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Space Weather Editorial Board Telecon - Meeting Archive

Table of Contents


Space Weather Editorial Board Luncheon - Dec 10

Agenda circulated is as indicated in black font - notes taken during the telecon added in blue.  Please add to these notes as you are able.

  • Annual Report from the Editor-in-Chief , Louis Lanzerotti  (5 min)  -- Dr Lanzerotti reviewed the annual report and added information on some of the unique practices of this journal and his editorial practices, including the topical diversity, time to acceptance, and quality editing of articles.
  • Annual Report from AGU / Wiley , Brooks Hanson (5 min) -- Dr Hanson mentioned that this journal is the highest rated for satisfaction of the peer review process. Regarding the impact factor, the more important point is that we want to work to increase visibility of the Journal.  Less concerned about impact factor, more concerned with increasing the readership.  Working to get the content indexed through IEEE, which will increase visibility.
    Working the partnership with URSI.  Explicit co-sponsorships for all journals need refreshing including the one for ISES.  Phased in development of new web site for all journals. For SW, there is new explicit branding and better search functions. Can cross reference other journals as well. 
  • Presentations:
    • Brooks Hanson: New Wiley capabilities for efficient production of the Quarterly (5 - 10 min) -- Brooks  highlighted some new publication features from Wiley.  Will be able to customize widgets to feature content in ways unique to each journal.  One issue is that the layout for the Quarterly is done separately and "by hand".  As such, the Quarterly appears only as a PDF and is not searchable in the same way that the Journals are. This is something we want to change.  One drawback now is that the editor's choice column does not go through the regular peer review submission and editing process and so doesn't appear except within the Quarterly PDF files. It is thought that the new process for creating special issues, or special collections, can be used to layout the SW Quarterly. Brooks described the special collection features, covers, specific content, editorials.  Can make an ereader of it, print, etc. A collection can be added to over time.   Collections will be composed by the editors or staff. Haven't yet opened the concept to sponsored collections but that can be done in time. The architecture is XML based and so it is possible to create a few layout custom templates for the presentation of SWQ content.  Hopefully in the future, we should be able to create a Quarterly in about a day, perhaps even in response to a new, late breaking paper.  Louis mentioned that the SWJ content lends itself very well to special collections citing satellite drag papers as an example. It will be a new task to editors to define links within a journal or to link to related content in another journal.  One article can be mapped to many collections. 
    • Robert McCoy:  Relationship between AMS and AGU re Space Weather and application to the Space Weather Journal/Quarterly (5-10 min).  Ref: AMS Space Weather Policy Statement   This topic did not get a thorough discussion due to lack of time.  Bob mentioned that he could inquire regarding a potential partnership between AMS and AGU on this journal and/or other related activities.
  • Go around the table, each person contributing their thoughts on the following (~1-2 min, each):
    • Suggestions for SW Journal articles, features, etc.
    • Suggestions on the future direction for the Journal and Quarterly
    • Suggestions for further App improvements
    • Any other topic needing attention by this board ...

Comment: we're not publication experts, we're space weather experts.  There may be new ways to present content but we're not the experts to decide what publication methods make sense, is the support there for that?  Answer: we have these issues across all the journals but in different forms.  Brooks agrees we need to address these needs better.

To some degree the space weather community is in formation, it is a new and emerging community. Reaching the researchers, the operational practitioners, the stakeholders must take several forms and our impact can be difficult to measure.

This journal can do a great deal in the research to operations area.  No organization has done a good job in this area.

How to reach those we want to reach?  How to identify those with an interest in the content when the community is still emerging?  Answer is not clear.  

Quarterly is ideal for reaching the audience that is emerging or hidden.  

AGU has new position Director of Public Affairs, Lexi Schultz, who has experience with the hill, working with us on optimizing distribution list. Art Charo has offered his distribution list as well.

Web transitions can be difficult.  

This journal needs firm support from AGU because we may not have many strong space weather storms in the current solar cycle.  The community needs the support from AGU in the same manner that the earthquake community needs support when there haven't been recent quakes.  

Proposal to agencies?  Wants to better understand what the major need is. What do we really need the support for?  

Want to know that AGU wants to support this journal, other orgs may be better at this point.  

Klimchuk:  AGU has been supportive of space weather; there have been xcellent interactions with Brooks and Lexi.  AGU cites the SWJ and SWQ as a model, they want it to be successful as the model for other disciplines.

Idea is to optimize the distribution methods to the various audiences.  Optimize and target the content to the audiences.

