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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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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I wrote my last blog post about 8 months ago, and since then I have become a fully trained Publishing Editor by completing my editing training.

This can be one of the toughest parts of training for some, as you learn to quickly and thoroughly read through every word of (sometimes very long!) accepted manuscripts, checking not just for spelling and grammar, but also consistency within the article. Luckily for me I found this quite enjoyable, as you can really get stuck into a piece of work, and get to read a whole variety of manuscripts from lots of different journals across the RSC.

As part of my role on the Sustainability Team, I am now also the office ‘buddy’ for one of the Associate Editors of Catalysis Science & Technology. You get extra responsibilities like this as you become more confident at your other tasks, which all add to making the job feel so varied. This time last year when I was still early in training, I couldn’t imagine balancing such different things, but now I feel much more settled and can handle them all with ease.  I’m now looking forward to my second Christmas with the RSC – so planning a fancy dress costume has suddenly also become high on my priority list!
Heather 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 Nov 16, 2015 6:51 PM GMT

15a1baecc0d14c56a52bcfc9855770d9-huge-poI joined the RSC as a Publishing Editor in January 2015 after completing a PhD in organic chemistry at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. After picking up various temp jobs (from analysing river water to assisting on clinical trials), I had been tempted to apply for postdoctoral positions, but the stability of a permanent contract with a well-respected employer was too good an opportunity to turn down.
 
For me, the main attraction of the RSC over other publishing houses and employers was the graduate scheme. I knew that the training I would receive here would not only be a solid foundation for a career in scientific publishing, but would also give me transferrable editing skills which may be useful in the future.
 
I was initially concerned about commuting to Cambridge every day, but the RSC has been really helpful in supporting my decision to stay in Norwich, with various working from home options and a change to my working hours which means I can beat most of the traffic!
 
The thing I value most about working here is the friendly, supportive atmosphere. We work in teams, but the office is open-plan, and everyone I’ve met has been approachable and helpful, at all levels. I am in the Materials team, which covers Journal of Materials Chemistry A, B & C, and Materials Horizons. With my background in organic chemistry, it took me a little time to learn how to assess and edit papers on solar cells, batteries and optoelectronics, but 10 months in I’ve handled around 800 papers and made new contacts in the field.

Aside from editing, my favourite part of the job is commissioning artwork as the cover co-ordinator of Journal of Materials Chemistry C. Corresponding with authors who have successfully navigated the peer review process and have sent in colourful images to promote their work is very enjoyable, and adds to the variety of my day.
 
Overall, I feel I’ve been very lucky to find this role in an organisation which actively promotes training and development, where I can continue to engage with and support the chemistry community.
Polly is working as a Publishing Editor in the Materials 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 Nov 9, 2015 4:10 PM GMT

a609b0180d48d155c9ec9cebdb18fad0-huge-ad I started at the RSC in November 2014 and since then I have learnt and experienced more than I ever thought I would have done in this job.
 
I had an unorthodox route compared to most people who start as a publishing editor. Before moving to Cambridge to start my new job, I had been living in Istanbul teaching and translating in a private International Baccalaureate school. I would like to encourage anyone who isn’t coming from research or straight from university to think about coming to the RSC as everything has been a positive experience (except missing Turkish food!).
 
I joined RSC Advances and started out on peer review. Once I got signed off of it I moved on to editing training. I found peer review fascinating as all these authors and referees from around the world are coming together for the sake of advancing our chemical knowledge. Whereas editing shows you the hard work and all the care that goes into making a manuscript publishable.
 
In addition to being a publishing editor at the RSC I have taken on some extra roles which means I have a lot of variety in my work. I was the negotiator for the RSC with Open City, as our London office in Burlington House opened its doors again this year for Open House London. Also in May I helped out at the May public lecture in Burlington House, and in June I ran the event with a colleague. My line manager is always supportive of these extra roles and also supported me attending some training courses to help me prepare for these projects.
 
To sum up, being a publishing editor is never boring and there is always another challenge on the horizon that you can take on and some learn new skills.
Adrian is working as a Publishing Editor in the RSC Advances 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 Oct 30, 2015 4:28 PM GMT

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After finishing my PhD in Soft Matter Chemistry, I decided that research wasn’t really for me anymore, and that a job that used my science knowledge whilst keeping me far away from the lab was ideal.

