The Future of Publishing 2017
An STM Week Event

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New people, new markets, new challenges

The Future of Publishing seminar grew out of last years 'publishing in a larger world' day, which explored the ways in which the 'world' of scholarly publishing is expanding not just geographically, but also in terms of the people who work in it and the technologies that we use. This year, we've refined the themes of the day as we explore some of the more challenging but less well-discussed aspects of what the future may hold for our industry.

This year's keynote will be from Nancy Roberts, Founder & Director of Business Inclusivity; a consultancy that helps businesses recruit and retain the most talented staff. Isabel Thompson, who is formerly of OUP and now an analyst at Stone and River Consulting will build on Nancy's talk and discuss how to build a resilient work place in the face of changing requirements and needs from staff, customers and stakeholders. 

Michiel Kolman, SVP at Elsevier will complete our conversation on diversity when he talks about how to make your business an LGBT+ friendly environment, and his experiences with Elsevier Pride.

After the break, we'll explore another aspect of how our industry is changing and expanding. Lucy Lambe from LSE will talk about how she's building a library publishing operation at London School of Economics that blurs the lines between repository and publisher and Lara Speicher from University College London, will talk about their university press, which reports to the library, but operates like a traditional university press.

As well as changing staff and customer demographics, and new types of publishing operations, our industry is also approaching new markets. We'll hear about two very interesting case studies of how to do business outside of our traditional markets. Joanne Sheppard of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group will draw on her extensive experience doing business in China, a fascinating and altogether different marketplace. Ricardo Redisch of Évora Publishing House will talk from a local perspective about another of the BRIC countries, Brazil. 

Finally, we'll take a more technical direction and explore how new types of data and analyses are being used by publishers to support strategic decision making. Kathryn Sharples form Wiley will talk about how they use data to support editorial and business decisions. After that, Martin Szomszor of Digital Science will talk about how new types of data and techniques are changing how we can analyse research against a backdrop of changing customer requirements. Finally David Smith of IET will discuss how publishers can become more analytic and data driven in small ways. He'll give some examples of 'small wins' that he's worked on at IET.

Seminar Director: Phill Jones, Director of Publishing Innovation, Digital Science  

The topics we will cover will include

  • How to engage with emerging markets such as China and India
  • The roles and effects of millennials in the workplace
  • Data-driven decision making and being agile
  • Cyber Security

Provisional programme (more speakers/titles to be confirmed)


Registration, coffee & networking


The Elephant in the Room: The real challenge facing publishers today

Nancy Roberts, Founder & Director, Business Inclusivity

Endless conference hours have been given over in recent years to the many challenges publishers face, but relatively little attention has been paid to the biggest issue of all: the changing nature of the workforce. In this paper, Nancy will discuss the urgent need for publishers to rethink the way they recruit and retain staff, and will call on publishers to take on the challenge of creating truly diverse and inclusive workplaces.


Thriving not surviving: how resilience thinking will help you succeed as the world around you changes

Isabel Thompson, Analyst, Stone & River Consulting LLC

It's a whirlwind of change out there: new mandates, start-ups, different workplace and customer demographics, exciting new technologies, researchers’ expectations - the list is endless, as usual. So let’s stop thinking about what’s changing for a moment. The one thing that doesn’t change, is the fact that everything changes. Please excuse the blindingly obvious, because that’s precisely the point: most of the time this is an implicit assumption about the world we live in, rather an explicit framework in which to conduct our thinking.

So, what should we do? In order to thrive as circumstances change, a different approach is necessary. We hear a lot about ‘sustainability’, but not a lot about what types of sustainability might be feasible, or even desirable. To learn to view the world through the lens of ‘resilience’ is one way of increasing your chances of setting up your organisation or system so you can embrace whatever the future ends up throwing at you.

Resilience thinking is an illuminating way to view biological, ecological, economic, and social systems, but it has particular implications in the current research environment. Using industry and non-industry examples, this talk will give an overview of the concepts of resilience and adaptive cycles, show how they map onto the scholarly communications ecosystem, and provide some questions for us all to try and answer.


How to be an ally: Supporting LGBT staff in the workplace

Michiel Kolman,  Senior Vice President, Elsevier




Refreshment break


UCL Press: The UK’s first fully open access university press

Lara Speicher, University College London

In recent years, there has been a wave of new university presses in the UK, often set up as open access publishers and with strong links to their university libraries. In this talk, Lara will describe the motives behind UCL’s decision to set up UCL Press, the UK’s first fully open access university press, and the global reach it has achieved with its open access approach during its first three years of publishing.




What if you didn't have to start from here? Making a scholarly communication platform from scratch in a university library

Lucy Lambe, Scholarly Communications Officer, London School of Economics

In early 2017, the Library at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) started to research and plan a project to start up a library press for the university. This presentation will describe that journey and where we are now. It will reflect on the gaps between the publishing technology currently available and what is required for a small library press, and explore some of the areas in which libraries are well positioned to support this type of publishing, as well as the challenges presented by an institution doing something completely new.


Lunch and networking


What can James Cameron teach you about doing business in China?

Joanne Sheppard, Vice President Strategy and Investments, Holztbrinck Publishing Group

The research output from China has grown from less than 5% of the world’s total to 20%, along with an equal share in the 0.1% of top cited papers. With funding uncertainty in both the UK and the US (Brexit+Trump=mayhem), more Western scientists are finding a well funded home in China. This session will give a broad overview of the fundamentals of doing business in China sharing the formula for what works (James Cameron), and what doesn't (Google). It will then be a discussion about the collective experience of doing business in China: the good, the bad, and the ugly.



What every publisher should know about the Brazilian STM market

Ricardo Redisch, Executive Editor, Évora Publishing House

The presentation will focus on the current challenges major players are facing in the Brazilian STM Market: the increasingly fuzzy frontiers between universities, online learning platforms and publishers; the “twitterrization” and efforts for continued relevance of structured content; the sheer potential of demographics and other trending topics.


Refreshment break


Using Data to make good decisions

Kathryn Sharples, Director, Publishing Development, John Wiley & Sons


The changing structure of research, how topic modelling reveals what people are really doing

Martin Szomszor, Consultant Data Scientist, Digital Science


Small Data for Big Results: Where do you start? What data to start with? What problems to focus on and what decisions to take? 

David Smith, Head of Product Solutions, IET

David will take attendees through three data stories from the IET. In one story, his team build some data dashboards for a product owner, working with them to refine what it is they REALLY want to know. In another story, data is assembled to help the sales team have a better conversation with customers about a key IET product offering. And a third story shows how we are figuring out how to monitor ourselves and our agile work to better understand what it is we’ve been doing over a year of agile sprints. The talk will be full of practical advice on how to get going and will highlight some of the interesting conversations one has had on the journey.






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