What do I do as Managing Editor for the Nature Partner Journals?

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About me

Before joining Springer Nature, I received my PhD in neuroscience from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where I researched peripheral pain signaling mechanisms with Dr. Cheryl Stucky. I then worked as a postdoc at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with Dr. Michael Dyer, where I optimized a protocol to reprogram adult murine retinal cells and then subsequently differentiate them back into retinal tissue in a 3D culture system. During my graduate and postdoc work, I continued to seek out opportunities to review manuscripts and diversify my research expertise in many fields of science. Being an editor was my dream job so I decided to pursue it two years into my postdoc work. 

I joined Springer Nature in 2016 as a Managing Editor for the Nature Partner Journals. Since then, I’ve help launch a couple brand new journals and have played a role in the maturation of several new journals. The “Managing Editor” role was new to the company so I had the opportunity to carve out my own role.

So what do I do?

My overall role is to manage the performance of my portfolio of biomedical research journals (npj Microgravitynpj Genomic Medicinenpj Schizophrenianpj Precision Oncology, and npj Regenerative Medicine) by coordinating with a team of academic editors, publishers, marketing, production managers, copyeditors, typesetters, reviewers and authors.

Day-to-day journal management

My day-to-day activities with the journal include:

  • Acting as a “journal concierge” for authors, reviewers, and editors by acting as a point of contact for the journal and assisting with our online submission system
  • Ensuring timeliness in the review process by contacting reviewers and editors
  • Last but not least, my most important role is ensuring that my journals adhere to ethical and scientific standards. I check manuscripts for plagiarism and other forms of misconduct. I ensure that manuscripts state proper protocol approval and consent for animal and human research. I contact authors when changes are needed, and, if necessary, I initiate an investigation into potential misconduct. In addition, I oversee the peer review process to ensure that we are providing useful and thorough constructive criticism to authors and are making appropriate decisions.

Journal and article promotion

I work “behind the scenes” with our marketing department on promotional campaigns for the journal. I highlight articles on social media and in marketing campaigns, and I coordinate content for Nature Collections and conference promotional materials. In addition, I represent the journal at conferences and meet with potential authors.

Broader journal management

All of my journals are still very "young" (see Aims & Scopes pages for indexing information about each journal):

npj Precision Oncology: first content launched in 2017

npj Genomic Medicine: first content launched in 2016; Impact Factor, Immediacy index, Eigenfactor® score, and Article Influence Score now available

npj Regenerative Medicine: first content launched in 2016

npj Microgravity: first content launched in 2015; Impact Factor, Immediacy index, Eigenfactor® score, and Article Influence Score now available

npj Schizophrenia: first content launched in 2015

We are well on the way to have all NPJ journals with indexing and journal metrics (Impact Factor, Immediacy index, Eigenfactor® score, and Article Influence Score)!

I help shape my journals by:

  • Conducting editorial meetings with the Editors-in-Chief and Associate Editors
  • Pursuing diversity in our Editorial Boards, authorship and peer reviewers
  • Building journal development plans with the Editors-in-Chief

I also assist with commissioning content and coordinating special editorial projects. Some of the projects led by my academic editors, fellow Nature editors, and assisted by me include:

All in all, my job includes working with a stellar team, networking with amazing people, and following research with a "bird's eye view" of novel techniques, technology, and trends.

If you're interested in pursuing a path in editorial and publishing careers, check out this job search site: www.springernature.com/editorial-and-publishing-jobs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me!

Marie-Elizabeth Barabas

Managing Editor, Springer Nature

I'm an interdisciplinary neuroscientist with a research background in peripheral sensory/pain research, retinal development, and stem cell research. As the Managing Editor of npj Microgravity, my role is to assist the editorial process, implement editorial policies, and promote the journal, its articles, and the community. I also attend conferences and meetings to develop a relationship with our readers, authors, and editors. If you see me at a conference, feel free to introduce yourself.