Maksym Pylypenko: We build an industry from scratch

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Consulting companies play an important part in the scientific and publication process and in creating quality conditions for the implementation of scientific articles at the international level. Maksym Pylypenko, Director General at Scientific Publications – Publ.Science, gave an interview to "Science and Metrics" journal and shared his opinion on the current situation in the field of scientometrics and science.

Maksym Pylypenko on the current state of scientometrics and science in Ukraine

Currently, your company focuses its full potential on consulting assistance for researchers in their scientific and publication activities and the development of scientometrics and science. Maksym, why are you interested in this field?

— First of all, I can speak as an entrepreneur and a businessman. Nowadays, the field of scientometrics is one of the most promising in terms of capitalization. It is an investment-attractive industry that has unique opportunities for implementation. I can also speak on this topic from the standpoint of a researcher who has research papers and publications in various databases, including Scopus. Working in this field, you communicate with the intellectual elite of the country, representatives of science and culture who create and generate ideas, change the world for the better. This is what inspires and motivates to cooperate with them.

Remembering how it all began, how much has changed in your company tactics and strategies?

— Almost everything has changed since the company was founded. We started as a small, almost family-owned company, and today we are an international holding company that provides quality consulting services. We have transformed and expanded the range of services, the market and geography of our clients, business processes, standards, structural requirements. We forge ahead because everything we have done yesterday helps us to be a leader in what we do today.

Working in this field, you communicate with the intellectual elite of the country, representatives of science and culture who create and generate ideas, change the world for the better. This is what inspires and motivates to cooperate with them.    

How do you see the development of scientometrics and science in the future?

— The world is moving towards globalization. Ukraine is actively integrating into the scientific international dimension, cooperating with the European Union and other countries. I can state with confidence that science is developing, research is constantly underway, discoveries are being made, and new technologies are being introduced. If you think big, it is impossible not to feel that in the next decade, this market will grow exponentially, benefiting researchers, businesses, and society in general.

In your opinion, what do all participants of the scientific and publication procedure lack to better fulfil the research potential?

— We can divide the issue into several factors. The first is political will: investment in scientometrics and science, administrative decisions, legislative initiatives required to develop this field. The second factor is the side of researchers, teachers who want to take part in this process, but lack state aid and basic information awareness in this field. And third, no less important, is the lack of knowledge of foreign languages, which complicates communication with foreign researchers. Because in times of globalization, nowadays, as never before, there is an urgent need to cooperate with colleagues from developed and developing countries to create quality research, useful projects, and generate innovation.

The research and consulting company is also an active participant in this process. What role does it play?

— When it comes to quality scientific consulting, it only complements the field of science and by no means harms it. Unfortunately, many scientists believe that there is no place for money and commerce in science, but this is not true, because serious scientific projects are funded not only by public institutions, but also by private investors, venture capital funds, corporations, basically – by business. This proves that science and investment must coexist, and that consulting companies are the result of the scientist's need to save time and no longer solve problems they have nothing to do with. Researchers should focus their potential and time on true discoveries, focus on the opportunities and creation of quality science, and not be trapped in endless bureaucracy and unnecessary processes.

How is your company different from other companies that provide publication services? What are your strengths?

— First of all, our biggest advantage is the guaranteed results. This area is not some kind of confectionary where you can bake a pie and say that you have achieved the desired result. It is an industry of highly intellectual scientific publications, which depends on many factors and links of international mediators: reviewers, editors of publications, state regulators, as well as on the quality of the research itself, requirements of the journal, scientometric databases, relevance of information, etc. When we promise the result, we guarantee full commitment. Our team will do everything to get our client indexed and satisfied with the final work. It is this policy that has helped us to stand out from other market players. But equally important are the personalized client approach, modern IT infrastructure, willingness to organize personal meetings with clients, participation in various scientific events, modern marketing activity. These are our main advantages and strengths.

