Taylor & Francis organized The Journals Editorial Roundtables in New Delhi (10 November) and Kolkata (14 November). The chosen theme this year was “The author – impact, engagement and social media.” Nitasha Devasar, Managing Director of Taylor & Francis India, opened the roundtable with a welcome address which outlined the South Asia Journals Program of Taylor & Francis Group, and then introduced the esteemed speakers.
The roundtables in both New Delhi and Kolkata were divided up into three sections. The first section consisted of presentations led by Dr. David Green, Global Publishing Director, who began the day’s proceedings by discussing trends, quality, metrics, and how to “stay ahead of the curve” in journal publishing. He delineated the current mechanisms used to develop metrics and drive impact and, in effect, academic vigor. This he supported by examining the roles that discoverability and visibility play in determining metrics and impact. Concluding his presentation, Dr. Green reiterated that it is no longer “publish or perish” but “be discoverable or die,” “be visible or vanish,” and “be cited or suffer”!
Next up was Gerald Dorey, Associate Editorial Director, who perceptively examined “Media, marketing and visibility” in the context of journal publishing. Thanks to digital media and marketing, there is scope for how editors and authors can engage with readers and researchers. Media and marketing campaigns drive metrics and help in widespread dissemination. Dorey discussed how the judicious use of social media can increase the discoverability and visibility of journals, which in turn determines their metrics and impact.
The second part of the day consisted of a panel discussion moderated by Gerald Dorey. Dr. Sharmistha Gooptu discussed how social media has enhanced the visibility and discoverability of South Asian History and Culture, a journal that Gooptu herself edits. New media forms such as podcasts, Facebook, and Twitter pages have helped authors and editors engage with the journal, she informed the audience.
In Kolkata, Dr. S. K. Bhadra, Editor of the Transactions of the Indian Ceramic Society, followed on from this, discussing the history of the journal. He used various statistical figures to show how the journal has improved since Taylor & Francis became its co-publisher; there has been an increase in submissions, for example.
Dr. Bhadra also discussed the increasing number of doctorates in India due to the recent expansion in higher education. This, he believes, will result in a radical rise in the research output of the country, and in turn lead to the growth of journals and journal publishing in India.
At the Delhi roundtable, Dr. Uttam K. Sinha spoke about his experience as Managing Editor of the journal Strategic Analysis (published by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses in association with Taylor & Francis). He pointed out the peculiar nature of Strategic Analysis, a publication that performs a balancing act as an invaluable resource for policymaking on the one hand and a high-quality academic journal on the other. He then proceeded to discuss the advantages of having Taylor & Francis as a publishing partner, allowing the journal to reach a more global audience.
Following the panel discussion, Anindita Pandey, Journals Development Manager – South Asia, delivered a presentation on publishing ethics. Anindita succinctly defined common ethical issues such as plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and data fabrication as per current international standards. She described the processes and procedures that Taylor & Francis follows to keep plagiarism and other academic malpractices in check, such as CrossCheck, the use of which has resulted in a decline in the number of papers being rejected due to plagiarism.
The third and final section in both the roundtables was led by Professor Boria Majumdar, who divided all participants into three groups for discussion and problem-solving. The task assigned to the first group was to analyze the role of authors, the second group focused on editors and the third on the impact of policy.
The group representing authors spoke about improving the discoverability of their papers by using innovative means, for example, graphical abstracts, videos, fitting keywords and titles; the time-intensive nature of the peer-review process universally; and how to make the impact factor a more subjective metric.
The second group also drew attention to these points, and further discussed incentivizing peer-reviewers to improve the peer-review process, how editors should help improve quality articles that do not fit the scope of their own journals, and the benefits of planning special issues of journals.
The third group, who were responsible for discussing the impact of policy, noted that apex bodies such as the University Grants Commission should be the forerunners in developing a policy framework. The policy formulation should be participatory; the UGC should provide a few options, academics should provide feedback and both should reach a common understanding. The group also noted that there are currently no standard metrics in India that measure the quality of research output.
With the rounding up of the group discussions, The Journals Editorial Roundtables came to an end. These were well attended with 40 academics participating in the Delhi roundtable and 73 at the Kolkata roundtable. There was very positive feedback from all participants, and a great deal of enthusiasm to participate in future editor round table events.
Don’t miss The Taylor & Francis News Bulletin for more information on The Journals Editorial Roundtables in India.