Since joining the RSC in August 2014, I’ve been working as a Publishing Editor on the General Chemistry team. My training started with peer review, and once I was signed off from that, I quickly moved onto editing training, which allowed me to get to grips with what happens to a manuscript after it has been accepted. As an author myself, I found it really interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes!

One of the great things about the Publishing Editor role is the variety. I currently handle manuscripts from three different journals, with three very different article types: ChemComm (communications), Chemical Science (“edge” articles) and Chemical Society Reviews (reviews).  As well as processing articles, I spend a portion of my time corresponding with authors, reviewers and other editors, and recently, I was even able to attend a couple of editorial board meetings in our London office in Burlington House.

While life as a Publishing Editor may be a bit hectic at times, you can guarantee that every day is different, and, what with the ubiquitous cake in the office, I’m really enjoying my career at the RSC so far. 

Sam 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 May 14, 2015 1:01 PM BST

73aa9e5ead9452fd5416727cc1acb61f-huge-paI’ve been working at the RSC for just over five months now and, although it may sound obvious, one of the main things that I’ve learned is just how much chemistry there is being researched.

Coming straight from doing an undergraduate chemistry degree in Dublin, my knowledge was limited mostly to textbooks, classic experiments or whatever random bits of research professors decided to throw into their lectures. When I joined the RSC as a publishing editor I was immediately introduced to the living, breathing, constantly evolving organism that is modern chemical research.
 
It’s fascinating to be involved in facilitating the publication of cutting edge science and working for RSC Advances, a general chemistry journal, makes things even more interesting because sometimes inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places. In the past week alone I’ve seen papers on geckos, peanut oil and 19th century paintings.

Most of my work involves assisting peer review, where manuscripts are sent to authorities in the field to be evaluated. This is a process that, if you stop and think about it, is pretty impressive. A paper can be, for example, co-authored by Australian and Japanese chemists, peer reviewed by American and Brazilian experts and accepted by an Irish publishing editor working in Cambridge. It’s a truly global process and referees give freely of their time and expertise with the aim of advancing excellence in the chemical sciences – the overall vision of the RSC.

As well as being an interesting job, working at the RSC has been great because it’s helped to make settling into a new city easier. I moved from Ireland not knowing anyone in Cambridge but I’ve been able to make friends in work and have been involved in sports and social club activities like 5-a-side football and go-karting. Cambridge is a beautiful place to live and as well as the impressive buildings and colleges there’s a lot of green space, which myself and a few of my fellow publishing editors made the most of yesterday, beating a team of Italians in an impromptu football match. Advancing excellence in football as well!
Patrick is working as a Publishing Editor in the RSC Advances 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 Apr 28, 2015 3:47 PM BST

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Following the completion of a PhD in Computational Chemistry I moved into a postdoc position in Ireland, where I researched solid state materials for energy applications. After five years in this position I decided a change was needed and swapped being an author for a publishing editor! 

On joining the RSC I became part of the Physical-Nano team, primarily dealing with PCCP - a general physical chemistry journal which complemented my specialism. I quickly began my peer review training, learning how to assess submitted papers for suitability and to select the best referees. Seeing the other side of the publishing process was fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges and sense of achievement that are involved in the peer review process. 

Since completing my initial training I have taken on a shared responsibility for coordinating the cover artwork of Nanoscale. Negotiating with authors with regards to this popular opportunity to highlight their research is often highly rewarding when it results in an impressive end product. Another aspect of the role that I was particularly looking forward to was being trained in editing. My training has now been going for two months and I think it is a great skill to learn and very satisfying. Another benefit of this is that is gives me exposure to a wide range of chemistry topics, allowing me to get an appreciation for the cutting edge of scientific research.

Working for the RSC has so far been very enjoyable and I look forward to continuing my career within this vibrant and ambitious organisation. I found it very easy to feel a part of the RSC culture thanks to the packed social events calendar, a very welcoming team, and the ever-popular fortnightly baking rota! 
Jeremy is working as a Publishing Editor in the Physical/Nano 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 Apr 16, 2015 2:59 PM BST
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