Potential for advertisers is thought to be there.  Perhaps think of this as sponsorship ads rather than traditional advertising instead?  

SW has a low subscription base.  What if SW was an open access model?  Is that financially viable and would that provide a broader reader base, especially to those that don't traditionally subscribe to academic journals?

Who is the prime audience?  This is thought to need better definition.  May not have a prime audience but rather many factions, complex Venn diagram.  There is no one community.  Journal reaches out across all these audiences.  On this basis, the impact factor is meaningless.  Brooks wants to focus on seeing the the content is getting to the right audiences.  Want to increase visibility.

Open access could provide educators with ability to tie the content to lesson plans.  Some preliminary work on this has been done and can be looked at further.  

AMS has a culture perhaps better suited to this journal? It is also thought that AGU's link to our science research community is vitally important and not to be discarded.

  • Capture action items – determine next meeting/telecon date  -- all agreed the group would continue with telecons for the near future (2 per month for now).
  • Potentially will have some information on the drafting of Terms of Reference for Editor/Editorial Board
  • Some may wish to stay in the room past the nominal luncheon time for extended discussion, if schedules allow.


Telecon December 2, 2013

Agenda circulated is as indicated in black font - notes taken during the telecon are added in blue. Please add to these notes as you are able.

Purpose of the Telecon:  Discussion where all can voice opinions that help identify key issues and form a consensus view on how to move forward.

1. The Space Weather Journal app is released.  See announcement about to be submitted to SPA News, Solar News, and PEN.  Please edit and submit to additional newsletters as is appropriate (copy to Louis, Howard, and Brooks please!).

2. Current Editorial Focus for the Journal and Quarterly:

  • Space Weather "Annual Report" prepared by AGU
  • Updates to text on the web site for the Space Weather Journal; will be passed by the publications committee for approval as soon as our input is complete.
  • Q4 2013 SW Quarterly:  Lou ready to work on this, status at AGU/Wiley?
  • special section, nearly completed, devoted to the CRATeR mission and the radiation environment around the Moon
  • 10th year anniversary
  • assistance needed from editorial board or AGU?

Notes from the meeting.

All need to take a look at the Annual Report in anticipation of our AGU lunch meeting.  Louis noted several encouraging statistics.  Average times to acceptance and median times to acceptance are as good as other journals; this is an especially strong statistic in light of the nature of the writing style required.  The Citation statistic is not as good as we would like to see.  Louis and others have started to address this via normal, good editorial practices and we should expect to see the effects in the coming year. For example, there has been more examination of the references cited in the papers to ensure appropriate referencing of papers that may have been as readily available to the community .  The number of submissions are increasing, citations are increasing as well.

Re the Q4 2013 SW Quarterly:  Lou and AGU are ready to move it along.  Brooks noted that AGU is ready to go forward with this Q4 quarterly "as we have always done".  Lou and Brooks have the action to connect the appropriate parties to make progress on this. 

This quarterly was, at one time, going to be the 10th anniversary edition.  This could also be framed as the beginning of the next decade.

There was a suggestion that we instead do a 11-year solar cycle anniversary edition, as this would be the most appropriate anniversary cycle for space weather research.  This suggestion seemed to resonant well with the telecon participants and so may well be what happens.
Re the updated text for the website:   The text could also be included in the iPad app?  All on the telecon were invited to send any last comments for the updated text.  Brooks will do the final editing incorporating this input, circulate back to all on the telecon and to the AGU publications committee for approval.   

3. Publication issues to address:

  • Near term:
    • Establish distribution priorities for Quarterly (print vs electronic), update distribution list.  In the past a few individuals did this manually via a phone call. AGU can update the committee people, need more work on the strategy for this.
    • Prototype layout of Quarterly via standard/custom Wiley Special Section templates.   Barbara visited with Brooks last week to view early "wireframes" and screenshots of the web interface that can be used to create "Special Sections" from/for the AGU journals.  With some custom templates, this mechanism may solve our problem of having two parallel layout processes for the journal and the quarterly.  More information to come on this in December so that all can assess whether this suggestion is a concept or can be a real possibility.
    • Proposal to NSF and NASA re distribution of Quarterly and Writer Support.  No news on this today.  This is a concept with broad support among telecon participants; we need only move this forward as an action?
    • Form Editorial Search Committee, write Terms of Reference for Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board

Notes from the telecon:  Will want to define roles for editorial board members.  To be listed on the masthead, AGU requires editors have a specific role, as opposed to simply an advisory role Lou: the editorial board was selected to a cover the wide range of topics that Space Weather covers, it was used not to handle papers but rather to give ideas for the papers, serve as expert reviewers, and solicit non-technical articles.  Question: How do boards operate on other journals? Brooks: one issue is to balance the recognition value versus the depth of role played -- across all AGU journals.  It was noted that the current board does include world-wide participation to ensure the broadest reach possible, there are plans to continue this in the future.  We understand that AGU wants to place SWJ in the context of the other journals, we also need understanding that this journal is different and needs a lot of different kinds of input, from an editorial board with members from across the world.

