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Ever wanted to know what the staff at the RSC get up to? In this blog, members of our graduate schemes describe some of the interesting (or unusual!) activities and projects they are working on...

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24a937e4d66d6a369b61949752b33332-original-bacheh.jpg Proof-reading, editing, peer review, putting issues together and being a point of contact for five Editorial Board members... The RSC Graduate Scheme in Publishing is still providing challenges eight months in.

When I wrote my last blog post, I was just starting to select referees and make decisions on papers. My peer review training has flown by since I started in April, as has the rest of the eight months I have been with the RSC! 

My favourite part of working in peer review is carefully reading the reports from referees and making decisions on manuscripts. It's great when you get an e-mail back from an author who is really happy with the decision to accept their manuscript, and it is sometimes a challenge to write e-mails rejecting manuscripts that ensure the author completely understands the decision. Every decision is important when authors have worked so hard to get their research to the point of trying to publish a paper.

The most recent new role I have taken on is being the point of contact for five Associate Editors (explained by Tamsin in the previous blog post). Like Tamsin, I also had the opportunity to meet some of them face-to-face last Monday at the Chemical Science Editorial Board Meeting. They were really friendly and had some fantastic ideas about taking our new flagship journal forward.

With all these new things to do, as well as editing and proof-reading, I'm busier than ever dealing with papers at every stage of the process. Certain tasks, such as making up an issue, are getting easier with experience. Others are different every time and I'm still learning so I'd better get back to work!

Helen is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Science, 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 Helen Bache on Jul 18, 2011 9:39 AM BST
So I’m 9 months in and now it’s time to write my second blog about my job here!  Before I sat down to write this I was just writing another blog about a great paper we recently published about some exciting new anti-malarial drug leads in development at the University of Liverpool (you can see my entry soon over on the MedChemComm blog if you’re interested).  Looking back at my timesheet for the day I have also accepted a couple of papers after peer review and revisions.  We make the accepted version available online immediately so that the research community doesn’t have to wait for the final typeset version before finding out the exciting new work we are publishing every day.  Other papers have been dispatched to reviewers I’ve selected and yet others sent back to authors for revisions—every day is a mix, just like the weather in Cambridge today...  Anyway it is time I posted this and settled down to edit a Perspective article for Org. Biomol. Chem.! more...
Posted by Stephen Montgomery on Jun 22, 2011 5:13 PM BST

We recently received some great news on the Organic Applications team, which was that Food & Function, one of the RSC newest journals had been accepted for indexing in ISI’s Science Citation Index®. This means that, in addition to my usual activities of Blogging and Commissioning I have spent a lot of time preparing some promotional activities to let our readers and potential authors know this news.
Why is indexing in ISI so important?  The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) which is part of Thomson Reuters produces a Journals Citation Report® each year which gives an impact factor for every journal covered in the Science Citation Index®.  If a journal is not indexed here then it will not receive an Impact Factor which is an essential mark of quality.  Being accepted for indexing is the first step in achieving this important recognition. 
To promote this news I wrote a blog piece and a message highlighting this and all the great reasons why to publish in Food & Function which we sent to all of our contacts.  We also used this mass mailing to launch a blog competition which we are running to celebrate the official launch of Food & Function, which will happen at the Institute of Food Technology Annual Meeting and Food Expo in June.  The competition poses the question ‘Do any longevity foods exist and what are they?’ the best reply will win a kindle!  Working on this competition and the launch event has given me the opportunity to work with colleagues in Marketing who are responsible for promoting all the journals.
Joining RSC Publishing has given me a huge amount of experience in 7 short months; it has also provided a great career progression opportunity.  I recently applied for and was selected for the job of Deputy Editor on the Organic Applications team. 

Anna Simpson is a Graduate 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 Anna Simpson on May 27, 2011 3:43 PM BST

Hello again from the Analytical team! Since my first blog post a few months ago, I have celebrated my one-year anniversary working at the RSC (cake was involved ...) and have continued training in aspects of the Publishing Editor role.

