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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:

Maeg Keane

Communications Associate – BioOne

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

I was born and raised in New England, but relocated to DC over 8 years ago to attend college at American University. I studied queer theory and 20th century American literature, and found I liked academic work so much that I decided to pursue a Masters in English at Georgetown University.

I realized I didn’t want to be a professor but still wanted to be connected to the academy, so upon graduating I applied to jobs in scholarly publishing. I didn’t really know what scholarly publishing was, I just knew I would still be in the academic universe and that maybe my communications skills would come in handy. It wasn’t until I spoke with Lauren Kane, now BioOne’s COO, that I started to understand why scholarly publishing was such a good fit. I started working for BioOne in October 2012, and am currently BioOne’s Communications Associate. I also serve on SSP’s Marketing Committee and act as liaison to the Education Committee.

Outside of work, I love typography, punk, watercolors, theology, and watching too much TV with my partner and our two kittens, Zazie and Blue.

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

I work at BioOne (www.bioone.org), an innovative nonprofit publisher that aims to make scientific research more accessible through its full-text aggregation BioOne Complete and open-access journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. As Communications Associate, I focus on organizational visibility and brand management, coordinating PR and the quarterly newsletter, BioOne News. I also design various web and print collateral for BioOne. I feel lucky to work for an organization that prioritizes balancing the needs of many scholarly publishing stakeholders because I’ve been able to work with many different people, and see how the various pieces of the industry intersect.

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

Having an understanding of the web and the Adobe Creative Suite has been important to me as publishing becomes increasingly digital. I’ve learned a lot by using lynda.com tutorials, and am grateful that BioOne has a Lynda account. I also think belonging to SSP has been crucial, as I’ve met so many wonderful people who have been welcoming and generous with their time, as I learn the ropes and ask for advice.

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

The community is relatively small, yet the possibilities for an engaged, creative person are expansive. This contrast is attractive to me. It can be intimidating to enter the workplace or a new industry, but I quickly felt like I was not so new and outside of things. At the same time, I also feel like there is so much room and so many directions for me to grow. I think that balance is rare, and I would encourage anyone who feels like such a balance is appealing to pursue a career in scholarly publishing.