STM Digital Publishing 2017
An STM Week Event

In 2017, the Digital Publishing seminar opened a call for speakers for the first time. Tasha Mellins-Cohen and Janine Burr-Willans are delighted to bring you the fruitful results of that experiment, with a varied and exciting program of individual speakers, case studies, and panels.

In the morning we will hear from Sally Rumsey of the Bodleian Libraries on the wish list for OA support for authors, while the afternoon kicks off with a dive into Content & Discovery, during which you will hear individually from leaders in the field about their content enrichment and discovery initiatives, as well as having time to quiz them collectively in a debate session.

Bill Kasdorf brings us his not-to-be-missed Technical Standards Update, alongside other sessions on print-on-demand for academic books, making Open Access work (hint - it’s more than just funding!), and others. Not to mention the series of case studies, ranging from work on individualised communications, to implementing 360-degree figure viewers.

This year for the first time, STM Digital Publishing is running poster sessions alongside the refreshment breaks. If you want to display a poster, get in touch and let us know what it’s about.

Tuesday 5th December 


Registration & Refreshments


Introduction Tasha MC & Janine BW


Help! I’m an author – get me out of here: A wish list for better research dissemination for authors
Sally Rumsey
, Bodleian Libraries

The current UK open access (OA) environment is extremely complex, and the concept of OA as a ‘good thing’ is being lost. Inefficient processes are unavoidable; an astonishing amount of money is changing hands; numerous new journals are being produced; OA policies and funding are regularly reviewed and open to change; and all the while, research dissemination is evolving. Authors are caught in the middle of a complicated, and sometimes conflicting, mixture of requirements from funders and publishers. Many researchers want to use new models to distribute their findings and discuss them with peers. University research support staff attempt to filter policy requirements and simplify instructions and procedures for authors, whilst supporting them in using all forms of dissemination. This presentation focuses on the difficulties encountered when managing OA support for researchers within a large research-intensive institution, and challenges publishers with a wish list.





Case studies

Content discovery activities and their benefits
Mike Roberts, Emerald

Solving the complexity crisis with one-size-fits-one communication
Raymond Tellis, Taylor & Francis

Taylor & Francis is a global publisher with more than two and a half thousand journals. We are embracing OA, and this fundamentally changes how we need to communicate with authors throughout the publication process. The landscape has become so complex that we are past the point where we can expect authors to understand it – we have reached a complexity crisis. We have to change our mindset from one-size-fits-all to one-size-fits-one. This means understanding the unique circumstances of each author – the journal they have chosen, the type of article they are writing, their institutional affiliations, and their funding – and presenting them with personalized information at the right time to let them make the best decisions. T&F has entered the complicated world of distributed, Agile micro-service development – semi-autonomous teams building a modern publishing infrastructure from the ground up, working on submissions, licensing, micro-payments, analytics, new sales models, all while balancing the needs of societies, editors, authors and librarian customers in a business undergoing transformation. This talk will look at the last year of this undertaking – the challenges, success and lessons learned.


Refreshment Break


Making the transition to Open Access work: a bigger task than just funding
Sven Fund, Knowledge Unlatched

Open Access has come a long way, yet central goals are still not met. The reason for that is not just a financial issue, but rather a structural one: Libraries as one central element in funding research publications find it hard to shift budgets and keep both patrons and administrators within their institutions supportive and happy.
Knowledge Unlatched and other OA initiatives that are not APC/BPC funded, but organize institutionally financed Open Access are confronted with a “traditional” funding and services structure for a new business and access model. They need to demonstrate usage in ways that are comparable to content behind paywalls, and they are challenged with avoiding double dipping in an increasingly complex, hybrid distribution environment.
The presentation will address the structural challenges institution funded Open Access is confronted with and provide solutions.


