Rising to the challenge of COVID-19
Kamila Markram, Co-founder and CEO
2020 has tested us at all levels: as individuals, as organizations, as communities, as nations, and as humanity itself. But this year has also shown how strong and resilient we are in the face of adversity. Despite numerous challenges, scientists around the world collaborated at an unprecedented level to understand and treat COVID-19 — and were victorious. Not only have testing and treatments drastically improved in less than a year, but we are now seeing the roll-out of the first fully trialed vaccines — at a pace never seen before in history.
The Frontiers community — our 220,000 editors and reviewers and 750 employees — is an inspiring part of this global response. In an extraordinary team effort, we’ve launched 168 coronavirus-related Research Topics and published more than 2,000 coronavirus-related articles. These articles have been freely viewed and downloaded a staggering 10 million times by researchers from all around the world, including in pharmaceutical companies working on coronavirus vaccines.
We highlighted these, and many other achievements during our second Editors’ Summit of 2020, which saw 5,890 members of the Frontiers community calling in from 90 different countries. It was a great opportunity to recognize the efforts of our exceptional Editorial Board members — including the 150-plus who stepped up to facilitate not only rigorous and meticulous, but also fast-track review of COVID-19 articles, so new knowledge could be shared as quickly as possible.
The chapter links below provide direct access to the specific topics addressed during the presentations.
Thank you to everyone who called in to the Summit for your participation, comments and questions, and commitment to science. I am truly honored to be part of this dedicated community, united on a common mission to make science open. I look forward to connecting with you at our next Editors’ Summit!
Frontiers Editors’ Summit — watch the sessions
1. Open Science
Dr Kamila Markram goes on to address how the COVID crisis has highlighted the power of — and critical need for — open science. The vast majority of the 180,000 articles published on COVID-19 this year are open access, no doubt one of the main factors behind the extraordinary speed of the scientific response to the pandemic.
We aim for scientists across all disciplines to benefit from open science and make their best research available openly to the world. To this end, Chief Publishing Officer, Dr Mirjam Eckert, explains how we grew our high-quality journal portfolio by 17 journals and welcomed over 24,000 researchers to our editorial boards over the last 6 months.
We pride ourselves in using technology to set new, higher standards for quality control. This year, our technology team released the ground-breaking Artificial Intelligence Review Assistant (AIRA) to our editors. Our Chief Technology Officer, Daniel Petrariu, demonstrates how this (now famous) tool sets new standards for efficient and rigorous quality control, while giving back time to our editors so they can focus on what is most important to them: their research.
We have been amazed and inspired with the way the Frontiers community mobilized to work together and provide concrete solutions during the pandemic. Dr Fred Fenter summarizes the outcomes of this response, and Prof. Zisis Kozlakidis gives his personal perspective as editor of a hugely successful article collection on COVID-19 and leader of a team of 150+ editors who stepped up to provide rapid review of coronavirus-related manuscripts.
Chief Communications Officer, Chantelle Rijs, presents the results of our COVID-19 academic survey, to which over 25,000 scientists from Frontiers’ editorial boards contributed. It is the science that is going to get us out of this crisis — so it was imperative for us to give scientists a voice during this incredibly challenging time. Highlights cover researcher perceptions of the political response and how we can mitigate future disasters.
Efficient translation of scientific research into actionable policies is key to realizing our vision of healthy lives on a healthy planet. Fred Fenter explains how Frontiers is facilitating the linking of science and policy initiatives through our Policy Labs. It kicks off with a series of in-depth conversations hosted by Prof. Jean-Claude Burgelman — former Head of Unit for Open Science Policy at the European Commission — and featuring leading experts in policy, business and academia.