In January I announced big changes to how Chemistry World is governed, and how we involve and represent our community and the issues that matter to them in the magazine. If you didn’t read my editorial (and why would you when there are so many better articles in our pages) the short version is that we have disbanded our formal editorial board structure so that it can be replaced with a more responsive advisory group. I also announced our intention to create a reader panel as a complement to the advisory group, which will help us involve a much larger slice of our readership in steering and shaping the magazine.
We want to encourage new thinking and we look forward to having challenging conversations on what we cover and how we cover it.
The advisory group will have around 12 invited members and it will support our editorial team in directing our coverage to topics worthy of discussion, helping us make contact with the right people to inform a story and generally keeping us on our toes. We want to encourage new thinking and we look forward to having challenging conversations on what we cover and how we cover it. One of the benefits of being structured as an advisory group is flexibility both in the nature of appointments and working practice. For example, there will be an annually appointed position for an undergraduate chemistry student. Group meetings will be held as a series of surgeries on different topics throughout the day. Everybody joins the meeting remotely, which should cut down on travel, make participation easier as well as give everybody the same experience – I always feel a bit isolated if I’m the only remote attendee in a meeting.
The reader panel is just as important, if not more so. Even though we work in an industry awash with data, we seldom get the chance to truly understand why readers enjoy a particular story or what would make someone read more frequently or make the magazine more meaningful to them. The panel will be a larger group of around 50 people. There is a broad range of roles this panel will take on at different times in different contexts, with panel members volunteering to help as each project comes up. It could be acting as a focus group for new developments, helping us test upcoming features on our website, brainstorming ideas for stories or providing the regular feedback that we need to ensure that we meet your needs. It will be a varied experience for those on the panel and, as with the advisory group, meetings and tasks are conducted remotely, with flexibility for panel members to join or leave project groups as they wish.
The reader panel must be able to help us with both the print and online magazine. Many people tend to prefer one over the other, fiercely so in some cases. We will need help from avid readers of each format and, ideally, from those who read both with equal relish.
So this leads me to the big announcement. The reader panel is open for applications. It’s a straightforward process though we will ask a few probing questions to tease out your critical thinking and give you a chance to show us your big ideas. We’ll be following up with everyone over the weeks ahead and confirming appointments as soon as we are able.
Find out more and apply to join our reader panel.
The changes we’ve made are intended to encourage a wider group of people to feel comfortable getting involved and to make it easier for them to contribute. We will look to include people at different career stages, from a range of backgrounds and countries, with varied specialisms and experiences. We are striving to represent our readers now and in the future so that we are well placed to provide meaningful, useful and relevant coverage in the years ahead.
For this to work we need people who are engaged, forthright, insightful and willing to give a little of their time to collectively have a large impact on the magazine. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, then take a look at what’s involved and apply now. I look forward to working with you soon.