"Marcia McNutt Bringing Her 'Intellectual Energy' to Science"

"Rumors of Scripps begone -- geophysicist Marcia McNutt, who stepped down as head of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in February, is returning to Washington, D.C., as the new editor-in-chief of Science. McNutt will take over the editorship on 1 June from Bruce Alberts, who announced his retirement last year."

"McNutt is no stranger to Science: She served on Science's Senior Editorial Board, which helps set journal policy, from 2000 to 2009, an experience that she says will be helpful in her new job on several fronts. 'It gave me a chance to know many of the editors and staff at Science, and to understand at a high level a lot of the decisions that the editor-in-chief is responsible for,' including the balance of content between news and research or between different disciplines. 'We anguished at many meetings over the readability of articles, over things like how much should be in the supplemental material, over trying to promote papers from developing countries. I'm sure a lot of those decisions and issues have not gone away.'

McNutt also notes the many new pressures facing science publishing -- such as authors bypassing journals entirely and posting their work directly on the Internet, sometimes as a way to more directly engage the public and provide more immediate connections to readers and promotion of their findings. 'While that's certainly their prerogative, I believe there is a huge value-added that journals still provide,' she says. 'I can say this as an author—[there's] the value-added that peer reviewers have offered me, by helping to focus papers, finding places where I could have said things better, or had made errors.' And, with scientists being busier than ever, she says, journals provide a vital service by sifting through thousands of scientific papers to find the best of the best."

Carolyn Gramling reports for Science magazine on April 2, 2013.

Source: Science, 04/04/2013