ISMTE 2016 North American Conference: A Space Where Peers Talk “Best Practices” and Big Changes

MeredithMorovati_Data

Don’t just ride the inertia; add value to your company to be apart of the evolution – John Bohannon, Science Contributing Correspondent

On August 11th and 12th, the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE) had their 2016 North American Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The organization and the 2016 conference aims to connect the community of professionals committed to the peer review and publication of academic and scholarly journals. They do this by providing peer-to-peer networking, education and training, research, and resources for best practices, and development of journal policy. After attending the North American conference, we at JSciMed Central found that ISMTE stands true to their mission. The conference was a great opportunity to hear “Best Practices” from different experts in the field and more importantly, hear how experts wish to see a change in the culture of publishing.

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Meredith Morovati, Executive Director of Dryad, talks data sharing and collaborating

The conference opened with Science Contributing Correspondent, John Bohannon, and his keynote speech on journal patterns and how journals are changing. His talk, at times causing raised brows, was overall insightful, challenging, and ended with a call to action to journals: “Don’t just ride the inertia; add value to your company to be apart of the evolution.” He urged that journals should implement ideas that stand out among other journals. Some changes he predicts include an iTunes version of viewing scholarly articles where the viewer will pay 99 cents per article. In addition to unique ideas, he also talked briefly about how the culture of publishing will be changing, starting a conversation and an underlying theme that reoccurred throughout the conference. He says that because a researcher/scientist’s prestige is dependent on publications, researchers/scientists will spread out their publications among different journals and publishing in “top” journals will soon be “just for the brand.”

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Brooks Hanson, Director of Publications of American Geophysical Union, talks best practices around data for scientific journals

The prestige, credibility, and/or worth of a researcher/scientist should not be heavily determined on publications alone.

Other speakers talked of a shift in the culture of publishing as well, emphasizing that the prestige, credibility, and/or worth of a researcher/scientist should not be heavily determined on publications alone. With this emphasis on publishing, one challenge that publishers and universities face on a regular basis is plagiarism. During the plenary session “Research Integrity and Our Industry Responsibility,” Bettie Steinberg, Provost at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, says that one way to combat the increase of plagiarism in academic publishing is to decrease the pressure on researchers/scientists to publish; she continues to say that researchers/scientists need to be evaluated on a wide range of attributes not solely on publications.

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David Crotty, Editorial Director of Oxford University Press, talks data sharing and protocol

It’s a gradual process; the more funders are willing to give credit to those who make their data available as a best practice, the easier funding will be for researchers and the more they will share.

Many have ideas as to what a researcher/scientist’s evaluation should include. Brooks Hanson, Director of Publications for the American Geophysical Union, offers his insight on one way a researcher/scientist should be evaluated; he says that data sharing, raw or final, should be a tool used to define credibility and prestige. When asked about the change in the culture of publishing, David Crotty, Editorial Director of Oxford University Press, says that it’s a gradual process; the more funders are willing to give credit to those who make their data available as a best practice, the easier funding will be for researchers and the more they will share. He says that data sharing and seeing it as a best practice will do the same for career advancement.

Data sharing would not only change the way we may evaluate researchers, but also change the evaluation of journals. Meredith Morovati, Executive Director of Dryad, says that data sharing can increase the credibility of a journal where the community  views the journal as reputable and quality-driven. Overall, Hanson, Crotty, and Morovati agree that a change in culture will encourage young scientist to share data and urge the education system and funders to instill this practice in order for change to happen.  People at the forefront of change say that a shift in culture will support a decrease in plagiarism, an increase in data sharing, and, overall, produce a more collaborative and innovative scientific community.

Open Access publishing is one way to make a change in the culture of publishing as it supports collaboration and innovation. JSciMed Central’s Open Access journals makes researchers and scientists findings available for all to view and use. 

Author: Diode de Dios, JSciMed Central Publications (Copyright © 2016 JSciMed Central)