August 2015

Beyond the Standard Hello-Goodbye Editorial

Read enough academic journals and you will recognize the standard format of the “I’m the new editor and here are my hopes and dreams for the years to come” editorial. Or you will see the exit editorial: “I am so thankful for the opportunity to have served as your editor all these years, but it is time to pass the baton to my worthy successor.”

Nonetheless, I always want to click on these little essays when I come across them, because they may contain little nuggets of news or insights into the state of academic publishing or the research environment. And, sometimes, they can even surprise, even if you wish they would provide more details:

In a world largely governed by financial concerns, publishing high-quality journals is a tough business, one that is under constant pressure and requires continuous changes. These changes include the views of Editors as well as publishers, and often do not head in the same direction. I think that severe changes are needed for Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry, which will require new ideas adapted to the new information-acquisition behaviour of our customers and readers.

J.F. Roulet’s editorial goes on to bemoan the financial pressures in education, research, and publishing, and asserts a dream “that peer-reviewed journals must remain the instrument to disseminate information that is as close to the truth as is possible in science.”

I don’t know the backstory here, but I wish the publication well and share the dream.

–Victoria White