Yesterday evening , we held a ‘Meet the Editors’ event at the Nature stand here at the European Geosciences Union conference, and invited scientists to join editors from Nature Geoscience and Nature Reports Climate Change for beer and pretzels.
Either the word on the street that geoscientists have a great fondness for beer is not simply an urban legend, or the research community is very interested in how we’re extending our reach further into the earth sciences. I suspect it’s a combination of both.
Most of those I spoke with asked one or more of the following:
Should I submit my paper to Nature or Nature Geoscience?
What are the chances of getting my manuscript published in Nature Geoscience?
If my paper is rejected from Nature, can I resubmit to Nature Geoscience?
When will Nature Geoscience have an impact factor?
Why did you cover such and such a story in Nature or on Nature Reports Climate Change? (geoengineering was a big one here; I guess readers were curious about why we might cover something that’s still quite conceptual, such as the Lovelock and Rapley proposal). Personally, I think such topics are worthy of discussion within the scientific community especially at the conceptual stage. I for one, am interested in whether our readers think that research efforts and funding should be directed towards such big potential solutions with high risk of failure).
Others were curious as to why Nature, recognised for its rigorous editorial control, has so firmly embraced blogging, which again raises the split opinions on whether web 2.0 is a worthwhile means of communicating science, as discussed recently here and on RealClimate.
Many of our readers said they visit the main site of Nature Reports Climate Change more often than this blog, which piqued my interest given that the blog gets notably more traffic than our features, commentaries and reviews etc. Perhaps that’s simply a reflection of the fact that the climate blogging community is more web 2.0 active than your average reader (which in the case of NRCC is made up of earth/climate scientists, policy makers, those in industry and a lot of random unidentified individuals)?
People also seem to be inherently interested in what others are reading and many asked about which parts of the site get most traffic and about the feedback from other scientists and institutes. Ocassionally a scientist whose work we’ve covered in news or features dropped by to say hello and to update us on their research.
So, I think we managed to answer all, or most, of the queries yesterday, but if you weren’t at EGU or didn’t get the chance to stop by, then add your question to the comment stream here and I’ll do my best to answer it or direct it to the relevant editor (unless it’s “why didn’t my paper get published?!).