When I wrote my initial blog post back in February I had just started training in the peer-review process, dealing with new manuscripts submitted to our journals. I am now doing much of this independently, and selecting referees, looking at their reports and making decisions as to whether an article is suitable for publication is now a regular part of my day! I am still spending time editing manuscripts and applying proof corrections before publishing articles online, so it’s nice to be able to follow an article right from submission to publication.
At the opposite end of the publication process, I have recently become involved with issue makeup for Analytical Methods, which involves the coordination of articles into a print issue and commissioning for journal covers. It’s great to have so many different things to do, and as I am still spending half of my time working on Analytical Abstracts, one of our team’s databases, my day is always very varied!
As well as the main aspects of the job, there are many other things to get involved with here. In March, along with many other staff I helped out on the RSC stands at the Cambridge Science Festival, which were coordinated by colleagues in the Science, Education and Industry department. We enjoyed playing with gloop nearly as much as the children! There are also various training opportunities on the graduate scheme – I recently attended a Chemical Science Writing course, learning to write for the RSC magazines and supplements, and a few weeks ago had my first article published on the Chemistry World website.

Sarah is a Graduate 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 Sarah Farley on Apr 28, 2011 4:25 PM BST

24a937e4d66d6a369b61949752b33332-original-bacheh.jpg I’ve been on the Graduate Scheme in RSC Publishing for 4 months now and I'm really enjoying it. Having completed my training in proof-reading, editing and making up issues, I’m just starting to select referees and make informed decisions on papers for Chemical Communications.

The speed of my training is definitely down to the experienced people who have been teaching me, answering all of my questions and making sure I get to work on a variety of papers from a variety of journals. This is especially important for me, as I now work in the General Chemistry team so anything could come up, from maths equations to crystallographic space groups or organic nomenclature.

I also started at the same time as two other graduates, who I still eat lunch with every day, which made it a lot easier to compare how we were all doing, ask questions of each other and see how each person would solve a particular problem. One thing I’ve learned is no problem is too small and everyone in the department is willing to answer. Last week, 5 people from various teams and with varying experience were crowded around my desk to solve a seemingly small nomenclature problem in a Dalton Transactions paper.

This is such a friendly place to work, with lots of recent graduates making it a good environment for the transition to working life. There are lots of opportunities to try working on other things than purely your Publishing Editor job, especially on the Graduate Scheme. I recently took an internal course in writing for the chemical sciences, and this week I’ve had my own chance to write an article for Chemistry World- why not take a look at some newsworthy science right now?

Helen Clare Bache is a Graduate 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 Helen Bache on Apr 18, 2011 10:08 AM BST

af1da6adb55f4b7d55c25445d8346823-original-profilepic2.jpgI joined the Membership Services Team in January and it has been an amazing experience, to the point that I am not sure where the time has gone.

When I commenced this rotation I was unsure what kind of things I would be doing. But so far I have attended regional meetings, a ‘Look what Chemistry has done for me’ event at the Big Bang Fair, ChemNet Ambassador Training, a university visit and the Cambridge Science Festival. I have also been involved in creating a resource pack to help Local Sections engage more fully in IYC 2011, become editor of the Networks Newsletter and conducted market research.

In particular I have enjoyed having contact with the wide spectrum of RSC members. I have been really impressed with the number of people who are willing to give of their time freely to advance the chemical sciences! ChemNet ambassadors are a great example of this; these are individuals who visit a school promoting Chemistry on behalf of the RSC. The idea is that engagement with an enthusiastic ‘real life’ chemist will inspire students to consider studying chemistry and chemical related degrees at university. You can find out more information about ChemNet here.

The Membership department has allowed me to observe first hand the dedication of RSC staff to their members with the result that I now value my RSC membership all the more!

Anne is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Science, Education and Industry 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 Anne Horan on Mar 22, 2011 9:36 AM GMT
In just over a week I will have been here 6 months – tempus fugit and all that!
So what have I been doing all that time?  Our core role is dealing with manuscripts all the way from submission to creating the final printed and bound issue – so each day is a great confection of peer review, copy-editing, proof corrections, and making up issues for print, all sprinkled with a little blogging about top papers.  Right now we are chasing up the last few papers for a great commemorative issue we have coming up, and I’m glad to say that all of my papers look like they will make the deadline (famous last words…).
Other dilemmas you face when working here include whether to go the staff chocolate-tasting evening…  More seriously, it’s great to work for a top publisher like the RSC and see some of the best work in the field coming in, so if you are thinking about a career in science but want away from the laboratory bench then publishing could be for you!
Posted by Stephen Montgomery on Mar 11, 2011 10:26 AM GMT

8794bde9349ea7f04baa13ef6f57ce82-original-anna-simpson.jpgI started working at the RSC a year and a half ago on the Science, Education and Industry Graduate Training Scheme, then 5 months ago I moved to the role of Development Editor in the Publishing Department.  A Development Editor is part of the Journals Development department in RSC Publishing; we are responsible for getting the best quality work submitted to RSC journals and for ensuring that this content is highly accessed and visible.

