Editor-in-chief interview

Posted: 18.11.2021

Good day, George! On October 10 World Mental Health Day is celebrated. This year it is devoted to mental health in an unequal world. Is there any inequality in the scientific environment?

- For every scientist it is very important to publish articles in scientific journals and earn a citation index for being relevant in the scientific environment. In fact, publications in journals with high citation rates with a high impact factor are a way to promote yourself as a scientist. Do you know the phrase “publish or perish”? You need to publish your manuscripts to become visible among other scientists. And articles in English are the best option to disseminate your scientific achievements to as many colleagues as possible. We can monitor a certain inequality in the field of scientific publications. As a rule, publications require financial contributions from the author. Secondly, the most well-known scientific journals with high impact factors are published in the USA or the UK. It is more difficult for scientists from other countries to be published in an American journal than for a resident of the United States, especially for those who have a different first language. There could be a different approach to scientific research in the other country, and this further complicates the situation. Having high standards helps to develop a unified methodology and format for presenting scientific results for the entire international scientific community. But, at the same time, unique ideas born in a different cultural environment may never reach the reader.

Can you tell us more details about how Consortium Psychiatricum appeared and about its goals?

- Last year, we were working on the scientific peer-review medical journal Consortium Psychiatricum. During this time, articles by scientists from almost 20 countries were published in five issues. The reason we started to publish the journal in English isn’t hard to plumb. English is the language of modern science. Our goal was to form our own English-language scientific psychiatric platform in Russia. Such an experience is rare in our country. Russian psychiatry, as well as Russian science in general, has been almost closed to international engagement for a long time. This has left a mark on it because a scientific internal environment with its own laws has formed in Russia. On the one hand, it gave a space for creativity for Russian scientists. But on the other, we lost a lot, because scientific knowledge develops through collaboration, experience exchange, and, to a certain extent, through competition. Now science in our country is among the key national priorities and it should enter the top five world scientific leaders according to the goals declared by senior-most officials. I hope we are contributing to the achievement of this goal.

An ambitious goal! Can you tell what are you doing in order not to become just “one more scientific journal”?

- We work with the content of the journal in a flexible manner, trying to cover as broad a number of themes as possible. If you look at the articles, you will see that there are a wide range of materials in the journal, from highly specialized research to philosophical essays on mental health. We try to cover topics that will be of interest to both Russian and foreign readers. We’ve achieved this because both Russian and foreign authors participate in the preparation of each issue. Separately, I want to note our policy of communication with authors and reviewers. We strive to make this interaction efficient and comfortable. We approach all material individually and help the authors refine their manuscripts to the level at which they can be published. Sometimes you can come up against a situation when a manuscript isn’t equal to the formal requirements or does not correspond to the format of a scientific journal, which can now be accepted for publication by the editorial team without the need for revision. We try to enter into a dialog with the authors. If the article is based on an interesting idea, then we work on it together, modifying it according to the requirements of the journal. In my opinion, such an approach is important in terms of the content. At the same time, we are very careful about journal positioning and distribution, including communication in social networks. Consortium Psychiatricum journal is available on the website through open access, and a paper version is distributed by subscription to the psychiatry academic chairs of Russian universities and to psychiatric associations of European countries. And, even though the journal is in the public domain, we do not charge the authors.

Who are the members of the editorial advisory board, and how was it formed?

- We invited truly outstanding experts in psychiatry, both Russian and foreign, to the editorial advisory board. Its members reacted positively to the idea of the journal and to our editorial policy. I appreciate all the members of the editorial advisory board for their trust and cooperation with our journal. Our foreign colleagues give recommendations that help us to set certain standards and follow the general rules adopted by the international professional community.

How is the journal perceived in the international arena?

- We were invited to present Consortium Psychiatricum at the WPA congress last year and will present it at the upcoming congress this year. The fact that we will be able to speak about the journal for a second time is encouraging. I’m sure we are moving in the right direction.

Who can publish their articles in your journal and how can they do so?

- Any specialist in the field of medicine, psychology, or biology can publish their manuscripts. The article should be related to the topic of mental health – this is the main criterion. The name of the journal – Consortium - supposes an alliance of different specialists united by the topic of mental health. These can be related disciplines. The topic of mental health requires the involvement of a large number of specialists from related fields, and we welcome this very much. The authors can submit their articles via the editorial system of the journal in Russian or English. And you should be prepared for article review and editing.

What are your plans for the near future?

- For the next year, our main goal is indexation in Russian and foreign scientific databases. We have already entered the DOAJ system this year, what gives authors and readers a guarantee that Consortium Psychiatricum is compliant with the required international ethical standards of a scientific journal.

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