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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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I am just coming to the end of my first rotation as an SEI graduate at the RSC. I have spent the past 3 months working in Membership Sales which has involved visiting lots of universities and talking to students about the benefits of joining the RSC.

It has been a real baptism of fire into the working world! A lot of driving and training round the country, staying in hotels and early mornings to get through rush hour traffic to get to campuses far and wide! But I have had a great time and met a lot of lovely people on the road as well as learning so much about the RSC in such a short space of time.

Our visits usually involve arriving at the university around 8.30 in time to set up the stand before the first lecture at 9. We often get the opportunity at the start of lectures to talk briefly to students about why we are around and what we can offer them. At the stand we get people who are already members coming up for a chat as well as interested potential members.

As well as learning about the world of work I have been house-hunting and finally, after many weekends of searching, found one to buy. I cannot wait to stop doing my 80 minute commute into work!

Alex Kersting 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 Alexandra Kersting on Dec 19, 2011 3:32 PM GMT

As soon as I started my graduate job as a publishing editor, I realised I had landed on my feet at the RSC. 
I began work in the General Chemistry Team in October having completed a Masters degree in Natural Sciences. The General Chemistry Team deals with Chemical Communications and Chemical Science, which is great as the articles span all subject areas of the Chemical Sciences and tend to be of high impact.  I began training in proof reading to start with and, by the end of November, I was given permission to proof read without assistance and publish articles on the web.  At the moment, I am really enjoying learning to summarise  articles into keywords and, from these, find scientists suitable to contact for the peer review process.  Hopefully, I will be independent in this task in a few weeks as well.

Although a new recruit, I already feel part of the team because of the people and the opportunities there are to socialise outside work.  Since starting here, I’ve played badminton with other RSC staff every week.  Recently, I’ve organised a meal out for all the members of the General Chemistry team, (which I think was a success) and I’ve been to the RSC Christmas party and to the staff Christmas lunch organised by the RSC’s own Sports and Social Club.

I’ve found that I really enjoy the tasks the job has involved so far, such as writing to authors to answer their queries and keeping up with and learning more about the chemical sciences through reading submitted articles.  It seems I have landed on my feet here with a career that suits me.

 Rowan Frame 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 Rowan Frame on Dec 19, 2011 11:16 AM GMT

I have been to university, I have my degree – now what do i do?!

After finishing my degree in chemistry I decided I wanted to move on from the world of dirty lab coats and safety goggles. For me the RSC Graduate Scheme in Publishing was the way to go. Not only am I able to put the chemistry I know to good use, I am also able to learn about new and cutting-edge science.

In August I joined the Organic Applications team. It was all so daunting at first, but my team and everyone else I came in contact with made me feel so welcome. I started at the RSC on the same day as three other graduate scheme publishing editors. We all went through proof reading training together, which made starting the first stage of my training much more relaxed. Since then training has gone really well and after just four months I am now fully trained in both proof reading and editing.

A few weeks ago I began to embark on more in depth aspects of my training, such as peer review for Green Chemistry. I am finding this particular aspect very interesting and enjoyable. This month I have been involved with issue make up (Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, issue 1, 2012) and I find that it is really satisfying to take a set of individual manuscripts and compile them into an issue ready for print.

The job so far is varied and fascinating. I have enjoyed everything that I have done so far and I am looking forward to completing my training and taking on new challenges....I will let you know how I get on!

Rachel 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 Rachel Jones on Dec 15, 2011 9:00 AM GMT

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
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