Decision on your submission: thanks and farewell Journal Week

RealScientists hosted Journal Week in July, and were joined by 3 editors over the course of the week. Robert Garisto @RobertGaristo, editor for Physical Review Letters kicked things off, followed by Nicole Nogoy @Medi_cole, editor with GigaScience, and finally Jamie Vernon @JLVernonPhD, with Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society and publisher of American Scientist magazine. A huge range of topics was covered, including journal metrics, open access, author/referee/editor relations, and public trust in scientists.

also, a woolly mammoth!


In general terms, how did you find your week as a curator?

Robert Garisto: Positive. Interesting. I think it was good to talk about publishing issues and nontraditional careers.

Nicole Nogoy: The two days I curated was fun! Was great to see other people’s feedback on some of my questions regarding open science and conference attendance tips (how to get the most out of a conference)

It can be a shock talking to so many. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

RG: It ended up taking a lot more time than I thought, far more than the tweeting I planned itself. I cannot imagine what people with millions of followers do. They must simply ignore most of what comes their way.

And some topics resonated a lot more or a lot less than I expected. For example, there was very little interest in the open access issue! One thing I really did not expect was all the moving stories that came on my tweet about “Plan B” and nontraditional careers. Some folks talked about disabilities, discrimination, and even burglary. I think a few people just wanted to be heard.

NN: It was a bit daunting at first but then you get used to filtering quickly through the notifications and looking at specific replies.

What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?

RG: There was one troll. At first I tried responding to his queries and rebutting his claims, but eventually I concluded that it was best not to feed him, and that actually seemed to work.

I think the highlight has to be the tweet I mentioned above which launched all sorts of side conversations. I was a little worried at first that no one was posting on it, so I asked my friend Emily Conover to post, and the pump was primed.

NN: People responding to thoughts about open peer review, open science and also sharing other tips to get the most out of conferences.

No lowlights for me as I only curated for 2 days and I always expect some cynical responses.

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

RG: If I’d had more time, there are other topics I could have covered, or I could have covered the ones I did in more depth, but two and a half days was quite consuming already! If I ever do it again, 2-3 days would more than suffice.

NN: I wanted more input on thoughts about what open science means to the greater science community – I think from memory, I only got about 3 or 4 responses. So, that’s why I tried to do a poll in terms of what people look for in a journal if they are so ‘pro open science’ – but its hard when Twitter only allows up to 4 options in a poll… I would need to tweak it and ask more specific questions next time

Did you have a plan? If so, did you stick to it?

RG: Yes. In gross terms yes, but not in specifics. I did plan to tweet about three topics each of the full days, and one on the last half day, and I stuck to that. I did prepare some of the tweets on the first day beforehand.

Probably the thing that differed most from my plan was the nontraditional careers. I did not have the What’s Your Story idea ahead of time, and I’m really happy about what happened with it.

NN: Yes, I had a plan for both days and I stuck to it.


Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?

RG: It was essential that I logged out to take breaks. This allowed me to manage my time, and also effectively cleared the decks for the next topic. When I did, I told folks when I would return. I’m not sure if that aspect helped them or not, but it seems like a good idea.

I should have stopped feeding the troll earlier.

NN: This is an open forum and you will always get some cynical or negative tweets – dont let those get to you, don’t take things personally and just enjoy the experience.

You can choose what information to pull out from replies/ conversations.
Also mix up the topics – can do more serious topics but also break it up in themes and also include fun stuff – we’re all human, we like fun stuff too!

What other people or accounts should people follow if they enjoyed your tweets this week?

RG: I don’t know of people I would recommend talking about the larger issues in science publishing for a popular audience, but here are lists of physicists (I’m on this) and science journalists

NN: Kaitlin Thaney @kaythaney
Abby Cabunoc Mayes @abbycabs
Scott Edmunds @SCEdmunds
Dan Chitwood @PlantMorpho

Thanks once again to Robert, Nicole, and Jamie from all of us here at RealScientists HQ. If you missed anything from Journal week, the tweets are all collated at the following link.

[Ed.- folks, it’s been a long time between farewell posts. Hoping we can get back up to speed over the next few months]

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