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Editorial school for Ukrainian Editors

November 21, 2022 | 6 min read

By Rob van Daalen

Workshop for Ukrainian editors in Warsaw

Elsevier colleagues organized a workshop for Ukrainian Editors to help them confront challenges and build even stronger international journals

Pictured above: Elsevier’s Workshop for Ukrainian Editors at the Polish Academy of Sciences opened with a speech from Laura Hassink, Managing Director for STM Journals. (Photo by Thana Khasawneh)

Prof Iryna Shevchenkoopens in new tab/window is Editor-in-Chief of the linguistics journal Cognition, Communication, Discourseopens in new tab/window. It’s a journal with an ambitious mission: to disseminate knowledge and unite people across Europe and America.

As with many journals based in Ukraine, however, challenges have intensified since the Russian invasion. For the past decade, this journal has exclusively published the work of professors in linguistics. However, finding contributors has become increasingly difficult, Prof Shevchenko said:

It’s one of the biggest problems of today. Because first of all, everyone has been disrupted by the war — that is a hardship for us all. Professors are no longer so easy to reach. And we don’t have those markers of superiority, like inclusion on Web of Science. A journal like ours can no longer expect to publish great names.

Ten years ago they published with us, but the situation in the world was different.

Image of Prof. Iryna Shevchenko

Prof Iryna Shevchenko of VN Karazin Kharkiv National University is Editor-in-Chief of Cognition, Communication, Discourse.

Prof Shevchenko, who is Head of the Department of Business, Foreign Language and Translation at VN Karazin Kharkiv National Universityopens in new tab/window, was one of 15 editors of Ukrainian journals to take part in Elsevier’s workshop for Ukrainian Editor last month at the Polish Academy of Sciencesopens in new tab/window in Warsaw. There, they learned methods and current best practices that would help them build stronger and higher quality international journals.

This is one of various ways Elsevier colleagues have been trying to support the Ukrainian people. Since the start of the Russian invasion, Elsevier and its staff have been donating to humanitarian causes and providing resources to support the Ukrainian science and health communities. There have been grassroots efforts by employees, like the drive to get books to the children of Ukrainian refugees, and organized collaborations from across the organization, such as this Humanitarian 2022 Special Issueopens in new tab/window on the RELX SDG Resource Centre.

Throughout the invasion, the Ukrainian research community has continued its work. To support Ukrainian scientists, Elsevier’s STM Journals group sponsored short-term placements in academic positions in a grant administrated by the Polish Academy of Sciences. Also, by registering on our Ukrainian Academic Support resource page, Ukrainian scientists can access waived and reduced APCs and get access to Researcher Academy; all our journals on ScienceDirect; Scopus; Mendeley Data; SciVal and Funding Institutional; ClinicalKey; Complete Anatomy; and Osmosis.

This workshop stemmed from discussions our colleagues had with the Council of Young Scientistsopens in new tab/window at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine — a consulting and advisory body to support young researchers in research, science and technical and innovation activities. The Council was particularly interested in setting up a mentorship program for Editors of Ukrainian journals to help them build higher quality international journals. Our workshop would help to lay the foundations for this.

In a rather short timeframe, we organized a workshop for Ukrainian Editors. The date was set for October 4 and 5, and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw kindly provided the facilities for the event.

Image of Elsevier speakers at Ukrainian editors workshop

Elsevier speakers at Ukrainian editors workshop

In above image, Seven Elsevier colleagues presented in person at the Editors workshop (from left): Gert Jan Geraeds (Indexation Program Lead), Ana Maria Sedletchi (Marketing Project Manager), Shalimar Shaheed (Publishing Ethics Expert), Bartlomiej Wieckowski (Customer Consultant), Liudmyla Trotsenko (Contingent Worker), Tania Khasawneh (Publisher) and Paula Milewska (Customer Consultant).

Elsevier journal Editors and Elsevier staff from publishing, marketing, the ethics team and customer consultancy united to give presentations in person in Warsaw (or online in some cases) on a range of topics identified in consultation with the Council:

  • The role of an Editor

  • How to internationalize a journal

  • Peer review

  • Ethics in publishing

  • Open access vs subscription publishing

  • How to publish rapidly

  • How to increase the likelihood of indexation

  • Journal marketing and social media, and

  • Identifying trends for special content using Scopus and Scival

The Editors will now serve as Ambassadors and will disseminate the information and knowledge with 120 additional Editors who were not able to join us in person in Warsaw.

Image of Ukrainian Editors in Warsaw

Ukrainian Editors at the workshop in Warsaw.

Prof Shevchenko noted that sharing information with other Editors and expanding her understanding of best practice in journals was one of the most valuable outcomes of the workshop:

The main lesson for me has been the importance of being professional in research. I know that to reach the top, I must be knowledgeable, I must be professional, and I need to be number one in every regard.

Dr Mariia Sandulopens in new tab/window, Associate Professor at Kyiv National Economic University and Managing Editor of The International Economic Policy journalopens in new tab/window, also commented on the value of sharing knowledge:

These types of events, which I am so very grateful to be part of, help us to see a wider picture of the world of publishing. Thanks to these events, we can become the ambassadors of a transition to best practice in publishing.

Image of Mariia Sandul, Ph.D

Prof Mariia Sandul, PhD

The journal, published by the university, began as a statement of the university’s contribution to the process of training specialists in the fields of international trade and marketing activities, aiding Ukraine’s integration into the global economic and trading system. Prof Sandul explained:

The main goal was to educate policymakers, not only in Ukraine but also internationally, about the best practices and to disseminate knowledge in the area of international economic relations. These events help us remember to focus on those goals. I’ve received a lot of useful information and I’ve already created a list of ideas and tasks to implement.

In a post-event survey, participants said the training was “intense,” “informative” and “very helpful,” and they thanked the speakers for sharing practical tips and recommendations.

I was privileged to be among the Elsevier staff involved, and we were very happy that we were able to support and researchers and Editors from the Ukraine in these difficult times. We were all highly impressed by the resilience of Ukrainian people and the journal Editors we worked with and found it very inspirational to organize this workshop.

Afterwards, Matt Smaldonopens in new tab/window, Executive Publisher of Elsevier’s Social Sciences portfolio of journals, commented:

It was a great pleasure to assist in the organization of the event and to help the Council make progress towards the achievement of their goals. I am grateful for the collaboration of the Council, the Polish Academy of Sciences and to colleagues across Elsevier who have helped to make the workshop a reality.

Image of Matt Smaldon

Matt Smaldon


Rob van Daalen is Senior Publisher for Sustainable Chemistry and Colloid Science at Elsevier.


Rob van Daalen

Senior Publisher for Sustainable Chemistry and Colloid Science


Read more about Rob van Daalen