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Discover the Future of Research

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     Chloe Wenborn
Chloe Wenborn
Wiley, Library Services

Have you ever worked with archives or used them in your writing or research?

 

We asked this question recently at the 2018 Royal Anthropological Institutes conference ‘Art, Materiality and Representation’, at the prestigious British Library.

This esteemed event attracts a variety of participants from anthropologists, curators and teachers to undergraduates, postgraduates and artists, many of whom shared their experiences of using archives in their research:

‘I have used archived photos and articles. Archival material is vital for the research as they broaden perspectives and bring new dimensions to our understanding of the field of research.’- Mary Amsafe

‘I have used Journals, papers and archives of exhibitions and events. Archival material online has changed the way we research over the last 10 years. It has opened {up} lots of new ways to research subject using a trans-disciplinary approach… we cannot imagine doing research without it.’ -Marie-Blanche

These are just a couple of examples of the many responses we received where participants shared the importance of using archival material in their work.

 

It is clear, that there is educational and research value in using primary sources of content. But many of these primary sources, held by societies in their archives, are difficult, and in many cases expensive, for researchers to access.  Due to the physical nature, storage, and age of the archived items, it may be difficult to uncover these archives even when visiting the society library. Because of this, many societies, including the Royal Anthropological Institute, have had students request that archives be made more easily accessible.

“Might there be a way you can get that digitized and sent to me?”

--Faculty and researchers

The Royal Anthropological Institute was keen to lead an initiative with Wiley to digitize their archives to make them widely accessible to all their members and researchers

Why Go Digital?

By digitizing their archival content, the RAI became a pioneer in altering the competitive research landscape and in changing the nature of education in key fields for the future while also preserving their records for future generations to enjoy.

 

Digitizing archived content won’t just benefit the society and its faculty though.  The RAI would unlock a whole new wealth of material for their members and researchers making their content easier and more affordable to access.

 

Digitization offers a more holistic scholarly record for researchers, allowing them to gain a closer understanding or even to reinterpret the content and arrive at new conclusions.. It can also add historical context for researchers to add breadth and depth to their studies. Finally, digitization a offers a chance for researchers to re-visit, re-examine, and re-interpret content at any time so that, data or information can be viewed through a new lens or can be interpolated with more recent information to form new conclusions.

But, How Do You Go About Archiving Thousands of Pieces of Content?

The full range of content within the archive was worked through and considered for digitization.

 

The rights, copyrights, and privacy laws were considered for each piece before being put forward for digitization. The sensitivities and views of the RAI fellows and those of the peoples and cultures who may be represented in the archives were also carefully considered.. Following this process, the final decisions on the content to be digitized were made by the RAI.

 

From there, we worked closely with the RAI providing two conservators to work onsite to pull, identify, assess, repair (if needed) and track content throughout the process.

 

All content that is digitized has extant cataloguing and associated metadata connected to the documents at the item level. Digitization occurred offsite for most of the content using scans of 400 DPI 24-bit colour and printed text is OCR’d. Additional metadata is derived from the OCR process and/or keyed-in (handwritten documents) from the headers, names, places, and dates.

At the end of the process, all analog content is returned to the RAI. Much of the content was re-housed in new archival storage boxes and sleeves provided by Wiley. The digital archive is also available onsite at the RAI offices and all files, images and generated text, metadata were returned as well.

 

What was found within the RAI archives?

 

Several surprises arose from within the RAI archive. Because the content was not restricted to journals The RAI and Wiley managed to digitize everything from: reports, drawings and book clippings to field notes, correspondence and meeting minutes.

 

Beyond these more traditional primary sources, the process unearthed, a collection of Victorian glass plates numbering in the thousands most of which were designed to be used with a Magic Lantern.

The Magic Lantern, (as seen above) is an early type of image projector employing light to project pictures painted, printed or produced photographically on transparent plates (usually made of glass). It was mostly developed in the 17th century and commonly used for entertainment purposes. The magic lantern was in wide use from the 18th century until the mid-20th century.

 

The RAI Conference ‘Art, Materiality and Representation’

 

During the conference the RAI gave us a demonstration of the magic lantern with popular slides used for entertainment from the 18th century to the mid-20th century.

   

Above left is an ad for a magic lantern show and on the right is a popular depiction of Scrooge from Charles Dickens ‘Christmas Carol’.

 

We were then treated to a famous story of the time called ‘The Death of Koshchei the Deathless’- a fairytale which follows Prince Ivan on his quest to save Maray Morevna from Koshchei the Deathless facing many perils along the way.

 

Researchers and students were also given a live demonstration of how the new digital archives platform works.

 

Wiley Digital Archives

 

Wiley plans to continue this initiative to partner with the world’s leading societies RAI libraries and archives to digitize their unique and rare primary content to support researchers today while preserving it for future generations.

 

If you would like to find out more about the RAI Archives and other archives visit our resources page here.

 

Image Credit: 1 & 2: Chloe Wenborn, 3-6: Ray Abruzzi

 

    Ben Meghreblian
Ben Meghreblian
Sense About Science

0.jpegLitigated against for fighting spurious claims about vaccines. Attacked and undermined for researching complementary and alternative medicines. Dismissed for speaking out about the UK government’s policies on drugs being at odds with the evidence.

 

What do these have in common? They are all experiences of previous winners of the John Maddox Prize, which recognizes individuals who have stood up for science in the face of hostility. The prize is an initiative of Sense about Science, a charity which challenges the misrepresentation of science and evidence in public life, and Nature, a leading multidisciplinary scientific journal.

 

Sir John Maddox, whose name this prize commemorates, was a passionate and tireless champion and defender of science, engaging with difficult debates and inspiring others to do the same. As a writer and former editor of Nature, he changed attitudes and perceptions, and strove for better understanding and appreciation of science throughout his long working life.

 

Nominations are now open for the 2018 prize, and we are looking for individuals across scientific fields and countries who have faced significant challenges in their public activity in any of the following areas:

 

  • Addressing misleading information about scientific issues (including social science and medicine).
  • Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.
  • Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue.

 

Last year’s winner was Japanese vaccine researcher, Dr Riko Muranaka, who faced strong opposition from anti-vaccine activists and some academics, including being the subject of an ongoing lawsuit, for defending the safety of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Japan. Vaccination rates in the country dropped from 70% to less than 1% following a national misinformation campaign. This, despite the World Health Organization stating that there is no evidence to support the claims. The lawsuit is due to hear from witnesses at the end of July 2018, with a judgement expected six months later. Speaking after receiving the award, Dr Muranaka said: “...I simply cannot ignore dangerous claims that threaten public health. I want people to hear the truth, that’s the reason I continue to write and speak out.”

 

Other recent winners include Professor Elizabeth Loftus, a cognitive neuroscientist, whose groundbreaking research on eyewitness testimony has altered legal history, and Dr. David Robert Grimes, a doctor of physics and cancer researcher, who has previously written on challenging and controversial issues, including evidence relating to nuclear power, climate change, and abortion.

