It’s true that it’s been a while since I was climbing the scientific career ladder! My path was somewhat different to many but diversifying is more common now than it was then, for many different reasons that I shall briefly explore below.
For 10 years, I worked as a physicist and lecturer at the Jülich Research Centre, the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Munich, and the University of Tübingen. In 2001 I entered scholarly publishing – working at Wiley-VCH, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer and finally at De Gruyter as Vice President Publishing STM. Today, I am a Professor of Publishing Management at the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences.
By most standards, I’ve had a good run and I am not done yet – these days I also enjoy my role as President of ScienceOpen working with a terrific team of enthusiastic colleagues in Berlin, Boston, and San Francisco. However, I remain mindful and respectful of my research roots and spend as much time as possible talking with young faculty, promoting their thinking and doing everything I can to support them because it seems to me that a scientific career got a lot harder than it was when I did it, and it wasn’t easy then.
To demonstrate my support of “Generation Open” and in honor of Open Access Week 2014, today I am personally announcing that we are waiving publication fees for Earlier Career Researchers until November 30th 2014 on ScienceOpen, the research + open access publishing network.
Far from being “riff-raff”, per Steven McKnight the President of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, who asserted that “the average scientist today is not of the quality of our predecessors” in this unfortunate essay, I believe, in contrast, that today’s scientists battle harder than ever to conduct quality science.
That young researchers continue to make progress with their hands tied is remarkable – reduced funding; cut throat commpetition for what money remains; intense pressure to reach tenureship; more pressure to publish; a glut of talent (good for science but makes it harder to stand out) and not enough job openings.
ScienceOpen has a special interest in Earlier Career Researchers (ECR) and has posted other items of interest to this group, for example: “How to make science more open – 7 ideas for early career researchers“; a guest blog from Gary McDowell at Tufts entitled “Post-docs are doing it for themselves” and advice from leading OA figures such as Mike Eisen (co-founder of PLOS) on the thorny issue of whether it’s possible to publish Open Access and have a successful career or attain tenure (we’d like to think yes, it is possible!). If you want to contribute to our blog then please refer to these guidelines.
To take advantage of my free publishing offer, all you have to do is be able to demonstrate that you are an ECR, typically defined as graduate student or Post-Doc. As long as one of the corresponding authors on an article or poster is an ECR, then all authors qualify for free publication. You must submit before 12am CET on November 30th 2014 to be eligible.
For those of you who are unfamilar with ScienceOpen here’s a quick run down, with short videos, of our services: