Journals, publishing, article processing charge, open/closed/public peer review, editorials, submission guidelines – We have all encountered some of these words before. But do we fully understand their meaning, and are we aware of the vast – partially unethical and predatory – industry behind these fancy terms?
Initially, at BEM, we actually did not. Even those of us who had their fair share of contact with editors or reviewers didn’t really learn and understand what kind of industry we were moving into or what problems exist in scientific publishing.
The most significant problem it generates for us is that scientists, especially those new to the field, might succumb to words such as industry standard or "that’s normal in our field. This, paired with the enormous pressure to publish, often prevents young researchers from envisioning better scientific practice.
To address this issue, we aim to enable students – and even seasoned researchers – to view scientific publishing through a more critical and evidence-based but always constructive and innovative lens!
Therefore, we initiated the article series BEM Discovers Publishing, where we want to highlight the most critical aspects. This goes from fundamental questions such as What is a scientific journal? over to more controversial ones, like How do journals make money? to articles including hands-on experiences and helpful advice, as in Why should you become a reviewer? and many more. We hope you join us in this process!