le titre du livre — 5. Researcher Engagement team
Why does researcher engagement matter?
Put simply, researchers are at the heart of everything we do. Without their support and contributions, our journals would neither exist nor flourish. In Journal Development (JDev) we see the researcher as our core stakeholder and customer.
Who are our researchers?
We group researchers based on the four core roles they play in the publishing process: author, editor, reviewer, and reader. While it is unlikely that a researcher would fall into only one of these groups, ultimately, each has its own unique, individual needs and experience when interacting with us as a publisher.
All of these researchers exist in mutually reinforcing, cyclical relationships. An extremely engaged editor is more likely to decide to handle a manuscript for a journal and select quality reviewers in an efficient manner. Equally, we expect engaged reviewers to work carefully, but quickly, to provide a high-quality report. This, in turn, helps satisfy the author’s expectations of receiving a rigorous, robust, and timely submission, peer review, and publication experience. In short, each researcher’s activity can improve — or, conversely, detract from — the experience of another. All of these roles also reinforce each other — for example, a researcher that has a good experience as a reviewer is more likely to value becoming an author (and vice versa).
It is, therefore, the Researcher Engagement team’s responsibility to identify each researcher group’s wants and needs, maximize the efficiency of our current researcher engagement strategies, and devise new initiatives to drive engagement and improve the researcher experience at every touchpoint in the publishing process.
What is the Researcher Engagement team’s mission?
Our mission is to ensure that editors, reviewers, authors, and readers have the best experience possible when working or interacting with our journals.
For more information about our stakeholders, please refer to Ch.10.
How does the Researcher Engagement team support our strategic pillars?
Dedicated to driving new and repeat submissions from all key researcher groups, the Researcher Engagement team plays a huge role in supporting our growth in content. In addition to the retention and expansion of our author base, the team’s activities also revolve around the conversion of editors and reviewers to submitting and, ideally, published authors. We also encourage editors to commission high-quality submissions from their peers and advocate the journal’s content within their communities.
Our team-of-teams approach complements our company-wide commitment to being a publisher of publishers. The team’s unique structure demands collaboration both within and between different Researcher Engagement teams, enabling new initiatives to be implemented with greater speed, efficiency, and consideration.
The Researcher Engagement team is the main point of contact for the Editorial and Publishing Operations teams and the Product teams, regarding insight into what constitutes operational excellence for each individual researcher group. The team contributes to the development of new internal features and processes that are designed to not only improve the overarching user experience on Phenom but speak to the specific requirements of each customer persona. Furthermore, our editorial and marketing activities strengthen the engagement of editors and reviewers to ensure that turnaround times remain competitive, and researchers commend us for our industry-leading peer review platform and user experience.
The Researcher Engagement team’s commitment to enhancing the customer experience instills trust in the company’s ethos, practices, and services. We want researchers to have the best possible sentiment towards our journals, and one way we achieve this is through understanding, then resolving, our researchers’ pain points and tailoring the publication process to their needs in collaboration with other internal teams.
We work closely with the Regional Development team to ensure our journals grow in strategic markets, and globally represent our research communities. We facilitate diversity in the geographical composition of our editorial boards, reviewer pool(s), and author base at both an individual journal and discipline level.
The Researcher Engagement team seeks to ensure the widest distribution possible for all our content. We continuously select our high-quality research to showcase through different channels — driving usage and citations which, in turn, helps our journals reach indexing status in leading databases. The increased visibility and discoverability that indexing bestows upon a journal is critical in growing brand awareness, increasing submissions, and driving revenue.
How does the Researcher Engagement team work?
Who is involved?
The Researcher Engagement team is a combination of Researcher Engagement Managers (REMs) and Marketing Managers (MMs), managed by Senior REMs and Senior MMs. The team is overseen by the Director of Journal Management and Director of Researcher Development. For each researcher group, there is at least one REM and one MM dedicated to investigating new methods — and optimizing existing methods — of editorial and marketing activity to ensure the group’s continued and increased engagement.
What do Researcher Engagement Managers (REMs) do?
The REM role is twofold, covering:
- managing the editorial engagement for a portfolio (of around 20-40 journals)
- monitoring and improving the engagement of a select researcher group
Management of editorial engagement covers a range of tasks, including journal-level communications and policy development and relies heavily upon the REM’s skills in managing editor relationships. In conjunction with the MMs, REMs also handle editor recruitment, as well as the onboarding, training, and rotation of underperforming editors.
