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Open Access Week: Interview with the Editor of Observational Studies

It’s International Open Access Week, when the academic and research communities recognize the Open Access (OA) movement’s impact on knowledge sharing across the globe. Penn Press has a growing OA program in journals and is the publisher of three open-access journals: Observational Studies; Pasados: Recovering History, Imagining Latinidad (coming in 2024); and the Journal of Disaster Studies (coming in 2023). 

Nandita Mitra

We interviewed Nandita Mitra, editor of the Penn Press open-access journal Observational Studies, in recognition of OA Week. The journal publishes manuscripts on all aspects of observational studies, including, but not limited to, study protocols for observational studies, methodologies for observational studies, descriptions of data sets for observational studies, software for observational studies, and analyses of observational studies. Read issues of the journal

Why did you choose the Open Access business model for your journal? 

It is important to me that researchers are not hindered by limited resources (especially those at smaller colleges, industry, or international institutions) to be able to publish in our journal (we don’t charge any fees) or to be able to access our articles.  

What was a motivating factor in starting the journal? 

Observational Studies fills a niche in the statistical literature that was missing. It brings together research developed by mathematicians, statisticians, biostatisticians, computer scientists, data scientists, and epidemiologists who are developing and applying methods to deal with unique challenges stemming from observational studies. With exponential increases in data (such as electronic health data, social media data, claims data, and mobile health data) there is a high demand for robust and rigorous approaches to analyzing, inferring, and interpreting these types of data. 

Can you tell us about what kind of colleagues you hope to have as part of your journal’s board and why? 

I have invited five colleagues to join the executive editorial board of Observational Studies. They are all leaders in the field of causal inference which is the primary research focus of our journal. They bring diverse perspectives from other top universities. Their research ranges from highly theoretical to applied.  

For more about Observational Studies, including submission information, visit the Observational Studies website