Scientific editing and communication: the life of a professional editor Vivian Siegel, PhD Director, Center for Science Co...
Career Trajectory <ul><li>Graduate Student, UCSF (Walter) </li></ul><ul><li>Postdoc, MPI Tübingen (Nüsslein-Volhard) and U...
Job Description: Scientific Editor <ul><li>“ As a scientific editor, you would be responsible for assessing submitted rese...
The Job of an Editor <ul><li>Determine whether a paper might “in principle” be appropriate for a journal ( evaluate ) </li...
Acquiring the Skills of an Editor <ul><li>Evaluation: journal club </li></ul><ul><li>Oversee peer review: read papers, go ...
Typical Tasks <ul><li>Read several papers on different subjects at different stages of submission </li></ul><ul><li>Discus...
The Good and the Bad <ul><li>Get to think at a high level about a lot of different research problems </li></ul><ul><li>Not...
Editor in Chief <ul><li>“ The Editor-in-Chief shapes the mission and philosophy of the journal and is responsible for the ...
Editor-in-Chief <ul><li>Set the overarching standards for the journal </li></ul><ul><li>Define new features, areas of cove...
Executive Director of new Nonprofit Publisher (PLoS) <ul><li>Turn vision into operation (e.g. PLoS principle of “decisions...
Center for Science Communication <ul><li>Provides an infrastructure to support and mentor academic editors </li></ul><ul><...
What I do now <ul><li>50% - Editor-in-Chief, Disease Models & Mechanisms (come meet me to talk about the journal tomorrow)...
http://dmm.biologists.org
Disease Models & Mechanisms A new journal devoted to the use of model organisms to advance human health Vivian Siegel, PhD...
What follows…(an appendix) <ul><li>Job descriptions from other recent job listings at nature jobs, council of science edit...
Copy Editor, Manuscript Editor <ul><li>Copyedit and proofread proof pages to ensure consistent accuracy and style in accor...
Assistant, Associate Editor <ul><li>will have two main roles, both of which focus on attracting high quality submissions a...
Associate Editor, Reviews Editor <ul><li>The Associate Editor is a key member of the journal team, contributing by editing...
Assistant Editor <ul><li>Cell is seeking an assistant editor to join the editorial team of its dynamic new front section c...
Senior Scientific Editor <ul><li>Oversight of all editorial aspects of the journal, including peer review of research arti...
Senior Editor <ul><li>Develop major story ideas suited to Seed’s unique way of covering science, scientists, and Seed’s “s...
Acquisitions Editor (books) <ul><li>Responsibilities include: acquiring and developing for publication by the Press 20-25 ...
Associate Editor/Editor (Blackwell) <ul><li>Research, agree and implement ideas for developing the content and financial c...
News Director <ul><li>The ideal candidate will take an innovative approach to the creation of new types of news content an...
Publisher <ul><li>The position includes responsibility for all editorial and business aspects for the journals Cancer Rese...
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Scientific editing and communication: the life of a professional ...

  1. 1. Scientific editing and communication: the life of a professional editor Vivian Siegel, PhD Director, Center for Science Communication Research Professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  2. 2. Career Trajectory <ul><li>Graduate Student, UCSF (Walter) </li></ul><ul><li>Postdoc, MPI Tübingen (Nüsslein-Volhard) and UCSF (Jan) </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Editor, Cell (-> Deputy Editor -> Editor, also of Molecular Cell and Developmental Cell) </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Director, PLoS and Editor, PLoS Biology </li></ul><ul><li>Return to academia (research and teaching), UCSF (Walter, Tlsty, OCPD) </li></ul><ul><li>Director, Center for Science Communication and Research Professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University </li></ul>
  3. 3. Job Description: Scientific Editor <ul><li>“ As a scientific editor, you would be responsible for assessing submitted research papers, overseeing the refereeing process, and choosing and commissioning review material. You would also travel frequently to scientific conferences to follow developments in research and establish and maintain close ties with the scientific community. The key qualities we look for are breadth of scientific interest and the ability to think critically about a wide range of scientific issues. The successful candidate will also be highly motivated and creative, and able to work independently as well as in a team.” </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Job of an Editor <ul><li>Determine whether a paper might “in principle” be appropriate for a journal ( evaluate ) </li></ul><ul><li>Identify appropriate reviewers to help then decide whether to publish a paper ( oversee peer review ) </li></ul><ul><li>Explain that decision to you in as constructive and transparent a manner possible ( communicate with authors ) </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to comments from you that might lead them to reconsider that decision ( re-evaluate ) </li></ul><ul><li>Identify important new areas of research ( imagine the future ) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Acquiring the Skills of an Editor <ul><li>Evaluation: journal club </li></ul><ul><li>Oversee peer review: read papers, go to seminars and scientific meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate with authors: give feedback to your peers on their papers prior to submission; interact in writing with your colleagues about their science </li></ul><ul><li>Re-evaluate: as above </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine the future: think about the big picture, what problems remain to be solved, might have a different “solution” to what you already know. