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Scientific journals: raising profiles, prospects, and impact factors 3 rd Meeting on Evaluation and Performance of Brazilian Journals Dr. Sue Silver Editor-in-Chief.

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Presentation on theme: "Scientific journals: raising profiles, prospects, and impact factors 3 rd Meeting on Evaluation and Performance of Brazilian Journals Dr. Sue Silver Editor-in-Chief."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scientific journals: raising profiles, prospects, and impact factors 3 rd Meeting on Evaluation and Performance of Brazilian Journals Dr. Sue Silver Editor-in-Chief Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment Ecological Society of America Washington DC Sao Paulo Research Foundation, Sao Paulo, Brazil 27 th September 2012

2 More citations More citations Higher impact factor Higher impact factor Good authors Good papers Good authors Good papers Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

3 But first….. My credentials: The Lancet Oncology Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment Similarities Both new journal launches Both published by well-known organizations Both now have high impact factors Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

4 Elsevier (part of Reed Elsevier Group plc) Ecological Society of America Impact factor: th /194 – Oncology Impact factor: nd /205 – Env. Sci. 4 th /131 - Ecology Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

5 The Lancet Oncology Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment Peer reviewed Interdisciplinary Up-to-date Understandable to those reading outside their own area of expertise Full color throughout Variety of content Print and online Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Similarities

6 I am not an oncologist/ecologist I didn’t know the subject or the top authors Nobody had ever heard of me Oh no! Not another new journal?! New journals i) have no impact factor ii) may never get one iii) may not succeed/stop publication Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Challenges The Lancet Oncology Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

7 More citations More citations Higher impact factor Higher impact factor Good authors Good papers Good authors Good papers Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

8 Eugene Garfield, Founder of ISI, creator of the Impact Factor “ Publish the best science” Profiles, prospects, and impact factors How can I increase the impact factor of my journal?

9 Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Call for papers (too passive) Active commissioning Appeal to senior authors who no longer need a high IF Relaunch or redesign – change or add new focus Explain why this journal Call in favors Beg! How can we persuade good authors to submit their best papers?

10 What do Authors want? What do Editors want? What does Thomson Reuters want? Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Consider the three “communities” in the triangle

11 Highly respected Professionally produced (eg, XML = searchable, linked, online submission site, etc) Well read (high profile) A good match for their paper (clear scope statement, Instructions to Authors, etc) Efficiently staffed And….has a good impact factor! Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Authors want a journal that is:

12 Highly respected High-quality, peer-reviewed content Well-known and respected Editor and Editorial Board Ethical editorial practices (eg peer review and IF) i) published on website ii) carried out by the Editor and editorial staff Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Authors want a journal that is:

13 Professionally produced Making use of modern publishing technologies XML tagging for a) Searchability b) Linking to CrossRef, PubMed Central, etc Online submission system Rapid, regular publication (but still high quality) RSS feeds, issue alerts eReaders, ePub formats Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Authors want a journal that is:

14 I Well read (high profile, good visibility) Included in international and national databases Open access (via SciELO) Different language editions or abstracts Present at international/national conferences Press releases Offers assistance to decision makers Podcasts, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Authors want a journal that is:

15 15 ESA listserve RSS feeds (ESA has 8) EcoTone Blog 1500–2000 visitors/week Twitter – 5500 followers Podcasts – 1–2/month Facebook – over 1750 likes Regular press releases Congressional briefings Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

16 II Well read (high profile, good visibility) Drive traffic to the journal website through author assistance and education: Offer how-to-get-published lectures at meetings Organize courses/webinars (eg, how to write a paper) Provide lists of resources on website (online writing classes, language-polishing services) Organize a mentoring scheme Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Authors want a journal that is:

17 Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Author education

18 III Well read (high profile, good visibility) Drive traffic to the journal website through new and interesting content: Round-up of what’s in other journals News/science policy section Book or website reviews Equipment reviews (attracts advertising!) Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Authors want a journal that is:

19 A good match for their paper Detailed, informative, easy-to-navigate website Clear scope/mission statement, aims and content Clear, detailed, findable Instructions to Authors Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Authors want a journal that is:

20 Efficiently staffed Keep the peer review and production processes moving Ensure that peer-review reports are professional and useful (edit out rude comments?) Respond promptly to presubmission inquiries Deal fairly with appeals Help authors who have difficulties with online submission Make the publishing experience a pleasant one Profiles, prospects, and impact factors Authors want a journal that will:

21 What do Editors want? If Authors want all these things, then Editors should want them as well Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

22 What do Thomson Reuters want? Informative title Named authors An abstract Data or other new scientific information Citation section Regular publication schedule Issues published on time Ethical editorial policies

23 Counted Research papers of all kinds Reviews Not counted Editorials News Letters to the Editor BUT, if an editorial, news items, letters to the Editor, or similar materials are cited, they are added to the numerator, so increasing the IF Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

24 The BEST way to increase the IF is to publish excellent scientific articles that other scientists will cite But also remember Reviews receive more citations than research papers Longer articles receive more citations than shorter articles Articles in open access journals receive more (?) citations sooner Editorials and overviews – “best papers last year” Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

25 Bad strategies for increasing IF Editors ‘invite’ authors of submitted articles to cite papers in their journal Editors discourage authors from citing papers in a rival journal Don’t be tempted to allow the IF to dictate your content Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

26 Responsibilities of Editors Oversee a fair and unbiased peer review system Showcase the best possible science Make it as accessible as possible for relevant readers Catch scientific fraud, plagiarism, etc But also…….

27 “It is our job to make important information interesting” Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet Profiles, prospects, and impact factors

28 Thank you!


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