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My Escape from the Lab: Scientific Publishing

My Escape from the Lab: Scientific Publishing

This talk explores roles for postdoctoral STEM researchers in the publishing industry. By sharing my experience I hope to enable a broader understanding of the different roles inside the editorial office of academic journals and the skills required for editorial positions posted by commercial and society publishers.

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Matteo Cavalleri

February 16, 2021
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  1. Wiley My escape from the lab: scientific publishing Dr Matteo

    Cavalleri, Publisher, Materials Science & Physics, WILEY @physicsteo 23 September 2020, #LovePostdocs 2020 linkedin.com/teowaits
  2. Who I am M.S. in Chemistry (1999) PhD in Chemical

    Physics (2005) PostDoc 2005-2008
  3. Who I am (Typical) M.S. in Chemistry (1999) PhD in

    Chemical Physics (2005) PostDoc 2005-2008 Most editors are PhD-trained scientists… often with PostDoc experience. Own research experience is invaluable!
  4. Publishing is a career for PhDs Peer-Review Editor (2008-2010), Berlin

    Associate Editor (2010-2012), NYC Editor-in-Chief (2012-2020), NYC Executive Editor (2017-2020) & Publisher (Present)
  5. Where I work HOBOKEN, NJ • Founded in 1807 in

    NYC • Headquarter in Hoboken, NJ • Publicly listed in NYSE • ~5000 staff worldwide • ~1700 journals • ~9000 books …in partnership with 1085 organizations (865 scholarly societies, + institutes, universities, goverments,…)
  6. Where I work HOBOKEN, NJ • Founded in 1807 in

    NYC • Headquarter in Hoboken, NJ • Publicly listed in NYSE • ~5000 staff worldwide • ~1700 journals • ~9000 books …in partnership with 1085 organizations (865 scholarly societies, + institutes, universities, goverments,…) View from the office (not my office) #WorkFromHome #FlattenTheCurve
  7. What I did all day* @WileyCTChem http://q-chem.org • Founded in

    1967, in-house editorial office since 2011 • Expanded scope, new look, online only • Rapid peer-review, fast publication processes *Work days are pretty reasonable, actually
  8. The editorial office EXTERNAL EDITORS IN-HOUSE EDITORS …all ACS, T&F,

    OUP, most Elsevier, most Springer-Nature, Elsevier, Wiley journals… …+ some APS, RSC, IOP titles, Cell Press, EMBO, Science, PLOS, The Lancet…
  9. The editorial office EXTERNAL EDITORS IN-HOUSE EDITORS Work full time

    on journal – can dedicate more time and resources on new developments General view PhDs, PostDocs wanted! Have own research group Expert in specific field Vacancies not posted, not for early-stage career researchers BOTH: peer-review, decision making, dealing with appeals, commissioning, conference participation and lab visits, writing news stories, contributing to “input” marketing …
  10. Journal Editor: One day in the life

  11. Journal Editor: One 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
  12. In-house editors: Life as a pro …AND WHAT WE ARE

    NOT… • Active in research (not even part-time!) • Lone wolves & hermits WHAT WE ARE… • Full-time employees of a publisher • Former researchers (Ph.D, often PostDoc experience) • Working in small editorial team (1~20 ppl), supported by editorial board • Work (mostly, especially initially) from the publisher’s offices* • Holding different titles (EiC, associate,..) depending on experience & responsibility • Responsible of peer-review process and editorial decisions • Responsible of content commissioning • The face of the publisher in the community, voice of the researches in the publisher *pre-COVID, at least
  13. What I do all day now Executive Editor & Publisher

    (Present) International in-house editorial team of 7, based in East Coast of US Lead US in-house editorial team (co-founded in 2010) Publisher of the Materials Science & Physics team Portfolio includes OA & subscription titles
  14. Publisher: One 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 and train new editors • Roll 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
  15. Other roles: Not just peer-review MANAGING EDITOR/JOURNAL PUBLISHING EDITOR •

