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The importance of journalists in academic publishing

19 April 2013

The importance of journalists' work in the field of academic publishing was underlined at a major seminar organised by the NUJ and hosted by the Wellcome Institute.

The union assembled a high-calibre panel of editors and publishers of both open access and subscription journals to explore editorial quality in an open access world:

  • Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature,
  • Lucy Banham, managing editor of the British Medical Journal,
  • Matt Cockerill, managing director of BioMed Central,
  • Professor Steven Curry from Imperial College London,
  • Peter Lee, publishing director of Cell Press, and
  • Mark Patterson, managing executive editor of new journal eLife.

The NUJ represents hundreds of members in academic publishing, and Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, expressed concern that, if publishers do not communicate the quality that editorial staff add, authors may not wish to pay for it.

The union is in favour of open access and hopes that it will encourage more readers to come to the literature. With a shifting landscape, standards can remain high, but there is concern that pressures to lower costs, which have already impacted on staff, will increase.

You can read Ruth Francis's report of the event in the NUJ's magazine, The Journalist.

Tags: , standards, open access, academic publishing, editorial quality, nature, british medical journal, biomed, cell press, elife, the journalist