UP Manila prof is world’s most prolific editor

Dr. Jose Florencio Lapeña, Jr. of UP Manila is the world’s busiest editor.

This was according to Publons, the UK company behind the inaugural Sentinel of Science awards.

Lapeña received the award for handling the highest number of manuscripts across all the world’s journals. As this year’s top contributing editor, he will get $100 cash and a $200 credit with Wiley. 

Publon created the awards to “honour the expert peer reviewers and editors who stand guard over research quality, and lead the charge for better, faster science.” 

On 20 September 2016, Dr. Lapeña was recognized by the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery in San Diego, California with the Star Reviewer Award 2016, one of 11 Star Reviewers and the only non-US awardee out of 955 reviewers. He received the same award in September 28 last year in Dallas, Texas, as one of ten Star Reviewers. He was the only non-American honored. (Photo: J Lapeña )

Lapeña, who is a professor of otorhinolaryngology at UP Manila, an attending otolaryngologist, aerodigestive tract, and cleft and craniofacial plastic surgeon at the Philippine General Hospital, and University Scientist III, holds BA Honors (Philosophy and Letters) and MA Social Sciences (Sociology) degrees from De La Salle University and an MD from UP.

He completed his post-graduate residency in otolaryngology head and neck surgery at the Philippine General Hospital, and his clinical and research fellowships in paediatric otolaryngology and cleft and craniofacial plastic surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital, University of Melbourne. 

He is the editor-in-chief of the Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery; president of the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors; immediate past president of the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors and director of the World Association of Medical Editors.

In his article “Publish or Perish: On Research and Publication” which is part of the recently released UP science research guidebook, he talks about how he began with a foray into poetry and essay writing as a child and how he got “hooked on research” with his first term paper on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

His advice to academics: Get published in prestigious, scholarly journals as they “may have the most direct bearing on your appointment, promotion, tenure and advancement within your institution, organization and discipline.” This is particularly beneficial to graduate and postgraduate students and younger faculty, he says, as one’s publication track record helps a lot when applying for positions abroad or for fellowships. 

The former vice chancellor for administration also adds: “Researchers who have published are much better positioned to evaluate scholarly publications, having themselves experienced the writing, editing and review process. The published researcher can also pay it forward by reviewing, and eventually editing other papers for publication.” 

Lapeña sits on the editorial boards of and reviews for 10 international journals.

In 2015, he served as one of the resource persons at the UP Academic Leadership Conference where he discussed mentoring and coaching to improve the quality of academic leadership.