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05.10.2016  |  SSP News & Releases

SSP and STM Collaborate to Promote the Value of Mentorship in Scholarly Communications for Early-Career Professionals

May 10, 2016 – Wheat Ridge, CO – Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) are collaborating to develop a panel discussion to be presented at the SSP 38th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, on June 1. Members of the SSP Professional Development Committee and Early-Career Task Force have teamed up with STM’s Early-Career Publishing Committee to highlight the mentoring efforts of both organizations and raise awareness of the value of mentorship for career advancement. Both STM and SSP offer mentoring schemes for professionals starting out in their careers.

The panel discussion, I Wish Someone Had Told Me About This When I Was Starting Out: The Value of Mentorship will be the Opening Plenary session at the SSP Annual Meeting. The session organizers acknowledge that professional development is critically important for early-career professionals in the scholarly publishing, library, and vendor communities. They note that it’s not unusual for people at the beginning of their careers to feel a little lost, unsure about what career paths are available and what skills they should be working to develop.

During this session attendees will learn about some of the challenges and opportunities surrounding personal career development. Mentorship, formal or informal, is a critical component of career development as a source of feedback and support, and helps mentors better understand and advocate for early-career workers. Representatives from the publisher, librarian, vendor, and consultant communities will talk about the benefits of mentorship from both sides of the relationship. Mentorship programs from SSP and the STM association will be presented, with information about how to get involved.

The session will be moderated by David Thew of David Thew and Company, and panelists include Jean Shipman, University of Utah; Ann Michael, Delta Think; Meredith Adinolfi, Cell Press; and Nick Dormer, Wiley. “The plenary session also aims to engage audience members who are more advanced in their careers to think about what they have to contribute as mentors and consider being proactive in helping those early in their careers. We’re excited to also have the speed networking session follow the plenary as we hope the talking points and ideas raised will assist in growing attendees’ professional connections” said Lois Smith and Victoria Rae, SSP Professional Development Committee co-chairs.

SSP offers mentors to students and early-career professionals who are selected for the SSP Fellowship Program, an extension of the previous Travel Grant Program. The mentoring relationship often extends well beyond the initial year the mentor and mentee are paired. More information can be found at: https://www.sspnet.org/careers/sspfellowship- program/.

STM is also piloting a mentoring scheme to nurture and encourage continued learning across STM member companies. One of STM’s goals is to provide tools for early-career publishing professionals to advance in their roles while also expanding their network in the publishing industry. More information can be found at: http://www.stmassoc. org/early-career-publishers/mentoring-scheme/.

“Mentoring facilitates the sharing of knowledge, expertise, skills, insights and experiences through dialogue and collaborative learning between a more experienced colleague and a more junior or less experienced colleague.” said Matt McCay, STM Director of Communication & Events.

In addition to the collaborative panel, members of the SSP Early-Career Task Force will be presenting the results of their 2016 industry-wide SSP Early-Career Professionals Survey. The session will feature commentary and analysis of the survey results, guided by a panel of early-career professionals, managers, and mentors.

For more information and to register for the SSP 38th Annual Meeting visit: https://www.sspnet.org/events/annual-meeting-2016/event-home/. The meeting hashtag is #SSP2016.

About the Society for Scholarly Publishing – The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), founded in 1978, is a nonprofit organization formed to promote and advance communication among all sectors of the scholarly publication community through networking, information dissemination, and facilitation of new developments in the field. SSP members represent all aspects of scholarly publishing — including publishers, printers, e-products developers, technical service providers, librarians, and editors. SSP members come from a wide range of large and small commercial and nonprofit organizations. They meet at SSP’s annual meetings, educational seminars, and Librarian Focus Groups to hear the latest trends from respected colleagues and to discuss common and mutual (and sometimes divergent) goals and viewpoints.

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