Earthzine resumes operations

Hari VishnuEditorial, Oceans conferences

Earlier this year at the OCEANS conference held at Marseille, the Administrative committee of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society appointed me as the new Editor of Earthzine. Let me introduce myself – my name is Hari Vishnu, and I am currently a Research Fellow at the Acoustic Research Laboratory in the National University of Singapore. The title of Earthzine Editor comes with great responsibility and the power to make a great impact on society. It is something I have always wanted to do, and I hope I do justice to this prestigious position. I have often felt that good science and research is not enough in isolation – it must translate into awareness and impact on the common man/woman and to the leaders of society, and thereby translate into policy and action. And it is our intention for Earthzine to fill this role.

The Earthzine team members who met up at Oceans Marseille 2019
The Earthzine team members who met up at OCEANS Marseille, 2019

Earthzine operates under the auspices of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society . Prior to this, it was run under funding from NASA and via the Group on Earth observations. It briefly paused operations in 2018 while it metamorphosized into its new avatar, but now we are happy to be back to give you quality articles, news and event coverage!

I thank the IEEE OES Administrative Committee and the Earthzine board-of-directors for reposing their trust in me for the job. I also thank my mentors who have helped me learn throughout my life. A bunch of thanks to Brandy Armstrong who managed the publication in its interim period, brought a large energetic bunch of volunteers on board to get things running and played a pivotal role in hatching the magazine into its new form. I also thank our webmaster Rajat Mishra for optimizing, updating and maintaining the cool new website.

Earthzine boasts a good coverage with a large readership. Our new website has been seeing increasing activity over the last few months. We have ported the existing legacy articles from our previous system and gone to great lengths to ensure that this large historical set is still accessible to readers. Some website clean-up activities still remain to be done to fix some incomplete articles and links, but we are working to ensure these are done as soon as possible. We are also getting excellent coverage on our social media channels (Earthzine Facebook and Twitter @earthzine), which will go towards promoting our reach further. So, things are looking good.

Page views on Earthzine website as of July 2019.
Page views on the new Earthzine website. We have been getting a large number of page views since the new site was launched in Sep. 2018. As of July 2019, we have roughly 8000 views per month, at 3 pages per visit. Obviously there’s a long way to go, but its been a great start.

For readers, Earthzine aims to become an online source for news, articles, information and educational materials about Earth and Ocean science. We will have science communications and coverage of related scientific and technological events such as robotics competitions and Oceans conferences and the people involved in them, with an aim to spread this information to the common man/woman. We aim to reach out to readers who are not necessarily experts in the Earth-science domain, with accessible and relatable interpretations of information and with focus on the learning experience involved.

Watch out for our first batch of articles covering the Mentorship and Career themes, as well as reports from our extensive coverage of the Oceans 2019 Marseille conference. We hope to do justice to our large reader base by continuing to bring out a steady stream of quality articles and posts henceforth. Our volunteers are working hard to ensure these articles reach you on time. Subscribe here for updates or science news digest emails.

OES runs a technical journal IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering and a monthly society publication Beacon with extensive coverage of society activities. We see a good synergy between other technical peer-reviewed journals such as JOE, and Earthzine. Authors publishing articles in JOE can use Earthzine to make the research accessible to a general reader, and enhance the visibility of their publications. In this way, Earthzine and JOE are complementary to each other. Earthzine articles are carefully edited for readability by a general reader, but not peer-reviewed for technical content.

For writers: here’s my pitch on why you should write for Earthzine:

  • Ideal medium to get others excited about what science you do and how it impacts them.
  • Good addendum to your published papers so that the research is accessible to a wider audience.
  • Increase the impact of your research. Fulfill funding application open-access requirements and improve your citations.
  • Great way to give back to the community by sharing your learning and expertise with the rest of the wider world.
  • Improves your writing skills, which is helpful for all types of careers.
  • Explaining research to a general reader helps to clarify your thought process and fine-tune your pitches.
  • Get a boost on your CV, show-off your writing skills to potential employers. We can provide authors with performance statistics such as number of reads and geographic readership to help you advertise the potential of your writing.
  • Earthzine articles will be further shared and publicized via our social media outreach portals, getting a larger visibility. 

To submit, head over to our submission portal and get started !