 

In an era awash with claims of post-truth and fake news, it’s more important than ever for scientists to continue working on and engaging with crucial issues, challenging dubious scientific claims and ensuring that evidence is placed at the center of any debate. It’s also important that their institutions support them in what they do. The John Maddox Prize is a fantastic way of encouraging and celebrating such work - previous nominees and winners have spoken of the morale boost they felt, along with the honor of being recognized for their work.

 

More information about the prize, including eligibility, criteria, and how to nominate can be found here - nominations close on August 13th, 2018, with the winner being announced at a reception on November 14th, receiving £3000 and an announcement published in Nature.

 

Ben has a background in psychology and IT, and has previously worked at Sense about Science and Open Knowledge International on AllTrials and OpenTrials, aimed at improving clinical trials through greater transparency and linked/open data. His interests include science, medicine, technology, psychology, open knowledge, and human rights. For more info visit: benmeg.com.

Image Credit/Source:pixabay.com

     Chris Graf
Chris Graf
Director, Research Integrity and Publishing Ethics, Wiley

Henriikka Mustajoki, Head of Development at The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, recently visited Wiley to share her thoughts on the barriers to openness and open science (besides the ongoing debate over open access and business models) and responsible science communication. Henriikka explored some of the “shadows” created by biased metrics and lack of incentives, discussed how fear of negative publicity may induce self-censorship, and talked about the one thing that’s central to all research: Authorship. Henriikka builds on her experience developing a national curriculum for research ethics in Finland and teaching ethics at Universities of Helsinki, Sydney and Glasgow. She now leads the national coordination of open science in Finland. and explained the need for a cultural change in the way we do research, share research, and work within the research community.

 

We caught up with Henriikka after her presentation, and asked her to sum up the session by responding to three questions.

 

Q. What would you say are the main barriers to openness and research, Henriikka?

A. Open science requires a cultural change and change is never easy. There are three main barriers.

 

a) Incentives and metrics – why would an individual researcher engage with open science if there are no career benefits? Or even worse, what if  open science activities have a detrimental effect on their careers because they have promoted open science instead of producing articles in high impact journals. The open science revolution will be slow if we cannot address the issues with incentives and metrics.

 

b) Cost – open science is not simply unlocking scientific practices. It is a time-consuming and costly process of preparing FAIR data, funding open access publications, and creating new structures for collaboration.

 

c) Skills – open science requires new skill-sets in communicating openly, managing data and using collaborative tools. Time and opportunities for new skill development is an essential for open science development.

 

Q.  And how do you think these barriers might be particularly challenging for early career researchers?

A. Early career researchers are most vulnerable as they do not have the safety of continuing employment to take risks such as trying out new ways of publishing, sharing data, collaborating, and communicating their results. Opportunities must be specifically created to enable early career researches to engage with open science.

 

Q. What might research publishers like Wiley do to help?

A. The world of research is changing and everyone’s skills are essential. Publishers like Wiley are skilled in communication, making an impact in the research community, and creating networks. Sharing these networks and creating new broader roles for publishing in society (where publishers help researchers, and help research find its “users”) is one way of advancing open science.

 

Thanks, Henriikka. So we at Wiley, like many research publishers I’m sure, are imaging new roles for ourselves, where we support researchers as they transition to more open research practices, where we lead and are part of that transition to open science, and where we do our bit to ensure that all credible research and new knowledge can be shared in the best possible ways.

 

What are some ways you feel publishers can support researchers and open science? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Photo credit: Henriikka Mustajoki

    Morgan Kubelka
Morgan Kubelka
Library Services, Wiley

The history of medicine.  It sounds like a “Final Jeopardy” category, doesn’t it?Print of a physician wearing a mask at the time of the plague 17th century small.jpg

 

The subject is almost existential. How do you pinpoint the origin of something as essential as medicine? Of doctors, surgeons, and other medical practitioners? How do you get to the beginning of the story and how did we get to where we are today?

 

I figured one reasonable way to get there is to ask the people that were there at the time of its evolution. Since I can’t exactly get Galen on the phone, I took advantage of the archives of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), one of the oldest medical colleges in England.

 

Celebrating its 500th anniversary this year, the RCP is inextricably tied to both the history of medicine and modern science as a whole. As the Wiley Digital Archives team is currently in the process of digitizing the RCP’s archives, I had the luxury of supplementing my crude research with “the truth”—or the authentic firsthand accounts of those that lived it.

 

Check out some of the most surprising and interesting things you probably didn’t know about the history of medicine and the Royal College of Physicians.

 

Captain, the doctor has no experience!

 

Charter of Incorporation for the College by Henry VIII under the Great Seal, 1518 .jpg

I guess it’s not entirely surprising that the medical landscape looked different in the 16th century than it does today, but it’s shocking to learn just how different.

 

With little to no regulation, medical practice often consisted of “physicians” with no formal training or knowledge. Malpractice in England was rampant and unnecessary deaths abundant as unqualified impersonators took advantage of the wild west of practicing medicine.

 

As a result, the College of Physicians formed in 1518 with a royal charter from King Henry VIII in order to separate the “real” doctors from the quacks by granting licenses to qualified people and punishing imposters. The number of fellows was very small and consisted of only the well-educated elite.

 

You can’t sit with us

 

In the 16th century, there was a defined social hierarchy when it came to different members of the medical field.  Physicians, for instance, were considered the most educated and elite, enjoying command and superiority over surgeons and apothecaries.

 

At the time, apothecaries dispensed drugs at the physician’s instruction (think pharmacist), while surgeons performed a ‘practical’ trade that could be learned by apprenticeship. The lack of formal education required not only informed their place in the medical hierarchy, but also left their qualifications up to inconsistent methods and quality of training.

 

 

When barbers and surgeons were one in the same

 

Barbers and surgeons-small.jpgFrom the 16th century to the 18th century, barbers and surgeons in London belonged to the same guild, known as the Company of Barber-Surgeons.  With a perceived overlap in skills, barbers were allowed to perform a wide variety of both cosmetic and surgical functions, from cutting hair to amputating limbs, for instance.

 

As you can imagine, the amount of people who died from these surgeries rivaled the number cured. Not only that, there remained an elite subset of surgeons who resented being lumped into the same category as the lowly barber. Instead, ‘pure’ surgeons wanted to be more like the physicians—respected and esteemed.

 

Yet, it wasn’t until 1745 that surgeons would officially separate from the Company and begin establishing the formal educational standards which would enable them to rise to the same standard as their long-time rivals, the physicians

 

Scope creep and blurred lines

 

Try as they might, the physicians struggled to maintain sole control of practicing medicine. As the general population rapidly exceeded the number of licensed doctors, the apothecaries stepped into the role of de facto physicians to the country’s poor. Still, the RCP ardently fought for the physician’s position at the top of the medical tree.

 

The ongoing battle between the apothecaries and physicians persisted for centuries and was even the subject of a popular satirical poem at the time. Published in 1699, The Dispensary, written by RCP member Sir Samuel Garth, captured the spirit of the time as the elite “medical authority” tried to undercut the growing legitimacy of the apothecaries.

