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Editor in a (60-second) spotlight – Steven Vogel

"...be brave at conferences, ask questions, ... write drafts without fear."

Name: Steven Vogel

Institute: University College of Osteopathy

Journal: International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine

Journal role: Editor-in-Chief

Average number of submissions per year: 80

Rejection rate: 64%

CiteScore: 0.73

IF 2017: 0.704


  1. What inspired your career in research?
    As student in the 80's I was part of a project which involved treating adults and children with profound learning and physical disabilities. Trying to figure out whether or not treatment was helpful was challenging where the people we were treating had few if any verbal communication skills. This led me to think more broadly about how and what we base our decisions on. Fairly quickly this led onto realising that determining whether or not treatment is helpful and knowing what to do in complex situations is challenging independent of your patients' communications skills and the training you have had.
  2. How would you describe a typical working day?
    I'm blessed and cursed by having varied activities/jobs during my working week. Each day tends to be different. My roles include institutional management activities, research, lecturing, staff management, committee work, research supervision, clinical work and editorial work! In general, I start early, cherry pick emails, look at the back log of things to do and decide on priorities. Often I end up looking at the nearest deadlines and use this to prioritise. Most days I meet with colleagues or students and drink too much coffee.
  3. How do you measure success in your work?
    There's often not too much time to reflect on success and celebrating success is something that I'm not strong at! Annual performance development reviews are a good time to note achievements and I am often surprised at how much seems to have happened. More formally, institutional publications, grants and student surveys are important measures. Individual research student progress and success are important measures for me. Each issue of the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine that gets published is also an important milestone for me and for a developing profession.
  4. Do you have any particular advice for younger researchers?
    Use Mendeley systematically, be brave at conferences, ask questions, talk to experienced colleagues, work hard at developing critical appraisal skills, write drafts without fear.
  5. What drove you to become an editor?
    Not quite sure how much was about drive vs serendipity, but I wanted to be involved in enhancing the body of knowledge that osteopaths and others can draw on in their practice and was keen to contribute to the process. The editorial team were all nice people and the inducement of full access to ScienceDirect was compelling.
  6. What is the most rewarding aspect of editorial work for you and what do you find difficult about the role?
    The most rewarding aspects are hearing feedback from authors when you meet them, often some time after publication, and that they found the process helpful and supportive. It's also great hearing the journal cited at conferences and hearing of how the contents may have influenced education or practice.
    The most difficult aspects are keeping on top of the work flow, juggling reviewers, dealing with irritating typesetting and proofs and getting to grips with the electronic journal management system EVISE.
  7. What is the most important attribute in your opinion for being an editor?
    I'm torn between a few: critical appraisal skills, eye for detail, and persistence!
  8. Name one item/tool/resource that you cannot do without in your editorial role?
    Again I'm struggling with just picking one, but if I have to, I'll opt for the resource of my colleagues on the Editorial Board.
  9. What would you be doing now if you were not (a/n) X?
    I think I would maybe be teaching PE or coaching in some capacity.
  10. What is the most interesting image/photograph you have come across in your journal?
    It probably shouldn't be the case, but it's an image diagram from a piece of work that I published with a former student, Martin Grundy, some years ago. It  pulls together a concept map of attitudes and beliefs about osteopathy ranging from "scientific osteopathy" to "osteopathic purity". It was drawn from a qualitative study exploring attitudes towards prescribing.

Steven Vogel favourite image

Source: Grundy M, Vogel S. Attitudes towards prescribing rights: a qualitative focus group study with UK osteopaths.

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