Senior Manager, RTI Press
Please tell us a bit about yourself (e.g. hometown, current locale, course of study).
I am originally from Stockholm, Sweden but spent most of my youth and early adult life in Malaysia and Indonesia. All of my higher education has been in the United States (BA, Economics; MA, International Development Policy; PhD, Sociology) and I’ve lived in Raleigh, North Carolina for the past 15 years.
Describe some of your current responsibilities, and what type of organization you belong to.
I manage RTI Press, which is the scholarly publishing arm of the Research Triangle Institute, an independent, nonprofit research institute. RTI Press publishes peer-reviewed, open-access briefs, reports, and books on subjects from across RTI’s research areas, ranging from engineering, chemistry, and hydrology to criminology, global health, and international education, to name a few. I work with our Executive Editors, Editorial Board, and production team to set and implement strategic priorities, manage resources, and oversee processes to review, produce, and share our publications.
What was your first scholarly publishing role? How did you get that job? What path led to your current position?
I stepped into my current role in 2017 after spending nine years as a researcher in the International Development Group at RTI. While conducting and publishing research on local governance was my primary responsibility, I became increasingly engaged with RTI Press, first as an author, then as a member of the Editorial Board, and finally as an Executive Committee Member. When the prior leader of RTI Press announced her retirement, I realized I wanted to take on a new challenge and applied. The balance of my workload has now completely reversed, with research only a small part of my responsibilities.
What tools, websites, and organizations do you find most valuable for your career development?
In all seriousness, The Scholarly Kitchen is at least partially responsible for my shift to publishing! In 2015 or so, I signed up for daily alerts and was intrigued by the breadth and depth of both topics and ensuing discussions. TSK helped me understand publishing as a dynamic field critical to shaping how research advances and to envision myself within it.
More recently, I’ve found selective conference attendance to be energizing and valuable. During the pandemic, I’ve been really surprised by how effective virtual conferences can be; I have had direct interactions with a wider range of panelists and other participants over Q&A and chats that probably would not have happened at an in-person event.
What advice would you give to people interested in a career in scholarly communications?
For other researchers interested in making the shift to publishing, don’t discount what you’ve learned during your years as an author (and continue to publish if you can). Insights from my experiences with journals and editors inform both everyday and more strategic decisions in my current role, and complement the perspectives of colleagues with longer careers in publishing.