Most popular ESE articles in July

It’s time for our monthly round up of the most popular articles in European Science Editing from the last four weeks.

Stephen Merten’s pertinent editorial, calling for wider editorial policies to address climate change, is still the top read, with Andrew Woods’ 20123 essay on terminology close behind. As we get closer to Peer Review Week, we have two articles interrogating the process in third and fourth places, and the fifth most read paper is a 2016 article from when the Russian Science Citation Index was introduced.

European Science Editing (ESE) is the official, quarterly, peer reviewed journal of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE). Issues are made freely available 6 months after print publication. ESE publishes articles covering all aspects of scientific editing and publishing. It includes research articles, meeting reports, essays and viewpoints, book and website reviews, as well as highlighting events, resources and publications of interest to members.

Addressing climate change – science journals could lead via themed issues

Stephan Mertens
45(2) May 2019. Editorial
Based on current trends in global CO2 emissions, the world is heading towards a 3°C temperature increase above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.1 The overwhelming majority of scientists agree that such an increase will have devastating effects on Earth, affecting our biosphere and our societies in serious and unpredictable ways. Yet although most people are aware of climate change to at least some extent, governments, companies, and individual consumers seem extraordinarily reluctant to take concrete steps to mitigate the consequences. It is important that science journals take a lead in challenging passivity and helplessness and encouraging change.

3D or 3-D: a study of terminology, usage and style
Andrew J. Woods
39(3) August 2013. Original article
The terms “3D” and “3-D” are two alternative acronyms for the term “three-dimensional”. In the published literature both variants are commonly used but what is the derivation of the two forms and what are the drivers of usage? This paper surveys the published stereoscopic literature and examines publication-style policies to understand forces and trends

Criticism of peer review and ways to improve it
Hasan Shareef Ahmed & Armen Yuri Gasparyan
39(1) February 2013. Essays
This paper reviews some critical aspects of peer review in developed and developing countries. Though the peer review process is criticised for some of its drawbacks, it is still widely accepted as a tool for preserving the integrity and quality of scholarly communication. Peer review varies widely across journals and countries. Many developing and some developed countries suffer from substandard and biased peer review mainly due to the lack of training in peer review. The peer review process is still slow, expensive, poor in detecting scientific misconduct, and open to abuse. It needs reforming to make it more effective worldwide.

Boon, bias or bane? The potential influence of reviewer recommendations on editorial decision-making
Jonathan P Tennant, Bart Penders, Tony Ross-Hellauer et al.
45(1) February 2019. Editorial
No formal investigations have been conducted into the efficacy or potential influence of reviewer recommendations on editorial decisions, and the impact of this on the expectations and behaviour of authors, reviewers and journal editors. This article addresses key questions about this critical aspect of the peer review submission process. We suggest several future steps which could be taken towards improving the review process and make it more transparent, better understood, and fairer for all parties.

The Russian Science Citation Index (RSCI) as a new trend in scientific editing and publishing in Russia
Sergey V Gorin, Anna M Koroleva, and Nadezda A Ovcharenko
42(3) August 2016. Original article
Aim: The aim of the study was to provide an overview of the principle issues for the RSCI and assess the characteristics of the journals included.
Methods: We used statistical information freely available through the Scientific Electronic Library (Russia), and also WoS and SCOPUS. Authors analysed 9560 Russian scientific journals currently issued. The best Russian journals were found to be those in physics, astronomy and chemistry.
Results: The study shows the distribution of RSCI journals within academic spheres and among major publishers, noting the low percentage of journals available as both printed and online versions.
Conclusions: The RSCI project is improving scientific editing and publishing in Russia, and the better Russian journals have been grouped in a separate database. It remains unclear whether journals produced by RSCI will be able to enter SCOPUS or WoS. It is also uncertain whether the project will lead to greater numbers of Russian journals indexed in SCOPUS or WoS, or if it will improve scientific editing and publishing in Russia