More importantly, they act as the main point of contact for Senior Editors - nurturing and developing relationships with them to ensure they support the journal. Owing to this, within JDev, REMs can be considered the main point of contact for information on editorial matters, including Phenom processes and workflows.
What do Marketing Managers (MMs) do?
MMs own the development and deployment of all marketing activity related to their target audience or researcher group. They work with a variety of internal stakeholders to understand the full journey each customer goes through when interacting with the publisher, and endeavor to engage with them at all touchpoints.
The MM is responsible for creating the strategic vision for our customer segments, as well as achieving annual marketing objectives and KPIs through the implementation of integrated, multi-channel marketing campaigns across email, search, social, recommendation engines, and print. Each customer base can overlap, however, there is a tailored approach to each engagement strategy, depending on the researcher.
The various MMs work closely in collaboration with one another. In the same way that editors, reviewers, authors, and readers are part of the same ecosystem, the Editor, Reviewer, Author, and Reader MMs all work within segments of the same customer environment and work towards common goals. These roles also have regional counterparts, who focus on engagement priorities across all researcher groups within strategic regions.
Does the perfect union exist? The relationship between REMs and MMs
Elsewhere in scholarly publishing, it is rare to find marketing experts and journal managers working in the same teams to serve researchers.
The Researcher Engagement team structure provides a way in which a publisher can connect with, and ensure the engagement of, their different researcher groups. Through the relationship between REMs and MMs (and the close connection to the wider JDev ecosystem) both groups are given greater scope to make sure their work has a significant impact.
REMs benefit from enhanced insight and control over communications with researchers and the presentation of the journals, while MMs are given better access to and understanding of the customers they connect with. A project plan must have input from both groups.
The magic of the Researcher Engagement team is a refusal to draw lines regarding ‘who does what.’ Instead, we maintain flexibility, which fosters creative and alternative ideas for improving the researcher experience.
Our relationships outside of the Researcher Engagement team
We look to maximize all resources, from internal and external data to internal and external expertise. This is evident from our close working relationship with Publishing Insights, Data & Operations, Marketing Insights, Editorial & Publishing Operations, and our external Editorial Boards.
These relationships provide insight into our authors, editors, reviewers, and readers through the analysis and understanding of market trends, audience data, and user behaviors. We monitor reports on the current manuscript handling stages and the capacity of our editors, the expected number of submissions from regions based on marketing activity and analyze the impact of regional trends on our projected growth.
The teams within Researcher Engagement
The Editor Engagement team
Why is editor engagement important?
We are proud to work with international teams of editors that are experts in their respective fields of research. These leading academics steer the development of our journals and oversee the peer review process to ensure we publish useful research as efficiently as possible.
Our editors are the ultimate arbiters of quality control in our journals and are accountable for the research they publish. Our editorial models are reliant upon trusting them and their expertise, and without their active participation in the publishing process, our output halts.
Therefore, our editors must understand the requirements of their role — actively engaging with their responsibilities and championing their journals. On the other hand, it is equally important that we, as the publisher, recognize the contribution of our editors and make their roles as easy, enjoyable, and rewarding as possible.
What are the Editor Engagement team’s objectives?
- Build and manage relationships with all journal editors and ensure editors are aligned with the team’s wider journal development strategies
- Manage the editor recruitment process, and ensure all journals have the required number of active and engaged editors to handle submission volumes
- Ensure editors are active, engaged, and satisfied with their role, and have a comprehensive understanding of required expectations
- Nurture editors into authors and incentivize editor submissions to our journal portfolio
What are the Editor Engagement team’s key responsibilities?
