ISMTE 2020: What Will a New Decade Look Like for Scholarly Publishing?
Dr. Clark Holdsworth, Research Communications Manager
What is ISMTE?
ISMTE is the world’s only professional organization dedicated to managing and technical editors. ISMTE is a unique community for scholarly publication worldwide that combines networking, training, and industry-proven best practices. The annual meetings focus on emerging trends and disruptive technology in scholarly publishing, with ISMTE sessions and speakers often setting the tone and agenda for the coming year in scholarly publishing.
Takeaways from ISMTE 2020 North America (Aug 4–7, 2020)
- • Increasing popularity of visual abstracts (e.g., video summaries, graphical abstracts, and infographics), particularly with sharing on social media
- • Various attendees indicate that graphical abstracts attract increased readership compared to those without a visual component
- • COVID-19 highlights the value of high-quality, broad-audience content, such as infographics, as journal sites become a more conventional media outlet for the public
- • Continued efforts in the development of reviewer guidelines to eliminate unduly harsh reviews
- • Emphasis on appropriately handling the influx of non-Western contributions and managing multi-cultural author and reviewer pools
- • All things open access continue to be at the forefront
- • Several updates to mandates such as Plan S, and journals find models to limit disruption to authors while continuing to open or expand access according to institutional pressure
- • Ongoing integration of AI tools into editorial workflows and the impact (read: benefits) to authors
- • Many AI initiatives increasing readership and submissions
LetPub’s focus at ISMTE 2020
LetPub had the opportunity to lead the discussion at ISMTE as part of sessions covering both driving readership and trends in open access.
Dr. Clark Holdsworth, Research Communications Manager, delivered a presentation—Content Innovation for Driving Readership—outlining the journal adoption of multimodal formats and the design of visual abstracts, video summaries, and infographics. The success of infographics and podcasts in scientific communication during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate the potential leverage for these enhanced content types.
Dr. Avriel Licciardi, Associate Editor, provided insight on evolving government and funder mandates for open access progress in 2020, in her talk—The Open Access Revolution: Evolving Mandates in International Publishing. Journals are concerned about adjusting to the changes to academic evaluation planned by China, the overwhelming contributor to scholarly publishing growth. Competition for this growing segment will require journals to demonstrate their value outside of citation metrics. Resolving language and cultural barriers, as well as being competitive on quality and performance metrics (e.g., review speed and quality, enhanced content, and lower APCs), will be crucial for publishers and journals.