What has Royal Society Open Science achieved in its first few years?
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as the first Editor-in-Chief of Royal Society Open Science for the past 6 years. I step down at the end of December 2021, having completed two 3-year terms, and am taking the opportunity here to reflect on some of the successes and challenges that the journal has experienced and the innovations that we have introduced. When I was first approached back in 2015, the breadth of the journal, covering the whole of science, resonated with my own interests: my research career has ranged across the entire landscape of chemistry, while my leadership roles have embraced all of science, technology and medicine. The open access ethos, the objective refereeing policy that rejects the idea of only publishing what is in fashion, and the opportunities offered by a new venture that could transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries also all appealed to me. Among our successful innovations are Registered Reports, Replication Studies and the new 'Science, Society and Policy' section. The challenges have included the transition to paid article processing charges (APCs), whether to resist pressure to retract a controversial paper, and bullying of young female authors by established senior males in the same field. I explore all of these below, provide some statistics on the journal's performance, also cover some of the notable papers we have published, and provide some concluding thoughts.