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My Escape from the Lab: Scientific Publishing

Matteo Cavalleri
February 16, 2021

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.

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 [email protected]

  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