 

By the early 18th century, the conflict came to a head. In what would be a landmark case that would define the role and legal status of those providing care to the sick, the Royal College of Physicians sued a Liveryman of the Society of Apothecaries for malpractice. Ultimately, the Rose Case (1701-1704) ruled in the apothecaries’ favor, granting them legal recognition as doctors and marking the beginning of the general practice of medicine.

 

 

What’s your sign?

Illustration of the 'zodiac man' in Fasciculus medicinae, Johannes de Ketham, published Venice, 1500.jpg

 

While nowadays you might flip to the back of a magazine to read your horoscope for fun, in Renaissance Europe astrology was actually a part of everyday medical practice. Physicians combined medical knowledge with careful studies of the stars and often carried special almanacs containing star charts which were said to rule each part of the body.

 

In fact, in the books of one of Tudor England’s most enigmatic figures, John Dee, a table illustration links the different signs of the zodiac with the four humors of the body: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood.  It wasn’t until the 18th century that emergent scientific disciplines led to the breakdown of astrology as part of the medical realm.

                                                               

 

William Harvey: physician and witch detector?

 

Witches apprehended, examined and executed. Published London, 1613. Wellcome Collection..jpg

 

One of the most famous fellows of the RCP is William Harvey, a physician most notable for his discovery of the systematic circulation of the blood pumped around the body by the heart and for his propagation of the empirical pillars of observation and experimentation to understand “the secrets of nature.”  De Motu Cordis (‘on the motion of the heart’) was published in 1628, controversially challenging over 1,500 years of established scientific and medical belief.

 

What many aren’t aware of was Harvey’s role in applying his pragmatic skillset to investigating the legitimacy of so-called “witches”. As RCP fellows were often called upon to advise on a variety of public matters, it wasn’t all that surprising when King Charles I came to Harvey, his own physician, with a request.

 

After 17 women were found guilty of witchcraft as a result of the Pendle Witch Trials of 1634, a skeptical King Charles I requested four of the convicted women be brought to London to be inspected by a selection of midwives and surgeons, under Harvey’s guidance. And so it was that Harvey found himself examining the women for “physical signs of witchcraft.” As a figure known for his high regard for reason and rationality, it’s unsurprising that Harvey was left unconvinced of the charges made against them. (read more)

 

A man’s world

Letter from Elizabeth Anderson to Mr Hutchinson asking permission to attend his lectures on lupus at the Harveian Society, 1887.jpg

 

While it’s hardly shocking that women weren’t originally admitted into the medical field, letters in the RCP archives demonstrate that this didn’t deter them.

 

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, a pioneering feminist and physician, applied to the RCP in 1864 to take the exam for the LRCP medical diploma.

 

“I have been registered as a medical student at the Apothecaries Hall, where I have also passed the preliminary examination in Arts and the first professional exam for the license … I can produce all necessary certificates of study from recognized teachers in acknowledged schools of medicine…”

 

Though she was refused, she continued to practice medicine and to be an advocate for education and careers for women. She even continued to rather boldly request permission to attend lectures at medical societies associated with RCP.

 

Dear Mr Hutchinson, I wonder if I might be admitted to some dark obscure corner to hear y[ou]r lectures on Lupus? The good Charing X people are admitting women to their post graduate course so it w[oul]d not be quite novel if the Harveian Soc were disposed to be gracious. Do not trouble to answer unless you can say ‘yes’.

 

Despite her persistence, it wouldn’t be until 1909 that a by-law allowing women to take RCP exams was passed and another 16 years until women could become full members.

 

The evolution of science and medicine

 

Since the days of relying on zodiac charts to understand human health and employing barbers to perform surgeries, it’s clear times have changed. But luckily so has society and our intellectual frameworks, which directly impact science’s evolution.

 

For one thing, the concept of “scientific disciplines” as we know them today didn’t really come up until the 19th century. Before then, there were broader units of knowledge that overlapped and existed to be built on—preserving the philosophical ideas of the past and adding on to them like an encyclopedia.  This is almost the direct opposite of what we see today, where research fundamentally relies on the questioning of what is known as “the truth” and constantly pushes toward new discoveries.

 

Despite this shift from a “encyclopedic” orientation to specific and specialized areas of interest, the fact remains that modern science is still interdisciplinary; as each field evolves, it somehow comments on the others—offering new ideas, methods and concepts that indelibly impact the rest. For instance, without the technology advancements of the 19th century and government funding that enabled clinical research in real hospital and lab settings, our understanding of the body and its various conditions could still be limited to a zodiac chart.

 

The RCP’s own evolution reflects the impact of historical context and the shift toward a more “open” scientific community. Not only did its members grow from an elite set of male physicians from England, to a diverse community of medical practitioners from all over the world, the RCP also embraced its ability to actively impact public health policy on a range of issues. From its 1962 report on the impact of smoking, to its 2016 report on the impact of air pollution, the RCP demonstrates how human health is understood and advanced in relation to the historical, societal and environmental context that surrounds it.

 

So the question is, what will the next 500 years bring?

 

To learn more about the Royal College of Physicians: a Wiley Digital Archives collection, visit here.

 

Images

1. Print of a physician wearing a mask at the time of the plague, 17th century. Credit: Royal College of Physicians

2. Charter of incorporation for the College of Henry VIII under the Great Seal 1518, Credit: Royal College of Physicians

3. Barber-surgeons working on a boil on a man's forehead. Credit: Wellcome Library, London

4. Illustration of the 'zodiac man' in Fasciculus medicinae, Johannes de Ketham, published Venice, 1500. Credit: Royal College of Physicians
5. Witches apprehended, examined, and executed, Published London, 1613. Credit: Wellcome Collection

6. Letter from Elizabeth Anderson to Mr. Hutchinson asking permission to attend his lectures on Lupus at the Harveian Society, 1887.

Credit: Royal College of Physicians

 

 

 

 

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

We often hear examples of how societies across the research spectrum run into difficulties when it comes to growing membership from outside academia. These potential members might be teachers or social workers, they might work in healthcare or industrial fields. Each of these potential members works in a field that is directly influenced by the research that these societies publish. And in many of these fields, the connections between researchers and practitioners vary widely.

 

From our Society Member Survey, we learned that those who work at universities or colleges are more likely to be current society members, and they are also more likely to join a society in the next year. So how can we reach potential members who work in adjacent fields?

 

Explore diverse member benefits

 

M1W1RH.JPGMember benefits need to be tailored to your current community and any community spaces that you’re trying to grow. When it comes to applied or practice-based fields, member benefits need to offer a variety of networking and career opportunities that will have a positive impact on the professional lives of these individuals.

 

Networking and community-building is consistently a top reason why members join societies. This remains true for professional members. They want to connect with other professionals in their industry, and many will also be motivated by fostering connections with researchers in their fields. Global community and career advancement are still important to those in fields outside of academia. Societies offer opportunities to bridge the research and practice gap, where the two can connect on shared concerns and come together to solve problems. These networking activities can also lead to professional opportunities later.