- Editor relationship management
- Build and maintain relationships with editors across the portfolio of journals
- Editor recruitment
- Recruitment of Chief Editors and Senior Editors
- Develop Academic Editor recruitment strategy and processes
- Editor onboarding and lifecycle
- Develop and manage the automated editor onboarding process
- Manage and expand the Editor Community platform
- Managing communications and campaigns to editors
- Create and deploy the editor survey to collect valuable feedback and refine current processes or implement new initiatives
- Working with editors to drive the growth of our journals
- Maintain editor engagement using editor-level data regarding turnaround times, declinations, rejections, and more
- Review the performance of our editors and rotate disengaged editors
- Educate editors on the Special Issue proposal assessment process
- Gain insights on editor needs and behavior, and support in the creation of a company-wide editor customer persona
- Editor recognition
- Identify new methods of recognizing editors’ contributions to our journals (e.g., digital badges and certificates, editor hall of fame, early career researcher hub)
- Showcase and promote editor publications and increase reach and visibility of high-quality content
How is engagement measured in the Editor Engagement team?
The Editor Engagement team defines an engaged editor as one that:
- regularly accepts to handle assigned manuscripts
- responds to manuscript invitations in a timely manner
- interacts with email campaigns and communications
- publishes their own manuscripts in the journal
- advocates the journal within their respective research community
The Reviewer Engagement Team
Why is reviewer engagement important?
In traditional publishing spheres, the role of the reviewer has often been overlooked. However, we believe that a reviewer’s journey with a publisher must be valued, and made exceptional, at all stages. This not only leads to the publisher’s success but is also an important way to show appreciation for reviewers’ invaluable hard work.
Reviewers’ experiences decide whether they review for a journal again, or even whether they consider submitting their own research. A well-conducted invitation process and encouragement to submit their report in a timely manner will assure reviewers that should they submit a manuscript to the journal, it will also progress efficiently throughout the peer review process.
Equally, the knowledge that a high-quality report is expected of a reviewer tells them that we strive for all manuscripts to be of the highest standard. Better reviews lead to better research.
What are the Reviewer Engagement team’s objectives?
- Develop ways to capture potential reviewer data and provide editors with high-quality reviewers
- Engage with potential reviewers to work with our journals
- Educate reviewers on how to provide the best possible review through training and resources
- Review the performance of our reviewers and develop new ways to track this
- Reduce manuscript turn-around times through quick acceptance times for invitations and timely submission of reports
- Moderate the experience of our reviewers and develop new ways to improve this
- Recognize the contributions of reviewers through recognition programs
- Encourage reviewers to accept future invitations to review
- Promote opportunities to convert into authors or editors
- Closely work with Product on how best to improve systems for the reviewer experience
What are the Reviewer Engagement team’s key responsibilities?
- Reviewer recruitment
- Encourage existing authors, previous reviewers, and unsuccessful editor applicants to consider reviewing or re-reviewing and joining the Reviewer Pool
- Investigate new avenues in which potential reviewers may be discovered
- Ensure reviewer diversity by targeting regions and subject areas
- Reviewer training
- Develop reviewer resources to improve the overall quality of all reviewer reports
- Provide open resources to assist in first-time reviewing for early career researchers
- Create a community hub where reviewers can find support, resources, and training as well as enhance a community feel and recognition
- Management of the reviewer lifecycle
- Develop a company-wide reviewer customer persona that can be used when managing/enhancing/creating all reviewer communications
- Improve the overall experience of the reviewer journey within Phenom based on drop-off points, frustrations, and survey responses
- Reviewer recognition
- Provide incentives for reviewers such as APC discounts
- Develop programs and tools to support reviewer recognition, such as certificates and badges and the Reviewer Hall of Fame
- Brand awareness
- Enhance the awareness as a great place for reviewers through the involvement of industry-wide campaigns such as Peer Review Week
- Launch webinars promoting new publishing initiatives to global attendees increasing recruitment, training opportunities, and overall brand recognition
How is engagement measured in the Reviewer Engagement team?
Our reviewers are considered to be engaged if they:
- quickly respond to invitations to review
- review every round of a paper
- submit high-quality reports
- submit promptly
- return to the journal to review again
- encourage others to review for our journals
- are interested in training opportunities
- submit as an author
- apply to join an editorial board
The Author Engagement team
Why is author engagement important?
The core objective of the author engagement team is to go beyond driving submissions.
We realize the importance of engaging with authors throughout the publishing experience and beyond — the publication of a paper is only one important milestone in the research journey, but it is not the last step. We support authors in promoting and communicating their work to maximize its impact not only within the research community but also within wider society.
Authors are at the center of our business model, as our revenue is driven by the collection of article processing charges (APCs) from accepted articles. Therefore, our journals must continue to appeal to authors as reputable venues for their all-important research.
