Scientific Advisory Committee meeting of EPJ

By . Published on 19 June 2017 in:
June 2017, News, , , ,

The European Physical Journal (EPJ) consists of a series of high-quality peer-reviewed journals (8 traditional and 8 open access) covering the whole spectrum of pure and applied physics and related interdisciplinary subjects. EPJ also includes the EPJ Web of Conferences and maintains editorial transfer coordination with EPL – Europhysics Letters. EPJ journals are run by distinguished editorial boards of outstanding scientists from around the globe. EPJ is sustained by 25 Learned Societies, including the European Physical Society (EPS), each being represented in the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The role of SAC is to advise the publishers (EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer) and editors on editorial and policy matters.

The 2017 SAC meeting, co-located with the Steering Committee meeting, was convened by Chair Joakim Cederkäll in Lund, Sweden on 25 April. The agenda included experience of open access publishing (Jens Vigen, CERN) and open peer review (Martina Knoop, Marseille), as well as novel avenues to publishing like the Peerage of Science (Markus Ahlskog, Jyväskylä; Chair 2018) and SciPost (Els de Wolf, Amsterdam; Chair 2019) platforms. One of the central discussion points was the future of EPJ – to improve or to expand (José Adolfo de Azcárraga, Valencia) – and closely related to it, the publication in general of high-quality European research on physics in European journals.

It was generally acknowledged that much of European physical research, and research in which Europeans are leading partners in larger teams, is channeled for publication in journals outside Europe. It was felt that this has several adverse effects. First of all, it may give the impression among policy and funding decision makers, and among the public, that European physical research is lagging. And secondly, scientists – perhaps young scientists in particular – may be led to think that European science is second rate and that Europe thereby offers a poorer scientific future. Both scenarios are detrimental to Europe. Therefore, Europe needs a prestigious and high-impact publication avenue. It was suggested, for instance, that disseminating the physical research funded by the European Research Council (ERC) through EPJ or other European journals would have a considerable positive effect. Also, SAC considered it advantageous if strengthening the publication scene in Europe would find a place on the EPS European agenda.

Ari T. Friberg
EPS representative to EPJ SAC
University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu

  1. EPS Executive Committee and Staff activities April 2017
  2. CERN and the American Physical Society sign an open access agreement for SCOAP3

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