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Local editors have no time to lose for building their journals’ reputations

Article information

Sci Ed. 2022;9(1):77-78
Publication date (electronic) : 2022 February 20
doi : https://doi.org/10.6087/kcse.268
1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2National Traffic Injury Rehabilitation Hospital, Yangpyeong, Korea
Correspondence to Byung-Mo Oh moya1@snu.ac.kr
Received 2022 January 27; Accepted 2022 February 10.
  • Meeting: The 10th Anniversary Conference of the Korean Council of Science Editors session A

  • Date: September 8, 2021

  • Venue: Zoom

  • Organizer: Korean Council of Science Editors

  • Content of Session A

  • Manuscript editors’ role for the next decade: Duc Le (senior executive editor, The Lancet)

  • How can local publishers survive in 10 years: Younsang Cho (CEO, M2PI)

  • Preparation of Korean journal editors for the next 10 years: Cheol-Heui Yun (professor, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University)

In my role as the editor-in-chief of Brain & NeuroRehabilitation, I have been overwhelmed by the changing speed and breadth of the academic journal publishing environment and have felt frustrated more than once. As a researcher seeking new knowledge and understanding—even beyond my role as a journal editor—difficulties are also multiplying. To compensate for the imperfections of existing general knowledge, the process of hypothesizing, measuring, and analyzing results and summarizing the results into a single paper should be delightful and rewarding. However, many people now feel that this process is laborious, without any sense of fun whatsoever. In addition, so-called predatory journals intercept the results of this hard work. With awareness of the problem, I participated in session A of the 10th Anniversary Conference of the Korean Council of Science Editors.

The first lecture in session A was given by Dr. Duc Le, a senior executive editor at The Lancet. It was a well-organized lecture reaffirming the ABC’s of the editor’s role. The Lancet, as a prestigious journal, still follows the editorial workflow closely and leads in a sense, so Dr. Le did not seem to worry much about the future. In general, his talk emphasized the editor’s responsibilities in manuscript assessment. While listening to the presentation, the phrase “the composure of the strong (a Korean idiom referring to the ability for people in a position of strength to approach a problem in a considered and unhurried way)” came to mind. Rather than urgent concerns about survival, I could infer that Dr. Le’s approach involved preparing for the future by sticking to the basics more closely.

In contrast, the second lecture, conducted by Mr. Younsang Cho, CEO of M2PI, a domestic company in Korea, was full of crisis awareness and concerns about survival. Amid the continued expansion of the market dominance of large multinational publishers, domestic publishers have been making various efforts to survive. For example, their role is not limited to editing and production; they are busy meeting the diverse needs of their customers (i.e., journal editors).

Professor Cheol-Heui Yun’s lecture discussed the ever-changing open-access movement, increasing social standards for editors’ social responsibilities, and the role of artificial intelligence. With the development of digital tools that can replace simple tasks, it was interesting to view statistics showing that the total number of editors is gradually decreasing.

Session A articulated the expectation for journal editors to meet higher standards for research integrity, transparency, and trust over the next decade. Editors are also expected to use and rely more often on various artificial intelligence-based tools. In addition, just as the value of Mozart’s melodies doubles in a world full of noise, academic journals are expected to suffer from the phenomenon of the “rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer” amid the increasing trend of noise in the academic world. Editors must strive to build a reputation for operating a scholarly journal that is faithful to basic skills and prioritizes scientific value in the field. Local editors have no time to lose.


Conflict of Interest

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article were reported.


The author received no financial support for this article.

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