Ever wanted to know what the staff at the RSC get up to? In this blog our publishing editors describe some of the interesting activities they are working on, and let you know what it's really like to work at a leading international scientific publishers. You can also hear from the development editors in our publishing team, and find out what exciting projects and RSC social events they have been involved in recently.

Find out more about publishing opportunities at the RSC here
 

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I joined the RSC in 2016 after working as a postdoctoral researcher for a few years. By that point I’d settled in to lab work – if computational chemistry counts as lab work – but saw the Publishing Editor role as a great way to apply my broad scientific interests and the skills I’d picked up helping to improve drafts of papers.

This year, in addition to working on my usual journals I’ve been coordinating a Faraday Discussion. This has been a particularly interesting challenge.

The Faraday Discussion is a hybrid of a conference and a special journal issue which calls for a lot of editorial work. Due to the unusual format of the meeting, papers have to be received and edited on a strict deadline, and the conference discussion itself has to be honed into a final written volume. That means a lot of deadlines, editing and production work running in parallel, coordinating with many researchers at once as you make sure their manuscripts are in on time and that you haven’t changed the meaning of an important scientific point trying to fix a typo.

Although a Faraday Discussion is a lot of work, it’s interesting to be in a spectator role at a conference. Working as an editor is a great way to broaden your scientific horizons as you need to be able to put all sorts of papers in some sort of context. A Faraday meeting takes a particular subject – Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering in my case – and lets you focus on it for several months. Editing the papers means you pick up a sense of the major controversies and unanswered questions in that field, and then you have a ring-side seat to the debates that try to push the field forward at the meeting itself.

A side benefit of the Faraday Discussion meeting is that you get to travel. My meeting was in Glasgow, which meant I was able to enjoy one of my favourite Scottish delicacies – deep fried pizza, which Cambridge chip shops inexplicably haven’t adopted.

Alex is a Publishing Editor working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email
 
Posted by Harriet Brewerton on Nov 17, 2017 2:30 PM GMT

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I joined the RSC as a Publishing Editor in January 2013 after completing a PhD in inorganic chemistry at the University of Warwick. After working in a lab for my PhD, I decided that I would like a job that still focused on science, but wasn’t lab-based – the Publishing Editor role at the RSC seemed like a perfect fit!

As a member of the Materials, Interfaces & Engineering team, I work on nine of the RSC journals – Journal of Materials Chemistry A, B and C, Materials Horizons, Biomaterials Science, Polymer Chemistry, Soft Matter, Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, and Molecular Systems Design & Engineering. The two engineering-based journals were launched at the end of 2015 and it has been really interesting to see them develop since then. Of course, there were the obligatory cakes featuring the first covers to celebrate the launches!

As a Publishing Editor, I work on the peer review of manuscripts, taking them all the way from initial submission to acceptance, and the editing of manuscripts. As well as these core tasks, there are many opportunities to take on extra responsibilities – cover commissioning, Associate Editor support, journal coordination, and Faraday Discussions, to name just a few. I have particularly enjoyed working on Faraday Discussions, as you, along with another Publishing Editor, take the volume right from the initial submissions through to publishing the discussions in a book. This involves attending the conference and managing the forum. It is a great opportunity to develop many different skills!

After almost 5 years at the RSC, I am really happy that I decided to make the move – the RSC is a great place to work and Cambridge is a great place to live!

Suzanne is a Publishing Editor working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email
 
Posted by Harriet Brewerton on Nov 2, 2017 2:07 PM GMT


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I have now been at the RSC for 11 months, so I’m already planning my anniversary bake (I’m sure the other blog posts have mentioned the importance of cake)! 


It has been an exciting time in publishing recently as summer means the release of impact factors! Journal impact factor results were promising for the RSC, and we recently had a celebration in which we were all rewarded for our work with ice cream (like I said, food is a major part of our lives).  My team is currently working hard on our newest journal, Nanoscale Horizons. As a new journal it does not have an impact factor yet, but we’re aiming high, and those of the team working on it are keen to pick top work and attract the best researchers.

