In the Spotlight: The European Society of Radiology
Society Zone explores our cooperative relationship with the European Society of Radiology. The European Society of Radiology (ESR) was founded in December 2005 by merging the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) and the European Association of Radiology (EAR), thus establishing a new, single radiology society in Europe. This unification has enabled the interests of the field of radiology to be represented more effectively to European authorities and throughout the world. The society is an apolitical, non-profit organization, exclusively and directly dedicated to promoting and coordinating the scientific, philanthropic, intellectual and professional activities of radiology in all European countries.
The ESR has over 45,000 members, and organizes the annual European Congress of Radiology (ECR) which is the largest radiological meeting in Europe with over 18,000 participants from over 90 countries. The society works in both educational and professional spheres, and produces teaching material, newsletters and the journal European Radiology, and encourages intensive communication between its members. The ESR cooperates with Springer on the journal European Radiology. Since 1990, Springer has published European Radiology, the flagship publication of ESR, which has an Impact Factor of 3.651 (2008). Also, ESR and Springer are discussing starting a second journal which will focus on imaging.
Mr. Baierl began his education in retail clerkship and textile commerce, eventually finding his way into the Vienna Academy of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, which is an institution for medical congress organization. During his employment there, he was introduced to the former European Congress of Radiology, which by then was looking to settle in a city. Together with Professor Lissner and others, they brought the congress and the association behind it permanently to Vienna. In 1992, Mr. Baierl was appointed to take over the executive management duties, and is now the executive director of the European Society of Radiology (ESR) and of the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) and has a team of 60 employees.
Society Zone in an interview with...
Society Zone talks to Mr. Peter Baierl, Executive Director of ESR.
When you began co-publishing with Springer, what was it that the European Society of Radiology was primarily looking for in a publisher partner?
Since European Radiology was the first publishing project of the ESR, we had not worked with someone else before. European Radiology was established by the late Professor Lissner and Professor Baert, together with the Springer team. We were looking for an established, renowned and experienced partner in scientific publishing that could meet our individual needs. It was important for us to find someone with a good reputation, who we could entrust with our core scientific outlet.
How has the European Radiology journal benefited by being part of the Springer journal family?
We know that Springer has partnerships with various societies and knows about the individuality of such organizations. Through Springer, its experience and international relations, European Radiology was able to develop in the best possible way. Of course, it is mainly about the content of the journal, but the integration into the Springer Link portal, the availability in consortia subscriptions, and Springer’s various marketing and promotion activities has brought our journal to a lot of people we could not have reached alone. Also, professional production is extremely important to good quality publishing.
What is your day-to-day relationship with the publisher, especially with your contact/editor at Springer?
We have a good day-to-day working basis and also profit from periodic meetings, such as at the ECR, and from time to time, we all meet for strategic retreats to plan the journal’s future and discuss strategies.
What do you see as trends in scientific and academic publishing, and has this affected your future plans for the journal and/or the European Society of Radiology?
We think that the future of scientific publishing should be “all electronic and all access”. This saves the environment and opens the world of science and knowledge to everyone with an internet connection. The ESR is very keen on this topic and is already investing a lot: we have various grants and sponsorship programs for young radiologists and scientists from developing countries to attend congresses and courses; we offer the world’s cheapest membership fee (€10, or even free for everyone outside Europe!) and – this is something we are very proud of – every member of the ESR has full and free access to all electronic learning tools and, of course, to European Radiology.
Society Zone thanks Mr. Peter Baierl for this interview.