When it comes to quality scientific consulting, it only complements the field of science and by no means harms it.

Maksym, you are the Director General of a big international company, what do you think are the main functions and main tasks of a manager?

— First and foremost, a leader is a mentor and a person who seeks a team according to their competence and intellectual potential, which are required to accomplish tasks. I am an advocate of the wise saying, "If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room". In my understanding, the main tasks of a leader are to find and support the development of people with immense potential. If you have a dedicated team, then together you will achieve truly remarkable things.

You mentioned a team, please tell what motivates your staff to help scientists from all over the world?

— I am convinced that the main impetus and motivation of our team is to fully support the ideas and values of the company. Our team does not do something template-driven; we implement projects that create an entire industry from scratch. When it comes to a company that is a market leader and sets standards, there is no team member that is not inspired by it. I mean not only experience and good working conditions; I am talking about the awareness of every employee of their value and benefit to society

Meeting at Scientific Publications – Publ.Science

Please tell us about the main achievements of the company this year and the projects you have managed to launch.

— If we talk about the Ukrainian market, such projects are: the creation of a new headquarters, which received the status of headquarters in Ukraine and in Eastern Europe; launching free information-training programs, which were implemented within the framework of webinars and seminars for scientists; multilateral active cooperation with higher education institutions, scientific institutions as scientometric consultants, and much more.

[Furthermore, in 2019, Scientific Publications – Publ.Science acted as an investor and partner for Science and Metrics journal. – ed. note]

Our team does not do something template-driven; we implement projects that create an entire industry from scratch. 

What was the need for these projects?

— Answering this question on the example of the launch of a series of information-training webinars and seminars, the impetus for creating this direction was the total lack of information support of scientists and misunderstanding of what is "scientometrics" and "scientometrics in the world". We created the product at no cost. Anyone can join these events, attend face-to-face or online meetings, to help the scientist learn more about the field, requirements for publications, international standards, innovations, and technological know-how. We spread information through the YouTube channel, blog, and social networks we invite to join. It is important for us to work in a mature market with knowledgeable and competent players. The days of the "turbulent 90s" in science should end as soon as possible.

You mentioned that you run webinars and seminars for free, why do you create these products on a non-profit basis?

— One of the core values of the company is the development of scientometrics and science, and these projects are the result of implementing our principles. And, as I said, a mature approach and understanding by all participants of the generally accepted rules of the scientific and publication process is what matters to us. If some of the researchers are ready to be published without the help of a consulting company, we are glad to do this because it is evidence that scientometrics and science in Ukraine are strong and independent.

Maksym, are you ready to talk about the major mistakes this year? Did you want to fix something in the work process or do it differently?

— 2019 has been extremely productive in Ukraine. We have significantly expanded and managed to achieve many things. The only thing I personally regret is that there are only 24 hours in a day. The Ukrainian market is ready for active cooperation, but it takes time. In 2020, we are going to offset this "injustice" with even more initiative and improved business processes.

Mature approach and understanding by all participants of the generally accepted rules of the scientific and publication process is what matters to us.

And if you think globally and imagine what happens in 5, 10 years, could you verbalise your development strategy for the company?

— The strategy of the company is formed based on the views of the Science Alliance parent holding. This is undoubtedly the continuation of expansion into international markets, the decentralization of our office, and the creation of autonomous branches in European countries. We plan to start from the neighbouring countries: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Georgia, and Turkey. There are many countries, some of the Big Seven, that have long been willing to cooperate with us. However, we are also interested in the Asian market. Obviously, everything requires resources and time, but the plans of our company are extremely ambitious, and we manage to exceed them every year. Every year we live in our dream from a year ago, so the tasks that we set for 10 years we plan to complete in 5 years, and those that we plan for 5 years, we plan to complete in 2 or 3 years.

Our editorial board wishes Scientific Publications – Publ.Science to work on even more projects this year, successfully implement them, and actively communicate with the domestic and foreign intellectual community.

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