara Gastel, who took over the position from Martha Tacker (CSE past president, 1993-1994) when the publication was still called CBE Views. Over the years, Barbara developed not only the publication itself—from CBE Views to Science Editor—but also the position of Editor, and her tireless dedication is much appreciated.

In May 2010, Barbara will step down as Editor of Science Editor. She notified the Board of Directors in 2009, and the Board has been reviewing the journal and the needs of the membership as a formal job description for the Editor position was created. The position will be posted on the CSE Web site, and a call for candidates will be sent out soon. The Board of Directors is also currently forming an Editor Search Committee; it will be the committee’s responsibility to review applications, interview candidates, and recommend a final candidate to the Board of Directors. Watch your e-mail and the CSE Web site for information about the position and how to apply for it.

Diane Lang, President, and the CSE Board of Directors

In Memoriam

CSE Past President Susan Eastwood passed away on 6 February 2010. Many of you knew Susan and benefited from her leadership and vision.

She started her career as a senior editor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital in 1973. In 1977, renowned neurosurgeon Charles Wilson hired her to start an editorial office for the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. During her 28-year tenure there, she undertook editorial projects ranging from “nuts and bolts” editing of manuscripts and grants to developmental editing of books, guidelines for the ethical conduct of research, and program project grants. She also lectured, conducted workshops, taught classes, and organized symposia and seminars in scientific writing, research ethics, reporting of clinical trials, and peer review in scientific writing. In recognition of Susan’s tremendous contributions to the department, the Susan Eastwood Award has been created and will be presented annually to the resident whose manuscript is judged most outstanding in content and preparation.

Susan’s contributions to CSE were enormous, and we still benefit from them today. Cheryl Iverson, past Secretary on the CSE Board of Directors, commented that as chair of the Education Committee Susan would “[stand] up at the board mapping out boxes of possibilities and connections tied in to great plans for the Education Committee and for all of CSE, many of which came to pass through her energy and passion. She was also someone who always made you feel more special than you were-as if you had lots of good ideas…she had such faith in you that sometimes you surprised yourself by actually having a great idea that was worthy of what she thought you could do!”

Susan served as president of the Council of Science Editors (1996-1997), and she was also a founding member and member of the Executive Council (1991-1998) of the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences. She touched many lives and had a profound influence on her profession. She will be greatly missed.

To Retract or Not to Retract?

It can ruin your day—the letter alleging that a paper your journal published is riddled with falsified data. Whether it springs from professional jealousy or a thorough investigation by a respected institution, that letter raises all sorts of concerns and puts you in the hot seat. If you deal with, or are interested in learning about, cases such as this, then you should plan to attend the Ethics Clinic at the CSE annual meeting. There you can benefit from the expertise of colleagues from a variety of backgrounds as you decide how to handle challenging cases involving allegations of misconduct. You’ll find that the shared expertise of a roomful of experienced editors can make that hot seat feel a lot less hot. Don’t miss it! The Ethics Clinic takes place on Monday, May 17, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm.

Bob Edsall, Chair, Editorial Policy Committee

Update Your Contact Information

Please take a few moments to ensure your CSE contact information is current so you don’t miss out on the latest from CSE! Simply go to the CSE home page, click on the Members Only tab on the left side of the screen, and click on Update Personal Information.

Sample Employer Letters Online

As the dues renewal process continues and registration for the annual meeting is now open, smaller office, staff, and departmental budgets for 2010 are realities that are inescapable as we prioritize our choices for this year. For those of you who find yourselves in the position of having to make a case for the value of CSE membership or meeting attendance, two sample employer letters were created to be used as tools in this effort. These were introduced in the November and January Member Updates and are now available on the CSE Web site on the Join/Renew page and in the More Information box on the Annual Meeting page.

Tim Cross, Chair, Membership Committee

Social Networking Update

With the launch of the CSE Facebook page, LinkedIn group, and Twitter account in January, our online CSE community is growing. If you would like to start a conversation or open up a dialog with your colleagues, here are a couple of tips.

For Facebook, go to the CSE Page and look for the status update box at the top of the page. Start a discussion, enter a comment, or post a piece of news in the space containing the instruction “Write Something . . .” and then click on Share.

For LinkedIn, go to the CSE Group and look for the Start a Discussion link at the top of page, beneath Overview. Clicking the link will take you to the Start a Discussion page. After you have landed on the page, enter your text in the Enter a Topic or Question box and click the Submit for Discussion button.

Tim Cross, Chair, Membership Committee