Some folks may think this journal is more limited in scope than it is.  We have a much broader audience than is known and need to ensure our board reflects this base and is able to bring focus toward all those areas. Bob Robinson, Howard Singer, and Bob McCoy will start by writing a draft Terms of Reference for the SWJ/SWQ editorial organization.  One suggestion is to ensure the board has quarterly telecons in the future.  Assuming we are able to write a TOR acceptable to all parties involved, this would serve as a initial SOW for future editors, editorial board members, and/or any advisory board members.  The TOR should contain a clause that it be re-examined and updated at the beginning of each editor-in-chief's term.

Many of our readers are not contributors or practitioners in space weather research; these folks may not access the journal web site directly or cite the articles in a manner that can be "counted".  Assessing that "impact" will be important as the journal moves forward.

  • Mid term:
    • Address factors behind access/citation rate.  No time for full discussion of this item.
    • Formulate plan for broader electronic access of journal/quarterly.  No time for full discussion of this item.
    • Capture history of the journal and quarterly in accessible place.  Bob Robinson found additional materials to add; please take a look and see what you have to contribute to the history page.
  • Longer term:
    • Explore/expand partnerships:  AMS, AIAA.  Bob McCoy will start this discussion at the AGU luncheon.  We will post a summary of that, and any other materials to this site for those unable to attend that lunch.
    • Added an item: How to assess the full "impact" of the journal, when the access/citation stats don't tell the full story.

4. Topics for the AGU meeting of the editorial board:

  • Suggestions for further App improvements to make it even more useful for readers and subscribers and users.
  • Suggestions for SW Journal and SW Quarterly articles, features, etc.
  • McCoy: Relationship between AMS and AGU re Space Weather and application to the Space Weather Journal/Quarterly (5-10 min).  Collaboration?  Link to the AMS Policy Statement on Space Weather. There may be a policy statement on Space Weather by AGU? Klimchuk can share that process (website with form?).  What group can lead that?
  • Lunchtime entertainment talk on capabilities for production of the Quarterly.  Brooks will send slides ahead of time (<15 min)
  • Potentially will have some information on Terms of Reference for Editor/Editorial Board
  • Some may wish to stay in the room past the nominal luncheon time for extended discussion, if our meeting obligations allow.

We need to cover this and end in one hour.  Please help with the discussions to accomplish this and afterwards by emailing additional thoughts, suggestions, and materials to the group.


Telecon September 21, 2013

Agenda circulated is as indicated in black font - notes taken during the telecon are added in blue. Please add to these notes as you are able.

Purpose of the Telecon:  Discussion where all can voice opinions that help identify key issues and form a consensus view on how to move forward.

Background: What precipitated this interaction?  There is a new publications lead at AGU, Brooks Hanson and he would like to bring his prior experience at Science to the journals at AGU.  Space Weather has some of the same challenges as EOS.  It is one of the most expensive journals to produce and so we all need to look closely at what is driving those costs to ensure our investments are expended in the most advantageous manner possible.  Also Louis indicated he will want to step down as editor eventually, perhaps as soon as the end of December 2013.  AGU wants us to examine the new publishing opportunities provided by the Wiley platform to further our community's vision for the Space Weather Journal and the Quarterly.  Last, the two production paths for the Space Weather and for the Quarterly results in some costly inefficiencies.  AGU wants us to understand those inefficiencies and provide input as AGU works to address them. Brooks emphasized that AGU wants to promote the Space Weather Journal and Quarterly and bring more readers to it.  AGU supports and wants to continue it.  He needs our input to take potential ideas forward.

