3rd International Symposium of Scientific Journals, Trakya University, Turkey (2018)

The 3rd International Symposium of Scientific Journals of Trakya University, Edirne, Turkey, in collaboration with EASE, 4-5 December 2019

Trakya University acted as the host of 3rd international symposium of scientific journals of Trakya University organized with the participation of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) to increase the publishing quality of academic journals.

Beside the Honorary President Rector of Trakya University Prof. Erhan Tabakoglu, Honorary Guest Speakers were President of EASE, Ms. Pippa Smart, and Past President of EASE, Prof. Ana Marušić, and Prof Cem Uzunm, President of the Symposium (also a Council Member of EASE), Committee Member of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) ULAKBIM TR Index, and Vice Rector of Trakya University. Other participants included Deans of Trakya University and Managers of Science Institutes, Academic staff, Scientific Journal Editors and students, both domestic and from abroad.

The programme was organized in the context of studies to both increase and improve the quality of scientific journals and international visibility, under title “How to become successful authors & editors of scientific journals“. It was held over two days at the Balkan Congress Center.

A total of 222 registered participants came from Turkey, Ukraine, Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria (128 from Trakya University, 63 from other universities, 23 from other countries, 4 from TUBITAK and 5 from publishing houses). In addition the symposium was broadcasted live through https://journals-symposium2018.trakya.edu.tr/ webpage and reached 8000 people. 1575 people in one day watched the live broadcast on the Facebook webpage. All presentations, plus the video recordings are available on https://journals-symposium2018.trakya.edu.tr, for use by all scientific journal editors, reviewers and authors.

Prof. Cem Uzun said in his opening speech that; “I think we can go forward with academic publishing and scientific journal editorship as universities. Unfortunately, education on authorship and editorship are insufficient. Therefore, the subjects to be discussed during the symposium are very important. We hold many meetings and workshops every year to increase quality by analyzing scientific journals, to evaluate their current position, to make improvements and improve the structure. Scientific journal editors and authors come together in these organized educational events. Our motto I “learn, experience and share” and this stands in center of our studies. We are trying to contribute by sharing our experiences in the field of publishing with other journals. Important information will be presented for authors in the 1st day of our symposium but editors can also learn from them. The 2nd day will be mainly for editors”.

Mentioning the important and precious guests, Prof. Uzun said that; “President of EASE, Pippa Smart, and Past President, Ana Marušić , are in our symposium to give us very important information. They are leading authorized names in the world of academic journals and scientific publishing. I fully appreciate in their attendance. Pippa Smart is also an Independent Consultant. She has long standing experience in publishing for 23 years. She supports editor groups and publishers by providing education, consultancy and strategic development. I got to chance to attend her workshops from which I gained experience. Ana Marušić is Professor of Anatomy and Chair of the Department of Research in Biomedicine and Health at the University of Split, School of Medicine, Split, Croatia, and holds an Honorary Professorship at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. She is chief editor of Journal of Global Health and Past President of EASE. She is also a past President of the “Council of Science Editors” and the “World Association of Medical Editors”, and currently Chairman of the Research Committee of WAME. Prof. Marušić is the Co-Chair of the Cochrane Scientific Committee and founder of the Cochrane Croatia. She also established Global Health Center in Medical Faculty of Split University. In addition to authoring more than 200 refereed articles she played an important role in creating mandatory registration policies for clinical studies which have had significant academic success and helped to change the legal arrangement for global clinical studies. She has been awarded many times for her researches, most recently the Prize Meritorious in 2016 from Editors Council. She is an excellent person who has greatly contributed to her region including Turkey. She has been in Turkey a few times before and provided inspiration for us with her participation to the workshop “Scientific Journal Editors of Trakya University”. I again thank her”.

Prof Uzun completed his words saying; the “3rd International Symposium of Scientific Journals of Trakya University was organized to draw attention and show sensitivity to environmental subjects. Our meeting materials are all produced from recyclable materials that don’t harm the environment. Thanks a lot to our university rector Prof. Erhan Tabakoglu who contributed in this programme, to valuable representatives of EASE, to members of Science Faculty Biology Department of Trakya University Ass. Prof. Kadri Kıran from symposium committee, to member of Pediatry Department of Medical Faculty Prof Rıdvan Duran, to member of Eye Diseases Department Assistant Prof Hande Güçlü, to member of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department Dr Zehra Nihal Dolgun Altıntas, to member of Department of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations from Economics Faculty Dr Elvin Dinler, to Müge Atakan, responsible for Social Sciences Journals of Trakya University, and to my dear colleagues and students. Also, thanks to Tubitak Ulakbim Dergipark who contributed in the distribution of this meeting to many editors.

