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Each month, this space will highlight the unique career path and insights of an SSP member. We hope that these brief profiles provide guidance to our early career members and those site visitors interested in the broad spectrum of scholarly communications opportunities. Please contact Phil Wallas with any questions or suggestions for future profiles.

PROFESSIONAL PROFILES:

Lauren Kane

Director of Publisher Relations, BioOne

Lauren Kane First, tell us a bit about yourself (hometown, current locale, family, hobbies, community involvement?).

Though I went to school and now work in DC, I am still a New Englander at heart, having spent most of my life in Southern New Hampshire. This means that I am both an ardent Red Sox fan and a firm believer that 50 degrees is not cold. Today, my husband and I live in a townhouse in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore, with a cat named Ruthie. In addition to participation in SSP, I’m also an active member of the Georgetown University Alumni Admissions Program, interviewing prospective applicants to the school in the Baltimore/DC area.

What is your current job? Describe some of your responsibilities, and how you or your organization fit into the scholarly communications web.

I am the Director of Publisher Relations for BioOne (www.bioone.org), an innovative, not-for-profit online aggregation of critical bioscience research. In my current role, I spearhead the organization’s communications program, manage relationships with our more than 100 publishers, and help shape our portfolio of services. One of the most interesting things about BioOne is its unique position within the scholarly community, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders for a common mission. Working with so many different people within the sector has been extremely rewarding, and has given me a great opportunity to learn about all corners of the scholarly communications “web”.

What career path led to your current position? Where do you see scholarly communications heading, and what new directions interest you most?

My senior year of college I was the classic English major, unsure of a career path but terrified of landing in an unfulfilling, uncreative desk job. Upon graduation I applied to a host of publishing jobs, with little understanding of what each might really entail. I was very lucky to land an entry-level Editorial Coordinator position with Blackwell Publishing in their Social Science Journals division, where I benefited from an amazing mentor, Terri Teleen. At Blackwell I gained a great amount of hands-on experience, ultimately managing a number of relationships with society publishers. I also began to feel that no matter what came next in my career, it was important to me to remain in scholarly publishing. I felt then – and still feel – so lucky to be in such an exciting field, one that is rapidly evolving to accommodate changing technologies, emerging business models, and new researcher needs. Plus, it’s full of the most dynamic, intelligent people that you will ever meet or have the pleasure of working with.

What advice would you give to people interested in a career in scholarly communications? What new roles or opportunities do you see emerging in the field?

Because the field of scholarly communications continues to develop and broaden, the sector presents numerous growth opportunities for creative and dedicated individuals. People with a background in information science or experience in leveraging new technologies are particularly well positioned. As publishers and institutions evolve their online infrastructure and seek better ways to serve students and researchers, innovative, forward-thinkers will be in high demand to lead the charge.

Profiled March 2009