To increase the number and quality of submissions I do a lot of commissioning, both for original research and review content.  This involves following leads on topics or people we are interested in submitting to our journals, we get these leads from all sorts of sources such as Editorial Board members, investigating who is speaking at the best conferences and simply searching online.  I read about what work they do and if it fits with the scope of a journal I then invite them to contribute a paper.

Another important aspect of my role is increasing the visibility and usage of our published content.  One way we do this is through the Journal’s Blogs.  We highlight hot articles and also use the blogs to communicate news about the journal and the field to those in the community.  I have been writing for two of RSC publishing’s newest journals, on the Food & Function Blog and Metallomics Blog.

Having come to the RSC from a PhD in biochemistry I have now worked on a variety of journals covering topics from materials science (Journal of Materials Chemistry) to analytical science (Analyst) and finishing up on food (Food & Function)!  It’s great to be learning about cutting edge science, across a variety of topics.  Philip was absolutely correct in his blog piece earlier this month, working in publishing allows you to keep in touch with a broad range of science without having to specialise to the extent required in research.  In addition, RSC Publishing is part of a non-profit scientific society and having worked in a variety of roles at the RSC I have seen first hand the value, quality and range of the work that the RSC carries out; I enjoy working for an organisation whose work I believe in.

Anna Simpson is a Graduate 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 Anna Simpson on Mar 4, 2011 10:40 AM GMT

93e36477a324be73d737b5f37d497ecd-original-0a77aa10297017a55f9b7816453a8123-mega-delhi2.gifStudying science can be a great experience. For kids who are inquisitive about how the world around them works, and are hungry for answers, choosing to pursue scientific subjects during their education will not only give them those answers, but will provide them with a completely viable career opportunity. What could be better than spending your days pondering the nature of what’s going on around you?

As you continue on through your education, you are required to specialise more. By the time you get to PhD level or beyond, you really do dedicate all of your energy into a very narrow field. Whilst this is an extremely rewarding experience, giving you the opportunity to make a contribution to the fundamental understanding and progression of your chosen field, it is very easy to lose touch with the wonders of science in a broader context.

However, this level of subject specialty isn’t inevitable in a scientific career. If you are someone who enjoys learning about a variety of topics, and embraces learning new skills, then working in publishing might be for you. In only four months at the RSC working as a Publishing Editor, I’ve been exposed to, and learnt a lot about, a wonderfully diverse range of subjects. What’s more, you are given the opportunity to contribute to the progress of science as a whole, which is a very rewarding experience.

One of the best things I've done at the RSC is write for the journal blogs, mainly Nanoscale. These serve as a great way to interact with the community which RSC Publishing serves, and have allowed me to exercise my expertise.

Philip Howes
is a Graduate working in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Science, Education and Industry/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 Philip Howes on Feb 15, 2011 3:29 PM GMT

I have been at the RSC for ten months now, so am nearing the end of my year on the graduate Publishing scheme. The time seems to have flown by! I work on the Analytical team, where we deal with four journals and a series of databases.
When I first arrived I began my training on the database Analytical Abstracts, a current awareness and information retrieval service for analytical chemists worldwide. The work involves searching the literature in this field for relevant new articles, then indexing them for inclusion in the database according to the analytes and techniques used. As my chemistry background is not strongly analytical, I’ve found it really interesting to read papers in a field quite new to me, and it seems I’ve learned a lot in a short space of time!
I now divide my time between working on the database and the four journals in our team: Analyst, Analytical Methods, JAAS and Metallomics. I have so far been trained in the technical editing aspect of journal work (involving all stages between the acceptance of a manuscript and its publication), and I’ve now just started my training in the peer review process (dealing with manuscripts from submission to acceptance). There are several stages to the process, but at the moment I’m learning to find suitable referees for each manuscript and look at their comments, and then decide whether or not to accept the manuscript for publication - today I accepted my first one!
With all the different aspects of dealing with manuscripts as well as working on the database, my job is very varied and I’m never doing the same thing for long! After my degree and PhD, I was looking to stay involved with chemistry without working in the lab, and working in publishing is an ideal way to do that – I’m able to use and expand my chemistry knowledge and read about the latest research, and I honestly don’t miss the lab at all!

is a Graduate 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 Sarah Farley on Feb 8, 2011 4:07 PM GMT
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