Trakya University Rector, Prof Tabakoglu, started his speech saying “We welcome significant names in our university within context of the 3rd International Symposium of Scientific Journals of Trakya University’ and act as host of an international organization. This is a historical day for Trakya University. We are proud of and happy to be hosting this event” and he added that; “Today very important guests are together with us. President of EASE Pippa Smart, Past President Ana Marušić, Scientific Journal Editors from Europe and Balkan countries, members of publishing councils, and many academicians interested in publishing, our university editors are together with us. I am proud of seeing all them here and hosting in our university. Trakya University goes on contributing education and science with its 12 faculties and national/international significant scientific journals. Our dear Vice Rector Prof Cem Uzun member of EASE management committee and who selected as member of TUBITAK ULAKBIM TR- Index Medical Database by ULAKBIM is working hard to improve scientific journals of Trakya University. I am happy to mention the aim of Trakya University to increase its target to reach quality as its mission in academic publishing. Trakya University aims to reach the top in the field and if recognizes the strength of its scientific journals from different disciplines and segments. I believe we make difference. This will be an important and useful meeting about regional journalism and publishing. I wish a successful symposium with Turkish and foreign academicians who are experts in their fields”.

Informing the participants about Trakya University, its history and mission for Balkans, Prof Tabakoglu said that; the “Foundation of Trakya University is based upon Complex of 2nd Bayezid established in 1488, Edirne. Our university is a follow-up to this complex and hospital. We see ourselves as continuing the work which blazed a trail in 15th century medical education and its applications in all over the world. We continue working in the same way today. Being at the border of Balkans and their neighbor, Trakya University directs to Balkan countries in its activities. We have 3300 international students, 3000 of them are from Balkan countries. We are proud of being first preferred university by students from Balkans. We show in our every step that Balkans are important for us and we do our best to improve our relations. We are the founder of the Balkan Universities Union that has 70 members and we are the permanent secretary of it. This foundation is a union that grows every year and contributes to important studies in the Balkans. Thanks a lot to our academicians and everyone worked hard in the symposium organized to improve publishing quality of Trakya University scientific journals”.

In the sessions that followed the opening speeches, Ms. Smart and Prof. Marušić spoke on many important subjects. Topics included; editors and assistants of scientific journals, ways to increase journal quality, international publishing standards and journal structuring, good reporting keys, publication ethics, plagiarism and authorship, how to become included in high impact value owned indexes, how to get published in journals which have high impact value, the top 10 reasons for rejection or acceptance, communication with editors and reviewers, English language problems and how to deal with them, preventing unwanted ethical problems for new authors that use English as second language, important keys for scientific publishing and successful journal editorship, and the contribution of small scientific journals to society.

At the end of the presentations a panel meeting was held entitled “Meeting with Experts and Journal Evaluation”. It used a free checklist form derived from the INASP Handbook for journals editors (www.inasp.info/editorshandbook), edited by Ms. Smart. It considered two Trakya journals: “Trakya University Journal of Natural Sources” (which has recently been accepted to Web of Science) and “Balkan Researches Journal”.

At the end of workshop, Prof Tabakoglu gave prizes, certificates of appreciation and expressed his thanks to Ms. Smart, Prof. Marušić, and Prof Uzun for their significant presentations and contribution to the symposium.

Mentioning that they carried out many successful national and international projects within the past few years since he took office, Prof Tabakolgu said that; “We are the host of this prestigious, important symposium. Not only did we reach our own scientific journal editors, authors, participants coming from Balkans, we also reached 8000 people over the 2 days, through the live broadcast on our Facebook webpage. I believe that as Trakya University we achieved an important and successful symposium. I again congratulate my dear colleague Vice Rector Prof Cem Uzun on this important symposium, for his success to our university. He is a significant academician who always works hard and properly. He sets an important quality and standard for scientific journals of Trakya University with his studies. He brings our scientific publishing and journals to a high level and enables them to be accepted by important indexes one by one. Firstly for the Balkan Medical Journal, he had great effect on acceptance of the journal to Pubmed/MEDLINE Index. This success is the first and a significant point for Turkish journals. He is still working for other scientific journals of our university. Selected as member of TR-Index Medical Database Committee by TUBITAK, he achieved success not only for his region, for serving all Turkish medical journals. One of only 18 academic medical student journals of world, our own “Turkish Medical Student Journal” started as the only journal in Turkey, in our university in 2014. So we followed the principle “Speech can disappear, but words are persistent”: we need to write more, it needs to become a tradition. Thanks a lot firstly to Prof Cem and to all participants leading us with their experiences and information in this important event. I also thank to our guests coming from many domestic universities and from universities of Ukraine, Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria to the symposium which Trakya University hosted”.

After the speech, academicians and students who had contributed in the programme were given certificates which included 10 trees per person, planted on their behalf, as part of the Eco-Friendly symposium. The event was closed with a group photograph.

On last day of the workshop, a social, historical and cultural city tour was organized for participants including visits to Selimiye Mosque, Hunkar Circle (Mahfil), Old Library, Arasta Grand Bazaar, and 2nd Bayezid Health Museum Complex. A short music concert was performed by tutors and student from the university in the museum.