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Scholarly and Research Communication Jouranl Innovation Awards

The purpose of the SRC Scholarly and Research Communication awards is not only to provide recognition to outstanding work but also to highlight the contributions that journals make to scholarly discourse. In a time of prevailing attention to open access, it is important to ensure that the means remain in place for journals to continue their good work in serving and building research communities. It is also important to recognize initiatives that journals are taking to respond to opportunities that digital technology are making possible. The SRC Innovation Awards are also intended to encourage Canadian journals to engage in innovation with an eye on enhancing impact. We look forward to next year’s submissions.

The winner of the inaugural Scholarly and Research Communication Innovation Award is Canadian Science Publishing’s FACETS Journal, Canada’s first multidisciplinary, open access science journal. In making their decision on the award, the judges took particular note of FACETS launch success – since its 2016 launch it has already published over 100 articles and is closing in on 100,000 page views. Its emphasis on both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinarity with its integrative science section has provided Canadian (and other) scientists with a forum to speak across disciplines. Added to this, its plain language summaries and continuing use of Twitter have already strengthened the community of researchers and citizens with an interest in science. FACETS also received commendation for its maintenance of the high quality of vetting for which Canadian Science Publishing is already known. Complementary to these praiseworthy characteristics is the use of mobile friendly design, Altmetrics journal scoring, and an inaugural application of an XML foundation provided by Atypon. In terms of recognition, in a first of its kind, the Royal Society of Canada’s Academy of Science has endorsed FACETS as its official journal.

The winner of the Scholarly and Research Communication Innovation Award for Social Science and Humanities Journals is the Toronto Journal of Theology for its video introductory presentations of both journal issues and individual articles. In one recent instance, not only are site users introduced to the topic and the author but also the author’s acapella rendition of the song that is the focus of the author’s textual exploration. The video abstracts help situate the scholarship for readers, allowing them to see and hear elements that are not necessarily communicated through print alone. Clearly, there is a welcome humanizing element in such introductions.

It should be noted that the resources required to launch and carry forward FACETS dwarf the needed investment to add well-produced introductory videos. The judges felt that it was appropriate to recognize the vast diversity that exists in Canada’s journal community.

A number of other submissions were made. Each had its own strengths. In particular, two impressed the jury. In one, the submitting journal emphasized its efforts to reflect the co-engagements of researchers with research populations to take on real world problems. At the same time, the journal staff noted a real excitement in the journal world surrounding emerging possibilities focused on multi-sensory research and documentation. The other notable entry outlined its efforts to increase reader and author engagement through topic modelling, a technique for describing a large corpus of documents by means of weighted measurements of a finite number of topics. In this instance the development of such a tool was in its early stages and this awards program would welcome a subsequent submission as the tool is finalized, tested and applied. Our thanks go out to all journals who submitted nominations for the awards.

The judges for the 2018 awards were:
Philippa Benson, Managing Editor, Science Advances, an open access journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Adrian Stanley, Vice President, Global Business Development, Journals, Digital Science
Eugenia Zuroski, Editor, Eighteenth-Century Fiction.
Chair: Rowland Lorimer. Publisher and Editor, Scholarly and Research Communication