"I achieved my aim of gaining attention to my idea and fostering global discussion"

12th January 2021

A Q&A with Emerald Open Research author David Ness

We wanted to find out more about how Adjunct Professor David Ness of School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia found his Emerald Open Research publishing experience.

David’s recently published his work ‘Growth in floor area: the blind spot in cutting carbon’ in our Sustainable Cities gateway on Emerald Open Research.

Why did you decide to publish your work on Emerald Open Research?

I was approached by the Publisher of the Sustainable Cities gateway to write an article for the platform, which has a short publication timeframe. As I already had an idea in mind, I seized the opportunity. I sought to highlight a gap in current approaches towards attaining net zero carbon by 2050, where the influence of growth in floor area was overlooked. By exposing this ‘blind spot’, the likelihood of reaching this goal could be increased. Also, as a previous Reviewer for the Journal ‘Smart and Sustainable Built Environment’, I had a favourable impression of Emerald’s reputation and appreciated the personable approach in this instance.

How did you find your publishing experience?

I was able to submit and publish an ‘Opinion Piece’, which best suited the nature of my article, rather than a full research article.  Throughout, I was impressed by the efficient and highly professional publication process. The Editorial Team undertook careful checking, highlighting points I had overlooked. Publication occurred less than a month after I submitted the manuscript, a short time considering that New Year had intervened and COVID-19 had begun to take hold.

Furthermore, the open, transparent nature of the Reviews seemed educational for all concerned: me as the author, reviewers and readers. I intend to share my writing and publishing experience with students as a case study. Usually, reviews are not conducted publicly.

I was able to respond to my reviewers’ thoughtful and insightful comments in an open manner and was given an opportunity to improve the manuscript after it had already been published. The platform also included provision for a summary of all the changes that had been made, which was informative for reviewers and readers. Readers are also able to make comments adjacent the article if they wish, which further extends education and debating opportunities.

What differentiated Emerald Open Research from other routes of publication you were considering?

Emerald Open Research seemed to be better structured, with clear guidelines about nominating possible independent reviewers, and with post-publication support in promotions and the like.

Would you choose to publish your work on Emerald Open Research again? If so why?

Yes, I found the whole process went smoothly and I was kept informed throughout.
Also, a high number of people are reading and downloading my work in a short time, so I achieved my aim of gaining attention to my idea and fostering global discussion. That is a major reason I would use Emerald again.

What challenges do you face when publishing your work open access?

In my case, as an adjunct (honorary) researcher, the main challenge is the cost of open access, which may amount to several thousand dollars. I appreciated the waiving of fees through Emerald’s recent open access week campaign where several APC waivers were made available. I also prefer my work to be publicly accessible, so that ideas can be discussed and hopefully gain root.

What do you look for when publishing your work open access?

I look to reach a wide audience and to be able to disseminate my opinions and research via social media. Emerald provided this opportunity, with advice on how best to employ social media and other avenues. In addition, Emerald offer services to assist in promoting articles.

Read the full article

Publish your work

Do you have research related to sustainable cities? We welcome research addressing key areas in this field on our Sustainable Cities gateway. Once published, your findings will be freely available for anyone to read, download and share. Visit Emerald Open Research to find out more.

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