The new journal Vascular Biology was established in January 2019 and currently 27 papers have already been published, are in press, submitted or in preparation. In addition, the Journal expanded its associate editorial team to cover Middle East countries, Asia, and South America. Most of the received articles were review articles. The next step in the Journal’s agenda is offering new opportunities to the authors and readers, thereby keeping abreast of the latest developments in science reporting.
Looking at the web on new trends in research publications, I was fascinated by a post entitled “Emerging Trends in the Academic Publishing Lifecycle” written by Christine Tulley for Scholarly Kitchen, What’s Hot and Cooking In Scholarly Publishing https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2019/03/27/guest-post-emerging-trends-in-the-academic-publishing-lifecycle/.
Cristine is Professor of English and Director of the Masters in Rhetoric and Writing Program and Academic Development Coordinator at The University of Findlay, Ohio. Her post was based on a presentation at the 2019 Researcher to Reader Conference in London and her recently published review article (1); she posits that the academic publication lifecycle has undergone radical changes over the past several years, which may have a significant impact on how research findings will be written, published, promoted, and read in the future.
She mentions analogous conclusion being drawn by early career researchers (2) and an investigation conducted by Bec Evans and Chris Smith from Prolifko on the publishing habits of a cohort of about 600 academics (https://www.slideshare.net/swarmcomms/the-life-of-a-productive-academic-author). The latter report highlights how publication goals and pressure change throughout an academic’s career. Early release of accepted research is imperative for US-based faculty on a tenure track as well as EU fellows who must publish as much as possible within the first 5–7 years of hire. Established researchers may be under different pressure to accomplish research, administration and teaching goals. It is therefore important that publishers better intercept and give voice to these different needs.
Christine affirms that the change is not only generational, or career related, rather reflects a conceptual shift in reporting science and developing curricula. In her post, she first describes the traditional linear model, by which research moves from the idea to publish to the actual publication stage. A team of scientists/academics conducts a study or develops an idea, submits an article to a top tier or aspirational journal and, if rejected, incorporates review feedback and sends it to the next publishing outlet down or up on the list (depending on their self-esteem and confidence on the work quality) until someone says yes.
Christine next reports that, in recent years, there has been a progressive move from this linear process to a circular one, that involves researchers, publishers and librarians; the new approach may respond better to regulatory matters and personal needs such as open access, REF guidelines in the UK, and tenure and promotion processes. The rationale behind the shift is a radical rethinking of science and the role of scientists within the communication loop. Christine identifies several fundamental aspects of the publishing change:
In consideration of what was previously mentioned, the Editorial Board of Vascular Biology wishes to invite submissions of the following types: Methodology articles and Graphical articles. These article types are to allow researchers to express aspects of their research without jeopardising the publication of results of a full research project at a later date. The goal is to offer these article types and to eventually expand the range of articles types offered to respond to the needs of the community interested in the journal.
The Journal is offering these new opportunities from 1 July 2020. All the articles will be revised as usual by external referees and Editors and assessed for scientific and ethical rigor. Authors can consult the Editor prior to submission in case they are not sure whether their submission is fit to the mentioned purposes.
Declaration of interest
The author declares that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of this editorial.
This work did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sector.
Gump SE. How writing faculty write: strategies for process, product, and productivity by Christine E. Tulley (review). Journal of Scholarly Publishing 2019 50 152–157. (https://doi.org/10.3138/jsp.50.2.08)
Wells JM, Söderlund L. Preparing Graduate Students for Academic Publishing Results from a Study of Published Rhetoric and Composition Scholars. Pedagogy 2018 18 131–156. (https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-4216994)