To set the scene
On 24 February, our Singapore-based editors, editorial board members, and society partners gathered at the illustrious Singapore Cricket Club for our 2016 round table. With a stunning view overlooking the city’s new National Gallery, our guests networked over pastries, tea and coffee whilst waiting for the day’s festivities to start. Lyndsey Dixon, Regional Journals Editorial Director, opened the session by sharing some housekeeping rules and regional updates (including the APAC editorial team’s recent relocation from Singapore to Hong Kong), before handing over to David Green, Publishing Director – International, to explain how publishers, editors, and society partners can share in success. Read on for a list of key takeaways from the event.
Sharing in today’s world
Today’s researchers often hold a multitude of roles. These include teacher, researcher, author, editor, collaborator, and speaker to name just a few. David Green, Publishing Director – International, covered how researchers can navigate today’s sharing world. One way is through Scholarly Collaboration Networks (SCN’s). They have become popular sharing channels as they allow researchers to develop and maintain professional relationships across all of their various roles.
There are many positive features of SCN’s such as enabling discussion of research and information exchange, as well as the sharing of research results, articles, and data. However, caution needs to be used lest they endanger a journal’s long-term sustainability. Given that subscription income is the dominant business model for scholarly publications, unfettered access to the highest value version, the publisher’s Version of Record (VoR), through SCN’s could cause economic harm to academic societies and associations, their journals, and publishers. The open access (OA) model is one means of providing wide access to the VoR, and we aim to drive innovation in the OA world, working with all major stakeholders.
Prominent libraries have also spoken out to caution researchers against the shortcomings of SCN’s. They support open access repositories, which are usually not-for-profit and managed by librarians or data specialists at universities or government agencies; the mission is long-term preservation. In contrast, the most prominent SCN’s use a commercial business model and could theoretically close its services without prior notice to users.
Currently, the International Association of STM Publishers has one of the best lists of voluntary principles for article sharing. However, the present situation with distribution and access remains ambiguous and needs to be simplified for all parties. The conversation on best practices in this area will continue.
At Taylor & Francis, understanding researchers’ needs is at the heart of our marketing activities. Shelley Benwell, Head of Societies and Acquisitions Marketing, explained methods for ensuring articles are seen, read, cited, and shared by as many people as possible, and then how publishers can measure and report this impact. Essentially, effective marketing is a two-way street between authors and the publisher.
Feedback – whether by email, an in-person conversation, or social media – is important. We invite input into our campaigns, welcoming feedback from our audience on what they want to read, and create campaigns around their responses. For example, feedback from our ‘Philosophy Hall of Fame’ campaign resulted in a ‘Women in Philosophy’ campaign. In just two weeks, the latter generated nearly 2,000 downloads, and the posts from our Routledge Philosophy Twitter account (@) resulted in 89 retweets and 70 favorites
Social media conversations are growing in importance. Our marketing team reviews them regularly to look for new ideas, and we know journalists regularly view them as a way to trawl for hot topic research articles.
However, emails and in-person conversations continue to be the preferred communication style for many of our editors. During our marketing breakout session, a number of editors explained that they sought new guest editors and authors for their journals by looking at conference delegate lists. Relationships and partnerships were built after an initial email or meeting at the conference.
Embrace the new
The digital revolution changed how researchers consume and share information. Lyndsey Dixon, Regional Journals Editorial Director for Asia-Pacific, shared how Taylor & Francis seeks to meet changing needs in this area.
In the past year, both the PDF cover sheet and journal article style were redesigned. They took into account author feedback for better on-screen readability, desire for more contemporary fonts, clearer display of author names and affiliations, a visual indicator for open access articles, and an overall more modern look.
Lyndsey went on to explain current partnerships with third-parties that aim to help researchers increase the visibility of their research, better engage their networks, and thus expand the impact of their work. These include:
- Journal Map: uses geo-semantic search to harness the power of geography to improve traditional scholarly searches
- Figshare: a repository for supplemental materials (such as datasets, figures, slides, audio and video files, and more) that allows for greater freedom of data sharing and discoverability of content
- Colwiz Interactive PDF Reader: enables readers to annotate (highlight text, write notes, draw etc.,) PDF documents whilst reading on Taylor & Francis online
More developments are in the works for 2016 so watch this space.
Uphold ethical standards
One of the greatest challenges facing today’s editors is battling research misconduct. Jennifer Lien, Managing Editor for Humanities and Social Sciences Journals in Asia Pacific (full disclosure: also the author of this article) shared updates on what Taylor & Francis is doing to help editors keep on top of industry developments and best practices. After all, high ethical standards are the cornerstone of a journal’s integrity and reputation.
All Taylor & Francis editors have access to resources from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and CrossCheck. COPE provides advice for editors and publishers including how to handle cases of research and publication misconduct. Resources include best practice guidelines, sample letters, a database of all previously discussed cases and more. CrossCheck powered by iThenticate is an originality-checking software package that is able to highlight matching text from an authored work against the database for further editorial review. All editors can contact their Managing Editor if they have a paper they would like to have run through the system.
The round table ended with a review of ‘Peer Review in 2015: A global view’, the white paper that was released by Taylor & Francis in October 2015. Over 7,000 editors, authors, and reviewers participated in our survey. The results showed that delaying assessment, gender bias, taking ideas, and using false identities had lower frequency of occurrences reported, whilst seniority bias and regional bias had higher frequency of occurrences reported. For more interesting facts and analysis, please read our white paper in full.
Until next time
Taylor & Francis organizes round table events regularly for our editors and society partners. The ability to network, share and listen with our partners is of great value to us. We will be running more events like this next year, so be sure to check Editor Resources for the latest news and updates.
Watch our highlights video to get more of a flavor of Taylor & Francis Editor Round Table events.