Technical standards update
Bill Kasdorf, Apex CoVantage


Building the Bloomsbury publishing platform
Matt Kibble, Bloomsbury

This presentation will be a case study of an academic publisher attempting to reduce reliance on third-party developers by building their own platform and bringing the responsibility for site development inhouse. At Bloomsbury, we began developing digital content platforms in 2010 with the launch of Berg Fashion Library, and followed this up with Drama Online, Bloomsbury Professional, Bloomsbury Collections and several more academic resources. Each site had somewhat bespoke requirements, and we worked with multiple different external developers rather than an off-the-shelf solution. In 2016 we reached a scale of product development where it no longer made sense to go through a lengthy and expensive design phase and new platform build each time, so moved to a new model: we found a developer who would build us our own platform with a user-friendly backend interface which allows Bloomsbury staff to select templates, configure layouts and designs, load content using pre-defined content types and put a new product live with little or no input from the developers. The presentation will cover the rationale for this decision, the pros and cons of each model, the new skill sets required, and some of the pain points and lessons learned from the platform build.


Lunch & Poster viewing




Content & Discovery panel

Content Enrichment Requirements for New Automated  Research Techniques (AI, TDM)
Jake Zarnegar, Silverchair

The assimilation, synthesis, and re-presentation of large amounts of raw knowledge and data is one of the hottest areas of information product growth – as demonstrated by Watson, Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Waymo, etc. But as ‘magical’ as these systems can be, they are still highly dependent on the quality and consistency of the content and data that feeds their algorithms. This talk will explore where content and data publishers fit in the ecosystem of AI, and techniques publishers can use to make their content more desirable and effective for the machine ‘readers’ of today and tomorrow.

Context as Motor for Discovery
Stephanie Dawson, ScienceOpen

How do researchers identify the most relevant papers from nearly 2 million articles published in ca. 28,000 scholarly journals each year? With increasing amounts of content on the internet as a result of the digitization of the publishing industry, new ways to collect, rate and rank content across publishers are being developed for and by the digital generation. Context – the relationships between articles, authors, and readers, but also journals, publishers, institutes and funders – can be leveraged to improve discovery and stimulate discussion. Context drawn from interaction post-publication is also growing in importance. Numerous systems allow authors to add contextual information such as lay summaries and tags or annotations to published articles to increase readership.

Content enrichment: driving innovation, revenue growth and cost savings across the publishing life-cycle
Sam Herbert, 67 Bricks

Publishers need to evolve in the fast-changing world of digital publishing. This session explores how implementing content enrichment capabilities across the full publishing life-cycle delivers better author experiences, effective and efficient production processes, user focused product features, new business models, improved marketing results and better content discovery.

The session will give an insight into different content enrichment techniques such as machine learning, natural language processing and semantic fingerprinting and it will present these approaches in the context of real life publishing case studies. We will explore how content enrichment can unlock the data in your content to drive innovation, deliver cost savings and develop new revenue streams so that you stay relevant in the modern digital environment.

Machine Learning: Eliminating humans or applying skills more efficiently?
Michael Upshall, Unsilo

In the last ten years, most of the academic research on entity extraction and content classification has focussed on machine learning and increased automation. Machine-based tools have steadily improved in simplicity and accuracy, but In academic publishing, the use of automatic classification tools is still controversial. One reason for this may be the concerns many publishers have when they first set about integrating semantic technologies with existing taxonomies and controlled vocabularies.

Publishers and information managers want the best of both worlds; a clear list of defined, managed keywords for their content, and a cost-effective way of implementing subject tagging. This presentation reviews the current use of machine-learning tools in publishing, both with and without the use of manually curated taxonomies. A case study describes how UNSILO, a Danish machine learning startup, collaborated with Karger Publishers, a Swiss-based medical publisher, to build a classification system that combines machine learning with human curation.

Some machine learning systems are black boxes, which force us to accept their outcomes blindly. This raises legitimate concerns about quality control and long-term content strategy. But not all machine-learning initiatives have the same opaque approach. When AI is used, the probabilistic methodology employed by many machine-learning tools means accuracy will never be 100%. After workshops with the publisher, UNSILO devised a machine-based system whereby the machine, in addition to automatically adding tags, also  identifies the most suitable targets for human curation.

The result is an interesting combination of human and machine learning that would appear to provide a happy medium: a substantial cost saving over manual tagging, a reduction of repetitive labour, plus a focus of human activity where it is most beneficial. This may be a model for many publishers to follow as they adopt this new technology.


Refreshment Break


The impact of POD on the Academic Book
Suzanne Wilson-Higgins

Suzanne's new book  The Impact of Print-On-Demand on the Academic Book (Chandos Information Professional Series) will release soon and this presentation offers a few highlights as a taster. The book looks back over the 20 years of digital print innovation with interviews and case studies from leading academic publishers and service providers. The book is in an established series targeted at academic librarians. 

