InTech Books Highlights: overview of the last 10 years - editors
April 1, 2015
Science editors play a key role in the publishing process as they are expected to bring to the table their expertise, as well as draw from their scientific background and professional experience to provide the readers with a tool to explore the latest work carried out in research centers, institutions and science communities around the world.
They are external collaborators that agree to contribute their own competence in overseeing the editorial process, reviewing the chapters and deciding the content of the book. In order to appoint the right editorial team, book editors are invited based on their research areas, scientific merits and previous publications. Among the key criteria, we also include the ability to give feedback constructively, supporting Open Access and meeting deadlines.
With such an important role at their hands, our editors are at the core of most in-house activities. This is why we dedicate our third newsletter of the InTech Book Highlights Series to each and every one of the editors who have contributed to our overall success in the past 10 years.
InTech & book editor collaborations in numbers (2005-2014):
- 10 years
- 2,389 editors
- 2,420 books
InTech & book editor collaborations by subject (2005-2014):
InTech editors are widely represented when it comes to their geographic location. Equal opportunity is given to editors from different continents and countries in order to insure diversity and equal access to an international readership of academia and professionals in various fields of science.
Throughout the years, our editors have demonstrated a high level of commitment and professional dedication in working with our book department. To give a more thoughtful insight on the editor's role, we asked two of our own to share their experience on working with InTech and editing several book projects.
Professor Oluwafemi Oguntibeju shares his thoughts on working as a book editor and Open Access
Professor Oluwafemi Oguntibeju has been a book editor on three InTech projects. "Antioxidant-Antidiabetic Agents and Human Health", "Diabetes Mellitus - Insights and Perspectives" and "Pathophysiology and Complications of Diabetes Mellitus". These books have registered more than 53,000 downloads internationally, attracting the interest of a widely spread readership of professionals and researchers in the medical field.
Professor Oluwafemi Oguntibeju who is affiliated with the Oxidative Stress Research Centre, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health & Wellness Sciences at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, was kind enough to provide us with the feedback on working as a book editor and the importance of an Open Access publication. (read more)
InTech: You have been an InTech Book editor since 2012. The 3 books you edited up until now are on the subject of diabetes and one was cited in WOS. How important is it for you to participate to these kind of projects?
Dr. Oguntibeju: I saw it as an important academic task, hence I gladly accepted the call to serve.
InTech: Why have you accepted to become our editor?
Dr. Oguntibeju: Making contribution to human health is my passion and acting as an editor for the 3 books was a way of making my sincere and little contribution to the field of human health and service. It was a way of saying am available to contribute to something important.
InTech: What are the benefits (career-wise) of editing books in the STM field?
Dr. Oguntibeju: Books are valuable source of information to the academic community, health professionals and to the general public especially when such books are from credible sources. It was a service to the academic community but at the same it provided a platform for the larger academic community to know me and my area of research focus. In a way it provided a link between me and my colleagues. It increased my citation and spread my tentacles to countries beyond my immediate reach.
InTech: As an African editor, researcher and Professor in the field of biomedical sciences, how valuable do you think open access books are when it comes to developing countries where access to research may be restricted by financial constraints?
Dr. Oguntibeju: Open access is very important to students, academics, researchers and health professionals in the developing including African countries. It means you do not need to pay exorbitant fees to access relevant articles, books and similar materials.
InTech: Would you say more is to be done by the international scientific community to advance research efforts and research facilities across the African continent?
Dr. Oguntibeju: Definitely yes.
Dr. Patrick Arbuthnot: antiviral drugs research, competitive research centers in Africa and sharing free knowledge
Dr. Patrick Arbuthnot has distinguished himself among medical science communities' members for his team's work on antiviral drug research, a key aspect in treating today's deadly viruses such as HIV-1. He edited "Antiviral Drugs - Aspects of Clinical Use and Recent Advances", an InTech book published in 2012. He is Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), as well as Director of the Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit. The Unit is considered a Centre of Excellence of the African Network for Drug and Diagnostic Innovation (ANDI). Among other, Dr. Arbuthnot and his team focus on studies concerning HBV infection, liver cancer, HIV-1 infection and researching new methods of treating these diseases. We interviewed Dr. Arbuthnot with regard to his most recent studies, establishing competitive research centers in Africa and on the importance of openly accessible science for the African-based scientific communities. (read more)
InTech: First of all, thank you for doing this short interview for us. You have edited for InTech a book in the field of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and pharmaceutical Sciences, titled “Antiviral Drugs - Aspects of Clinical Use and Recent Advances”. The book focuses on two main topics - clinical management and new developments in the treatment of virus-related diseases (such hepatitis c, HIV-1). How far have we come along in treating these viruses?