There was some discussion on the overlap between the JGR-space physics, Radio Science, and Space Weather journals.  It was noted that Space Weather covers a much broader range of topics than Radio Science. It is thought that there were as many as 10 papers in the SWJ in the past year that could have gone into Radio Science and it is thought the same in reverse could be true.  Suggestion:  Could we re-vector Space Weather Quarterly to be more like the IEEE magazines and feature papers from Radio Science Articles and JGR as well?  Perhaps there should be more tutorial-type papers?  The Space Weather Journal provides a home for articles that would not appear in, or be appropriate for the science journals.  The Editors Choice column, which is part of what makes the SWJ/SWQ unique, went away for a while but has now been re-instituted. This mechanism could be used for the purpose of bringing attention to relevant content that appears across all the relevant journals.  Also, AGU wants to find ways to help authors better vector their submissions to the most appropriate journal and will encourage more communication between the journal editors for this purpose. 

The web site notes that there is a partnership between the Space Weather Quarterly and there International Space Environment Center.  We will want to explore that partnership more and how we can utilize that partnership to bring greater visibility to the Journal and Quarterly.

There are a variety of other underlying issues that we need to take up, including how to maintain the print-version distribution list for the Quarterly.

Total yearly cost for the quarterly is on the order of $100k for ~1400 subscribers. 

Suggestion:  Examine more efficient ways to re-compose and re-layout content for the quarterly.

Is it a core value that the Quarterly must be printed?  The quarterly was underwritten by the agencies (NSF actually) for half of its life.  That support ended when the five-year grant expired.  A new grant has not been submitted but could be in the future.  Quarterly was instituted as a hardcopy compendium to be distributed to those that are not likely to access our information in other ways, especially policy and funding stakeholders.  We want them to have our information and to provide it in a form they are most likely to read.

Top-Level Points for Discussion / Is there agreement that:

  • There is a need for both a Space Weather Journal (SWJ) and a Space Weather Quarterly (SWQ).  It was noted that the printed version of the Quarterly has a very important purpose.  It is easily dropped in a bag and read on the train or other leisurely activity, which is very important for time-burdened funding and policy officials.  We want to look at additional, innovative ways to deliver it and to ensure that those we want to reach with it are indeed receiving it.  For policy makers, is it the print version or the electronic version that is more effective?  For some key audience members, the print version is probably the better form at this point although that is likely to change with time as more folks turn to e-readers.  In the future, a quarterly distribution may not be the only timescale on which we want to deliver the information; we may want to be able to distribute information on other time scales as well. 
  • How about advertisers for the Quarterly? How much effort has there been to get advertisers.  AGU's and Wiley's experience that for the size of the print run, it isn't traditionally thought to be cost effective.  A long term sponsorship relationship, that includes advertisements, may work.  It was mentioned that a proposal to the funding agencies might be well received at those agencies.  First, we will want to settle some of these production issues so as to write the most effective proposal.
  • There is a suggestion that the Quarterly can expand its boundaries to highlight content beyond the boundaries of being a reflection of the SWJ and beyond what Howard Singer has done with the Editor's Choice. Would that be an acceptable idea?  Why not? 
  • Will AGU accept in their business plan, that because the journal serves AGU, its members, and society in policy areas as well as contributing to science research, that at least temporarily, both the SWJ and the SWQ will continue while changes are evaluated (establishing a proper editorial transition process, possible new publishing formats, level of support from AGU staff, etc.). Is this something we want to recommend? How long to allow for this process?
  • Regarding immediate issues, what happens on January 1? Can we entice Lou to stay on to keep the journal/quarterly progressing smoothly during this period? What do the advisory committees recommend? What is the AGU planning? How do we work together?
  • Several folks voiced that it is important for Lou to stay on during this time of transition. We need an interim period where we continue what we have for now.  Brooks confirmed we need a nice logical plan and smooth transition.  Don't want to put a specific timeframe Some of the issues that space weather is facing concerning distribution will only fester with time and need to be addressed.  This is no criticism of the editors of Space Weather but AGU needs to correct some things that transpired before Brooks came on board. This is a high priority for Brooks.  We have good momentum and ideas to see this through.
  • Regarding the new possibilities with Wiley (e.g. special collections etc.), what do we need to do to understand these better and perhaps see demos from comparable products to see how they would serve SWJ subscribers. Do the new Wiley capabilities really solve the key issues related to the SWJ and SWQ?  It will be essential to have an iterative development process between the developers and the consumers.
  • What are the most important issues to focus on first? What should we be including in our next discussions?

For agenda next time.

Plan seems to be very opened ended.  What requirements are being imposed on us from AGU? We need this so we can make concrete plans as soon as possible.

Impact factor of 1.37 seems to be on the lower end.  Will addressing that be part of our work as well?  Yes.

Look at the possibility of the agencies funding more.

Should we be discussing the competing journals?  Should we understand the position of our journal in relation? It was suggested that the better we understand what they are doing, the better we inform our strategy.