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Driving innovative thinking in geoscience research

Authors | Researchers
Driving innovative thinking in geoscience research

Ruth King talks about how scholarly publishing promotes educational awareness in geosciences and enables the rapid dissemination of innovative research in the field.

Ruth King is the Managing Editor of Lithosphere, an open access journal published by one of our partners, GeoScienceWorld. We asked about her career with Lithosphere and her thoughts on the importance of scholarly publishing and open access in disseminating innovative geoscience research. 

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Lithosphere?

I am the Managing Editor for the community open access journal, Lithosphere, published by GeoScienceWorld (GSW). I support the community involved in the journal, which includes authors, reviewers, editors and Lithosphere’s seven society partners. We work with Hindawi to develop the journal.

Ruth King, Managing Editor of Lithosphere

How does scholarly publishing promote educational awareness in geosciences?

The availability of research material for students to read, collate, and analyze is crucial to the development of critical analysis. Having access to the material promotes understanding of the academic research process, analytical skills and report writing, and supports students to develop the ability to synthesize information from multiple sources. Of course, it is also a resource for the preparation of tailored educational material that meets the specific needs of students at all levels.

The editorial process can be seen as a platform for learning. Peer reviewers develop their skills in critical analysis and authors can use the feedback of peer review to get new perspectives and develop ideas. That is important at Lithosphere, where the Editorial Board has an ethos for the peer review process to be constructive and cooperative. As a PhD student, our Community Engagement Editor, Sophie Williams, helps us to understand and respond to the needs of future researchers. 

Educational awareness is a goal for scholarly societies in geosciences, many of which also have publishing offerings. Societies are in a really nice position to bring publishing and educational activities close together where that meets the needs of their communities.

Do you think open access publishing helps advance geoscience research? 

Scholarly publishing is one part of the whole research process. It is vital because it helps the advancement of research and there are many ways for it to do so. Part of GSW’s mission is to enable the increased visibility of geoscience research by providing a comprehensive resource where researchers can access scholarly journals, eBooks, and other geoscience content.

Open access promotes the accessibility of science, which can help people to work collaboratively and to develop ideas, projects, analyses with greater ease. Lithosphere considers both specialized and interdisciplinary research across the breadth of earth, planetary and environmental sciences purposefully, because much of the magic comes from making new connections.

Looking forward, can scholarly publishing help meet certain Sustainable Development Goals? 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are rightly ambitious and touch on complex systems. Research can help with drawing out and understanding the challenges of those complex systems and is an important underpinning for policymaking. Geoscience research certainly has a role in finding solutions to modern societal challenges like sustainable development, environmental and climate issues. Geosciences contribute to our understanding of the planet, bringing a perspective that runs over millions of years.

“Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

Scholarly publishing can help meet SDG 4 by making sure its own structures and processes are transparent, have integrity with respect to equality, diversity and inclusion, and by paying attention to the accessibility of the content.


For more information about our publishing partnership with GeoScienceWorld’s Lithosphere, please see our related blog “GeoScienceWorld’s Lithosphere to run on Phenom”. If you are interested in submitting your next piece of research in Lithosphere, please visit https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/lithosphere. By visiting their website, you can also view their open Special Issues.

If you are interested in publishing your next research article at Hindawi, we publish several journals with a focus on disseminating geoscience research. Find out more about these journals below: 

Geofluids >> 

Shock and Vibration >>

International Journal of Geophysics >>

Advances in Civil Engineering >> 

This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). The illustration is by Hindawi and is also CC-BY.

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