 

Members need to see the professional value of society membership, as well as feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves in terms of a society’s community and mission. Benefits  like certifications, or learning tools such as  podcasts and webinars offer tangible professional development and incentivize potential members to join.

 

Show the relevance of your research

 

Based on our Society Member Survey, there is a strong correlation between engaging frequently with research content and joining a society. Those outside of academia are less likely to produce their own research. But they are still very interested in attending meetings, using research to help inform their jobs and staying at the cutting edge of their fields.

 

Those who don’t work in academia are still very interested in content, but they engage with it less frequently than those in academia. They have a greater need for other content formats such as  professional practice publications or magazines, however. In lieu of practice-focused publications, there may be opportunities to explore blogs that focus on research applications to help attract professional members.

 

The value of your publications for potential members in applied fields should be clear. These potential members may not always have time to search extensively for what they need or have the time to devote to long literature reviews. Diverse types of content will help readers understand the value of research to their professional lives, in turn encouraging membership.

 

Overall, members outside of academia are attracted to societies for some of the same key reasons: access to the publications and the opportunity to attend the conference. Potential members won’t join if they have a sense of feeling unwelcome or not invited to a society. Actively encouraging the diverse perspectives of professional members to your society can go a long way in making them feel that they’re not only welcome, but also an integral part of the society’s future.

 

How do you feel societies should encourage professionals to join? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Image Credit: Marine Construction Photos/Alamy Stock Photos

    Fiona O'Connor
Fiona O'Connor
Society Marketing, Wiley

Alice Wood, a Senior Publishing Development Editor at Wiley, recently sat down with Allen Moore, Editor-in-Chief of the Open Access journal, Ecology and Evolution, to hear his perspective on everything from impact factor to recent challenges facing the journal. Below, we share one part of this conversation, where we ask, “What changes do you see happening in the next five years?”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Fiona O'Connor
Fiona O'Connor
Society Marketing, Wiley

To reach the right researchers about a special issue, alert authors of journal activity, and share a society’s new initiative, messages need to be targeted accurately. According to a study done by the Radicati Group, an estimated 269 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2017, and this is expected to increase to over 333 billion daily emails in 2022.

 

Smarketing App_image.jpg

As a publishing partner, the goal of our marketing service is to inform communities of research that can change the world and share the wonderful work that our societies do every day. When working with so many diverse and unique communities, one of our biggest challenges is identifying the right groups to share information with. To address this issue, we’ve started to use the Smarketing app, which allows us to create more innovative, agile, and targeted campaigns, and will in turn drive greater impact for societies and their journals. The tool can search for researchers and authors working in specific fields and defined subjects. It then cross references those names with our email subscribers, and sends the most relevant message to the right people.

When we first discovered the Smarketing app, we saw plenty of potential: this seemed like something that would save us time and help make journal communications feel personal and meaningful for the authors on the receiving end of the email. To make sure it was a tool that could work for our communities, we decided to test it on a campaign to drive submissions for a journal’s special issue.

 

Our goal was to drive submissions by sending a targeted Call for Papers email to authors who have published research on “plant stress” over the past 5 years – those who would be most interested in learning about the upcoming Special Issue. We identified these authors and shared the Call for Papers with them. By combining the new targeting technology in the Smarketing app with our understanding of the journal’s needs, we were able to approach our goal with precision and focus. 

 

When compared with a general ‘entomology’’ call for papers campaign for the journal, this campaign had an open rate that was 50% higher, and our click-through rates were more than twice what we normally see when using a subject list without additional targeting.

 

We’re able to use these lists for targeted social media advertising campaigns too – meaning we’re able to reach only those people who are most likely to engage and react to them. Targeting our message helps us in multiple ways: it means the money spent on advertising is more likely to reach the right authors at the right time, and it means that whatever message we’re communicating feels meaningful, relevant, and personal to the selected audience..

 

This targeting approach can be applied to other initiatives in the future and create greater impact and results for organizations. The Smarketing app is a powerful tool to better reach your communities, to share the mission of your organization, and to engage in a meaningful and thoughtful way.

 

Do you have any experience using other tools to refine your target audience? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Image credit: Getty Images

    Josh Robertson
Josh Robertson
Co-founder, Conservation Conversation

We're in the middle of our #inspiredbywildlife campaign where we've asked for people to vote on one of six conservation causes. As part of a partnership with Act for Wildlife, we'll donate $1 for every vote received by July 1!

 

We're fortunate to have had conservation scientist Josh Robertson, co-founder of Conservation Conversation participate. Read on to learn more about Josh and his view on these amazing projects sponsored by Act for Wildlife.

 

If there's one thing you do today, it should be to vote for free in the #inspiredbywildlife campaign! Cast your vote for one of these 6 conservation projects and, as part of a partnership with Act for Wildlife, Wiley will donate $1 to that project for each vote! I was originally going to tell you what I voted for and why, but I wouldn't want to sway you to a particular project and so thought I'd rather go into detail on your contenders! Click here to ignore my advice & vote!

 

1) SAVING ASIAN ELEPHANTS

The Assam project in India has been an incredible model for mitigating human-wildlife conflicts worldwide! Putting local communities at the heart of human-elephant conflict solutions, which include practical mitigation measures and education programmes, this project is working wonders to improve the lives of local people and help save the endangered Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus).

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2) HELPING CHIMPANZEES IN NIGERIA-CAMEROON

Needless to say that if you're a fan of our not-so-distant relatives then this is the project for you! Chester Zoo have been involved in Gashaka Gumpti National Park in Nigeria since 1991, and using the endangered Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ssp. ellioti) as an umbrella species for wider conservation efforts, the Gashaka Biodiversity Project trains local park rangers and works to protect the incredibly unique wilderness areas found between Nigeria and Cameroon! This chimp species has both the smallest geographic range and population size of all the Chimpanzee subspecies, so they need your vote!

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3) ANDEAN BEAR NUMBERS ARE IN DECLINE

I couldn't bear it if the gardeners of the Andes went extinct.They have an uncertain future with only ~3,000 individuals left in Bolivia. As we continue to fragment their homes and push them closer to our boundaries, human-bear conflict is on the up! By supporting this project you're not just helping to protect the endangered Andean/Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and reduce conflict with people, your saving huge areas of forest and everything in them.

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4) BLACK RHINOS ON THE EDGE

Rhino horn is more valuable than gold As a result, Africa's answer to the unicorn went through a population decline of 97.6% since 1960 and is currently critically endangered. However, thanks to conservation projects like this, the black rhino (Diceros bicornis) population has recovered slightly and now sits between 5,042-5,455. So, let's help keep this recovery going!

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5) STANDING TALL FOR GIRAFFES

So, giraffes are great, they look funny when they drink at waterholes and just like all species they play important roles in food webs!   ️ But for me, despite the fact their population has dropped from 140,000 to 80,000 in 15yrs, this project shouldn't get your vote. With limited resources for conservation we need to focus our efforts wisely; the other projects either protect more endangered species or will have more far reaching conservation outcomes. But if you love giraffes go for it!

