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Ana Heredia

Co-Founder, Heredia & Viggiani Consulting
Affiliate Senior Associate, Latin America, Maverick Publishing Specialists


Please tell us a bit about yourself (e.g. hometown, current locale, course of study).

I was born in Córdoba, Argentina, and when I was a child my family moved to Rio de Janeiro, where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and currently live. By then I was already passionate about the eco-ethology of ants, but with no possibility of having formal training in Ethology in Brazil, I moved to France to do a Master’s in Behavioral Sciences and Neurosciences. On that occasion, I finally started research on ants behavior, which I pursued in Belgium, where I obtained a PhD in Sciences, and in Brazil, where I had two post-doctoral fellowships.

After almost 15 years in academic research, I made an important turn in my career, by joining the STEM publishing and the research information analysis worlds. More recently, I specialized in digital research infrastructure, and persistent identifiers (PIDs).

Describe some of your current responsibilities, and what type of organization you belong to.

After 16 years working for organizations, I’m now an independent consultant, associated with an ex-colleague from the STEM world, we created our consultancy in 2021.

We are focusing on helping research organizations and publishers in their strategic challenges with issues like information management and analysis, strategic planning, or the responsible use of indicators for the evaluation of science and higher education. We can also help scientific journals, universities, and governments in the management of international scientific and technological collaboration projects.

Additionally, I am committed to Open Science and the development and strengthening of current and new collaborations and networks, for wide access of research information, multilingualism, and equity of opportunities in research.

What was your first scholarly publishing role? How did you get that job? What path led to your current position?

I started working at Elsevier as a free-lancer, training users on ScienceDirect and Scopus platforms, by answering an advertisement published in a newspaper, while looking for my next post-doc. I was then engaged as Administrative Support, but in practice, I was developing analysis, producing reports and insights, to help the marketing and sales team in their relationships with the academic community. As the only person in the team to have an academic background, I had a lot to share -and to learn. Quite rapidly I was promoted to Research Advisor Latin America, helping to shape the strategy for the region, supporting Elsevier awareness, and developing strategic partnerships with research organizations and governments around Latin America. Two years later I had the privilege to lead the journals’ operation, overviewing the editorial and production processes, as well as helping Editors in their publishing strategies and indexation challenges. I was then offered the position of consultant for the Research Intelligence operation, strengthening my knowledge of research evaluation, indicators and bibliometrics.

If there was a pivotal moment or key person in your career development, please describe it briefly.

I had three pivotal moments in my career. The first was when I left research and entered the publishing world. The second one was when, after 8 years of working for the biggest global scientific publisher, I decided to join a small team of extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic people of a community-driven and non-profit organization, ORCID. I was also very challenged by the opportunity to lead the organization’s regional strategy, as the Membership Regional Director for Latin America. And the third pivotal moment is now when I’m starting my own business!

A key person in my career is the Director who hired me at first at Elsevier. He saw in me an important asset to his team, because of my academic and scientific background, the languages I speak, and some personal skills that always play a role on working in a team. This person always supported me throughout the eight years I spent at Elsevier., and throughout all my internal movements. I also had key people in my career development at ORCID, especially two Directors who supported and encouraged me in my development inside and outside the organization. My career would not have been the same without these people.

What tools, websites, and organizations do you find most valuable for your career development?

Tools: Stay tuned, stay relevant, stay in touch, stay connected! Be a volunteer for organizations you connect with, participate in events, discussions, and working groups. Attend conferences and webinars.

Websites: Indeed, Linkedin, Blogs in general

Organizations: SSP and equivalent organizations in our country/region. Connect with associations of scientific editors, university presses, publishing professionals, and other associations related to our collateral interests, like in my case DEIA, multilingualism and open research infrastructure activities.

What are some of the surprises/obstacles that you’ve encountered during your career?

Internal politics are very important in organizations. Sometimes, they are more important than effective work, results or technical skills. For this reason, we always need someone who supports/sponsors us inside the organization, who cares about our career development. HR is not always free from conflicts of interest.

What do you wish you knew more about?

I think this is linked to the previous question, as I did not imagine that the internal politics vs. effective work/skills proportion would be so unbalanced.

What advice would you give to people interested in a career in scholarly communications?

A varied array of experiences is a plus, being fluent in several languages is a plus, previous
academic-scientific training or background is a plus, and your network is a plus. Work on these, work hard, and show how much you are passionate about it. This is contagious to truly generous people that will help you throughout your career. And hopefully, you’ll be collecting them!

Please provide a link if you have a blog or personal/professional website.

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7862-8955
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/herediaana/
Consultancy website (only in Portuguese for now, soon in English and Spanish): https://www.herediaviggiani.com/
Affiliate Senior Associate: https://www.maverick-os.com/team-groups/mavericks/