June 2009

From the President

This is an exciting time in the history of the Council of Science Editors. Numerous strategic planning initiatives are already under way or are about to be launched. This e-newsletter that you are reading is one of them. It will arrive once a month with information about new opportunities and initiatives through CSE, news about the scientific publishing field, and links to resources of interest.

A monumental step in support of editorial research is the creation of a new CSE committee devoted to support and dissemination of research in scientific publishing. The new Research Committee will provide resources and support to those who are interested in performing research in this area and peer review to papers and posters submitted to Science Editor and the CSE Annual Meeting. More information about this new committee and its charge is in this newsletter.

Many thanks go to the members of the CSE Editorial Policy Committee, who put in countless hours to developing and publishing an updated version of the CSE White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications. The updated version, which was released in the spring and was available in print at this year’s Annual Meeting, can now be found online at the CSE Web site and in print from CSE headquarters on request.

The goals of all CSE initiatives are to meet the professional needs of our members and to strengthen our position as the resource for ethical and effective practices in scientific publishing.

I am honored to serve as your president and am eager to hear from you throughout the coming year. By working together, we can make the impossible possible! Feel free to contact me at dLang@press.uchicago.edu with questions, suggestions, and thoughts.

Diane Lang, CSE President, 2009-2010

New Research Committee Approved by CSE Board of Directors

We evaluate and publish science, but what is the science behind what we do? CSE recognized the need for a group that would foster and facilitate research in the editorial community, as well as provide a forum from which to disseminate this research.

In 2007, CSE put out a call for research on editorial practices that would be presented as poster exhibits at the 2008 Annual Meeting. The poster exhibits were so well received that they were continued at the 2009 meeting, at which 7 posters were exhibited. In recognition of the growing need to support research, the CSE Board of Directors, at its May 2009 meeting, approved the creation of a new standing committee: the CSE Research Committee.

The Research Committee’s responsibilities include organizing the annual meeting poster session (with the potential for a podium session) and providing the means for Science Editor to peer review, revise, and publish original research of interest to science editors. CSE members and non-members alike are encouraged to conduct their own research and submit it for consideration for the 2010 annual meeting; the submission deadline will be in February. Interested CSE members with a background in research and research methods are also sought to serve on the Research Committee. For more information, contact Maggie Winker at Margaret.Winker@jama-archives.org.

CSE Member Directory Now Available in PDF

In addition to the ability to search the CSE member database, CSE members now can access a PDF listing of all CSE members through May 2009. See the Members Only page on the CSE Web site. Go to http://www.cseditors.wpengine.com to access.

Presentations from CSE’s 2009 Annual Meeting

Refresh your memory or learn something new! Select presentations from the 2009 CSE Annual Meeting are now available for viewing. Go to /i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3328 to access.

Get Ready for CSE’s 2010 Annual Meeting!

CSE’s 2010 Annual Meeting will take place on 14-18 May 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia. Planning is already under way, and the Program Committee invites your ideas and support. Go to http://www.resourcenter.net/Scripts/4Disapi07.dll/4DCGI/events/245.html?Action=Conference_Detail&ConfID_W=245 to learn more. I have the honor of being the Co-Program Chair for the 2010 CSE Annual Meeting along with Denis Baskin. The foundation of a successful annual meeting is an outstanding Program Committee. The 2009 meeting was a great example of that. The theme of the 2010 Annual Meeting is “The Changing Climate of Scientific Publishing-The Heat Is On.” It’s a dual theme in that our keynote speaker, Dr J. Marshall Shepherd (http://www.ggy.uga.edu/people/faculty/marshgeo/Welcome.html), and our plenary speakers will address global-climate change issues, while our sessions will cover largely the myriad changes our field of scientific publishing faces in the coming years and decades.

The Program Committee for the 2010 CSE Annual Meeting currently has 16 excellent members, and we are looking for 10-12 additional people. Each member of the Program Committee will be responsible for organizing one session and providing input on the selection of two plenary speakers. We plan to have one 45-minute conference call per month, on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, beginning at 1 pm EDT, starting on Wednesday, 17 June. Call-in information will be provided. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the committee, or if you have questions, please contact me, Ken Heideman, at kheideman@ametsoc.org.

