Great feedback on recent Emerald Editor Day

Some of the Emerald team recently joined a cross-section of Emerald journal editors for an Editor Forum.

As well as celebrating Emerald’s 50th anniversary, the event represented an opportunity to explore topics including the changing journals landscape, Open Access, publishing process hurdles, ways of working, future developments, research dissemination, rankings, and the impact agenda.

Here's what some of the editors had to say:

Image: Colette Henry

Emerald's recent 'Editor Day' in central London was surprisingly good!

The venue was fantastic in every respect (location, quality etc), and the hospitality was first-class. For me, it was a great opportunity to network and meet other editors, many of whom were facing the same challenges as myself - securing robust and timely reviews; meeting issue/volume deadlines; managing special issues and keeping up to date with latest developments in Scholar One.

There was plenty of time to exchange editorial experiences, and to find out about new developments in the journal publishing world. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet the Emerald team, who, I have to say, were very helpful, answering our questions openly and honestly. I'd love to see another of these days – maybe one focused on raising journal profiles and increasing citations. I look forward to the next one!

– Professor Colette Henry, Editor, International Journal of Gender & Entrepreneurship

Image: Fun.

As we know being an editor is a fairly solitary pursuit, with plenty of heavy lifting, and you rarely get to meet editors from outside your subject discipline who work for the same publisher – except for one day in May when a group of editors and staff from Emerald met for a strategy day in Kensington, London.

It was half-a-day packed with talks, roundtables, and structured brainstorming exercises, where we discussed the landscape today, the challenges, pain points, and opportunities, which are sure to be instrumental in at least some of us celebrating another 50 years of Emerald’s excellence.

I’d like to focus on an area that I think is really important, and that’s harnessing Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to streamline, improve, enhance and amplify what it is that we are currently doing. A key phrase that I came up with (what do you expect, I’m a marketer) is moving things towards Select, rather than Search. So what do I mean by this, and how would it work?:

  • Editors should benefit from ScholarOne suggesting appropriate reviewers, based upon big data analytics, such as reviewer scores, considering reviewers’ own publications and reference lists, along with similar data from the submitting authors. There is no reason why we should rely on keywords of abstracts or those selected by submitting authors and reviewers, which may fall out of date over time. The entire content of scholars’ work contains rich data and this should be analysed. At the moment, this is something that Editors do manually, but this is incredibly time-consuming.
  • Similarly, scholars accessing Emerald’s platform could be given much richer suggestions and tools that make it easier to reference identified work.
  • The same big data should be used to aggregate, re-post, and share Emerald published work continually, in connection with real time events and new news stories.
  • As a reward for reviewing, reviewers should be offered access to publications of their choice, not necessarily the journal that they reviewed for.
  • In a social media age, more should be done to recognize, and celebrate more people involved in the publishing process in a more human, iterative, and emotional way, to drive interest, discussions, and networking. This is likely to happen on existing platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Medium etc. Anecdotally, I mentioned that ugly face selfies get more interest and likes, and to prove/test the point, you can see from the photos that’s what we did, and it worked.
  • Academics are now more than ever hungry for demonstrating impact, but many still expect their publications to almost speak for themselves. We need to provide them with more data and hand-holding to help them seek impact and re-educate the community.

I really enjoyed the day and my only regret is that we don’t do it more often - it was great to be plugged into the Emerald universe in a more human and immersive way. So here’s looking forward to the next event.

– Dr. Jonathan A.J. Wilson, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Islamic Marketing