Editor in chief: scientific journal

Relaunching a scholarly geoscience journal on a new digital platform.

I began working at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) in 2019, as Editor in Chief of the Survey’s flagship scholarly journal: GEUS Bulletin.

Besides the day-to-day running of the journal, my main task has been to modernise the journal and boost its visibility, readership and submissions among geoscientists in GEUS and around the world.

Throughout its history, GEUS Bulletin has been run by scientists for scientists, with no publication or subscription fees. It has successfully documented important geological research in Denmark, Greenland and the wider Arctic, and reported on active research involving the Survey. Beautifully presented in printed volumes, it was nonetheless suffering from a declining impact factor as the scholarly publishing industry moved away from print-publication models to online-models with strict and extensive industry standards. My challenge was to modernise the journal while maintaining the quality of written articles and editorship that has characterised GEUS Bulletin since its inception in 2003.

I investigated a number of solutions, including a publishing partnership with an existing scholarly publisher and signing up to a commercial journal hosting company. Our preferred route, as an open access journal was to adopt an open source journal platform. After considering two possible solutions, we landed on one that was affordable and offered us the technical requirements and support we needed to embark on the modernisation and digitisation of GEUS Bulletin.

The new look GEUS Bulletin website launched in May 2020. (Photo: Screenshot)

In partnership with Open Academia, a publishing solutions company in Sweden, we launched the new platform at GEUS bulletin.org in May 2020. Development continues to implement a data repository for authors to submit datasets alongside their articles, and novel tools for displaying and interacting with data alongside articles.

My intention is to blog about these tools, hopefully as inspiration for other scientists and institutions looking to promote open access and open source scholarly publishing. Affordable tools are out there for scientists and research institutions to host their own scholarly journals and break free from unjustifiably expensive journal fees and subscription charges of the commercial journal industry. I hope that the experience of GEUS Bulletin can help others to follow us in promoting affordable, open access publishing solutions.

Read the latest articles published in GEUS Bulletin:

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Used an open source journal platform for better article indexing

In partnership with Open Academia, we adopted the Open Journal System (OJS) as our new journal platform. I worked closely with Open Academia to customise and optimise the design for GEUS Bulletin. Each article, monograph and map description is presented in a uniform way with full meta-data and DOIs for better indexing, accessibility and citability.

Photo: Screenshot / Catherine Jex

Introduced novel open source solutions for online reading

Many people still print article PDFs to read offline because the presentation of full-text scientific articles online is not user friendly. We adopted the new ‘side by side’ view, first developed for the open access journal, ELife, for easy online reading and navigation of scientific articles.

Photo: Screenshot / Catherine Jex

Updated design of typeset articles

I worked with GEUS graphic design team to update the journal’s design of article pdfs. Improved branding allows readers to instantly recognise the article as belonging to GEUS Bulletin. Modern fonts and colour make for an easier reading experience. And more detailed meta-data are now displayed on the front page as standard for increased openness and traceability.

Photo: Screenshot / Catherine Jex


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