2021 – A New Year: Hope and Developments
Updated: Jan 29
Vaccines and variants
The last quarter of 2020 brought positive news of COVID-19 vaccines. It also brought the new variant, SARS-CoV-2. Although the positive and negative landed almost simultaneously, researchers believe that the current vaccines will still provide protection – especially as they can be adjusted if needed.
Although infection rates in the UK are high again as we journey through lockdown three, another vaccine, Moderna, has also been approved. 
With the new year and its vaccines, comes new hope.
In the UK, we have lived with COVID-19 for almost a year. For some of us, this has meant having to manage a new way of working.
Editorial staff (contract, freelance, and permanent) are now familiar with working remotely from their team: perhaps this has been so successful that things may never return to how they were. But we are not alone in adapting our ways of working this past year.
As laboratories closed across the country, there have been significant interruptions for researchers, causing delays in experiments and their work. Yet, submissions still came, and research was still published. Together, we have had to become more creative and more flexible. We have adapted and overcome the challenges for almost a year.
There is satisfaction in what we have all achieved.
Those who have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic will start the new year a little more fatigued than usual. But there is a light shining for us now, a glimmer of hope at the end of the pandemic tunnel.
We all understand that the academic publishing process can be complex and has many phases, including submission, review, and post acceptance. There has been a developing trend in the requirement for a simpler and more cost-effective service that focuses on technical checks, reviewer selection, and one-off projects.
In conjunction with the above, and despite the recognised challenges of the last twelve months, STM publishing continues to move forward. Plan S,  which is now upon us, brings additional and new ways of working. Together, we’ve proven that the cogs can keep turning through this pandemic; new developments, new opportunities, and scientific research have continued. Publishers have still been able to publish important and vital work.
Notably, to ensure that COVID-19 research and data reaches the widest audience quickly, many of these publishers agreed to make COVID specific content freely available. The pandemic has shown how generous the profession can be, and how it can collectively contribute to information sharing during a time of unprecedented crisis.
Enforced change can often prove to be a positive change.
Throughout 2020, here at PA EDitorial, we have seen the difficulties the pandemic has caused our clients. This made us want to find a way to help editors and publishers even further. We recognise the impact COVID-19 and the introduction of lockdown three, have had on all our lives and work-life balance.
For this reason, we have been working hard to offer a new service to our clients. We designed a system where there is just one contact for all our clients’ journal processes and workflow needs.
EDiTech has been set up to deliver this and provides bespoke packages to enable high-quality, consistent service through one point of contact. EDiTech provides full peer review management, project work, and technical checking.
We can offer a bespoke, more cost-effective technical service, combined with the premium peer review management provided by our PA EDitorial team. This allows us to provide a seamless and consistent service to the publisher.
EDiTech is now used by many of our clients, who have experienced the benefits of how the service works for them. New clients and new contracts for the service have seen our already extensive support network develop even further. The service is working for all those involved, and we are looking forward to new clients joining the ever-growing EDiTech network.
You can visit our website to see more information on this new service: www.paeditorial.co.uk/editech
The future is bright
In the UK, we have worked together to fight COVID-19, and have adapted as best we can. But 2021 will not be without its challenges. By working together as we have been, we can continue to develop new solutions and new ways of contributing to the sharing of research and information.
Working within scientific research is something we can be proud of, especially with the production of a vaccine in the UK.
Together, we are all contributing.
We continue to care
Many editors are used to having their university base and support network around them, but the past year has changed this. At PA EDitorial, we are here to support our clients with online journal management and to provide additional support to publishers adapting in this ever-changing environment.
We have been established since the 1990s and have vast experience of working remotely. Our team can support journals and their contributors during their transition to working from home – and beyond.
For more information about how EDiTech or PA EDitorial can make your editorial workflows more efficient and less stressful, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or see our social media channels for more information.
Twitter - @PAEDITORIAL https://twitter.com/PAEDITORIAL
 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Vaccines
 Moderna becomes third COVID vaccine approved in the UK https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55586410
 About Plan S