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6) LIVING WITH TIGERS

Okay, I know I said I didn't want to lead anyone into a project, but this one gets my vote. And I know tigers get lots of attention already but hear me out. Anti-poaching efforts led to a 63% rise in Nepals endangered tiger (Panthera tigris) population!  But this success isn't all it seems. There's still only around 200 in Nepal and mo' tigers is leading to mo' problems. Nearly 50% of Nepal’s people live in poverty and depend on the forests and natural resources for survival, putting them in direct competition with tigers   . As both the human and tiger populations grow and compete for these resources, human-tiger conflict is having a devastating impact on communities and wildlife – even leading to the deaths of villagers and tigers. By voting for the Living With Tigers Project your creating new livelihoods and saving the lives of tigers and people.

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There we have it! 6 projects you can support for free from the comfort of your home! Voting closes July 1st so what are you waiting for?! Click here and let's help change the world!

 

Read the original post on the Conservation Conversation website.

 

About Josh:

 

As I believe all kids do, I grew up with an innate curiosity for the natural world. That’s not to say I always knew I wanted to be a conservationist – far from it! My aspirations were initially to be either a footballer, a doctor, or an artist! But my lifelong infatuation with natural history caught up with me, and eventually led me to study for a BSc in International Wildlife Biology at the University of South Wales, where I graduated with a First-Class Honours degree and was awarded the Departmental Prize for Outstanding Achievement. Filling the following year with fieldwork in the Caribbean and lab work in the US, I missed the challenge of academia, and went on to complete the MSc Conservation Science course at Imperial College London with a Distinction. This course opened my eyes to the complexities of global environmental issues, and it was in those intricacies that I saw where I could best serve the conservation cause: the public-science interface. I think in life you need to not only find a job doing what you love, but also one in which you utilise your best skills – I’m a naturally optimistic and easy-going person with good people skills, and I like to think I have some creative flare, so why not use this for conservation? This is what led me to start Conservation Conversation (ConCon) with my good friend Stefan Hunt.

 

At ConCon we believe in a world where people and wildlife go together like peanut butter and jam! We use our storytelling skills to not only inform people about the world's biggest issues, but to inspire action and create an online community that develops solutions to these problems. With a splash of comedy and optimism, and the perfect blend of science and media, we create easily digestible videos, photo-stories, and forums on the natural world and the people trying to save it!

 

When I heard about the #inspiredbywildlife campaign I couldn’t wait to get involved! I looked over the campaign with some colleagues of mine where I’m currently working in Croatia, and the #iwasinspiredvideo of how ‘Rose’ used her research to create educational opportunities for young girls in Africa had us in tears. Despite feeling slightly foolish at the end when we saw it was a fictional story, the points stood – the power of a well told story is immeasurable, never give up, and research can change the world. After volunteering for Chester Zoo over the past year, I know first-hand how incredible their conservation research and Act For Wildlife campaigns are. So I’m delighted that we can use our growing following at ConCon to help support these projects and the researchers dedicating their lives to saving wildlife all over the world.

 

Image Credits: Andean Bear: Act for Wildlife, Tigers: Shutterstock, Chimpanzee:Shutterstock,  Giraffes:Shutterstock, Rhino: Act for Wildlife, Elephants : incamerastock/Alamy

    Debbie Chachra
Debbie Chachra
Professor, Olin College of Engineering

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My academic background is in science and engineering, and double-blind peer review is the norm for my academic papers. It’s rightly regarded as the gold standard, and is a key element in the global enterprise that is scientific and scholarly research. But journals are only a small part of the ecosystem of scholarly research.

 

It’s well understood that women have historically been excluded from scholarly endeavors (together with many other groups, including indigenous people, people of color, and people who don’t fit neatly into the standard boxes for gender and orientation). This exclusion has been exacerbated by erasure, where their contributions have been written out of the scholarly record. For every Marie Curie, there are an unknown number of women whose scientific contributions were subsumed into their husbands’ work. Jocelyn Bell (Burnell) discovered pulsars as a graduate student; her male advisor and another astronomer received the Nobel Prize.

 

The repercussions of this exclusion and erasure are carried through to the present day, manifesting as implicit bias in many areas of professional life, not just in science. While few structural barriers exist for women, these unconsidered biases have marked effects on their career trajectories, as detailed by Virginia Valian in her book Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women. Women are less likely to give colloquia talks. They often need to do more work to be considered as successful as their male peers. And while much of the data concerns binary gender, there is every reason to expect that members of other underrepresented groups are facing similar challenges. Erasure, exclusion, and implicit bias mutually reinforce each other. And this doesn’t even consider the effects of gender-based harassment and its impact, including how it affects women engaged in scientific fieldwork.

 

What’s more, peer review is not a panacea. There’s evidence that women are held to higher standards in their writing and so their papers spend longer in peer review. And, women are given less professional credit for multiauthor papers, including papers being attributed solely to male co-authors by the media.

 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) provides guidance to grant proposal reviewers on overcoming implicit bias, and they note that it’s exacerbated by lack of information, stress from competing tasks, or time pressure. It shouldn’t be surprising that it takes significant conscious effort to overcome centuries of exclusion and its consequences. This is not just an issue of fairness for the scholars (although that is certainly a serious issue). We are involved in research and scholarship because we want to contribute to the tremendous edifice that is shared human knowledge. This means we need to confront our own implicit biases and do the active work of engaging with this history, and the people most affected by it.

 

In line with those NSF guidelines, the first step in doing better is to allot appropriate time and care to reviewing papers, especially those by groups that have been historically underrepresented in science and the academy. Help counter ongoing bias by inviting more women to referee journal articles. Consider instituting a code of conduct for authors. For scientific research on humans, consider the research subjects: is the effect of gender properly assessed? And finally, consciously work to create a welcoming research environment wherever you are.

 

Initialized names in black and white on the printed page appear neutral and objective. But those names reflect centuries of history. It’s the responsibility of all of us to change the future.

 

On June 22, 2018 Debbie Chachra spoke about combatting bias in publishing at the Wiley Society Executive Seminar in Washington DC. You can learn more about Society Executive Seminars and request an invitation to future events at www.wileyexecutiveseminar.com.

 

About the author:

 

Debbie Chachra is a professor at Olin College of Engineering, where she was one of the early faculty. The first class at Olin College graduated in 2006; the college was founded to catalyze change in undergraduate engineering education, and is distinguished by its experimental student-centered teaching approaches and by a commitment to gender equity (by design, the college has gender parity in each class). Dr. Chachra researches the engineering student experience, and she speaks, writes, and consults for engineering educators worldwide. Her research has been funded by an NSF CAREER grant and recognized with other awards. She also writes and speaks more broadly at intersections of design, technology, and culture, including credits at The Atlantic and Nature. Her disciplinary background is in materials science and engineering, with a focus on biological systems; prior to joining Olin College, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Toronto. On Twitter, she is @debcha.