What are the Author Engagement team’s objectives?
- Identify and engage with prospective authors from strategic markets on both an individual journal and discipline level
- Nurture existing authors and facilitate repeat authorship
- Recognize authors’ high-quality contributions to our portfolio of journals
- Improve authors’ experience when submitting to, and publishing in, our journals
What are the Author Engagement team’s key responsibilities?
- Author submissions
- Encourage submissions from strategic markets by identifying prospective authors based on journal and discipline
- Monitor submission and author retention rate
- Identify new campaigns to drive submissions from both prospective and existing authors
- Working with wider JDev teams, including the Partnership and Content Development teams to drive submissions to partner journals and Special Issues
- Author care
- Build and maintain an automated email journey to nurture published authors for retainment as stakeholders
- Educate and keep authors informed about pre-submission and post-publication author services, best practices, new processes or policies, share important journal updates, and prompt them to share and promote their research with their network
- Re-engage with lapsed authors to submit future manuscripts to our journals
- Oversee the author survey to collect valuable feedback and refine current processes or implement new initiatives to improve the author's experience
- Gain insight into author needs and behavior, to support the creation of a company-wide author customer persona
- Author recognition
- Showcase published content to both existing and potential authors, and increase the reach and visibility of high-quality content, in collaboration with the Reader Engagement team
- Developing streams of initiatives that recognize authors’ contributions to our journals (e.g., Article of the Year Award, article highlights, impact snapshot), and identify new, high-impact methods of recognition
How do the Author Engagement team measure engagement?
The Author Engagement team considers an engaged author to:
- complete the submission process for their manuscript
- promote their research on social media
- interact with email campaigns and communications
- re-submit to our journal portfolio
- demonstrate an interest in contributing as an editor and/or reviewer with us
- recommend/advocate for our journals to other researchers
The Reader Engagement Team
Why is reader engagement important?
Reader engagement is pivotal to the scientific publishing ecosystem. An author will publish their article with the aim of their research being read, shared, and cited. The reader of their article will be looking for research to support their own studies and interests, as well as looking for potential collaborations with others in their field.
Often the first time a researcher engages with a journal is when they read an article from it. They may not even know which journal they are reading at the time (due to the disaggregated way researchers now find articles). Often though, readers will remember a relevant article they read when looking to cite research in their own work — this is the point at which a read evolves into a citation and a researcher actively becomes aware of a journal.
Reading is still the basis of our industry — we help research to be published so it can be read and used. Most publishers do not consider or acknowledge readers in the way we do in JDev, but to us, they are a core researcher group in our drive to provide value to all of the roles researchers play in the publishing process.
What are the Reader Engagement team’s objectives?
- Ensure readers return to our journals to find relevant content
- Convert readers into authors, editors, and reviewers
- Develop global marketing strategies to improve the overall readership, website engagement, and citations of articles
- Encourage sharing and increase dissemination of journal articles
- Increase citations of journal articles (especially based on predetermined priority groupings)
- Tracking and driving increased page views
- Increase abstracting and indexing coverage of our journals
What are the Reader Engagement team's key responsibilities?
- Drive usage and citations
- Deploying campaigns for dissemination and engagement with content
- Determine key areas of focus for a citation strategy that will incorporate impact, discipline, journal, and (where relevant) regional considerations
- Developing the readership content strategy of our portfolio of journals to ensure maximum engagement and visibility of published articles
- Brand awareness
- Lead public engagement strategy in collaboration with the Content and Brand Marketing Manager
- Increasing overall brand awareness of the journals
- Targeting and reporting
- Determining priority countries, regions, and institutions
- Ensuring effective targeting and reporting are in place using channel and website metrics such as Google Analytics
- Supporting conversion
- Developing an understanding of how readers convert into authors, editors, and reviewers
- Working with the relevant audience Marketing Managers to improve the reader journey
How is engagement measured in the Reader Engagement team?
The Reader Engagement team considers an engaged reader as someone who:
- also acts as an editor, reviewer, or author
- cites our articles in their own work
- returns to our web pages frequently
- takes an active role in the dissemination of articles published in our journals
- shares articles on social media and community platforms
- follows us on social media
- advocates our journals