ECNP e-news
Message of the President
Friday 27 November 2020

ECNP President Gitte Moos Knudsen

Publishing your science

The entire field of science publishing is undergoing drastic changes these years. Whether you are an active scientist or a reader of scientific papers, this will inevitably have a bearing on how science is exchanged – irrespective of the amount of scientific output, which is ever-increasing. And there is more to come: the funding bodies have a reasonable expectation that the research they pay for should be made freely available to the public – so-called ‘open access’. Plan S is an initiative for open access publishing launched in 2018 and supported by an international consortium of research-funding and -performing organisations. Plan S requires that from 2021 onwards scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant open access journals or platforms. Although Plan S is mainly supported in Europe, many major publishers are now looking for other places to secure their revenue, since with Plan S they will no longer be able to ask their users (e.g., libraries) to pay. Scientists will have to get used to paying for publication costs and including it in their research budgets.

This week the European Commission launched Open Research Europe an open access publishing platform for Horizon 2020 (and later Horizon Europe) grantees.

One way to assess the impact of a scientific paper is by the number of citations it receives by other scientists. This is a somewhat lengthy procedure because papers typically take a long time to write and publish. An alternative but quicker way to assess the impact of science is through tools such as Altmetrics or PlumX Metrics. The metrics they provide reflect which articles that have received most attention in journals and blogs, on Twitter and in other social media. I find that the youngest students in my lab are often the first to learn about new scientific discoveries because they get the information from Twitter – and they even communicate with other scientists through tweets. Ah. E-mails are so yesterday.

No President’s message comes these days without the mention of the Covid pandemic, which impacts our lives in so many profound ways. With the encouraging news that a vaccine seems on the verge of being approved by the regulatory bodies, many of us hope that when this happens – and some say that may be as early as mid-December – we can begin to gradually return to a more normal life situation. In the ECNP Executive Committee we had looked forward to gathering in Copenhagen in December over three days for our annual strategic meeting. Instead, we will have a shorter online meeting to decide on more imminent matters and, hopefully, we will be able to have a follow-up strategy meeting in the spring. There are many ideas and tasks that we would like to follow up on so that ECNP is well prepared for the future. We count on your support.  

Stay healthy!


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