Highlights of the Society for Scholarly Publishing 31st Annual Meeting

The Society for Scholarly Publishing’s 31st Annual Meeting, Advancing Scholarly Communities in the Brave Now World, was full of diverse and interesting sessions. The “Now” at the meeting included traditional presentations, hallway conversations, exhibitor demonstrations, blogging, tweeting, and Poll Everywhere. For those of you who did not attend, this is a summary of some of the highlights.

Adam Bly, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of SEED Media, kicked off the meeting with his presentation “Re-architecting Science: A New Vision and Framework for STM in the 21st Century.” He gave examples of how our world is a complex system – everything about it and what we do as a part of it are interconnected. Bly said, “Science moves the world,” and those of us working in the sciences know “the world moves scientists,” too. The way scientists see the world and approach their work is based on all of their experiences. Even art and music trigger thoughts, as Adam said, and find their way into the work that scientists do, just as science influences art and music.

Bly’s presentation included results of the “State of Science” survey report. It was no surprise to some of the attendees that the survey revealed scientist responders to be socially conscious. After all, they are part of society and so have a social responsibility and desire to make the world a better place.

Bly said that “we” as scholarly publishers are the architects of systems of knowledge. Bly calls out the increased complexity of the role of publishers because of the speed of information growth, volume of information created, and the more-distributed relationship of those doing science.

The session “Going Global: Content, Research and Outreach” reported on growth in submissions from various countries, their acceptance rates, and their citations. Most of us have seen this change over time and are attempting to predict the changes ahead with increases in the number of scientists, changes in their locations, and changes in the sources of funding.

Bly challenged meeting attendees to reach out to others in the world. The session “Society Publishers in an Age of Anxiety: Practical Strategies to Help Keep Members and Member Subscriptions from Drifting Away” illustrated how the presenters were doing just that. These initiatives include publishing translations, holding meetings/workshops outside the US, broadening the complexion of governance and editorial boards, and offering mentor relationships, free memberships, and/or free journal access to targeted groups. Reaching out includes making content discoverable, and the session “When MetaData Is the Content: How Publishers Are Adding Value to Their Content to Increase Discoverability” was rich with examples of the value of enriching content by applying metadata.

Bly called on attendees to modernize our approach to the work of scientists by recognizing that most of the scientists we serve are less than 44 years old, and they communicate differently than their predecessors do. The session “Scholarship 2.0: Creating an Online Community” focused on using social networking tools to communicate with this generation. Facebook, Ning, Twitter, RSS feeds, and blogging have changed how we communicate. Use of these techniques for the scholarly community is just evolving. The message was, “Look before you leap, but leap and experiment. Do it Now.”

The session “Publishing 2.0: Tools and Technologies” itself used a technology new to me, Poll Everywhere. It was used so attendees could vote by text messages, using the Web, or tweet responses. It was a cheap way to get immediate responses. There were times during the session, however, when a showing of hands was all that was needed. This session gave examples of what publishers can do to make a process and product better and more useful. With various ways to add value, including semantic tagging, we can give more precise search results, relate relevant information, create user-defined products, and target our audience for marketing and sales purposes.

Bly asked attendees to create business models that work to make science more accessible to the worldwide community, as did Charles B. Lowry, Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries, during his plenary presentation, “Publishing and Libraries: Securing Our Future in the Brave “Now” World—More Questions Than Answers?” Many sessions explored various business models and offered examples of how to promote your content and services around the world.

I left this SSP meeting thinking about our next experiments. How can we enable scientists to transmit and transfer knowledge and information more effectively, efficiently, and productively? I am looking forward to SSP’s posting of the presentation slides so that I can review some of the sessions that I attended and look through the information from those that I could not.

Diane Scott-Lichter, CSE Board Liaison to SSP