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Key Takeaways from the Council of Science Editors 2019 Annual Meeting

The 62nd annual meeting of the Council of Science Editors took place recently in Columbus, Ohio, with the theme “The Spirit of Scientific Publishing: Inclusion, Identity, Technology, & Beyond” focused on the latest issues impacting scientific, technology, and medical publishing. Sessions were presented focused on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Plan S, conflicts of interest, data/reproducibility, an update on the MECA initiative, ethics, general knowledge exchange, and roundtable discussions. The Council of Science Editors (CSE) is an international membership organization for editorial professionals publishing in the sciences. Their purpose is to serve their over 800 members in the scientific, scientific publishing, and information science communities by fostering networking, education, discussion, and exchange. Their aim is to be an authoritative resource on current and emerging issues in the communication of scientific information.

This overview will focus on summarizing three CSE session topics: open data practices, innovation in the publishing space, and managing society/journal relationships.

Session 5.1 “Creating and Implementing a Data Policy” presented by Shelley Stall, MBA (AGU) and Michael Friedman, PhD, (AMS) covered various aspects of the benefits of data policies by sharing stories/examples of creation and implementation. Ms. Stall discussed her work at AGU leading open data practices for earth science researchers. She explained that many researchers, readers, and publishing professionals feel strongly that earth science data "is world heritage data" (important and should be saved/shared with everyone who may need it, which allows researchers to build off one another). She also discussed how many large publishers are signing on to efforts to make data more open, esp. in earth sciences disciplines. She talked about how data repositories help researchers make their data discoverable, but many researchers don't know about all the repositories available and how to best find them.

Both Ms. Stall and Dr. Friedman discussed how more and more journals (in coming years) will require data to be submitted and available.

Session 7.2, presented by senior professionals who work for Maverick Publishing Services and the American Chemical Society, focused on how to cultivate and create innovation in the publishing space. The speakers of this session underscored the importance of ensuring your organization focuses on how to best support future research practices. They mentioned the importance of considering new changes to the journal article in coming years. They also mentioned that publishing professionals should focus on helping researchers manage change and think: how does one help add true value to scholarly content? In order to drive innovation, publishing professionals need to step outside their comfort zones, even if they already have operational assumptions and expertise in certain areas. It is often best to acknowledge what one doesn’t know and ask hard questions. The innovation cycle can be best described as the following series of actions: “build, measure, and learn” with the key being use of evidence-based data driven approaches, whenever possible.

To learn more about CSE and our key takeaways and insights, feel free to reach out to our Accdon (LetPub) staff at info@accdon.com.

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