National Scholarly Editors’ Forum (NSEF) Meeting

ASSAf’s Scholarly Publishing Programme (SPP) hosted a stimulating full-day meeting of 62 members of the National Scholarly Editors’ Forum (NSEF) on 20 November 2018 in Johannesburg. 

Although the forum usually meets annually, the event was not held in 2017 so there was a packed programme.  

The day began with a Business Meeting and update on the SPP activities presented by the Programme Director, Ms Susan Veldsman. The editors were reminded about the revised Code of Best Practice and the Scholarly Publishing Resources Google site.  

For the first time at this annual meeting a report back on three of the recently completed Peer Review Panel reports showed common trends in the findings across all three panels.  

The Panels recommended that journals in these disciplinary groups improve their governance and management structures, broaden their editorial boards, widen diversity and representation from authorship to readership, encourage authors from outside the country (especially from other African countries), encourage young researchers to publish, and move to open access.  

Prof David Walwyn of the School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria gave feedback on the Incentives for Collaborative Research Project, which ASSAf initiated, and shared the recommendations and conclusions from the study. Collaboration enhances research and publishing however it becomes a difficult measurement problem. 

Ms Elizabeth Marincola, Senior Advisor of Communications and Advocacy in the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), enlightened editors on AAS Open Research and the advancement of open scholarship. Prof Robin Crewe, in his capacity as Chair of the Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South Africa (CSPiSA), gave an informative presentation on the twists and turns of authorship with an emphasis on conflicts of interest and misconduct. The presentation topics sparked lively debates and the forum members enjoyed the opportunity to engage with the presenters and network with peers.