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Tilda Skene

Journal Transfer Assistant, Frontiers



Summarize yourself and professional experience in a few sentences (where you’re from, course of study, where you currently work, job title).

I’m originally from Somerset, England but am now living in Cardiff, Wales. I studied Ancient History at Cardiff University, and now have a job with Frontiers as a Journal Transfer Assistant. Before this I had some voluntary experience with a self-publishing company here in Cardiff, but no experience in scholarly publishing!

Please describe the main function of your organization and your current responsibilities.

Frontiers is a Gold Open Access publisher, focusing on a range of subjects within the broader science and health categories. I work for the Publishing Partnerships team, assisting with the transfer of new society partner journals from their old publisher to us. This includes a variety of tasks, including website set up, organizing marketing materials, and transferring manuscripts. This role then allows the Partnerships team to take over and help society journals grow!

How did you get into scholarly communications, and what was your path to your current role?

I was working as an office assistant for a serviced office company when I found the role I am currently in with Frontiers! I only really had admin experience, but this aligned well with the Journal Transfer Assistant role. There are so many paths into scholarly publishing, and it normally isn’t the case that you have to have a PhD in the relevant subject.

What tools, web sites, and organizations do you find most valuable for your career development?

I’d recommend checking out The Scholarly Kitchen to keep up with the latest updates in the scholarly communications world. It’s good to have industry awareness, particularly early in your career when your knowledge may not be well developed yet! Also, the blog MugsPubs is really useful for insider information about the processes in scholarly publishing – it’s an excellent tool for early-career individuals.

What advice would you give to people interested in a career in scholarly communications?

I had originally dismissed Frontiers as an option because I don’t have a scientific background (at all!), but it turns out I didn’t need to. I would say if you see an opportunity you are interested in, but are worried you don’t meet every single requirement, apply anyway! There are so many different roles in this industry that you might not even be aware of, so do your research and you will likely find something that meets your skillset.