Throughout the past year as a Publishing Editor, I’ve found the role gets more and more varied with time. I passed my peer review training a while back, and whilst I’m still in editing training, I’ve started to get more new responsibilities; I am office contact for some Associate Editors, and a cover coordinator which gives me a say in the images and research featured on the journal covers. I also recently volunteered with the Membership team to recruit new members for the RSC. This is a project running until early next year that will provide Publishing Editors with experience representing the RSC in person. I will travel to various Universities around the UK for day visits approximately once a week as well as continuing with my Publishing Editor responsibilities.

I am really looking forward to being involved in this project, and to the new challenges in my day to day Publishing Editor activities!
 

Alex is a Publishing Editor working in the Physical & Nano team, in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies go to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' Blog or subscribe to 'RSC: Latest Vacancies' by Email
Posted by Harriet Brewerton on Oct 24, 2017 12:04 PM BST

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It has been more than a year since my last blog post, and as it’s two years since I started working at the RSC, I’m back to write about the most exciting project I’ve been involved in so far: a Faraday Discussion meeting in China.


Faraday Discussions have a unique format. Around 25 researchers are invited to contribute a paper on a topic (in our case aggregation-induced emission), and a scientific committee is asked to read the manuscripts and provide their comments. After initial peer review, two Publishing Editors edit the papers and they are sent out to the delegates who will be attending the meeting. This is where the real peer review happens: each author has 5 minutes to present their paper, and then there are around 20 minutes of questions, comments and debate. The Publishing Editors make a note of every question that was asked, and after the meeting the discussion text is edited and published with the papers in a book.

Many of the Faraday Discussions take place in cities around the UK, but I was fortunate enough to attend the meeting in Guangzhou in November 2016, with my colleague Tom. Our colleagues from the RSC office in China and the UK Events team had organised the conference at the South China University of Technology, and we had a very enthusiastic team of speakers. For Tom and I it was a very busy three days of making notes, talking to delegates and firing off emails, but we had a truly memorable experience. The highlight of weekend was the traditional “Loving Cup” ceremony at the conference dinner, which was led by the President of the Faraday Division, Professor Eleanor Campbell.

Back in Cambridge, we’ve been busy editing the discussion, and the final version will be heading off to the printers in a couple of weeks’ time. The Faraday Discussion has been a great opportunity to do something very different from the normal peer review and editing process, and it has been nice to work with lots of different people and to talk to our authors and reviewers in person. I would highly recommend volunteering!
Polly is working as a Publishing Editor in the General Chemistry team, in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies in Publishing click here.
 
Posted by Sarah Farley on Feb 14, 2017 6:41 PM GMT

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My ambition upon completing my Chemistry degree was to move into a job where I could use my new knowledge and skills. However, over my four years at the University of Birmingham I had become sure that continuing in a lab wasn’t the way for me.

My role at the RSC as a Publishing Editor not only allows me to use my degree but also to continue to be involved in the world of the chemical sciences while also learning new skills and new science on a daily basis.

As a member of the General Team I am part of the peer review process for Chemical Science, ChemComm and RSC Advances, and I get to work closely with not only my colleagues in the office but with our academic Associate Editors across the world. As well as peer review, since starting at the RSC I have also been trained to edit scientific papers. As the quality of the work we do is so important to the scientific community the training team is also of the highest quality, and I found their commitment to helping me learn the new skills I needed phenomenal.

The RSC has one of the friendliest atmospheres I have ever been lucky enough to work in. The office is full of people from different backgrounds and different specialities and even from day one I’ve been made to feel welcome.

In a few weeks I will have been at the RSC for 18 months and as that anniversary, which will be celebrated as all events are at the RSC with cake, approaches I find it hard to believe how much I have gained in that short span of time. From knowing very little about publishing I have discovered a new career which I find exciting and challenging each and every day, and also made some fantastic life-long friends at the same time. 
James is working as a Publishing Editor in the General Chemistry team, in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies in Publishing click here.
 
