Draft for a New ENBIS Journal
A collation of views expressed at the pro-ENBIS mid-term review in Brussels 2/3 October 2003
Shirley Coleman, ISRU, Newcastle University
ENBIS has talked several times about the possibility of starting a bespoke ENBIS journal. We have our own brand as evidenced by our unique ENBIS conferences. This brand will sell a magazine and/or a journal. We should go with this brand rather than jump onto any other style. We need to do something original.
There would be a lot of interest in contributing to an ENBIS journal. Judging from the 100 papers contributed to the Barcelona conference there would be enough authors. Our interest is to disseminate information to business and industry, and also to the academic community whose job it is to educate people. Even though ENBIS conference papers are often practical, if they are put into a journal format this may put practitioners off as it would be considered too theoretical and academic.
So a magazine would probably be better than a journal. It may be an idea go to a magazine publisher. They cover costs with advertising and are cheaper to subscribe to. Raising a yearly ENBIS fee is a possibility to help pay for the magazine (it is suggested that people could get the magazine with their membership). We have 800 members and we could get advertising income from software companies and others.
We could start our own European Journal for Business & Industrial Statistics. It would be focused on Europe. There could be 3 editions per year including one for the conference proceedings and 2 others. There would need to be some dedicated people committed to editing and composing the journal. A lot of effort and resources are required to set up a journal. It may also be expensive so that substantial revenue is required from advertising or there needs to be subsidies from other sources.
Alternatively, the large number of papers contributed to the annual conference could be published as one-page synopses in electronic form, perhaps called The European Statistical Review or The European Applied Statistical Review or The European Review of Applied Statistics
Another option is just to publish the proceedings for the annual conference almost like an annual journal. This still involves a substantial amount of work. At the moment the delegates get a free CD containing all the papers from the conference. The whole collection of full papers are also on the web. So the annual journal would not add anything substantially new.
There are also initiatives with other journals, for example QREI, which are worth pursuing. We currently have a deal with QREI whereby we provide a guest editor for a special edition based on the ENBIS conference. A range of 8 or 9 papers is selected from the conference and these are reviewed, amended or rejected as appropriate and a suitable collection is published. The selection process needs to be made more transparent. This year a ‘convenience’ sample of delegates was asked which presentation papers they enjoyed and the guest editor selected a balance of papers from the different conference sessions. In the future, one possibility is that delegates will be able to make recommendations for papers to be published on the conference feedback questionnaire. Another alternative is to have a proper panel of people doing the selection. Following on from this, it is a good idea to collaborate with other journals so that good quality papers are printed in one or other of the journals.
We could have a glossy magazine style of journal more along the lines of Quality Progress or the newly launched RSS magazine called ‘Significance’. This would have monthly editions and be placed in a wide range of outlets. It would give ideas of application of real work. One suggestion is to run with Springer Verlag. Alternatively it could go on the web.
The journal would provide an outlet for our particular brand of material. We would hope to reach a wide audience and we would be in control of the process. Is it worth the effort or not? There are problems with declining demand for written journals. Research shows that each paper is read on average by 0.9 people, which shows that in some cases even the authors omit to read their paper.
Collaborating with another journal is a cheap way of having a presence but we cannot stamp our own identity on it.
Starting a glossy ‘trade-type’ magazine is appealing.
Whatever is chosen, it is quite a job and needs to be done by a professional. Publishing houses have an editorial team – and have distribution and circulation teams as well as links to professional associations.
In a show of hands, 17 people preferred the idea of the magazine and 7 preferred to consider both a journal and a magazine. It would be a good idea to pursue the magazine idea first and a journal later.
Initially there needs to be contact with a publisher, for example academic press – Kluwer Academic Publishers or Springer Verlag. Or Wiley, note that the Journal of Stochastics Modelling in Business and Industry has an ENBIS member as the main editor. Wiley have a pay for view system. We should try to obtain a reasonable offer with reduced price. ENBIS members need to be able to join the editorial board.
Tony Greenfield offered to approach some publishing houses. Ronald Does volunteered to contact Springer-Verlag. We need to find out how these publishers would feel about a colour magazine.
It was suggested that we have an ENBIS standing committee to consider the issue of a journal. Ronald Does, Henry Wynn, Soren Bisgaard and Tony Greenfield were initially volunteered to continue with looking into the idea.
Please make your views about the journal known. We expect to get some information from the publishers at least before the next pro-ENBIS meeting in Slovenia on 5th April (see website for further details of this meeting).