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From studying chemistry to publishing chemistry

From studying chemistry to publishing chemistry

Science in Action Seminar Series at Skyline College, May 11, 2021

Matteo (@physicsteo on Twitter) studied Chemistry at the University of Milan (Italy) and University of Valencia (Spain) before obtaining his Ph.D. in the Quantum Chemistry group of the Physics Department at Stockholm University (Sweden). After 3 years’ experience as a researcher in Berlin (Germany), working on computer simulations of novel catalytic materials, he left the lab bench (which was actually a computer) to join the US-based STEM publisher Wiley in 2010. Matteo held several editorial roles in various scholarly journals in chemistry and material sciences prior to becoming the publisher of the material sciences and physics group at Wiley, overseeing the operations of the US-based journals in those areas.

Matteo Cavalleri

May 18, 2021

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  1. From studying chemistry to publishing chemistry Dr Matteo Cavalleri, Publisher

    @physicsteo Science in Action, e-Skyline College, May 11, 2021
  2. From studying chemistry… B.S., M.S. in Chemistry (1999) PhD in

    Chemical Physics (2005) PostDoc 2005-2008 Editor & publisher
  3. Where I work 1807 mid 1800s Today Charles Wiley opened

    a print shop in New York City, publishing literary fiction and non-fiction. John Wiley & Sons began focusing on science, technical, and engineering publishing. Seven generations later, Wiley is one of the oldest independent publishing companies. 1700+ journals, 400+ Open Access journals, 7.5M articles 500+ societies, 2M members #WorkFromHome
  4. • Scientific publishing is generally agreed to have begun in

    1660s • Openly sharing scientific ideas slowly becomes the standard • Publication of Journal des Sçavans and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 1665 • Boyle’s Skeptical Chemists, 1661, transition from alchemy to modern chemistry, and chemistry publishing • Letters with drawings and illustrations, not unlike present-time articles • 1950s, 1960s marked by explosive growth of science and scientific publishing • As science professionalizes, so does academic publishing. • Commercial publishers now dominate the industry • ”Publish or perish” • Most hiring and funding decisions are made based on publication record of researchers The journey so far
  5. Scholarly journals today Dissemination Spreading the word through publishing platforms

    But also indexing and generally organizing knowledge Registration Precedence of discovery is established based on article submission date to a journal Archival Safeguarding and preserving knowledge Publishers play an important role preserving the scientific record Certification Peer-review is still the gold standard for certifying articles This is not the same as quality-control! Peer-review management, Curation, Infrastructure, Ethics, & much, much more. Here’s a list of 96 things publishers do: https://bit.ly/2UW3rKX The “Publish or Perish” culture responsible for an environment where (some) scientific journals are de facto gatekeepers of science
  6. Author normally required to transfer the copyright to the journal

    Publisher: Allows the Publisher to protect the author's rights Allows the Publisher to coordinate permissions for reprints or other use Reuse of article is possible by licensing often arranged via the Copyright Clearance Center SUBSCRIPTION JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS JOURNALS The articles are freely accessible online without cost to readers Users can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, these articles; author retains copyright Encourages sharing and reuse via various license types: Scholarly journals today
  7. How “certification” REALLY work? “Peer review is the critical assessment

    of manuscripts submitted to journals by experts who are not part of the editorial staff”-International Committee of Medical Journals Editors
  8. How did we get here? “We (Mr. Rosen and I)

    had sent you our manuscript for publication and had not authorised you to show it to specialists before it is printed. I see no reason to address the – in any case erroneous – comments of your anonymous expert.” 1665: Publication of Journal des Sçavans and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 1930s-1940s: Peer-review emerges, not very popular at first 1960s: Peer-review becomes the institutional standard (Nature, 1967) Today: Enjoy overwhelming support despite issues*, alternatives emerge * Slow and costly, systemic biases, still misses fraudulent papers
  9. Most Common Peer-Review Types SINGLE BLIND: Reviewers know authors’ identities.