Posted by Sarah Farley on Jun 23, 2016 6:48 PM BST

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I joined the RSC as a Publishing Editor in January 2015, and the fact I am writing this blog post on what is coming up to my 18-month anniversary of starting really bears testament to the old phrase “time flies when you’re having fun”.


I had come to realise that while I wanted to use my chemistry degree in my career, I felt I was better suited to a non-laboratory setting. In essence, being a Publishing Editor fulfils the best of both worlds - I still work daily with top quality science while hanging up my labcoat.

I am responsible for handling the peer review of submissions to Energy & Environmental Science and Green Chemistry, two high-impact journals that the RSC is proud to have in its repertoire. Work here and your training is second-to-none; as well as peer review, I’m a fully trained in editing - I’ve always enjoyed writing for fun so it’s an enjoyable challenge. I find my work just as varied and unpredictable as my days in the lab.

One thing that struck me ever since my assessment day is the working environment. We’re proud of our growing reputation as a world-leading scientific publisher - my colleagues impress upon me how much Publishing has grown and the recent building extension backs them up - but you’d be hard pressed to find a bunch of friendlier, more helpful colleagues anywhere else.

There’s a great social scene; many people relocate for the job, so you won’t be the only one whose accent isn’t quite ‘Royal’ (I speak for myself!). ‘RSC’ also unofficially stands for ‘Royal Society of Cake,’ to say we’re a keen bunch of bakers is an understatement.

I’m very happy to be part of an ambitious publisher that’s going exciting places in the coming years - hopefully I’ve persuaded you to come and join me!
Jon is working as a Publishing Editor in the Sustainability team, in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies in Publishing click here.
 
Posted by Sarah Farley on Jun 16, 2016 7:01 PM BST

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There are many projects and activities to become involved with alongside a day-to-day role at the RSC. Publishing Editor Kathryn Gempf explains her involvement as Chair of the RSC Sports and Social Club's charity Auction.



What’s the Auction?
A wonderful RSC Sports and Social Club tradition! Held just before Christmas, it’s an eBay style, computer based auction for RSC staff in aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice. The 2015 Auction raised over a whopping £4000. 

What were the lots?
We ask staff, local businesses, not-so-local businesses and celebrities for donations. Lots received ranged from tickets to the FA semi-finals to a luxury Christmas hamper. We also asked staff members to make ‘promises’ which again came through in all sorts of forms: promises to deliver home-made cake to your desk every Monday for a month, to a staff member donating a day of his holiday to become the lucky winner’s P.A. for that day!

How did I get involved?
As I’m sure you can read from the surrounding blog posts here, there are so many fun opportunities for extra projects or responsibilities alongside the job description here at the RSC. Having always loved social activities I joined the Sports and Social Club Committee almost immediately after starting my job as a Publishing Editor in January 2015. It was through this that the 2015 auction chair role came up around October, and I jumped at the chance.

Why is it so great?
The whole thing was so much fun. I loved getting to know the building (storing our lots in secret cupboards and the attic), the experience of managing a project and team, and getting to know so many wonderful people from across the organisation. However, my personal highlight was absolutely going to town with our ‘Auction live’ advertising campaign, including getting the choir to perform a flash concert of the ’12 Days of Auction’ 1 hour before closing the bidding.
 
I’m so pleased to be part of such a fun and generous community and can't wait to see what projects the future brings.
Kathryn is working as a Publishing Editor in the General Chemistry team, in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies in Publishing click here.
Posted by Sarah Farley on Jun 16, 2016 6:55 PM BST

fdd5fdda73a097a80214e60f652b2373-huge-caMy academic background, unlike many of my colleagues, is completely unrelated to Chemistry.  I completed my PhD studying the changes in neuronal function during Multiple Sclerosis. On my first day on the job, I was handed a typical submission to our journal and stared blankly at it.  What did I get myself into?  With the help of my team, however, I was soon able to ‘talk shop’ about issues ranging from novel solar cell devices to the principles of Green Chemistry.

