SIAM News Blog

Keep Calm and Carry On Publishing

By Kivmars Bowling

Well, 2020 was certainly an interesting year. As we look forward to better days ahead in 2021, now seems like a good moment to draw breath and reflect on the response of SIAM Publications during this unrelenting time.

Let me begin with a heartfelt thanks and expression of admiration for all of the SIAM editors, authors, referees, and staff members who have kept things running amidst all the uncertainty. Many of us have had to handle divided and increased responsibilities as we attempted to pivot (such a graceful word) to remote work. The fact that SIAM Publications have continued so smoothly is a testament to the committed efforts of everyone involved.

2020 journal submissions approached another all-time high for the third year in a row, underlining the esteemed regard that authors hold for SIAM journals. Despite the significant, temporary drop in March, journal article downloads are up three percent overall compared to 2019; this indicates that many researchers have successfully transitioned to working from home.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we created the SIAM Epidemiology Collection to offer free access to over 184 papers, e-books, and SIAM News articles that relate to epidemiology, disease modeling, and vaccines. We are adding additional content to the collection as it publishes.

In addition, SIAM’s significant presence in the field of data science continues to grow. The SIAM Journal on Mathematics of Data Science (SIMODS) again received very strong submissions over the last year; it will be freely available through the end of 2021 as part of an extended launch period. The recently-launched Data Science book series also published its first two books in 2020. This is an unusually quick start for a new book series, and more titles are already in the pipeline. And of course, both the new SIAM Conference on Mathematics of Data Science and rescoped SIAM Activity Group on Data Science made their successful debuts as well.

2020 saw SIAM publish its first book that is available both in print and as a Jupyter notebook: Riemann Problems and Jupyter Solutions by David Ketcheson, Randall LeVeque, and Mauricio del Razo. SIAM will continue to remain open to experimentation as we look to enhance the digital versions of our books — a concept that is especially important in the context of remote teaching and learning. If you have any project ideas for monographs or textbooks, please contact Elizabeth Greenspan (executive editor of SIAM Books) at [email protected].

This past year, SIAM and a number of other societies joined the “Joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing.” Meetings and working groups will explore how to best amass meaningful data to measure progress in improving diversity, equity, and inclusion. Securely collecting data in a manner that is trusted by all parties is of course complex and will require careful analysis and discussion.

SIAM has also joined the Society Publishers’ Coalition, a collection of nonprofit societies with a “common ambition to see an orderly and sustainable transition to open scholarship and to improve the efficiency of the scholarly communication ecosystem for the benefit of researchers and society at large in a fair and sustainable way.” SIAM has very liberal green open-access policies, and most articles are available as preprints on arXiv. But the increasing number of open-access mandates from funders has inspired us to actively investigate open-access models and assess their ability to deliver a financially sustainable path to open access while maintaining SIAM’s independence and high standards. And in compliance with Plan S, the European open-access mandate for scientific publications that comes into effect in 2021, all SIAM journals will be Plan S-compliant via the green open-access route.

In 2020, SIAM ran a pilot program for peer reviewer recognition via ORCID. As of last July, reviewers for the SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis, SIAM Journal on Optimization, and SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing can now display their review activity on their ORCID profiles by simply clicking a link in a thank-you message that they immediately receive after submitting their reviews. Over 100 reviewers have already done so, and we will consider expanding this choice to all SIAM journals in the future if the pilot goes well.

Many thanks to the more than 700 people who responded to our recent survey about the current Publications platform. The upgrade process is now underway with our third-party vendor, and we are factoring in as much feedback as possible.

As usual, the turn of the year comes with various editorial transitions. SIAM extends its sincere thanks to the outgoing journal editors-in-chief for all of their work over the years and offers a warm welcome to their successors (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. The outgoing and incoming editors-in-chief for the SIAM Journal on Uncertainty Quantification (JUQ), SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics (SIAP), SIAM Journal on Financial Mathematics (SIFIN), SIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications (SIMAX), and SIAM Undergraduate Research Online (SIURO).

Finally, I want to end with an appeal to you, our members, as we enter the challenging 2021 renewal season for journal subscriptions. Many university libraries are facing difficult budgetary decisions due to the pandemic’s impact. If you become aware that your library may be planning to cancel its subscription to SIAM journals, please let us know. We will try to help you advocate for their renewal, assuming that you view them as important tools for research and teaching at your institution. We have also seen some cases where faculty are not made aware of such plans, and will contact you if we hear about potential cancellations.

Faculty members who voice their support for SIAM journals can often inspire their renewal. SIAM is always competing against the large commercial publishers in terms of library budgets, so any support that you can offer will ensure that our society remains healthy and able to continue our many programs and services.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. I look forward to meeting in person again once we overcome this pandemic. In the meantime, the SIAM team will keep calm and carry on publishing.

Kivmars Bowling is the Director of Publications at SIAM. 
blog comments powered by Disqus