    Elizabeth Brophy
Elizabeth Brophy
Journal Publishing Manager, Wiley

Questions are what drive academic publishing, and in the ever-evolving publishing landscape, questions surrounding the presence, use, and impact of research online are becoming more prominent.

 

These are questions Altmetric can help answer. Editors, authors, and publishers all use Altmetric to track research outputs online, and relative to journal publishing, there are three main areas to investigate:

 

  1. How am I doing?
  2. How are they doing?
  3. What should I be doing?

 

1.     Informing, or How am I doing?

 

A key question for any research output is: How many citations, downloads, and mentions is it receiving? These are measurable statistics that can be understood and shared with colleagues, departments, and funding bodies.

 

Altmetric can answer this question by showing how an article is performing in the online world; in both an immediate and long-term context.

 

First, there are the real-time scores on article pages, acting as an easy way for authors to track their online attention. For editors and publishers, there are regular alerts which flag when an article is experiencing a lot of attention, allowing them to react to what is being said; whether positive or negative.

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For a longer term perspective, Altmetric’s reporting tool provides monthly (or more) reports for journal editors so they can track article performance (by research topic, type and location of attention). For many this broadens the understanding of how their social media promotion fits into the wider picture. The new visualizations also make it much easier to show the way attention is gathered, and to pull out patterns.

 

These reports are produced by the Wiley journal team after consultation with the editors.

 

2.     Comparing, or How are they doing?

 

The next question after ‘How am I doing?’ is invariably ‘How is everyone else doing?’

 

Altmetric doesn’t have a clear ranking system, but the data it collects provide an idea of how a group of journals are performing relative to each other. Comparing specific journals requires some manual work, but it can be done, as can:

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Comparing attention across several journals, including and excluding Twitter.

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Comparisons of specific articles within a subject area.

 

It’s important to keep in mind that the data are never perfect –the pool is large, often out of date, has self-determined parameters, and can produce errors. But it provides a basic idea of what is happening on a larger scale, and contextualizes journals and their articles within related research in the online world.

 

3.     Strategizing, or What should I be doing?

 

Using Altmetric for reporting is easy,  but data for data’s sake is pointless. These reports need to provide not only information, but also answers and ideas. For editors, the key question when thinking about strategy is “what should I be doing/what do I want to achieve?”

 

What most editors want to achieve is a high number of online mentions leading to increases in readership. This serves as another  way to promote research, and demonstrate impact. And this is where using Altmetric data for strategy comes in. There are some obvious ways we can use this information to think strategically about journal or article promotion. By observing what content gains attention, how, and from whom, and having measurable figures and examples rather than anecdotal evidence, we can identify appropriate articles and channels for promotion.

 

Altmetric insights can also improve your own social media strategy by tracking articles and providing better understanding into social media communities.

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Social media accounts are difficult to maintain, and the measures of success are not static. Altmetric provide insights that inform and enhance  your social strategy by identifying key influencers and hot topics, and measuring the impact of an image or a hashtag. Essentially, it offers the tools for a better online presence.

 

While online presence is important, downloads and citations remain two of the most important measures for articles. But with research beginning to demonstrate a link between the social media sphere and these metrics, it’s becoming increasingly important to consider the relationship between all three elements and to focus  on each individually. Altmetric is only one tool within a range of data analytics, but it contributes to a picture of multidimensional usage which answers - and often leads to even more - important questions about journal performance.

    Anna Ehler
Anna Ehler
Society Marketing, Wiley    

In a time when many learned societies are questioning their futures, the Royal Statistical Society is working hard to stay relevant. Listen to this episode of the Wiley Society Podcast to hear from Hetan Shah, Executive Director of the Royal Statistical Society, about how the RSS is changing their mindset and their strategy to succeed in a changing landscape.

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Listen to the previous podcast episode: Why Sharing Research Needs to Get Easier (or Else)

 

You can listen to this episode and others – including episodes on the origin of fake news and how to get the most out of your social media strategy – by going to iTunes and subscribing to the Wiley Society Podcast.

    Jen Cheng
Jen Cheng
Content Marketing Strategist, Wiley

When Librarian Caroline Pang was presented with the opportunity to build a medical library for the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, NTU  she rose to the challenge and began the 2-year long journey of creating a modern space for her library users. In the video below she shares some of the story behind the library’s creation.

 

Hear more from Caroline at our upcoming webinar: Configuring Library Spaces for the Future

 

She started with the vision of creating a highly accessible and welcoming space, and that vision is now reflected in every corner of the library. Huge windows fill the library with light creating an atmosphere that is bright and open, with stunning views of the Singapore skyline. Bespoke furniture is upcycled from trees cut down for the campus and gives the library an extra touch of uniqueness and modernity.

 

The library offers spaces categorized into four functions for its users:

 

Collaboration

Users can gather in small groups with moderate levels of noise at the Collaboration space. The space was set up with flexibility in mind and can accommodate group discussions of various sizes, with movable furniture.

Quiet and General Collections

For users who prefer an unobtrusive space – the Quiet and General Collections is nestled beside a few bookshelves and offers a conducive environment in which to work. Caroline shared the approach the library takes towards building physical collections – the content simply has to appreciate in value over time.

 

Special print editions that her library collects are the Singapore Doctors collection and the Medical Humanity collection.

Café Area and Flexi-Space

For a livelier ambiance, the library accommodates a Café Area which doubles as a study or discussion space. By designating a space for eating and drinking the library doesn’t have the burden of operating a café, yet users can still enjoy the convenience of having food and drinks within the compound.

 

Last but not least, the Flexi-Space is an area designed for hosting events and community gatherings. As its name implies, the space is used for a variety of functions, from MOU signings, to workshops, to formal dinners or a study hall for students during exam periods.

 

The way these spaces are set up today can be configured for different purposes tomorrow, Caroline told us.  “If you would really like to future proof your library, you should consider furniture that is easy to configure and move around for future intents, such as an increase or decrease in student population.”

 

The library is also open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With that said, security is an issue as it continues to operate after office hours, unmanned. To ensure a safe atmosphere and environment for users through the wee hours, lighting plays an important part and security measures are in place.

 

A special hotline allows users to reach out to security personnel should they observe any suspicious activity. The immense amount of trust the library has in its users, and the adequate security measures are reflected in the low pilferage rate the library has recorded so far.

 

When asked about her thoughts on the future library, Caroline shared that it will continue to be a space for its users. The sense of community is a feeling that cannot be replicated anywhere else on campus.

 

The role of the library and the librarian may have changed, but the bond between the library and its users remains the same.

 

Special thanks to Caroline and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University for sharing their library’s story.

 

Do you have a special story about your library? Contact me at jcheng@wiley.com to share your library’s journey.

 

    Kerys Martin
Kerys Martin
Society Acquisitions Coordinator, Wiley

This was the question posed by Catriona Fennell as we sat in the banks of the Willow lecture theatre at Oxford Brookes University. 2018 has been a tumultuous year so far – fake news, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the list goes on – and now more than ever we really need an answer to this question, not just to protect our authors, partners and integrity, but to preserve our faith in all kinds of published content. In this vein, myself and around 40 other scholarly communications enthusiasts sat ready to thresh out the question with three key advocates of the issue: Pippa Smart, Editor-in-Chief of Learned Publishing, Catriona Fennell, Elsevier’s Director of Publishing Services, and Chris Graf, Director of Research Integrity and Publishing Ethics at Wiley.

