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Publishing Strategies for Building the Impact and Influence of a Journal December 5 th 2003 Mary Waltham, Princeton, New Jersey

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Presentation on theme: "Publishing Strategies for Building the Impact and Influence of a Journal December 5 th 2003 Mary Waltham, Princeton, New Jersey"— Presentation transcript:

1 Publishing Strategies for Building the Impact and Influence of a Journal December 5 th 2003 Mary Waltham, Princeton, New Jersey

2 Journals compete for authors Opinion leaders Active Influential Such authors are strategic about where to publish Particular community The journal - brand

3 How is the choice of journal made? High standards of quality ~ process and product – print + online Rigorous,timely and fair peer review Format – enough space to get ideas across clearly Expert editorial oversight Identity of the journal Independence Impact on peers

4 Author services: a tradition of excellence, speed and quality providing authors with Highest impact Many of xxxx journals have the top impact factors in the world in their fields) Enhanced submission Fast and transparent online submission service for most xxx journals, including manuscript tracking system Rapid publication Increased speed through advance online publication Range of journals XXX p ublishes a range of quality journals targeted at different scientific communities Widest readership Institutional site licences provide a potential readership free at point of access of several million Free coverage to third world scientists via HINARI and SciDevNet XXX fair deal Authors retain copyright, so are free to reuse their papers in future printed work and post a copy on their website No submission charges Global visibility Selected papers included in press release to more than 2,000 registered international journalists and media organisations Advance e-alerts of tables of contents to up to half a million registered recipients linking directly to articles Summaries and highlights of selected articles in XXX journals and websites ensure the widest reach among scientists Inclusion in the key abstracting, indexing and linking service including ISI, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Crossref and full use of digital object identifier (DOI) numbers for online linking and functionality Find out more :

5 Why does journal choice matter? Career advancement Grant support Ability to attract students and fellows Position of author in the published list also a metric Impact factor of the journal Speed of publication In sum, choice of journal affects the reputation of the author

6 How fast must we publish? Peer review takes time but.. So does publishing in discreet issues vs by article As does print production Key points here are the cost vs the time vs the individual community expectations and norms

7 How fast can we publish?

8 Peer review process Prompt and professional communication Objective peer review – not settling old scores Journal is clear and open about the role of reviewers – duty of confidentiality Rejection – easier to accept with thoughtful reason Editors use reviewers to advise not do their job Editor clearly is judge of manuscript and reviewers comments

9 Editorial process Copy editing ~ cost versus value Developmental or substantive editing~ improving accessibility of research – broader audience

10 LEX (text accessibility/lexical difficulty) ratings of selected publications and transcripts TEXT LEX SCORE Nature+34.7 New Scientist +7.2 Time +1.6 Newspapers U.S. and U.K. 0 Ranger Rick (science for children) Television (primetime shows) Farmer talking to dairy cows-56.0 Source: Donald P. Hayes, Department of Sociology, Cornell University


12 Visibility Print ~ is it on the library shelves? Online ~ in advance of print – author driven, meta data and search engines, can the article be found? General media – press release program Journal must be visible to be read, cited and develop the brand

13 Impact Factors: Use and Abuse by Amin and Mabe


15 Impact factor Different types of content are cited to different patterns Different disciplines have distinct citation behaviors


17 DisciplineJournal IF 2002 Review articles Non-review articles EconomicsJ. Econ Lit Clinical PsychologyJ. Clinical Psychology Political Science American Political Sci Review Genetics and heredityNature genetics Chemistry - multidisciplinaryChemical Reviews Health policyMedical Care Sociology American Sociological Review MathematicsJ Am. Math Soc Physics - condensed matterAdv. Phys

18 Impact factor Within citeable content – a few articles count for the majority of citations

19 Distribution of the number of citations in five years for 500 biomedical papers published in Nature: 100 papers published in each of 1981, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 were chosen at random, and for each paper the number of citations in the subsequent five years was counted. Data provided by Grant Lewison (Department of Information Science, City University, London EC1V OHB, UK).

20 Beyond Impact factors.. Much discussion of over-reliance on Impact factor for judging research and research work New online metrics will also drive behavior Peer review post publication – is the paper ever downloaded? features- such as top articles, people who read this article also read…

21 Copied citations create renowned papers? by M.V. Simkin and V.P. Roychowdhury Outcome of the model of random-citing scientists (with m = 3 and p = ¼) compared to actual citation data. Mathematical probability rather than genius can explain why some papers are cited a lot more than the others.

22 Analysis of 119,924 conference articles in computer science and related disciplines: Lawrence: Nature debates May 2002

23 Not all articles originally rejected by a journal prove to be valueless quote Eugene Wigner Krebs1953:Physiology/ medicine Rejected by Nature published in Enzymologia Michel1988: ChemistryRejected by Nature published by Journal of Molecular Biology Mullis1993: ChemistryRejected by Nature + Science published in Methods in Enzymology Cohen1986:Physiology/ Medicine Rejected by first journal, published finally by Journal of Investigative Dermatology Wigner1963: PhysicsRejected by physics journal, published finally by Annals of Mathematics

24 Thank you!

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