Open science is in the interest of all professionals

Interview with Pauly Ossenblok

We invited a number of (lead) editors to tell us about their journals and why they chose to work with Pauly Ossenblok is editor-in-chief of Epilepsie and she expects the reach of the journal will be much wider, now that Epilepsy is published in open access.

‘In 2003, the magazine of the Nederlandse Liga tegen Epilepsie (Liga) was given a new look and a new name. Now almost 20 years later, the formula is still the same. Because the Netherlands is one of the few countries where the Liga also has non-medical members, the journal also pays attention to the psychosocial side of epilepsy, next to medical topics. The contributions are accessible to the large group of paramedical and other professionals involved in epilepsy. Epilepsie has a number of goals, all of which are equally important. We want to transfer information and knowledge; promote mutual contacts; stimulate scientific research; and raise awareness of responsible epilepsy care.

‘The authors as well as the readers are professionals working in epilepsy care. Epilepsie has an extensive editorial board, with representatives from all disciplines involved in epilepsy care. Based on the network of editorial board members, authors are approached and asked to contribute, either as authors or reviewers.

Potentially much wider reach

‘Until recently, the journal was printed and sent to all Liga members. In addition, once a year a theme issue was compiled and sent to all neurologists in the Netherlands, also to those not specifically working in epilepsy care. Now that Epilepsie is published open access, its reach is potentially much wider. Epilepsie is now accessible to the entire Dutch-speaking region and not only those working in epilepsy care have access to the journal, but also professionals interested in or indirectly involved with epilepsy.

‘We want to make the best use of the platform, with an editing and review process that takes less time and is of high quality. We foresee a much wider reach, with contributions from authors of the Dutch-speaking world and with an expanded readership, including those outside the direct epilepsy field.

Challenges with open science

‘Open science is in the interest of all professionals working in epilepsy care and patients. At the same time, we do have some challenges with open science within our field. For example, it clashes with patient-related data that cannot be shared due to privacy laws, and sometimes also with the interests of entrepreneurs who supply institutions with equipment/software.

We chose because it offers full professional support in making both new issues and the Epilepsie archive open access. We are proud that, as the Nederlandse Liga tegen Epilepsie, we are now using the most widely used open source publishing platform for scientific journals.’