2018 May Inside OR

This month, The OR Society responds to the government's report 'Computational Modelling: Technological Futures'; we look at the strides and challenges in engaging women in maths; there is a round-up of the UK’s largest celebration of STEM; and we publish news of our new webinar series exploring problem structuring methods (PSM).

Inside this issue


Read All About It – The Society Welcomes its New Publisher


The big change for The OR Society’s publications over the last year has been the move to a new publisher. The society has a significant portfolio of journals: The Journal of the Operational
Research Society, European Journal of Information Systems, Knowledge Management Research & Practice, Journal of Simulation, Health Systems and Impact Magazine. For many years, the Society has been well served by Palgrave as its publisher, who recently merged with Springer. The publications contract with them was finishing at the end of 2017, so it was decided at the beginning of 2017 to invite tenders for a new publications contract to start at the beginning of 2018. At that point, it was unclear how much interest there would be.

It was gratifying to discover that there was a lot of interest in publishing the society’s journals and we received five detailed and enthusiastic bids from different publishers, including Palgrave/Springer. A working group consisting of Richard Eglese (Chair, Publications Committee), Gavin Blackett (Secretary and General Manager), Ruth Kaufman (now Past President), Sally Brailsford (Editor, Health Systems) and Graham Rand (Editor, Impact Magazine) was convened to examine the tenders and to make a recommendation to the Board.

All five publishers were interviewed and it became clear that deciding on the best bid was a difficult multi-criteria problem. Analysis was brought to bear, assisted at one stage by some expert facilitation, and finally, a recommendation was made to accept the bid from Taylor & Francis. The new contract is for a five year period and it is expected that over this time, the society’s publications will obtain increased support and promotion. The society can also expect to see a significant boost to its income from publications, which forms a key part of its financial income. We wish to thank Amy Shackleton for all the work done by her and her colleagues at Palgrave/Springer and to welcome Ian Challand and his colleagues at Taylor & Francis, as we work together in this new relationship. Charlene Timewell (aka Charlie) has now been appointed as The OR Society’s Research and Publications Officer and so is able to provide  further support to the Publications Committee and its activities.

As well as working with new publishers, our editors are now receiving submissions through a new editorial support system, which should be better supported and will be more familiar to authors who may have encountered it when submitting to other journals. We are now well into the new production process for 2018 and the ‘new look’ issues of the journals are being published. Taylor & Francis have been in the process of contacting university libraries and other institutions who had subscribed to our journals with Palgrave/Springer to move to a new subscription with Taylor & Francis. You may wish to check whether your own library or employer has got access to the current volumes of our journals. If not, then as well as encouraging your librarian to subscribe to the Taylor & Francis offer, you can still access the current volumes of our journals online by following the links from The OR Society website. If you have any colleagues who are not members of The OR Society and who have been frustrated by not being able to access the current volumes, then this might be another good reason for them to join the Society and to be able to access our publications in that way.

On our website, you will find immediate access to the most recently accepted papers and full search facilities to easily find your paper of interest. For each paper, there are various publishing metrics that can be accessed including citation information from Web of Science and Scopus.

With support from our new publisher, we are aiming to be more proactive in promoting our journals. Of course, we rely on our editors and editorial boards who already work hard to ensure the quality of our publications. This year we are inviting all editors-in-chief of all of our journals to a special meeting to be held in conjunction with our annual conference, OR60, at Lancaster University. This will give them an opportunity to share experiences and best practice. They will be attending OR60 and there will be opportunities for delegates to meet them and find out more about how to get their papers published. This year, we have made arrangements for many of the editorial board of Health Systems in particular also to attend OR60 to meet together and to contribute to the conference. 

Regular readers will have noticed that last month there was a full-page news item announcing the new Journal of Business Analytics, which has been in development for some time and we hope will soon be ready to launch. The editors in chief are Dursun Delen and Sudha Ram, who are based in the USA. We are looking forward to seeing the birth of a truly international journal that will serve the rapidly growing community of business analytics in academia, industry and the public sector. There are still uncertainties over the future of academic publishing, concerning issues of open access and the accessibility of research results. The Publications Committee continues to monitor these developments, but our main objective is still to provide a service to the OR community and beyond by publishing a range of journals of which we can be proud.

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