I have now been at the RSC for over a year, and have thoroughly enjoyed hanging up my lab coat and diving into a new subject area.  I am a fully trained Publishing Editor, having completed editing and peer review training.  

Aside from this, I was fortunate to play a role in the RSC Sports and Social Club Christmas Auction to raise money for the East Anglia Children’s Hospital and I am currently a member of the Celebrating Success team whose mission it is to recognise the success of teams and individuals across the Publishing department.  Both of these initiatives have helped me to positively engage with other members RSC while flexing my creative muscles.

I look forward to developing my role further at the RSC and continue to enjoy those moments when I stumble upon a technical edit with a biology application!
Cathy is working as a Publishing Editor in the Sustainability team, in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies in Publishing click here.
Posted by Sarah Farley on Jun 16, 2016 6:33 PM BST

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I wrote my last blog post nine months ago, and a lot has changed since then! I completed my peer review training as a Publishing Editor, and then decided to apply for the position of Development Editor. 

Whilst working as a Publishing Editor I became interested in knowing more about publishing strategy to improve journal quality, grow readership and increase market share compared to our competitors. I began my role as a Development Editor for five RSC journals (Analyst, Analytical Methods, JAAS, Integrative Biology and Lab on a Chip) in September and have enjoyed learning about a completely different side of publishing. My responsibilities include commissioning successful and influential authors to submit quality content to the journals, promotion of the journals to potential new and existing authors, and analysis of statistics and trends to assess the success of each journal against its competitors.

I am really enjoying my current role as it offers the opportunity to think creatively and, coming from a research background, any opportunity to put my analytical skills to good use is a bonus! The main challenge so far has been to divide and manage my time effectively to meet the needs of each journal. It has helped that the journals that I work on are relevant to my research background which has been an advantage in familiarising myself with the requirements of each journal.

I have just completed my first year at the RSC and I think I have learned valuable experience in scientific publishing during this time. I continue to look for other opportunities to get involved.
Sarah is working as a Development Editor in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies in Publishing click here.
Posted by Sarah Farley on Dec 1, 2015 11:39 AM GMT

0e637e88a3cdcc54ff8c4997e2d077e0-huge-suMy day-to-day role is slightly different from most of the Publishing Editors at the RSC – I currently spend half of my working week as part of our Production Training Team, training other Publishing Editors how to edit manuscripts. It’s been a great opportunity to involve myself in a different aspect of the Department whilst still being able to take on all of the tasks surrounding peer review – although my time-management skills have certainly been challenged more than usual!

Coming to the RSC two years ago from London as a freshly graduated student of Biological Sciences, I was initially a little concerned that I’d be completely out of my depth in trying to work on papers that were all about Chemistry. Luckily, I soon found out that whatever your scientific background, the training you receive means you’re well equipped to deal with any papers that come your way – and I’ve started to learn some new things along the way (although still don’t ask me to explain what a quantum dot is…). Having had such good training, I was keen to get involved in training others as soon as I could – firstly as a peer review trainer, and then on the Production Training Team.
 
My role as part of the Training Team mostly involves assessing trainees’ editing work, and giving them feedback on how they’ve done, as well as having regular catch-ups with both my trainees and their managers to see how their progress is coming along. A big part of the Training Team is also seeing how we can improve the ways that we train people to make the training process and the Department better – something that’s been great to be involved in.

It’s often said, but only because it’s true, that the best part of working at the RSC is the people. Everyone I work with is friendly and enthusiastic, and most of my friendship group here in Cambridge is made up of people I’ve met at the RSC (including my now fiancé!). It’s a great place to work – occasionally challenging, always enjoyable and certainly never boring.
Susannah is working as a Publishing Editor in the General and Training teams, in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Publishing Department. To see if there are any current vacancies in Publishing click here.
Posted by Sarah Farley on Nov 27, 2015 3:06 PM GMT
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