Two highlights from the Reddit #asktimo session



Q. by hujimuji

“Open publications are getting more news these days and I personally believe it is very important for publication to be an open process with minimal cost to researchers. My question is, how long do you think it will take for these journals to be publishing some of the top research? How long will it take for researchers to stop wanting a “Nature Paper”?”

A. by Timo Hannay

“Open-access journals already publish some of the very best papers. (It may also surprise you to know that, as a result of journals like Scientific Reports and their investment in Frontiers, Nature is already one of the world’s biggest open-access publishers.) I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to publish in a widely-read journal, or to achieve ‘high impact’ by traditional measure such as citation counts. What’s problematic is (a) judging a paper and its authors purely based on the journal in which they’ve been published, and (b) considering a high-profile publication to be the only route to scientific success. Research progresses through all kinds of contributions, from experimental data and software to the teaching and mentoring of the next generation; all of these deserve recognition”.

Q. by me

“Love Digital Science and “disruptive technologies to enable researchers to disrupt the status quo”. What motivated Macmillan Publishing to start Digital Science and why did you get involved ?”

A. by Timo Hannay

“I used to work at Nature (another part of our parent company, Macmillan) and we always thought of our mission very broadly: we exist to serve the information needs of researchers — not just to publish journals or whatever. With that in mind, if you look at the rise of digital and networking technologies, you suddenly see huge opportunities to serve researchers in ways that go well beyond content. But you need a different kind of organisation to do it, so we set up Digital Science. Technology, not editorial, is at our heart, and we’re growing in large part by investing in young software businesses (many of them created by former scientists). This a is a very unconventional approach for a publisher to take, but like I say, we’re trying to create a new kind of organisation”.

In context – see the whole Reddit discussion.

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