 

Science and the Quest for Truth

 

Like Catriona, I’d consider myself a science fan nerd. I believe in its power to search for truth. And yet, based on Catriona’s experience, a typical director of publishing services will find ~200 team working together.jpgretraction emails per year in their inbox, suggesting that scholarly research is not in fact as rigorous and trustworthy as we thought. Worse, the consequences can be cumulative: too much fraudulent research makes research a fraudulent endeavor and makes science untrustworthy. Why? How do we explain this conundrum, this tension of opposites?

 

Human Fallibility and Accountability

 

For Catriona, the answer is in fact quite simple. We are humans. We make mistakes. In reality, retractions make up only a very small proportion (around 0.1%) of the world’s research output annually. The trouble is that humans are inherently creative, and wherever there is a pen (or a keyboard), our narrative voice slips through. Of course, researchers’ primary concern is with method, rigor and evidence, but to get attention there is also the need for a hook – a story, particularly when publication contributes to career development as well as to a quest for understanding. Researchers shouldn’t feel bad about this, it’s the state of play in all fields of work and it is natural to be concerned with one’s career. It’s our job as publishers to keep the narrative in realistic proportion.

 

The trick, Chris elucidated, is for researchers to feel comfortable in being honest when things go wrong, and correct or retract. This shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, but as a genuine and necessary contribution to the scientific record. This might make a researcher laugh in equal parts amusement and fear, but in fact we have some real success stories of groups retracting work with careers and reputations left intact. As Chris put it, “being a brilliant scientist isn’t just about being top of the class, it’s about doing it properly.” Our responsibility here, as part of the scholarly communications community, is to help shift the perception and empower researchers to embrace retractions. When a researcher retracts an article, this could connote honesty and reliability rather than fraud and obscurity, and a clear explanation of the underlying reasons in retraction notices is the key to highlighting the difference. As Chris advocates, our focus in resolving the quality control crisis should be about integrity first, and impact last. We can’t control the behavior of “free-riders”, but as a collective community we can and do put systems and best practices in place to minimize their effects on the scientific record. As the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) describe it, this is a “wicked problem”, one with many moving parts and conflicting agendas. In this light, the idea of a collective community and common ground is even more important in finding a way to ensure our content is trusted.

 

Revisiting Integrity

 

This brings us to integrity. Catriona made the point that integrity is one of three terms often used to define “expertise”. The expectation is that peer review (both the process and the systems that facilitate it) will safeguard the integrity of a research article, but again the fact remains true that retractions occur and predatory journals exist. “You didn’t have to prove it so intensely back in the day” argued Catriona; this suggests to me that technology, combined with population growth, have complicated our trust in scientific articles. How can I be sure this has been peer reviewed by genuine experts, that this is a reliable journal, that these images haven’t been improperly manipulated? The tech revolution may have provided a new platform for the manipulation of research data, but it has also ushered in an age of openness, transparency and a potential for systems that can help re-establish integrity as the primary trait of the scientific record (if it was ever truly lost). There are initiatives already addressing this, such as the Peer Review Blockchain Initiative (read more in a recent interview published on The Scholarly Kitchen). Dr Wen Hwa Lee and his team at the Structural Genomics Consortium are championing extreme open science.  As a result, the impact on rates of research into new drugs and of their successful clinical trials has been astounding, making a powerful argument for embracing open collaboration (learn more about their work by watching Dr Lee’s recent talk at Wiley here).

 

At the same time, all of us sitting in the Willow bank were likely employed by Western, well-established publishers, with a common understanding of our expectations. But as Pippa highlighted, this is not the case everywhere. It is both a problem and a great opportunity that science is a global endeavor, and Pippa wants to see us embrace the latter. International collaboration in any field or industry can cause tension and difficulties, but it can also create wonderful synergies and innovations. Again, the notion that this is a wicked problem, one convoluted by the labyrinth of people and steps in the process of publishing a research article, was at the heart of Pippa’s argument. Yes, readers need to trust authors – but they need to be able to trust those in the middle too. There are many reasons not to trust those in the middle – commercial publishers need to make profit to pay staff and shareholders, universities have a vested interest in showcasing their institution, reviewers may be influenced by affiliation with a high-profile institute, and editors may be inclined to accept articles primarily for the promise of citations.

 

Looking at Publishing Ethics Through a Circumstantial Lens

 

All of this might seem somewhat cynical and in contrast to my earlier optimism (or naivete) but we’re all subject to the influence of decision-makers at times. We all know that there are things to be cynical about in research: long-running jokes about professors adding their name to the author list of every paper coming out of their department, spin editors employed to reduce hyperbole, acceptance-accreditation-remuneration ploys, and hard-earned impact factors and reputations of esteemed journals being exploited by predatory journals. But with a global perspective, some behaviors considered plagiaristic in Western publishing have altogether different causes. The proverbial “copy and paste” will typically result in instant rejection by Western journals, but if English is your second or even seventh language there are other reasons, beyond “stealing”, to use this computer and language shortcut. In some countries, Pippa reminds us, it is considered impolite and disrespectful to cite someone; it suggests that the referred work is not well-known in its own right. We’ve already touched on the influence of career development over researcher behavior and it’s clear that some cheat because they are under such pressures. But for researchers in some parts of the world, the pressure comes from not only the desire to advance, but to merely keep your current job.

 

So there are some relatively easy and intuitive things we can be aware of as we figure out this wicked problem, such as the nature of one’s research field. A small field might have a number of researchers publishing excellent research, but there aren’t enough reviewers available or with enough expertise to recognize the nuances and significance of the work. In this case we can use technology and collaboration to build better reviewer pools and tools. For the early career engineering researcher who is concerned about peer review reports, we can find ways to make these publicly available. Then there are some more pressing things to keep top-of-mind in any discussion of integrity in scholarly publishing – that expectations of best practice can depend on the discipline and individual’s post, but also significantly on location and personal background.  We need to raise awareness of these circumstances.

 

Finally, in the bigger picture, there are sometimes sociopolitical contexts that need to be considered. A question arose about censorship post-publication. Censorship itself conveys a lack of trust between power and people and inevitably it has found its way into the wicked problem we face in scholarly communication. Consider Cambridge University Press, which received criticism over censorship of China Quarterly. The publication was censored in China at the request of the Beijing government and subsequently reversed after international protest. Both actions resulted in publisher criticism. An audience member asked if this was an isolated incident or if other publishers have experienced this kind of pressure. Springer certainly have, and Catriona agreed that it’s a case of “when”, not “if”. As publishers she suggests that the best thing we can do is work with the International Publisher's Association (IPA), being clear and concise about our positions now (whatever they are) so that any future action needed around censorship will be uncontroversial. Other examples include the requested censorship of names of researchers who had become political prisoners in Turkey and with whom institutions no longer wished to be associated. Another case involved a Wiley toxicology journal publishing content about terrorism – in the aftermath of 9/11, the decision-makers had to try to view the consequences of publication without bias. There are even examples of author pseudonyms requested to protect incriminating interests. The onus is often on the publisher to make an ethical judgement on whether to publish the article.

