What do I do as Managing Editor for the Nature Partner Journals?

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About me

Before joining Springer Nature, I received my PhD in neuroscience from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where I researched peripheral pain signaling mechanisms with Dr. Cheryl Stucky. I then worked as a postdoc at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with Dr. Michael Dyer, where I optimized a protocol to reprogram adult murine retinal cells and then subsequently differentiate them back into retinal tissue in a 3D culture system. During my graduate and postdoc work, I continued to seek out opportunities to review manuscripts and diversify my research expertise in many fields of science. Being an editor was my dream job so I decided to pursue it two years into my postdoc work. 

I joined Springer Nature in 2016 as a Managing Editor for the Nature Partner Journals. Since then, I’ve help launch a couple brand new journals and have played a role in the maturation of several new journals. The “Managing Editor” role was new to the company so I had the opportunity to carve out my own role.

So what do I do?

My overall role is to manage the performance of my portfolio of biomedical research journals (npj Microgravitynpj Genomic Medicinenpj Schizophrenianpj Precision Oncology, and npj Regenerative Medicine) by coordinating with a team of academic editors, publishers, marketing, production managers, copyeditors, typesetters, reviewers and authors.

Day-to-day journal management

My day-to-day activities with the journal include:

  • Acting as a “journal concierge” for authors, reviewers, and editors by acting as a point of contact for the journal and assisting with our online submission system
  • Ensuring timeliness in the review process by contacting reviewers and editors
  • Last but not least, my most important role is ensuring that my journals adhere to ethical and scientific standards. I check manuscripts for plagiarism and other forms of misconduct. I ensure that manuscripts state proper protocol approval and consent for animal and human research. I contact authors when changes are needed, and, if necessary, I initiate an investigation into potential misconduct. In addition, I oversee the peer review process to ensure that we are providing useful and thorough constructive criticism to authors and are making appropriate decisions.

Journal and article promotion

I work “behind the scenes” with our marketing department on promotional campaigns for the journal. I highlight articles on social media and in marketing campaigns, and I coordinate content for Nature Collections and conference promotional materials. In addition, I represent the journal at conferences and meet with potential authors.

Broader journal management

All of my journals are still very "young" (see Aims & Scopes pages for indexing information about each journal):

npj Precision Oncology: first content launched in 2017

npj Genomic Medicine: first content launched in 2016; Impact Factor, Immediacy index, Eigenfactor® score, and Article Influence Score now available

npj Regenerative Medicine: first content launched in 2016

npj Microgravity: first content launched in 2015; Impact Factor, Immediacy index, Eigenfactor® score, and Article Influence Score now available

npj Schizophrenia: first content launched in 2015

We are well on the way to have all NPJ journals with indexing and journal metrics (Impact Factor, Immediacy index, Eigenfactor® score, and Article Influence Score)!

I help shape my journals by:

  • Conducting editorial meetings with the Editors-in-Chief and Associate Editors
  • Pursuing diversity in our Editorial Boards, authorship and peer reviewers
  • Building journal development plans with the Editors-in-Chief

I also assist with commissioning content and coordinating special editorial projects. Some of the projects led by my academic editors, fellow Nature editors, and assisted by me include:

All in all, my job includes working with a stellar team, networking with amazing people, and following research with a "bird's eye view" of novel techniques, technology, and trends.

If you're interested in pursuing a path in editorial and publishing careers, check out this job search site: www.springernature.com/editorial-and-publishing-jobs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me!

Go to the profile of Marie-Elizabeth Barabas

Marie-Elizabeth Barabas

Consulting Editor, Springer Nature

I'm an interdisciplinary neuroscientist with a research background in peripheral sensory/pain research, retinoblastoma, retinal development, and stem cell research. As a Consulting Editor for Communications Biology, I primarily handle their neuroscience-relevant content. I also attend conferences and meetings to develop a relationship with our readers, authors, and editors. If you see me at a conference, feel free to introduce yourself.

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