The CEO's Letter

5 July 2024
MDPI Insights: The CEO's Letter #13 - Publishing with Impact, MDPI Toronto

Welcome to the MDPI Insights: The CEO's Letter.

In these monthly letters, I will showcase two key aspects of our work at MDPI: our commitment to empowering researchers and our determination to facilitating open scientific exchange.

Publishing Impactful Research

2023 Impact Factors for MDPI Journals Released

As the world’s leading open access publisher, MDPI is proud to provide scholars with the opportunity to publish impactful new scientific insights.

The 2023 citation metrics have been released in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). This year, 237 MDPI journals were awarded an Impact Factor, an almost 14% increase from 208 last year. Of the 237 ranked MDPI journals, 72% (171) are in the top quartiles, either Q1 or Q2. Twenty-nine of our journals received their first Impact Factor this year, accounting for more than 5% of the journals accepted into the Web of Science last year.

Together, we are changing how high-quality science is accessed and published, accelerating the dissemination of the latest scientific insights, and ensuring that your work is accessible to all.

Ahead of the release of the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) by Clarivate, MDPI surveyed the scientific community, asking, “Do you consider the Impact Factor of a journal when deciding where to publish your research?” A significant 78% of respondents confirmed that Impact Factor is a key criterion in their journal selection process. This highlights the importance of these metrics in the publication process.

To learn more about the impact of MDPI journals, click here.

“We are changing how high-quality science is accessed and published”

This year, journals covered in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) received category ranks together with journals in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). Overall, 139 MDPI journals indexed in ESCI are included for the first time in the new unified rankings.

Read more:

Impactful Research

MDPI’s 2023 Citation Metrics Released in Scopus

The 2023 citation metrics have just been released in Scopus. Below are some of the highlights from MDPI’s recent CiteScores, which measure the average number of citations per paper within a journal over the past three years.

  • 274 MDPI journals received a CiteScore
  • 57 journals received a CiteScore for the first time
  • 162 journals see an increased CiteScore versus the previous year
  • 23 journals ranked in the top 10%
  • 97 journals (35%) ranked in Q1 (top 25%) of journals (in at least one category).

I am thrilled to see these metrics, which reflect increasing trust in MDPI journal publications.

“We have emerged as a leading publisher in the open access movement”

I’m especially proud to share that 216 of our journals (79%) have a CiteScore rank in Q1 or Q2 in at least one subject category. Additionally, 162 journals increased their CiteScore by an average of 38%, which is quite substantial. Overall, this is an impressive performance and expansion of our portfolio.

To learn more about the CiteScore of MDPI journals, click here.

Did you know that:

  • Smart Cities had the highest CiteScore in our portfolio at 11.2, ranking Q1 in 3 out of of 3 categories, and in the Top 10 in 2 out of of 3 categories.
  • Polysaccharides had the best first-time CiteScore performance of MDPI journals, with a score of 7.2, jumping directly to Q1 in 2 categories.

With over 3.5 million authors choosing MDPI, we have emerged as a leading publisher in the open access movement, and our journals have been cited over 13 million times, cementing our position as the most cited OA publisher.

Inside MDPI

Constanze Schelhorn appointed Head of Indexing

Constanze Schelhorn

In light of the indexing updates, I am pleased to announce that Constanze Schelhorn has been promoted to Head of Indexing, in which position she will work closely with the MDPI management team.

Having served as the Indexing Manager, Constanze is very familiar with this line of work. In her new role, she will focus on outreach and communication, partnership-building, strategic leadership, and management of the indexing team. Constanze will be MDPI’s point of contact for partnering indexing databases and related stakeholders, ensuring that MDPI remains up to date and compliant with industry regulations while expanding the coverage of MDPI’s portfolio of journals, books, and preprints.

Constanze holds a Master’s degree in Physics from the University of Würzburg, Germany, and completed her PhD at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, in collaboration with the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona, Spain. She joined MDPI in June 2016 and has worked in several editorial roles during the past eight years, until 2023, when she stepped in to lead MDPI’s indexing department.

Coming Together for Science

MDPI Toronto Summit

On 21 June 2024, in Toronto, Canada, I delivered the opening presentation and participated in a roundtable panel discussion at MDPI’s Toronto Summit, a two-day event following our first European summit held in Barcelona, Spain.

These events are an intimate and private gathering (in this case 20 EiCs) to update on the latest news at MDPI and create opportunity for knowledge sharing, building relations and gathering feedback.

The event included three keynote presentations delivered by myself, Becky Castellon (IOAP Manager, MDPI), and Dr. Giulia Stefenelli (Scientific Communications Lead, MDPI). We also held two Q&A sessions (each 75 minutes) and a roundtable discussion on the future of peer review with myself, Giulia, and Dr. Eric Freed (EiC of Viruses).

