Promoting younger scientists to editorial boards of journals

Today I realized I am in the fortunate position to be on the editorial boards of several journals and that I have a “voice”. Then I realized I am no longer a young scientist, I am 44..What about those that are doing their postdocs in their mid 20’s when do they get a voice in the say of journals? I look at even the new journals that keep starting, (and another was in my in box today), and their editors are closer to my demographic mid to late 40s or beyond. Yes experience is important but what about listening to those that are doing science now, not science 20 years ago. I am not saying that we are past it as scientists, I am just proposing that editorial boards of journals with those in their 40s- 50s-60s is probably not ideal or representative of the population at major conferences. Just go to an ACS, AAPS, SLAS, etc.. there are thousands of young scientists.

So I tweeted a bit about this today.

Tweet 1 = Just thinking – isn’t it time publishers put a journal together that has a “younger scientist” focused ed. board that addresses needs (1/2)

Tweet 2 = (2/2) Younger scientist journal, needs ultra fast turnaround, transparent reviews and reviewers, free & open, open to new ideas & feedback

Tweet 3 = perhaps some much younger scientists could chime in on my comments.. I feel less relevant as I am > 40 but all journals focus on experienced

I have also sent the following to the editors of the 4 boards I am on, namely Pharmaceutical Research, Drug Discovery Today, Mutation Research Reviews and The Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods. These are by far not huge journals but they are with Springer and Elsevier and I do think its time the big publishers were more responsive to younger scientists.  Just look at the editorial boards.

Here is the text I sent to each journal editor: I was thinking today – is there a way we could get some “younger scientists” on the editorial board.. I look at myself and I am 44, I am no longer a “young scientist”. I think it might be important to get some input from those under 40 and possibly in the early 30s because things are moving quite fast in the publishing world e.g. F1000Research, PeerJ etc.. and we may risk seeing competition from these types of journals that may attract younger scientists.”

Yes I do realize that this comment may get me kicked off these journals, and hopefully replaced by someone younger.


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