Recently, I left the Upstream editorial team as a result of changing priorities. I figured it would be a good idea to reflect before I forget.
During my tenure at Upstream, I helped realize the following posts:
- Language Diversity in Scholarly Publishing
- The Environmental Impact of Research Infrastructures: Publishers, Open Science, and the Climate Crisis
- Bianca Kramer is Keeping Tabs on Open Research
- The sustainability argument for open science? In conversation with the authors.
- Gimena del Rio Riande is Keeping Tabs on Open Research
- Science Reading: Cognitive narrative helps us understand science better
- The preprint revolution - Implications for bibliographic databases
- Bruce Caron is Keeping Tabs on AI
- Opening New Paths to Technology Transfer: Open Science, Intellectual Property, and Technology Transfer
- Navigating data-intensive innovation: The transition from research data management to research data governance
- Experiences of scholarly marginalization
What was most noticeable, looking back on these posts, is that they were either (a) very little work or (b) more work for me. The ones that are very little work are posts that are written and pretty much ready to go. People sent us these, and I'd slightly edit for clarity and brevity, and schedule them. Those that were more work would start off as a pitch for the blog, which would still need to be written afterwards. People seemed to have more ideas than energy to write them, which resulted in lots of follow-ups and supporting the writing process.
I did not mind supporting people proactively in their writing, but I also noticed how big of a barrier writing can be for them. I know it for myself too, as I've been getting back into a habit of writing blogs myself. What I noticed most was that the author(s) themselves tended to be overly critical of themselves. Drafts would not get sent without affirmations or support, because in their eyes they weren't good enough. None of those drafts were perfect, but they were damn good nonetheless! I really do encourage authors to not be so critical of any single piece of their own writing - and I'll promise to give myself that grace too while writing this post :-)
Beyond the handling of individual posts, Upstream is still in it's start-up phase and looking to become well known and regular. I tried to get as much of a regular cadence in as possible, but there were too few contributions to do that consistently. When we did post regularly, we saw it drive traffic to the site. Also, anecdotally it seemed like original research would have a bigger impact than thought pieces. I would like to see Upstream have a stronger profile as a place for original research, driving interest and contributions in the long run.