Dr. Arbuthnot: Development of new approaches to treating viral infections is a very active field of research and a number of novel strategies with exciting potential is being advanced. Use of rationally designed small molecules, screening from libraries of molecules and gene therapy-based inhibition of viral replication has recently made significant strides. Gene therapy is particularly versatile and technology is being developed that has the potential to transform treatment of viral infections. For example the use of gene editing technology to make cells resistant to HIV-1 infection has been a significant advance. By mutating the CCR5 co-receptor of the virus, it is possible to prevent HIV-1 infection of T cells. This method aims to simulate the human condition that occurred during the cure of the so-called ‘Berlin patient’. Refinements of the technologies are necessary before clinical application, but there is considerable momentum in the field and overcoming hurdles is likely to be imminent.
InTech: Since you started your career and research in this particular field of drug discovery, what were the biggest milestones achieved and where are we heading now in terms of defeating viruses that up until now were not treatable at all?
Dr. Arbuthnot: My own topic of research is in the field of gene therapy for treatment of viral infections, and there have been many significant advances. Methodology for the disabling of viral genes specifically, such as by activating the RNA interference pathway and by targeted disruption of viral genes, have been major. Both these technologies have shown promise, but there are important challenges that need to be met before widespread clinical use. Ensuring that the inhibitory effects are specific for viral genes and ensuring that host cells are not affected by gene silencers or gene editors are particularly important. Another area that is in need of development is the improvement of vectors (carriers) that are used to deliver the therapeutic nucleic acids. Although viral vectors are highly efficient, they are expensive and complicated to prepare. Non-viral vectors have the advantage of scalable synthesis, but the efficiency of delivery of therapeutic sequences may not be adequate.
InTech: You are currently the Director of the Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa. Would you think you are at a disadvantage in terms of research advancements and technology in comparison to some Western countries?
Dr. Arbuthnot: Research that is carried out in many South African institutions is of a high standard and the government invests significantly in supporting research. Generally research laboratories have good material resources. Many researchers in this country are actively engaged in collaborative partnerships with scientists from western countries and this is important to support the skills that are necessary to carry out sophisticated research. These factors mitigate disadvantages of being based in Africa and South African researchers should generally not feel disadvantaged because of their geographical location.
InTech: How hard it is for research centres established in Africa to truly compete on a global level?
Dr. Arbuthnot: Establishing internationally competitive research centres in Africa does have many challenges and particularly significant are limited access to material resources and experienced personnel. However, competing in a global setting is difficult regardless of the geographical location as developing innovative research programmes is challenging. There are many opportunities for researchers in Africa, and many of these opportunities come from overseas funding agencies and from forming of strategic research partnerships with researchers from abroad.
InTech: Being situated in a region where there is a high incidence of viruses such as the ones you treat, how does it affect your research efforts?
Dr. Arbuthnot: Working in an environment where viral infections are common and the consequences of the complications are clearly apparent has an influence on putting one’s research into perspective. Immersion in the environment makes research in the field particularly relevant. Moreover, access to patients in a clinical setting is very important to provide material (e.g. clinical samples) and fundamental insights into the pathogenesis of virus-related illnesses.
InTech: Do you think more is to be done in terms of international partnering, financing, and investing to push forward science centres in developing countries such as yours across Africa?
Dr. Arbuthnot: International partnering and providing funding of research are crucially important for research in Africa to develop and thrive. Many of the problems that are particularly severe in Africa cannot be seen as specific to the continent. Diseases such as are caused by HIV-1 and Ebola virus have had impact on western countries. Nurturing partnerships to develop capacity in African research centres will therefore contribute significantly to dealing with viral diseases of global importance. In addition to partnerships with western countries, developing collaborations between African scientists are important. This is an area that is in need of attention to enable scientific research in Africa.
InTech: How important is Open Access for Africa-based researchers?
Dr. Arbuthnot: Open access is very important to African scientists. Many libraries at African institutions have limited resources for subscription to scientific literature and Open access partially addresses the problem.
InTech & book editor collaborations by countries (2005-2014):
InTech interacts with editors from all around the world, precisely from 99 countries. Most collaborations come from:
By continent, most of InTech editors are European, but a significant part of InTech editors also come from Asia and North America. This can be seen in the following chart:
To reflect gender and geographic diversity among our editors, we present a number of them:
InTech has collaborated with editors from top institutions and countries where research is most advanced, however, it has also supported the work of scientists, researchers and professors from low income countries (countries classified by the World Bank as low income economies), providing them with the opportunity to expand their editing skills and with a platform for their work and name to be recognized all around the world. We will continue to do so in our mission to disseminate knowledge without any restrictions or limitations.
Finally, we would like to thank all of the editors that have worked with InTech in the past 10 years, contributing to our success story and helping us reach our goals.
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