Reader Engagement Is Central to Author Experience

By:Ginny Herbert (she/her)Associate Publisher, AIP PublishingMBA Candidate, Carnegie Mellon UniversityLinkedIn: Take Home Points: While the open access model has shifted publishers’ focus from institutions and the readership data that drove institutional subscriptions to researchers themselves and metrics such as submission and publication volume, prioritizing reader engagement is still vital to our role as information disseminators […]

The Perils and Pitfalls of Special Issues and How to Avoid Them

Special issues have gotten a bad rap lately, with high-profile publishers and journals falling victim to orchestrated paper mills, manipulated peer review, and citation cartels. Negative press aside, special issues have long been a mainstay for providing highly convenient content collections, article recruitment, citation bumps, and widespread promotion and marketing for a journal. In this post, author Jason Roberts shows us there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater: journals can still publish special issues so long as they consider the myriad ethical concerns that surround them. Dr. Roberts provides us with expert guidance on important questions to ask when considering the development of a special issue.

Continuous Publishing: How Did We Get Here?

By: Holly Koppel, Senior Managing Editor | ORCID: 0009-0005-7304-5271Jennifer Parresol, ENV SP | ORCID: 0009-0005-9219-1741American Society of Civil Engineers Editor’s Note: This is the final post in a series of three covering different types of publishing workflows. The first focused on article-based publishing. The second discussed print and online aspects of Issue-based publishing, and this final post, […]

Author Instructions – Simplicity is the Name of the Game 

Instructions to authors play a pivotal role in the world of academic publishing, serving as the primary guide for authors navigating the intricacies of manuscript submission. Beyond being a mere set of guidelines, they embody the gateway to recognition, offering a blueprint for authors to present their research in its most compelling form. In today’s post from ORIGINal Thoughts, author Meg Weist implores you to remember one key thing about instructions to authors—simplicity is key.

Balancing Act: Effective Strategies for Navigating Editor Ideas and Requests

In this post from ORIGINal Thoughts, author Erin Landis shares her experiences with working with editors who have a seemingly endless list of ideas for the journals they oversee. She shares strategies for how to manage their creative energy, helping to empower editorial staff to set limits, leading to more balanced relationships with the editors they work with day-in and day-out.

Issue-Based Publishing Workflow for Print and Online journals

In this second post in a series on different types of publishing workflows, authors Judy Connors and Denise Kuo share their collective experience working with issue-based journals, dividing the post into print and online (digital) publication editorial workflows as. During their careers, they’ve seen that systems and processes can vary between these two types of publications despite the end outcome being the same: publish relevant content on a timely basis while maintaining journal standards.

Content is Queen: How to Leverage Your Subject-Matter Experts to Effectively Promote Your Journal on Social Media

Many years on from the advent of social media and scholarly publishing leveraging such platforms to disseminate research, most journals have well-established social media programs. But are these journals really getting the most bang for their buck? Author Brook Simpson explains how using your journal’s subject matter experts–your authors and editors–can take your social media program to an entirely new level (and prevent some headaches for the editorial staff!)

Hard and Soft Skills: Pieces of a Successful Career as a Contractor (or an Employee)

Today’s post by Judy Connors is the latest in a series that focuses on topics of particular interest to contractors (although today’s subject is applicable in employed settings as well). Hard (technical) skills are often associated with the work that contractors perform; however, soft skills and emotional intelligence are equally as important for contractors working with clients and full-time employees. The “…As a Contractor” series provides practical information on best practices for working as an independent contractor in scholarly publishing.

Ethics Policies in the Editorial Office: What Every Journal Needs to Know

How you handle ethics in your editorial office is extremely important to all stakeholders involved in the peer review process; therefore, having a firm grasp on exactly what your policies are and how you enforce them is paramount. In today’s post, author Jennifer Mahar explains what types of ethics policies journals should have, how your ethics workflow should support these policies, and resources that will help you develop effective ethics policies for your journals.

Reviewer Training as a Form of Engagement: A Summary of Training Programs

In this second of three posts from ORIGINal Thoughts on the theme of reviewer training as a form of engagement to both increase reviewer invitation acceptance rates and elevate review standards, authors Melecia Miller and Jason Roberts look at a variety of training programs that have already been implemented that journals and societies may consider emulating. Consider this your one-stop-shop for reviewer-training programs.

Stark Disparities in Scholarly Publishing Persist–What Can Your Journal Do to Influence Change?

We are now three years on from the summer of 2020 when the globe was thrust into a racial- and social justice- reckoning, followed by a renewed examination of persistent disparities across gender, sexuality, and accessibility in politics, government, and business. The scholarly publishing industry has been no exception from this inward look. The need for change is critical—and daunting. What can your journal do to advance progress toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive research communications ecosystem?

The Basics of Copyright: Key Issues Every Editorial Professional Should Know

Understanding copyright protection and providing proper support on copyright-related issues presents several challenges for editorial professionals. In this post Libby Morgan Beri breaks down the basics of copyright, explaining what copyright does and does not protect, how long copyright lasts, and how Creative Commons licenses work. This is a must-read for any editorial professional in the scholarly publishing space looking to understand the fundamentals of copyright.

Common Author Policies Every Journal Should Have

Sometimes a journal’s list of policies can be daunting, especially when authors are eager to have their latest research published as soon as possible. Is it necessary that every submission adhere to all established policies? In a word, yes. In this third post in a series dedicated to editorial office policies, Terri Bowen and Jennifer Mahar share their thoughts on the types of policies every journal should have.


A quick rundown of the topics we’ve covered in ORIGINal Thoughts so far.

Reviewer Training as a Form of Engagement

In this first in a short series of posts on reviewer training, author Jason Roberts encourages journals to consider offering educational opportunities to improve performance, an act that could be presented both as giving back to the community and an investment in the future pool of author-reviewer talent.

Policies for the Editorial Office Part 1: Authorship

Having clearly written and transparent authorship policies on your website is critically important to the successful operations of your journal. In this post, author Diane Punger discusses several key aspects of authorship including how it is defined, the role of the corresponding author, understanding what to do when changes to the author byline are requested, and more.

Article-based Publishing Workflow

A journal’s workflow dictates how articles make their way through production and into an issue, and how those issues are compiled and released. In this post, author Lindsey Brounstein defines article-based publishing and shares important considerations for this workflow if you are thinking about implementing it for your journal.