Introductory Comments by Mayur Amin
What’s journal publishing really about? Certainly it’s about a process, a well-established formalized system for communicating research results. But it’s not just about systems and technology. Most importantly, it’s about people and relationships.
Journal publishing has stood the test of time since at least the mid-17th century when Denis de Sallo founded the Journal des Sçavans and Henry Oldenburg founded the journal Philosophical Transactions. What has made journal publishing truly valuable and enduring is human communication, the comments and ideas exchanged between authors, editors, reviewers and publishers.
Ultimately, journal publishing cannot be a purely mechanical exercise. To ensure research articles deliver high-quality information and serve as building blocks for intellectual advancement and scientific discovery, researchers must submit their work to trusted and reputable journals which bring together experts – editors, advisory boards and reviewers – to see and comment on the work. To ensure we collectively achieve excellence and advancement, authors, reviewers and editors must deliberate and communicate regarding submitted papers and so improve their final versions, and publishers must ensure that high-quality literature is published and preserved for the future.
As we publish journals, Elsevier provides the following valuable functions – unchanged since the days of Sallo and Oldenburg:
- Registration: Date-stamping the research of a particular author to establish precedence
- Peer review: Employing a wholly independent peer-review process
- Dissemination: Broadcasting authors’ claims to peers and the media
- Archival record: Establishing a permanent record of authors’ findings
While providing the four core services traditionally associated with scholarly publishing, Elsevier also offers value-adding services – especially relating to our electronic products. Today these services include helping define new disciplines and providing forums for their debate and discourse; establishing and actively managing editorial boards; and investing in new technologies and partnerships that make new and archived research more accessible to a broad range of users.
Whether we’re discussing the core functions or the value-adding services of journal publishing, we can see that people and relationships are at the heart of the enterprise. Through dialog and collaboration, authors, editors and reviewers working with Elsevier help us ensure the integrity of content we publish, encourage and introduce innovation, and guard our collective intellectual heritage.
In this fast-changing world, no one can rest on what has been accomplished thus far. Elsevier will continue to listen, learn, test and adapt to meet the changing needs of our customers and the scholarly and scientific communities we serve.
If you’re considering publishing with Elsevier, I hope this pamphlet provides useful information. If you’re already among librarians, authors, reviewers and editors working with Elsevier, I thank you for your confidence in our company and invite your input on how we can serve you better.
My appreciation to all colleagues who've contributed to this pamphlet.
Mayur Amin, Senior Vice President, Global Academic & Customer Relations Department, Elsevier, Oxford, UK
Mayur Amin, who heads the Research & Academic Relations team within Elsevier's Global Academic & Customer Relations Department, has been involved in the scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishing industry for over 25 years. In that time he has been involved in managing publishing programs and has led new technology experiments. Over the past 15 years, Mayur has developed a research group dedicated, among other efforts, to identifying and understanding the needs and views of customers.