Editorial trends in scientific publishing

Subject:  Multidisciplinary
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During the BMC and SpringerOpen Editors’ Conference, the ETHE journal was presented as an example of good practices in terms of gender equality.

On 28 June, London hosted the BMC and SpringerOpen Editors’ Conference to share experiences and good practices between editorial teams.

The conference was attended by ETHE (International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education) representatives Josep M. Duart, co-director, and Elsa Corominas, executive director and member of the Library research support group. Co-published by the UOC and the University of Los Andes, this scientific journal specializes in content relating to e-learning in higher education.

Rolling publication of articles

Today, almost all SpringerOpen and BMC journals use a rolling publication model, in other words, articles are published throughout the year and collated in a single annual volume. Increasingly more journals are adopting this model, in which the dissemination of articles ceases to be tied down to a specific periodicity (monthly, bimonthly, etc). This means being able to have content accepted for publication immediately, so favouring the dissemination of the latest science and avoiding long waits for authors.

Gender and diversity in research

The editors’ conference also devoted workshops, papers and debates to the concept of diversity in research. This comprises not only gender and geographical scope but also other issues such as the institution, post or moment in a person’s academic career.

“Diversity is essential to delivering the very best science. A diverse and inclusive scientific workforce draws from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences thereby maximising innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of all.” —Royal Society

How do you ensure diversity in a scientific journal? The most obvious way is in the allocation of editors, members of the editorial team, guest editors and reviewers. At the same time, you also have to ensure diversity in papers or panels, in prizes related to the journal, and even in commissioning content. During the conference, a number of initiatives were proposed, such as guides with guidelines for renewing editorial teams and annual reports on the degree of diversity achieved by the journal.

With regard to gender diversity, the ETHE journal was mentioned as an example of actively promoting equality in its editorial board, and for disseminating it on social media. The journal ended 2017 with a high female presence among authors (43.7%) and reviewers (45.7%), and presently, half its editorial team are women.

Good editorial practices

SpringerOpen focuses its efforts on three central pillars in positioning its journals on today’s scientific publication scene: