Vital resources and tips for science editors of Korean journals

Vital resources and tips for science editors of Korean journals

Dr. Sun Huh is Deputy Editor of the Korean Journal of Medical Education and Editor of the Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions. He also serves as Chair for the Committee on Planning and Administration (March 2014–present) at the Korean Council of Science Editors, and prior to this was Chair for the Committee on Education and Training (Sep. 2011–Feb. 2014). He is Member and Vice-Chair of Committee of Medical Licensing Examination at the National Health Personnel Licensing Examination Board in Korea. (For full biographical information, see the first part of this interview.)

In the second half of our interview, Dr. Huh discusses resources for and provides advice to science editors of Korean journals.

What is your role as the Chair of the Committee of Planning and Administration at KCSE?

As a chair of the Committee of Planning and Administration at KCSE, I am responsible for the budget. I manage the income and output as well as the membership. My other main role is to plan the future direction of KCSE. We aim to satisfy editors by providing an invaluable program. Listening to the opinion of editors is a voluntary aspect of my job. I also support other committees’ work. I plan to increase member journals up to 300 till the end of 2016.

Who makes up your membership? How do members benefit from your organization?

There are three categories of membership: the first is organization members including academic societies that publish scientific journals, universities, and other publishing organizations; the second, individual members that have experience in editing scientific journals or experts in their respective fields; and the third, special members including business companies that are in accord with KCSE’s aims and that can contribute to the development of the council through operational support.

Benefits of membership are as follows: Members receive the latest information on editing; Consultation on publication ethics is provided to members upon their request; Members are invited to annual meetings and a variety of workshops and symposia and the fee for educational and training programs is waived or discounted at half price; KCSE publications may be purchased at half price or, in some cases, provided free. Benefits of special memberships are: these members can promote their business to journal editors during the workshop or seminars as free; provide the chance for their staffs to learn in the workshop and seminars; provide a way to publicize their business to worldwide editors.

How is KCSE contributing to the publication ethics of Korea’s scientific community? 

KCSE holds forums or workshops on publication ethics four times a year where the recent trends in publication ethics are discussed. Apart from this, KCSE has published guidelines on publication ethics, which will be distributed free of cost to member editors. The guidelines will soon appear on the homepage of KCSE after the production of JATS XML (Journal Article Tag Suite). Also, any inquiries related to publication ethics are responded to by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE also receives funding from the Korean Government for the development of KCSE’s program to raise the publication ethics in STM journals to international level.

Can you tell us about the launch of the Asian Council of Science Editors?

Organizations for science editors exist in North America (Council of Science Editors) and Europe (European Association of Science Editors)—it was time to organize an editors' organization in Asia. The Council of Asian Science Editors (CASE) was launched during July 2-4, 2014, at the Asian Science Editors' Conference in Seoul where more than 130 STM editors from Asia attended. Its aims are science development and the quality improvement of science journals from Korea by training and information exchange among science editors. The activities included a conference, training programs (workshops, seminars), and discussions on publication and publication ethics. Precise bylaws or regulations were also discussed. There will be no membership fee; CASE’s budget will be sustained by the government's support, individual donations, and company donations.

What advice do you have for science editors of Korean journals?

I always ask science editors to match the international standard of online journal publishing. Most researchers would not like to visit a library for the print version of journals except a few who work in the field of history. Therefore, for better accessibility to their journals, I have the following recommendations:

  • Make a JATS XML file for journal homepage and for depositing it to PMC or ScienceCentral for better visibility.
  • Participate in CrossRef and add DOI, CrossMark, and FundRef to their articles.
  • Mention the ORCID of all authors with the authors’ names.
  • Transition your journal into an English-language journal if you want to promote your journal internationally.
  • Recruit editorial board members from at least 10 countries.
  • Include manuscripts from at least 10 countries.
  • Acknowledge in the manuscript any research support from government, private, or public institutes.
  • Describe the aims and scope precisely with a minimum of 300 words and stress the uniqueness of the journal.
  • For being cited more frequently, please adopt open access policy. This is possible for Korean editors since most of STM journals are supported by the Korean government.
  • Do not change the editors frequently. The minimum term of an editor should be at least five years.
  • Recruit a manuscript editor or hire the services of a professional manuscript editing company to keep with the style and format of the journal. If style and format are perfected, the content’s quality will improve.
  • English proofreading is mandatory if the author is not a native English speaker. Even if the author is a native English speaker, English proofreading is required at times.
  • CrossCheck should be used routinely when any manuscripts arrives at the editorial office to avoid plagiarized or duplicated content.
  • Enough budget is the necessary minimum condition to promote the journal; therefore, have a good relationship with publishers (Society).
  • Participate in the editors’ association, for example, Korean Council of Science Editors that provides the latest information on journal editing and publishing. Also, attend the workshop course for editors at least once a year.

These are some of the basic requirements for journal editing and publishing for editors of commercial printing companies’ journal. Some journals from Korea fulfill the above recommendations completely, which is why they are recognized internationally. 

Thank you, Dr. Sun Huh.

This interview was conducted by Alagi Patel.

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