Grzegorz Liskiewicz et al., Innovation & Impact – journal story and mission, Innovation & Impact, 2017
Grzegorz Liskiewicz, Barbara Jachimska, Karolina L. Zapadka
Abstract: This article presents the vision of Innovation & Impact that we shared in 2018 when the first issue was printed. Now, it is after many months and several pivots. Journal mission and aim remain unchanged, but its form evolved to a large extend. We leave this text in the original form to show the journal story and let our readers follw the path that we did.
Keywords: innovation & impact, journal mission, aims & scope, startup community, startup ecosystem, innovation, valorisation
1. Journal mission
Innovation & Impact is an interdisciplinary Scientific Technology and Business Journal. The Journal presents exciting technology profiles, case studies and invited papers concerning the process of innovation, valorisation and its impact on society and Global Economy.
The journal mission is to promote innovation & valorization. We aim to inspire researches by presenting the knowledge and practical examples of innovation and valorization of cutting-edge technologies worldwide.
We are truly excited about the moment when research exerts an impact on our lives, health and wellbeing. This process takes place at the intersection of academic research, business and society. It involves people with different background and expertise:
- start-up founders
- start-up mentors
- technology transfer specialists
- policy makers.
Accepted articles are published online in the open access journal. The Journal is set up on a friendly platform, where all registered authors/contributors/followers may interact with each other by commenting on or reviewing published articles. Our authors can upload/update/edit their written work at any time.
2. The Journal background and motivation
There are many exciting examples of flagship innovation ecosystems that are growing in different parts of the globe, including Silicon Valley (USA), New York (USA), Boston (USA), Chicago (USA) , Berlin (Germany), Singapore , Cambridge (UK) [3–4] and Tel Aviv (Israel) . There are also great examples of innovation ecosystems that have grown in smaller communities, such as Boulder (USA) , St Louis (USA) , Oululu (Finland) , Reykjavik (Iceland)  and Trondheim (Norway) . All of them are inclusive by nature and most commonly represent the idea of open innovation [2,11]. Ecosystems also benefit from information exchange, creative class and mentors . This leads to the concept of the global start-up ecosystem that consists of a network of local start-ups and the connections between them. We believe that this is not a zero-sum-game and that the global exchange of information is beneficial for everyone .
The Journal addresses this need for the global exchange of experiences and knowledge in a horizontal manner across ecosystems, countries and cultures. We also believe that this exchange should not be limited to people with a certain role in the ecosystem (e.g. researchers, entrepreneurs, investors) but to everyone who has a valuable message to share. Communication between all participants in the global ecosystem is crucial for its growth. Therefore, we need to find the right balance between a scientific, rigorous approach and a clear, concise, attractive way of sharing information.
From the very beginning, we searched for a formula that would allow a clear communication and maintaining standards that would attract a wide community to the Journal. Peer-reviewed scientific journals provide high-quality material, but their audience is usually limited to a narrow group of highly specialised researchers. Conversely, blogs and non-peer-reviewed journals attract a very wide audience, but their material is not scrutinised by specialists for professional merit.
After numerous discussions with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) representing different ecosystems, experiences and several pivots we have decided that a journal with an open review formula is the right solution forward. We believe that the author knows the best way to express the message they wish to share, hence there is much freedom allowed in the form and structure of the paper. The only requirement is quality. Acceptance of a submission depends on the Journal’s editors, who evaluate the text at face value. We believe that in the future, each paper will be commented on and reviewed by the public and editors will become moderators.
Editors will adjust the message to one of three submission types that will assure clarity in the exchange of information. The choice will depend on the type of information that is to be shared. Invited papers (research or review papers) will be related to innovation and must demonstrate scientific rigour. Case study papers will present examples of start-ups or initiatives that have already been proven to work. Technology profile papers will be treated as formal pitches of ideas/technology requesting support.
We believe in the importance of direct and unconstrained interaction between authors and readers. This aim could be achieved thanks to our cooperation with the founders of the PubPub platform . In this environment, everyone can publish a paper but, equally, anyone can comment on or review it. The platform itself is very flexible, allowing authors to introduce text revisions.
3. Open access, open review
The Journal promotes an inclusive approach – everyone is invited to share her or his paper with the Journal’s community regardless of profession and affiliation. The inherent value of the paper is paramount. The editors decide whether a paper is accepted or not. Their responsibility to each author/contribution is to be supportive and helpful, and to give a constructive feedback.
In the future, the editors’ evaluation will be based on the community feedback. The editors will become moderators, whose main task will be to confirm community approval and, by extent, paper acceptance. At this point, the paper will feature in the Journal and will be displayed on the main page. The Journal is fully interactive – everyone can comment on or review the paper, and authors can improve on it at any time and upload a newer version. The steps below describe the typical workflow of how a paper may feature in Innovation & Impact.
Step 1 – Paper drafting
Authors can create a file on the Journal’s platform and create collaborations that may lead to further revisions. Each revision is saved and available to co-authors, if its status remains “private”. When co-authors are ready to submit their paper to Innovation & Impact, its status will need to change into either “restricted” or “public”:
- restricted – the paper will be available to authors and Journal editors only. Journal editors will provide an initial assessment and share their opinion on whether the paper is ready to be shared with the Journal’s community.
- public – the authors share their paper with the Journal’s community directly and await their feedback.
Step 2 – Sharing paper with the community
Once the paper becomes public, i.e. is submitted to the Innovation & Impact community, everyone is invited to start a discussion with the author. Every comment is available publicly and is visible to everyone. The authors can respond to comments and introduce revisions of the paper accordingly. Here, the paper will improve continuously.
Step 3 – Paper is featured in Innovation & Impact
Given positive community feedback, the paper is ready to feature in Innovation & Impact. The Journal’s editors will confirm this decision. Featured papers become accessible on the Journal’s webpage in perpetuity. This does not mean that the paper cannot be revised further. Authors can always upload new versions if there is such a need.
4. Submission and article types
The Journal accepts three types of submissions:
Invited papers present systematic studies regarding issues related to innovation and valorisation. We accept both research and review articles from invitees. Invited authors are free to share their perspective or research regarding the innovative science, technologies, business and the interface between them. Research articles present the results of systematic scientific work regarding the process of innovation. Review papers provide a wider perspective on a chosen aspect of innovation and interface between science and business.
Case studies present inspiring examples of innovation. In particular, the Journal focuses on presenting the route of a scientific idea or technology to the market. It also includes articles describing the framework or institution supporting the process of valorization, its impact on local/national/international ecosystem or Global Economy. This includes, but is not limited to: science parks, incubators, accelerators, innovation centres, funding schemes. We believe that the presence of case studies is very important for understanding the process of innovation from practical examples.
Technology profiles allow researchers to present innovative technologies with commercial potential to a wide audience of KOLs. It aims to present developed technology shortly and comprehensively. This is to help inventors to prepare they pitch and help reaching potential investors.
5. Special issues
The Journal occasionally publishes special issues devoted to certain topics, regions and wider points of interest that may bring together different case studies and angles. The Journal was founded during our stay in Cambridge and Oxford. Hence, the first special issue concentrates on the Cambridge ecosystem, including couple of examples from London. Our next special issues will focus mainly on Oxford & London innovation ecosystem.
We would like to thank all the people who supported the concept of Innovation & Impact from the very beginning. Especially we feel very grateful to our fantastic Editorial Board for their support.
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