Journals & Science



The National Science Communication Institute ( — a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to improving the communication that happens inside science — is organizing a conference on the University of Washington (Seattle) campus for this coming November 15th. The topic is science journals and their impacts. The world of journals has been changing rapidly and many science communication experts are beginning to question whether the current rules and traditions that direct science primarily into journals are healthy for collaboration, discovery, public policy, education, and more.

This all-day event will feature presentations from leading scientists and science communication experts on the impact of journals on science, libraries, discovery, tenure, public policy, and more, as well as presentations on what’s new in the world of open access, open data, altmetrics, and other forms of science outreach and education. A dinner workshop discussing the future of journal publishing will conclude the day’s presentations.

Recommended attendance includes scientists, research librarians, science writers and outreach professionals, research administrators, and public policy professionals, as well as interested students and science communication advocates from all professions.

Speakers for this event include Ross Prentice, University of Washington biostatistics professor and former vice-president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Tim Jewell, University of Washington Director of Information Resources and Scholarly Communication; UW professor and co-founder Jevin West; Sage Bionetworks President and 2013 White House “Champion of Change” Stephen Friend; science writing expert and author Scott Montgomery; UW communications professor and science communication expert Leah Ceccarelli; UCSD neuroscientist and leading science communication reformer Maryann Martone; Oregon State University open access expert Michael Boock; Science Communication journal editor Susanna Priest; UW science historian Bruce Hevly; citizen science and crowdfunding expert Jesssica Richman; Portland State professor and science policy expert Cynthia-Lou Coleman; UW scientist and AUUP president Rob Wood; Institute for Systems Biology communications director Hsiao-Ching Chou; Seattle biotech pioneer and consultant Stewart Lyman; international data ethics expert Claudia Emerson, and more!

The registration site is Early bird registration (until 10/18) is $65 for professionals and $40 for students, meals included. Register before the 18th and get entered to win a $250 gift certificate from REI!


Tentative agenda

Time Topic Subtopic (s)
7:30-8:00 a.m. Poster session and breakfast buffet
8:00 a.m. Welcome and conference outline Why are we here and how will the upcoming conversations by structured? (5 minutes)
8:05 a.m. Keynote address Science research and journals: The importance of this relationship and how it has changed over the past 30 years.
Why journals?
8:30 a.m. History & Psychology The history and evolution of current journal practices and expectations. How are journals positioned in science and science communication today? Why do scientists write mostly for journals?
9:00 Introduction and overview the issues and options Copyright, IP, peer review, OA, subscriptions, tenure, societal impacts—there are so many issues to cover. Where should we focus? What can be done? What needs to be done? What are the pros and cons of the current system and of change?
9:30 Information flow How does information actually flow from science (or a research institution) to the public? How do journals or journal concerns (copyright, embargo, etc.) figure into this flow? What is the role of infomediaries (like PR managers and journalists)? Is it realistic to expect a different arrangement (or even desirable)?
10:00 Societal impacts How does this flow impact the public perception of science? What are the dynamics and the impacts on education, policy and more?
15 min break
10:45 Access How do journal subscription costs and practices affect access to libraries and researchers? What are the copyright issues that also affect sharing, access, and use of information?
11:15 Intellectual property How will new federal legislation affect journals and information access? Should federally-funded research be locked away in journals? Can we improve access while still protecting IP and the need for secrecy? How are real-world IP issues impacting journals?
11:45 The lingua franca of journals Is English the future lingua franca of science journals? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Why is “journal English” the way it is and how did it get this way? Is it even readable?
Lunch break (12:15 -1:00) and additional poster session and Q&A time
1:00 Information overload or underload? Has the proliferation of journals been a good or a bad thing?
1:30 Tenure How does publishing affect tenure? How is this relationship changing?
2:00 Public policy How can we improve the relationship between science and public policy? What are the current dynamics and challenges?
The future
2:30 Open Access How is OA affecting journal publishing? What are the different models of OA and how are they being adopted?
3:00 Open access for data Journals are one thing, but data too? Perspectives from the efforts of the world’s largest HIV/AIDS research network to standardize and share 20 years of data
3:30 Collaboration networks Best practices and lessons of experience from SAGE Bionetworks
15 min break
4:15 Reaching the public Taking science directly to the public through books, blogs, and public appearances
4:45 Citizen science The promise and early lessons from the CEO of the world’s largest citizen science project, UBiome
5:15 Reinventing journal impact Altmetrics and other means of evaluating impact from the inventor of the eigenfactor
5:45 The limits to rapid change Will change happen quickly? Can it? Should it? What are the personal, professional, legal, institutional, and science culture barriers?
Dinner and workshop
6:30 Workshop begins
8:00 Adjourn

Thank you and best regards,

Glenn Hampson

Glenn Hampson

Executive Director

National Science Communication Institute (nSCI)

2320 N 137th Street | Seattle, WA 98133

ghampson |

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