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Typical Tasks <ul><li>Read several papers on different subjects at different stages of submission </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss papers with other editors in editorial meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Write editorial decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Emails, phone calls with authors </li></ul><ul><li>Read the literature, coming up with ideas for reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Attend seminars, scientific meetings </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Good and the Bad <ul><li>Get to think at a high level about a lot of different research problems </li></ul><ul><li>Not the expert </li></ul><ul><li>Influence people’s careers </li></ul><ul><li>More representational than individual </li></ul><ul><li>Not as many colleagues, perceived as “leaving science” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Editor in Chief <ul><li>“ The Editor-in-Chief shapes the mission and philosophy of the journal and is responsible for the content of the journal from planning and acquisition through to editing, design, and print. The editor works with a team to help ensure that the journal is financially sound by collaborating with the publisher and numerous business units including marketing, circulation, and advertising. The Editor-in-Chief provides editorial and market guidance and works to ensure the highest possible standards for manuscripts.” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Editor-in-Chief <ul><li>Set the overarching standards for the journal </li></ul><ul><li>Define new features, areas of coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Management (up and down, and fiscal) </li></ul><ul><li>Training new editors </li></ul>
  10. 10. Executive Director of new Nonprofit Publisher (PLoS) <ul><li>Turn vision into operation (e.g. PLoS principle of “decisions based on science” affects journal standards, other journal launches) </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy (journal launching, advertising, memberships, marketing, etc etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Business/Fiscal/Employee Policies and Management </li></ul><ul><li>Board development and reporting </li></ul>
  11. 11. Center for Science Communication <ul><li>Provides an infrastructure to support and mentor academic editors </li></ul><ul><li>Accepts professional editorial contracts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DMM, JASN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Offers workshops and lectures in scientific writing, publication standards, and publication ethics locally and internationally </li></ul><ul><li>Consults on research papers </li></ul><ul><li>Offers internships ranging from scientific writing to executive editorship; mentors editor’s club </li></ul><ul><li>Works with the press office to make Vanderbilt research more visible </li></ul><ul><li>Performs research in various aspects of scientific publication, such as peer review </li></ul>
  12. 12. What I do now <ul><li>50% - Editor-in-Chief, Disease Models & Mechanisms (come meet me to talk about the journal tomorrow) </li></ul><ul><li>40% - Executive Editor, Journal of the American Society for Nephrology </li></ul><ul><li>10% - support research manuscript publishing (both authors and editors) through lectures, workshops, and consulting </li></ul>
  13. 13. http://dmm.biologists.org
  14. 14. Disease Models & Mechanisms A new journal devoted to the use of model organisms to advance human health Vivian Siegel, PhD, Editor-in-Chief To find out more about the exciting launch of DMM please join me on Stand 56 between 15.00 – 16.00 pm on Monday 1 st September Light refreshments will be available and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas !
  15. 15. What follows…(an appendix) <ul><li>Job descriptions from other recent job listings at nature jobs, council of science editors jobs, sciencejobs, and monster jobs… </li></ul><ul><li>Note: the same label (e.g., associate editor) can mean different things… </li></ul>
  16. 16. Copy Editor, Manuscript Editor <ul><li>Copyedit and proofread proof pages to ensure consistent accuracy and style in accordance with established style conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Interact with authors to complete fact checking, review, and changes to manuscripts </li></ul><ul><li>Manage time effectively to adhere to the established publication schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain an average editing speed of 6-9 manuscript pages per hour </li></ul>
  17. 17. Assistant, Associate Editor <ul><li>will have two main roles, both of which focus on attracting high quality submissions and reviews to the Journal and increasing the Journal’s exposure within the research community. Will assist in the administration of the peer review process and implementation of progressive changes to the Journal to make it more attractive to readers and authors. Will also commission and edit review articles for the journal, which will involve direct interaction with scientists to help them make the pieces more accessible to the readership of the journal. </li></ul><ul><li>Ph.D. in a relevant field required. Experience in an editorial office preferred. Must be willing and able to travel to relevant scientific meetings and laboratory visits. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Associate Editor, Reviews Editor <ul><li>The Associate Editor is a key member of the journal team, contributing by editing commissioned content and writing copy. The successful candidate will work closely with the journal’s in-house team and internationally renowned Editor-in-Chief and Advisory Board. Key tasks will include commissioning, writing and editing of material for a substantial portion of each month’s issue. This role will be based in Nature Publishing Group’s modern offices in London. </li></ul><ul><li>While subject knowledge is not essential for this position, you should have a keen interest in medical publishing, a proactive approach, and outstanding organisational skills. Previous editorial experience would be an advantage. Candidates should have a good undergraduate degree, preferably in a biomedical discipline, and they will also be asked to complete tests to demonstrate editorial and writing ability . </li></ul>