 

Clearly there is a lot to say, and even more to do, to improve trust and integrity in scholarly communications. Our panelists did a great job of spotlighting some of the most important factors in this wicked problem, but there is no simple roadmap to resolution. Solving it might feel like a large and onerous task for any one person but as Chris said, “although there is only one of me or you, there are thousands of us”.

    Anne-Marie Green
Anne-Marie Green
Content and Communications, Wiley

Sometimes a conference theme exists in name alone. With all that can be explored in any given industry, it’s tough to apply a theme that neatly scoops the topics of discussion into one net.

 

The theme of this year’s Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting however: “Scholarly Publishing at the Crossroads: What’s working, what’s holding us back, where do we go from here?” was indelible and pervasive. This was a meeting where the scholarly communications community had to reckon with not only how to advance as an industry, but our place in the context of the wider culture.

 

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Keynote speaker Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble

 

Safiya Noble’s opening keynote: "Toward an Ethic of Social Justice in Information" set the stage for the meeting. Author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, Noble prompted us to reflect on how we serve as gatekeepers of information. While our industry publishes research that uncovers bias or promotes social justice, at the same time there remain questions our community has not sufficiently considered.  Are we an industry with a diverse workforce that is actively inviting everyone to the table? Are we looking for ways to reduce bias as information providers? Are we offering access to content to those who have previously been shut out? These questions can be uncomfortable, but they’re timely. As Dr. Noble put it “…social responsibility has frequently been reframed as an individual responsibility rather than an institutional or collective commitment.”

 

Other sessions at the meeting seemed to indicate the seeds of a collective commitment. A pre-meeting session discussed ways toward “Building an Inclusive Culture in Scholarly Publishing” and Wiley Editor Emma Brink reflected on a related session, “One of the most eye-opening sessions covered the results of the Workplace Equity Project survey, which revealed how much work still needs to be done to make our industry an inclusive one that allows equal opportunity to people of all backgrounds.” Yet another session looked at: “SSP at 50: Envisioning a Diverse and Thriving Organization”. With the Society for Scholarly Publishing celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the panel shared ideas on how to foster a more diverse and welcoming community and industry over the next ten years.

 

The ”Crossroads” theme captured the emergence of trends in research communications as well. Artificial Intelligence can’t be ignored and one session looked at how publishers can harness it as a discovery tool or for content development, among other purposes. As workflows and the nature of the scholarly record changes, open data and the quest for research reproducibility were also widely discussed, as was the increasing onus on research to have real world impact.

 

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Wiley Editorial Director Alison Labbate (left) speaks as a panelist for the session “Leadership development in scholarly publishing: A practical conversation”

 

Perennial challenges of recent years were also featured in the program: establishing a sustainable open access program, addressing the activities of SciHub through legal and other means, and tackling the increase in research output from the world’s emerging economies, among others.

 

Wiley Strategic Market Analyst Bobby Vocile shared his impressions of the meeting. “The sessions I attended addressed everything from new tools and services to help researchers and authors continue to move science forward all the way through to the disruptors that can stand in the way. It was completely refreshing to see industry peers come together to present on the issues we all face in the scholarly publishing industry and truly show that we can overcome these challenges by working together, rather than apart.”

 

 

There’s little doubt we’re at a crossroads, and there’s no shortage of work ahead, but it’s exciting to see the scholarly publishing community’s willingness to start the journey.

 

Image credits: 1. Anne-Marie Green 2. Emma Brink

 

    Jen Cheng
Li Zhen Neo
Library Services, Wiley

Taiwan may be a small country, but its potential to support and grow a conducive environment for the research community is irrefutable. Wiley Taiwan’s first-ever research conference was held this past April, “Taiwan as a Hub of Research and Learning: Present & Future”. The theme reverberated among local and international thought leaders in research communications. Held in partnership with the Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI), the conference was also a part of Wiley Taiwan’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

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Mr. Liang-gee Chen, Minister of Science and Technology, Taiwan joined esteemed speakers from Taiwan’s academic and research institutions to discuss the way forward. Wiley’s speakers included Peter Wiley, Chairman Emeritus of the Board, Ben Townsend, VP Global Library Sales and Deborah Wyatt, VP, Research, Asia-Pacific Society Publishing. Experts in the field shared their thoughts on the country’s current research landscape and the key factors that will influence a more robust output. Below are a few of the key challenges and opportunities discussed.

 

1. The challenge of recruiting talent

 

Andrew Lin, Associate Professor from the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering in Chang Gung University, shared his view on the current situation, “Right now, we are facing some challenges in recruiting quality research personnel. In particular, many universities have professors who have big projects, but they are looking for post-starters or research fellows… the professors need a team to do it.”

 

Besides having the government’s support in research funding, Andrew believes that another way to increase the future standards of research personnel is to build a good (PhD) training program for post-graduates.

 

2. Paving the way for more original research

 

Jean Lu from Academia Sinica mentioned the number of great research projects that have emerged in recent years, and highlighted the importance of originality in sustaining the standards of Taiwan’s research work. “It is imperative for the leaders of research departments to encourage and support original research, so that young researchers will be spurred to go beyond their comfort zones...This will result in better research outcomes.”

 

To Jean, the right mindset and quality education of the younger generation are what influence a more robust research landscape for the nation.

 

3. Growing the rate of international co-authorship

 

Another promising outlook for Taiwan lies in its high rate of co-authorship. Deborah Wyatt from Wiley shared that Taiwan saw a higher rate of researchers collaborating with overseas authors (at 36%, in 2017) as compared to their neighbors in Asia, such as Japan, South Korea and China. One of the trends supporting this surge in collaboration is the growth of digital technology.

 

Ben Townsend from Wiley added that this fantastic trend is something that libraries should leverage “…Libraries should recognize themselves as part of an international network. Librarians have a great opportunity to reconnect with their researchers and help them expand even further with their international networks." He also emphasized the opportunity for Wiley to work in partnership with librarians to help authors through the publishing process. 

 

Peter Wiley commended Taiwan’s targeted approach to international collaboration which focuses resources on ”…the highest quality research in select disciplines, so you are not trying to compete in a large variety of areas which you do not have adequate resources for. But, they (Taiwan) do have the resources to do that in the context of an international collaboration.”

 

Wiley has been consistent in the quality of papers it publishes around the globe. Peter credits this to Wiley’s long-standing experience in research publishing and our relationship with quality researchers. “As the largest society publisher, we have the ability to not only support the individual societies we work with, but all the issues that science faces across the disciplines. We bring together people from different societies across the disciplines to work on them.”

 

What are the research trends that you see in your region? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

 

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