Editing an international scientific journal: The English language challenge

From 31 January 2020 18:30 until 31 January 2020 20:30
Categories: SIG meetings
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The speaker (Prof. Ludo Waltman of Leiden University) writes:

“As Editor-in-Chief of an international scientific journal, I will share my experiences in dealing with the ‘English language challenge’. This challenge consists of four key elements. First of all, many authors submitting manuscripts to journals are not native speakers and have only mediocre English language skills. Second, China is rapidly expanding its science system, leading to large numbers of submissions from authors that struggle to write in English. This raises interesting questions: For instance, is it fair to reject a manuscript because of the poor English language skills of the authors? And, in the longer term, will English remain the lingua franca of science? Third, high-quality peer review is one of the cornerstones of a strong scientific journal. Finding peer reviewers has always been a challenge. When a significant share of the scientific community consists of researchers with poor English language skills, it becomes even more challenging to maintain a strong peer review system. Finally, many scientific publishers are focused on profit maximization and may not be willing to invest in improving English language quality. I will share my experiences with two publishers, Elsevier and MIT Press, and discuss how they have different perspectives on the importance of language quality. I hope my talk will help SENSE/UniSIG members to reflect on how they could best support the scientific community in dealing with the English language challenge.”

 The meeting will run from 18.30 h to 20.30 h (doors open at 18.00 h) and will be held at Park Plaza Hotel, which is a short walk from Utrecht Central Station. The meeting room will be upstairs (check the screens as you enter). Tea and coffee will be available from 18.00 h. After the meeting, there will be an opportunity for networking at the bar (drinks at your own cost). There’s also the option of having a quick pre-meeting meal at your own cost. Please let the convener know no later than 29 January.

All SENSE members are invited to attend! Click register at the top of this page if you plan to come. Registration closes at 10.00 h on 24 January. (Note that no-shows may result in SENSE being penalized financially.)