11th Jan 2012
Hi! Welcome to my new blog. I hope you will find it interesting and useful.
This blog will focus mainly on scientific journals: how they work, differences between them, ways in which they are changing, and what researchers can do to make the best of them. I will look at journal policies, their peer review systems, their editing and production processes, their speed, and the economics and politics of journal publishing. And no doubt other related topics too.
The people who will find the blog of most interest are researchers and journal editors in biology and medicine. I hope that editors working on a range of journals will add their comments so that they can learn from each other and so that researchers can learn from them. And I hope researchers will comment so that they can feed back to journals what they like and don’t like, and so that they too can learn from each other’s experience.
And of course I will offer my experience. I have been a PhD student, a postdoc, an in-house journal editor and a freelance editor, proofreader and scientific publishing consultant, and over those years I have learnt a lot about how journals work. I have worked for most of the main UK biomedical journal publishers, including Elsevier, BioMed Central, BMJ Group, Public Library of Science and Nature Publishing Group. I have edited papers in many areas of biology and medicine, and even proofread a few in physics and chemistry too. And, not least, I have learnt from people I follow on Twitter (@sharmanedit) about the current state of scientific publishing. I think I have some useful insights, and you might find some of what I say interesting.
A few formalities: I don’t speak for any journal or research institute and the opinions expressed here are my own. Many of the journals mentioned are among my clients, except for Nature, for whom I work as an employee on a casual temporary contract. The material here by me is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC:BY); material in comments is copyright the commenter unless they say otherwise. You are free to reproduce material by me elsewhere as long as you credit me for it (though I would appreciate being informed and ask that you also link to this blog).
I look forward to your comments!