Change the World, One Article at a Time

Rising temperatures, pollution, the refugee crisis, poverty—in looking at the issues of today’s world, I have often felt an urgent need to help in some way.

The Summer of 2015 was no different until I came across this Editorial: So you want to be a Jedi? Advice for conservation researchers wanting to advocate for their findings published by E. C. M. Parsons in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. It’s a powerful editorial encouraging researchers to turn their findings into environmental action. After reading the article, I thought to myself: “I need to do more to support authors who are tackling today’s global challenges and facilitating real change.”

Inspiration finally struck a few months later when I was visiting our New York office. I kept pushing the topic of wanting to help “change the world” but it wasn’t until my dear marketing colleague, Verena Diem, suggested that for 2016 we focus more on promoting “editors’ picks” and “must-read articles” that I could see how these ideas could come together nicely – this was the beginning of a marketing initiative that we later named “Change the World, One Article at a Time”.

It began simply with the realization that journal editors must surely know their journal’s most impactful or noteworthy articles…articles which, if given the proper promotional care and attention, could change the world for the better. Confident that our marketing teams could handle the promotional aspects of a plan already set in motion, we reached out to Springer’s journal editors and asked them to each pick one article from their journal they felt could either make a difference or help improve a situation for people (simply put: an article with potential to change the world).

In the end more than 100 journal editors from all research fields responded with article suggestions, many of which I’ve grown fond of for their proposal of methods that can easily be adopted, i.e. the article which shows how incorporating the social dimension into hydrogeological investigations can improve integrated groundwater management, or another personal favorite: research which addresses the direct effects of dance interventions on neurobiological changes in the elderly.

Verena and I had set out to recognize the research. What we did not anticipate was how this might impact the researchers themselves, personally. So it was an added and appreciated joy when one society contacted us to say “The author of the ‘Change the World’ article is over the moon…!”

We hope to keep the momentum going and repeat this initiative in 2017. In the meantime, visit Change the World, One Article at a Time on springer.com for these incredible articles and their accompanying editor-narrated descriptions (available until July 2016).

Thank you to all authors and editors who have contributed to this initiative.

And for those looking to make the world a better place as well: Please do not hesitate to contact us about your article or book.

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