A key objective for the Wiley China Publishing team in 2013/14 was to increase external editorial participation from Chinese editors and editorial board members. This involves getting the right people onto the editorial boards of our journals people who can add value to the journals and aid in their growth in China, empowering and educating their Wiley colleagues to work with our editors and societies to develop and deliver the right strategies for China. The team also wanted to develop a way in which we can help editors, editorial board members, and managing editors working in China to understand more about the dynamics of journal publishing, the issues and challenges we confront, and the opportunities that are open to us all, as well as to learn about what is happening in the scholarly world outside of China and how that compares with their own experiences.
With this objective in mind we organized an editorial seminar in Beijing on 15 November 2012 for Wiley editors and editorial board members from China.
On the day we had over 80 attendees, mostly from Beijing but also from other cities. The range of subject areas they represented was broad, with the largest groups coming from medicine and life sciences. 58% also worked with a journal or journals from other publishers.
The program was split into four sections Peer review, Bibliometrics, Open Access, and Ethics, and the day ended with a case study of one journal that nicely drew together these themes. Following the peer review and ethics sessions there was a panel discussion involving the speakers from each session plus three journal editors attending the seminar. We received feedback from over half the attendees on the content as well as the usual issues of venue, organisation, support and timing, which confirmed that we had addressed some of the key issues of concern for our editorial community in China.
The peer review session was rated as good or excellent by 89% of respondents. The panel discussion highlighted the same issues being encountered globally around finding, helping, training, and over-using reviewers, with a simple message that the Chinese academic community needs help in learning how to effect efficient and high-quality peer review and how the editors of our journals worldwide can help in that education process. A clear idea for a future event would be to focus on the peer reviewing community in China.
Impact factor is the single most important imperative in the publishing process for researchers in China as well as for the institutional community in which they work and the funding agencies. Naturally, therefore, the session on Bibliometrics scored highly at 91%. And it was made clear that impact factors will be the main driver within the research community for some time to come.
Open access was rated equally highly, probably because, within the audience, knowledge of open access and the issues surrounding it was limited. There was some lively discussion following the session where the senior academics in the audience openly voiced their opinions that open access is just as likely to raise issues for China as provide solutions in the forward development of scholarly communication output and measurement.
The copyright and permissions session bought together the theme of publication ethics and responsibility and, in Chinese, the legal side of rights and permissions. These issues are no different in China to anywhere else in the world. The discussion following the presentations was impassioned and covered some differences between what is legally correct and what is acceptable practice in the global research community, as well as the strong need for using education to encourage and affect change. There was a clear message from the panel and audience that editors of international journals can help in developing appropriate ethical practice in China; this is a second theme of focus for possible future Wiley organized events.
Two weeks beforehand, in Tokyo, Wiley co-sponsored a similar editorial seminar with the International Research Center for Medical Education (IRCME) at Tokyo University. This event, held and moderated in Japanese, with over 90 delegates from the health science community in Japan and especially Tokyo, heard three sessions on issues of interest to medical journal editors: ethics; increasing the standard of clinical research in Japan; and new publishing models and research assessment in Japan.
Although China is a fast growing market with research output, now second only to the USA in article publication, Japan has been a mature and sizeable environment for research output for the last 10-20 years. Japanese society journals sit as equals alongside those of the US, Europe, and Australia and compete for the best global output as well as that resulting from their own funding agencies.
The session on increasing the quality of clinical output from Japan was of most interest to the audience. Japan is of equal stature in basic research output to the rest of the developed world, but this joint Wiley/IRCME event indicated that we can expect to see an increased focus on the importance of clinical and applied research output, helped along by the recent Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University.
Wiley will continue to sponsor editorial seminars around the world as part of our efforts to engage with the communities we support and serve.