  19. 19. Assistant Editor <ul><li>Cell is seeking an assistant editor to join the editorial team of its dynamic new front section called Leading Edge. Launched in December 2005, Leading Edge explores all areas of cell and molecular biology research in both traditional Cell formats (Reviews, Minireviews and Previews) and new formats (Essay, Correspondence, Select, SnapShot), while also including discussion of, for example, science policy and funding in Analysis and Commentary articles. The successful candidate will have a PhD in the biological sciences and preferably some postdoctoral experience, broad scientific interests and an ability to critically evaluate the relevant published literature, a flair for using the English language and a true passion for both science and science communication. They should be highly organized and dedicated, with excellent written and oral communication skills and should be willing to work to tight deadlines within close-knit editorial and production teams. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Senior Scientific Editor <ul><li>Oversight of all editorial aspects of the journal, including peer review of research articles and commissioning of additional content. This includes fostering a collaborative decision-making process among in-house editors and the editorial board </li></ul><ul><li>Management of the journal editorial staff </li></ul><ul><li>Working with the PLoS leadership and the journal team to determine journal strategy within the context of our publishing portfolio and open-access goals </li></ul><ul><li>Leading the further development of the journal specifically as we introduce web features that will allow greater user participation </li></ul><ul><li>Attending international scientific conferences and outreach to the scientific community, representing PLoS Biology and the broader aims of open access </li></ul>
  21. 21. Senior Editor <ul><li>Develop major story ideas suited to Seed’s unique way of covering science, scientists, and Seed’s “science is culture” mission. </li></ul><ul><li>Effectively commission and edit features; attract new writers and cultivate existing writer relationships and staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Capably manage multiple projects and deliver them on time. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Acquisitions Editor (books) <ul><li>Responsibilities include: acquiring and developing for publication by the Press 20-25 academic and trade book-length manuscripts a year (other areas of specialty will also be considered such as law and religion); identifying potential authors through research, correspondence, and travel; evaluating quality and sales potential for solicited and unsolicited manuscripts and proposals; obtaining outside critical appraisals from qualified advisors; presenting superior projects for approval by Press management and Faculty Editorial Board; negotiating contracts with authors, agents, and foreign publishers; mediating interests of Press and author through all stages of publication process. Must meet financial targets by ensuring appropriate product and volume to bring about profitable results in an ongoing manner. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Associate Editor/Editor (Blackwell) <ul><li>Research, agree and implement ideas for developing the content and financial contribution for titles managed. Meet annual list development target assigned. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor contract terms for titles managed and, working closely with Production, Marketing and Sales colleagues, take responsibility for ensuring their successful renewal or renegotiation as necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>As required, attend editorial and society board meetings as a regular aspect of maintaining and improving the client relationship and/or financial performance of titles managed. </li></ul><ul><li>Oversee and ensure a smooth transition process for newly acquired titles to meet all contractual requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>Handle all editorial related correspondence with external journal editors. </li></ul><ul><li>Check, finalize and distribute annual/quarterly reports/budgets to meet contractual requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>Consult with other departments (Production, Marketing and Sales, Finance, etc.) and share information as necessary to help enable effective relationship management by each individual department, and to ensure proper editorial title management and fulfillment of contractual obligations. </li></ul>
  24. 24. News Director <ul><li>The ideal candidate will take an innovative approach to the creation of new types of news content and new ways of disseminating that content in all types of media. Will take a leading role in a Press-wide effort to increase the visibility of the journals within the scientific community. Will produce and edit current news content, including stories highlighting content in the journals published by the Press and content from other leading biomedical journals. Other expected news content includes meeting reports, scientist profiles, and feature articles. Will supervise and edit in-house writing staff and train new personnel, commission and edit freelance work for ongoing and special news items, and work with production staff to ensure that the production quality of the news section is of the highest standard. Will represent the Press at site visits and scientific conferences to generate interest in publishing in the journals. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Publisher <ul><li>The position includes responsibility for all editorial and business aspects for the journals Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; AACR Cancer Reviews Online (a virtual journal); for meeting-related publications (Proceedings and programs); and for new publications and electronic products. </li></ul><ul><li>Map the strategic direction for the AACR Publishing Program, including integrating the program with other AACR initiatives and assessing how well the program is meeting objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Oversee liaison with outside editors for editorial scope and policy issues and for synergy among journals </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain editorial quality through a rigorous peer review system and strict production standards </li></ul><ul><li>Direct all fiscal aspects for an expanding publishing program, including setting budget targets; expanding revenue generation through subscriptions, licensing, advertising, reprints, and other sales; and controlling costs </li></ul><ul><li>Propose and implement business plans for new products and services </li></ul><ul><li>Contract for all services including editing, pre-press and printing, online hosting, and advertising and reprint sales </li></ul><ul><li>Serve as a senior member of the AACR staff and manage a division staff headed by experienced directors and managers </li></ul>

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