By Serap Aksoy and Joel Ochieng
An important goal for PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (PLOS NTDs) is to develop global capacity in publication practices in low- and middle-income countries, given that NTDs disproportionately affect people living in these areas. Accordingly, almost one-half of the PLOS NTDs Deputy or Associate Editors are based in institutions outside of North America and Europe. Attracting papers from Disease Endemic Country (DEC) authors remains a high priority. Thus, disseminating information on Good Writing Skills and Manuscript Publication processes is essential to allow authors from these countries to succeed in getting their works accepted through the peer-review system.
On June 18, 2015, co-EIC of PLOS NTDs Serap Aksoy, and PLOS NTDs Associate Editor Dan Masiga held an Editor Workshop in Nairobi to discuss issues essential for the publication process. Drs. Joel W. Ochieng, Senior Research Fellow and Leader of Agricultural Biotechnology Programme and George Obiero, Director of Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics at the University of Nairobi, hosted the workshop. Over forty senior scholars, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate fellows, as well as several undergraduates attended the meeting. Among the topics discussed was the Open Access movement and the leadership of PLOS in this effort. Following the presentation made by Dr. Aksoy, the group discussed issues related to publication ethics and concerns related to plagiarism and data manipulation. Dr. Aksoy addressed questions related to the manuscript submission as well as peer-review process and the rights and responsibilities of authors through this process. The slide-set can be accessed on the PLOS NTDs website. Dr. Masiga discussed the Article-Level Metrics resources and their benefits. Many in the audience were unaware of the Article-Level Metrics used at PLOS, which allows for research articles to be primarily judged on their individual merits, rather than on the basis of the journal in which they are published. capture the manifold ways in which research is disseminated and can help users determine the value of an article to them and to their scientific community.