Lore Van Praag: 'Successful peer review involves an open and fresh view on your research topic.'

“The most significant change that academic publishing underwent is the increasing importance of academic publications as a basis for funding and career opportunities.”
Lore Van Praag, Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies (CeMIS) at the University of Antwerp


Lore Van Praag

Academic publishing underwent significant changes over the last 50 years. Which ones do you find most striking or significant?

The increasing importance of academic publications as a basis for funding and career opportunities. 

What is your experience with academic publishing? Is there anything in particular that you look for or value in the collaboration with publishers?

I am always curious about the reviewers’ feedback. At Leuven University Press, the engaged reviewers try to give comprehensive feedback on the entire book. 

Peer review is central to the value of academic publishing. What characterises, in your view, successful peer review that empowers and respects authors and readers? Do you see ways in which peer review could be re-thought, for instance with respect to the inclusion of a broader set of voices that need to be heard?

An open and fresh view on your research topic, the flow of the book/chapter and to think outside the box.

What is your experience with Open Access publishing, either as an author or as a reader? Do you identify obvious benefits or perhaps also opportunities for future development?

My experience is that it is not yet included in all funding schemes and therefore sometimes costs too much for individuals. There is a growing tendency to add this into research proposals, but I often have the impression I have to make a choice between open access or language editing. [Leuven UP: At Leuven UP, language editing is included in an Open Access scenario.]

What do you prefer: print or digital books? Is there a difference between what you read online and what you read on paper?
I prefer digital books in general. If I buy a print book, it would mainly be a handbook.

Which are some emerging topics in your field of research and/or academic publishing?

Environmental migration.

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