Vice President of Business Development, Cabell’s International
Please tell us a bit about yourself (e.g. hometown, current locale, course of study).
My husband and I share our home with two highly inquisitive and rambunctious boys, three hairless Chinese Crested dogs and one African pygmy hedgehog. We are a family of readers, so most of our spare time is spent enjoying our 4,000+ book hoard. This love of literature led me to earn my BA in English in 1998. I taught middle school English for three years right after college and then shortly found my way to into the academic publishing realm. I have since acquired my MBA at the University of Houston.
Describe some of your current responsibilities, and what type of organization you belong to.
Cabell’s, the company I have been with for 12 years, provides a way for researchers and other academics to find verified reputable journals and journal quality information. As VP of Business Development, I focus on developing new business and strategic partnerships. By collaborating with colleagues both internally and externally, I help bring new products and services into development. Additionally, I contribute to the planning and execution of marketing and public relations activities.
If there was a pivotal moment or key person in your career development, please describe briefly.
There have been many people that have greatly influenced my career. I have a special place in my heart for John Peters, founder and Chief Executive of GSE research and former CEO of Emerald Group Publishing, Limited. I met John Peters during his time at Emerald, and he has continued to remain a mentor and friend. Whenever I have had questions or needed advice about navigating the academic publishing landscape, John has always freely given his time and shared his expertise. I will always value his insight and perspective. Also, my colleague Sheree Crosby, Cabell’s VP of Global Marketing, has taught me the importance of teamwork, collaboration and risk-taking. At Cabell’s our mantra is “Make it Happen” and this is a direct result of Sheree’s confident, supportive leadership.
What tools, web sites and organizations do you find most valuable for your career development?
I am, of course, a daily reader of the Scholarly Kitchen, but I also recommend reading everything you can get your hands on. I frequent the AACSB Exchange forum to listen in, so to speak, on what business school faculty members find important and relevant. I rely on newsletters, articles and press releases by industry organizations with which I am involved (COPE, ALPSP, OASPA, AACSB, EFMD, APA, AERA, UKSG, ISMTE, NASIG). It is important to stay up to date with any developments occurring within their very different constituent members.
What are some of the surprises/obstacles that you’ve encountered during your career?
I think one of the main obstacles we face is the great disconnect that seems to exist between the different parties involved in scholarly publishing: editors, researchers, librarians, administrators, publishers, etc. Ostensibly, each group has the same general objective, but each varies greatly in philosophy and approach. Learning to bridge these gaps and communicate successfully with each group is crucial for success in a career in academic publishing.
What do you wish you knew more about?
For many reasons, I wish I knew more about the future of our industry and in what ways current issues (e.g., open access mandates, altmetrics, peer review reform, predatory and deceptive practices) will affect it. It is difficult to really know which trends will endure and which will fade away. Nonetheless, growth and longevity rely on decisions made in anticipation of this future. The industry is always changing, and I look forward to seeing the landscape in 10, 20, 30 years.
What advice would you give to people interested in a career in scholarly communications?
Be brave! Do not shy away from new things, even if you feel unprepared in the beginning. The world of scholarly communication is so varied and expansive that there will always be something new to learn. Additionally, the industry (and likely your position in it) can change frequently and drastically. With every skill or piece of understanding that you gain, you are just that much more prepared for the next change that comes along. Therefore, continuously seek knowledge, read everything and listen to varied perspectives. I love the adage, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”