    DOUBLE BLIND: Authors’ identities are also hidden to reviewers OPEN: All identities are known. Credit: Andrew Bissette, @andrewbissette Supported but in need of innovation: Slow and costly, systemic biases, still misses fraudulent papers
  10. Author submits article Rejected Article assessed by editor Sent to

    reviewers Author submits revised paper Revision required Further review needed? Reviews assessed by editor Rejected Accepted Publication Production Journey inside a journal
  11. The editorial office EXTERNAL EDITORS IN-HOUSE EDITORS Former scientists, have

    PhDs, often PostDoc experience Work full time on journal – can dedicate more time and resources on new developments General view Active scientists, have own research group, teaching duties… Expert (often at the top) in specific field BOTH: peer-review, decision making, dealing with appeals, commissioning, conference participation and lab visits, writing news stories,…
  12. The article journey: Accept, reject, or revise? -REJECTION - Without

    external referee reports (Editor) - Based on reports -REVISION - Reconsideration or resubmission possible after major revisions -ACCEPTANCE - Without changes (rare) - With minor changes The decision is the Editor’s job…the reviewer ‘s recommendation is not a vote -- it’s advice!
  13. Journal Editor: A day in the life* OUTREACH DAY-TO-DAY MANAGEMENT

    OF A JOURNAL • Read manuscript submitted to the journal • Identify and assign manuscript to reviewers (or sub-Editors) • Make editorial decisions • Solicit manuscripts and special issues • Deal and resolve (hopefully!) ethical issues regarding submissions/published papers • Collaborate with editorial, production, marketing team • Work closely with authors, reviewers, other editors • Beta testing new publishing technologies • Help authors to disseminate their work further • Attend international conferences • Workshops, lab/institution visits *Work days are pretty reasonable, actually
  14. Publisher*: A day in the life LAUNCH/ACQUISITION OF NEW PRODUCTS

    • New journals • Journal relaunches • Awards, conferences, workshops • Webinars, online courses STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF JOURNALS • Hire, train, and manage editors and editorial assistants ( • Roll out new publishing initiatives and processes • Planning, budgeting, and reporting (Editors don’t deal with finance!) • Develop common strategies and goals for portfolio/groups of journals • Bring the perspective of the researchers to the company • Collaborate closely with editors, marketers, other colleagues *”WILEY Publisher”. Titles are not standard in the industry !"#$%&)

    • Scientific background (sometimes, but not always) • Support academic EiC, liaison with production and marketing team • Can be involved in making desk rejections DEVELOPMENTAL/ACQUISITION EDITOR • Scientific backgrounds (often) • Commission articles and special issues • Responsible for acquisition/launch/improvement of scholarly products • Common role in book publishing COPY EDITOR • Scientific background (often at MS/BS level, not PhD) • Responsible for proof-reading manuscripts • Mostly present in ”apex” titles, major brands
  16. What’s hot & what’s not …AND WHAT I WOULD DO

    WITHOUT • Journal/process development can be slow and frustrating • Angry authors are difficult to deal with • Fraud/Ethical violations are not uncommon and very exasperating! • Sometimes I miss coding, hacking hardware (being a “lab-rat”) WHAT I LOVE… • It’s a career at the “center of science” • Entrusted the knowledge of entire disciplines • Bird’s-eye view over science, see best results 1st! • Contact with the scientific community • Add & participate to the scientific debate and progress • Plenty of (international) travel* • Real possibility of professional growth *pre-COVID, at least
  17. What is a good editor made of? … BUT YOU

    WON’T LOVE IT IF YOU … • love being in the lab and doing research • enjoy being the world expert in a specific subject • don’t like changing topics several times a day • hated writing your thesis IT MAY BE THE JOB FOR YOU IF YOU … • are passionate for science communication • recognize the importance of publishing in the scientific process • are curious about a broad range of topics & disciplines • know the art of diplomacy and have people skills • have analytical and decision-making skills • are creative, with an eye for detail (and the “next big thing”) ENGLISH IS THE LANGUAGE OF SCIENCE • Publishing not restricted to native speakers anymore • BUT, you need to be fluent in communicating science with it