Stefan Tochev

My presentation focused on MDPI’s mission and values, our efficiency, and the work we are doing to cultivate our reputation as the leading OA publisher. I highlighted the trend towards OA, as exemplified both by MDPI and other publishers, and reviewed the paper distribution in 2023. I provided an update on June’s CiteScore and Impact Factor announcements and discussed industry trends for Impact Factor releases from other publishers. I highlighted our high-quality author satisfaction rating, and provided an overview of MDPI’s collaboration with the Canadian market and Canada’s drive to OA.

The agenda also included presentations from my colleagues Becky Castellon (Institutional Partnership Manager, MDPI) and Giulia Stefenelli (Scientific Communications Lead, MDPI).

Becky Castellon

Becky introduced our Institutional Open Access Program and MDPI’s discussions with institutions for the central payment of article processing charges (APCs). With over 820 affiliated institutions supporting the shift towards an open future, Becky outlined the IOAP benefits for authors and libraries, highlighting some of the 116 IOAP members in the US and 24 in Canada. She concluded her presentation by recapping some of the policies adopted in North America, showing a trend towards the OA model.

Dr. Giulia Stefenelli

Giulia presented on the editorial process, outlining the roles and responsibilities of EBMs and EiCs, the MDPI editorial framework, and recent updates to MDPI’s editorial procedures.

Giulia also presented the quality metrics of peer review and the ethical standards applied across our publication process, while highlighting the various ways we are developing and incorporating AI within our processes at MDPI.

A big thank-you to the various MDPI teams, including our conference team and the Toronto office, for organizing this successful and engaging event.

Open Access in Canada

Canada's 2020 Roadmap aims to achieve Open Access by default without an embargo period for federally funded scientific and research outputs, recommending that journals should apply this from January 2022. It argues that this is to make Canadian science open to all, maximising benefits for the well-being, health, and economy of the country. This is similar the 2022 Open Access policy in the USA, which mandated that all US-funded research be made Open Access by the end of 2025.

For further details of Canada’s OA policy, click here.

In Canada, there has been a steady decline in subscription-only articles and a rise in OA publications. Scopus statistics show that from 2011 to 2021, subscription-only articles decreased from 71% to 49%, while gold OA articles increased from 8% to 33%. Green OA has remained consistent at 9%, indicating a preference among Canadian scholars to publish directly in OA journals rather than using repositories.

Closing Thoughts

MDPI in Canada: Toronto Office

I would be remiss if I didn’t provide a brief recap of our visit to the Toronto office. Although I was born in Bulgaria, my parents moved to Canada when I was eight years old. I spent a good portion of my early and teenage years growing up in and around the Greater Toronto Area. This visit was a wonderful opportunity to connect with our Toronto office and revisit my old stomping grounds.

We visited our Toronto office on Thursday 20 June to meet our senior managers and staff. During this visit, I held an open discussion with the entire office, allowing for an approachable Q&A about MDPI and our policies, and addressing any questions or concerns. Giulia followed up with a presentation on our editorial practices, which was beneficial and appreciated by the office as a whole.

Visiting our Toronto office in June 2024. MDPI’s growth and presence in Canada are a testament to the country's direction in adopting the OA philosophy.

With about 40 staff members, the Toronto office focuses on supporting our Canadian scholars and institutions, along with some regions in the U.S. Our goal is to continue expanding our operations in Canada to provide support in various areas of marketing, conferences, institutional partnerships, journal relationships, and more.

Our Toronto office is staffed with English Editors and Assistant Editors who are already attending conferences and locally representing MDPI. The team is young, ambitious, and eager to grow. Additionally, Karen Irwin, who is a key member to the office, working closely with our journal Current Oncology adds great value and experience to the Toronto team.

MDPI’s Impact in Canada

As at 30 June 2024, we have had 41,845 MDPI articles published by authors affiliated with Canadian institutions, making Canada the 12th largest market for MDPI publications. We have over 1,900 EBMs from Canada supporting MDPI journals, with 18 serving as EiCs.

Our commitment to working with institutions is evident in Canada, where we have successfully established over 24 IOAP agreements with prestigious institutions such as the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, the University of Ottawa, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Guelph, my alma mater.

“Our commitment to working with institutions is evident in Canada”

MDPI’s growth and presence in Canada are a testament to the country's direction in adopting the OA philosophy. We are excited to continue providing exceptional service to the scholarly community and building relationships through our collaborative communication. We look forward to continuing to support Canadian scholars, providing them with a trusted experience with MDPI, the leader in open access publishing.

Stefan Tochev
Chief Executive Officer

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