    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 of acquisition/launch/improvement of scholarly products • Common role in book publishing COPY EDITOR • Scientific background (often at MS/BS level, not PhD) • Responsible of proof-reading manuscripts • Only present in ”apex” titles, major brands
  16. PhDs sightings in STEM publishing… SCIENTIFIC WRITERS/JOURNALISTS (often freelancers) PRODUCT

    DEVELOPERS EXPERTS IN PUBLICATION ETHICS MARKETING MANAGERS SALES MANAGERS ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT MANAGERS HIGHER MANAGEMENT (PUBLISHING DIRECTORS,…)
  17. 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”) • Career progression after Editor-in-Chief not easy WHAT I LOVE… • It’s a career at the “center of science” • Entrusted the knowledge of entire disciplines • Bird-eye view over science, see best results 1st! • Contact with the scientific community • Add & participate at the scientific debate and progress • Plenty of (international) travel* • Real possibility of professional growth *pre-COVID, at least
  18. What is a good editor made of? … BUT YOU

    WON’T LOVE IT IF YOU … • love being in the lab and do research • enjoy being the world expert in a specific subject • don’t like changing topics several time 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
  19. Let’s Get a Job!

  20. Wiley is wonderful. Really, but other places are available…. and

    more… In-house editors wanted: Other roles:
  21. Wiley is wonderful. Really, but other places are available…. and

    more…but also: In-house editors wanted: Other roles: • On LinkedIn • With Specialized headhunters (Jack Farrell, Lynne Palmers, Bert Davies,…) • On scientific jobs websites (NatureJobs, ScienceCareers,…) • At scientific conferences (visit the expo, reach out at publishers booths) • At career fairs/events • Network!
  22. How to get a publishing job • Don’t be too

    modest, but be concise (Cover Letter should fit on 1 page, CV on 2) • Mention where you heard about the vacancy & refer to job ID • CV and cover letter should be error free! • Convey why you are interested in a career in publishing • One CV does not fit all jobs • Do your homework *pre-COVID, at least
  23. How to get a publishing job • Don’t be too

    modest, but be concise (Cover Letter should fit on 1 page, CV on 2) • Mention where you heard about the vacancy & refer to job ID • CV and cover letter should be error free! • Convey why you are interested in a career in publishing • One CV does not fit all jobs • Do your homework Emphasize any relevant experience: Articles published, poster presentation awards, reviewer experience, participation in journal club, scientific communication efforts (blog, general public talks,..), organization of events/symposia, leadership positions….
  24. How to get a publishing job • Don’t be too

    modest, but be concise (Cover Letter should fit on 1 page, CV on 2) • Mention where you heard about the vacancy & refer to job ID • CV and cover letter should be error free! • Convey why you are interested in a career in publishing • One CV does not fit all jobs • Do your homework Get insight information via your contacts, study the company, understand the trends in the industry (open access, alternative peer-review, etc…)
  25. The interview: 2 min take • There WILL be a

    test (writing test, editing/reviewing test, commissioning exercise…) • Ask questions (See if this is something for you) • Do not volunteer information that might complicate your hiring ( visa requirements,…) • Let us know you have done your homework • Send a thank you email to everybody involved in the interview process • Have recommendation letters ready to go!
  26. Dr. Matteo Cavalleri @physicsteo linkedin.com/teowaits mcavalleri@wiley.com

  27. EDITORIAL: Responsible for acquiring and publishing content. Target best in

    class editors and authors; subject matter expertise and trend tracking. FINANCE: Ensures that budgets and project appraisals are realistic, that the business is operating with strong controls and that performance is effectively monitored. PRODUCTION: Building the product. Previously outsourced, now increasingly automated and becoming Global. DIGITAL PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: Responsible for the development and implementation of new tools, technology and services. MARKETING: Create awareness and audience for product, increasingly digital and social SALES: For journals traditionally subscription based to large institutions, but authors and individuals also important. RIGHTS AND LICENSING: Business of repurposing content, fair use agreements OPERATIONS: Impacts customers and employees. Fulfillment, customer service, HR, facilities Main components of a publishing organization