With nearly ten years at Ingram, and five at Blackwell’s plus five at Reed-Elsevier she felt qualified to write-up the POD story. Currently Suzanne a publisher of children’s bibles and illustrated consumer reference but has plans for an academic imprint launch in 2018. 


The State of Streaming Video in Professional and Scholarly Communications
Tracy Gardner, Simon Inger Consulting, & Violaine Iglesias, GVPi.

The State of Streaming Video in Professional and Scholarly Communications

Simon Inger Consulting and GVPi, a digital publishing solutions company, have recently invited the academic and professional publishing community to share their views and plans for incorporating streaming video content into their websites and publishing platforms.

Although many publishers, societies and higher education institutions are in the process of exploring ways to incorporate video content into their websites and publishing platforms, whether as new product lines, for teaching, or to offer more value to existing products and services, we hear that many are unsure about how to go about developing a video strategy whilst others have a clear idea of what they need and are in the process of implementing video content. Therefore, we thought it would be useful to survey the current state and thinking about streaming video, and have issued a survey aiming at finding out from publishers, scholarly societies, professional associations and higher education institutions where they are in their video development plans, what they see as the main challenges and barriers to delivering video content online, and what opportunities they think streaming video offers.


Case studies
Figure360: Using video to convey key points of a static figure
Andy Smith, Cell Press

Readers find it difficult and time consuming to extract key points from a multi-panel, complex figure. We’ve been experimenting with author-narrated video figures for a couple of years to find ways to convey the main content of a figure with a 2- to 3-minute video that is published alongside the static figure. The goal has been to replicate the feel of a conference talk, encouraging authors to use animation to more easily explain the concepts. In June 2016, we launched a six-month pilot for Figure360, publishing 32 videos during that time across a dozen journals (examples here). The response was overwhelmingly positive from readers and authors, and Figure360 received the 2017 Prose award for best e-product in life science publishing. So now we are introducing Figure360 as a standard option for authors across all of our primary and reviews journals. My proposed presentation will track how the idea evolved from an innovation workshop, some of the technical and workflow hurdles, responses from authors and readers, and ideas for how Figure360 could develop in the future.

Recommended - providing personalised reading recommendations
Sarah Greaves, Nature

With over 4,000 primary research papers published every day within the natural sciences, it can be overwhelming to try to keep up-to-date with the literature in a research field. We know from speaking directly to many researchers, that they use a myriad of tools to help with this – including journal table of contents alerts, PubMed, Twitter, Altmetric, as well as peers in the lab. Springer Nature launched Recommended in early 2017 as a service to  help all primary researchers in the natural sciences keep up to date with the literature that really matters to them.  Recommended is a personalised service that suggests relevant papers for users, regardless of publisher, based on what they have previously read across Springer Nature services. If we believe the paper is the right one for the reader then we will recommend it. Developing this service has been a long careful journey – and all along the way we have worked with groups of researchers to ensure the service we develop actually makes a difference to the people who are using it. Our talk will discuss the user journey, agile development work and provide details of this unique recommendation service.

Designing DataVis: a visual tool for engineers
Andrea Fallas, HighWire

McGraw-Hill Education identified an opportunity to create a data visualisation tool that helps engineering students understand the properties of common materials and their relation to engineering design concepts.

Andrea will present a case study on HighWire’s collaboration with McGraw-Hill, which resulted in the successful launch of DataVis – giving students and educators a novel, interactive way to explore materials and their properties.

We will explore the user-focused discovery, design and quality control processes that were applied by a multi-disciplinary project team to realise McGraw-Hill’s vision for creating an engaging educational resource.



Seminar Co Directors: Tasha Mellins-Cohen, HighWire 
                                    Janine Burr-Willans, Emerald Publishing




Events Terms and Conditions

Cancellations made in writing up to 30 days before an event are eligible for a 50% refund. No refunds can be made for cancellations received on or after 30 days prior to the event date, however, substitutions may be made free of charge at any time.

Registration fees do not include insurance. Participants are advised to take out adequate personal insurance to cover travel, accommodation, cancellation and personal effects.