Scholarly communications and publishing professionals reconnected to share lessons learned and discuss new approaches for connecting our industry in innovative ways.
The Society for Scholarly Publishing’s (SSP) 44th Annual Meeting, held this past June 1-3 in Chicago, IL, and online, attracted over 775 total attendees who contributed to an exciting event filled with stimulating discussions about the strengths we possess as a community, alongside lessons learned during the pandemic.
“It has been incredible to feel the outpouring of enthusiasm throughout our community. From our exhibitors and sponsors to every attendee and speaker, it was wonderful to see so many people genuinely happy to be at an industry conference,” said SSP Executive Director Melanie Dolechek. “Our Annual Meeting would not have been the successful event without their continued support of our society over the last two years and the months of work by our volunteers and staff. This meeting was our chance to demonstrate how much we appreciate our community.”
Annual Meeting Program Chairs Lori Carlin (Chief Commercial Officer, Delta Think Inc.), Yael Fitzpatrick (Editorial Ethics Manager, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), Tim Lloyd (CEO, LibLynx), SSP Meeting Manager Tracy Mitchell (ConferenceDirect), and SSP Program Director Mary Beth Barilla worked closely with a team of enthusiastic volunteers and speakers who strived to make SSP’s return to an in-person meeting a success.
“SSP 2022 was the first year I volunteered on the Annual Meeting Program Committee. The combination of getting back to a live event while experiencing all the teamwork required to put on the show really made the event sizzle with extra energy for me. It’s one thing to say that the global pandemic has made us not take the little things for granted, but it’s a whole other thing to experience the gratitude of our community collectively and witness it through the simple gestures of a shared smile with a stranger or a hug from an old friend.” – Marianne Calilhanna, Data Conversion Laboratory
Annual Meeting at a Glance
Attendees from 17 countries enjoyed reconnecting with colleagues and sharing ideas at evening receptions, interactive lunches, and facilitated networking sessions. Remote attendees accounted for 17% of the meeting audience.
Thirty concurrent Educational Sessions and 15 Industry Breakout Sessions brought more than 125 speakers to the meeting. Over 400 organizations represented the scholarly communications and publishing industry, including university presses, professional societies, research and editing service providers, librarians, media companies, and more.
Top Ten Attendee Affiliations:
- American Chemical Society
- International Monetary Fund
- AIP Publishing
- Wolters Kluwer
- American Medical Association
“SSP 2022 was my first in-person conference in at least three years and, as for a lot of people, the impact of seeing colleagues in person, as opposed to via webcam, was striking. As a speaker particularly, being in front of a live audience cannot be adequately replaced by remote communications – spontaneously chatting with someone as you pass them in the hotel lobby without needing to check their Outlook calendar was also a revelation. SSP 2022 was fantastically organized and truly made me realize the unique value of in-person meetings.” – Duncan MacRae, Wolters Kluwer
Downloaded by more than 750 users, the meeting app allowed attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors to take their meeting experience a step further by creating personalized agendas, posting meeting-wide discussion threads, sharing photos, and catching up on missed sessions. In addition, attendees reported that recording and making all educational sessions available in the app added value to the meeting.
Keynote Speakers, Industry Breakout Sessions, and Educational Sessions Delivered Insights and Challenges
The 44th Annual Meeting offered attendees another strong program full of informational and thought-provoking presentations, covering the most prominent issues and questions in our industry today. Attendees and speakers discussed tough questions and considered how they could work together to find the right balance amidst shifting demands.
This year’s keynote speakers brought a fresh perspective on community building, while Industry Breakout Sessions featured advice, case studies, expertise, and the latest market solutions.
Urban historian and TikTok sensation Shermann “Dilla” Thomas (6figga_dilla) kicked off the meeting with Wednesday’s opening keynote. A modern historian, cultural worker, and public employee, Dilla energetically discussed the role of Chicago’s history in shaping modern education and the accessibility of non-traditional methods of scholarly communication as a way to address misinformation.
Thursday’s keynote speaker, Jennifer Heimberg, Director of The Strategic Council for Research Excellence, Integrity, and Trust at The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, outlined several initiatives the Strategic Council is working on that align the policies and incentives of funders, researchers, and scholarly publishers.
Some of the most popular educational sessions were “Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Scholarly Publishing: Looking Ahead to 2029,” “Publishing Services Agreements: Impact of OA and Other Industry Trends,” and “How to Build a Lasting Culture of Innovation (and What Not to Do): A Conversation with the Experts.”
Attendees had enthusiastic feedback about many of this year’s selected sessions:
From Conference Presentation to Content Stream?: Speculations about the Future of Academic Meetings and Scholarly Communication
“Originally conceived as a roundtable that would have featured editors, vendors, and scholarly society staff, we had two panelists drop out at the last minute – a reminder, if we needed one, that the pandemic is still an ongoing threat to public health. The resulting discussion brought out exactly what makes SSP such an interesting meeting. We had a mix of nonprofit and for-profit publishers, librarians, entrepreneurs, and scholarly society leaders, all in the room and willing to engage in vigorous discussion and problem-solving about an emerging topic in scholarly publication.” – Dylan Ruediger, Ithaka S+R
Expanding Membership, Reach and Impact: Striking the Right Chord with Millennial and GenZ Researchers
“This left me with plenty to reflect on as we continue to innovate as a community throughout the publishing life cycle and pivot for the next generation of contributors and end users.” – Hannah Harwood, Taylor & Francis
It Takes a Scholarly Publishing Village
“My takeaway is that it’s up to all of us to solve the big and often difficult questions surrounding it. Collaboration and connection are key.” – Kate Lavallee, Oxford University Press
SSP Awards “Best Innovation” and Recognizes People’s Choice Poster Presentation
The SSP Previews Plenary, “New and Noteworthy Product Presentations,” offered attendees the chance to learn more about the industry’s newest and most innovative products, platforms, or content in back-to-back presentations and then select the “Best Innovation.” DataSeer received this year’s honor for their toolkit for open science, which includes Open Science Audits and High Fidelity Article Checks that use AI and NLP to promote research data sharing.
Additionally, SSP was pleased to offer educational posters as a new category of Annual Meeting presentations which provide an avenue to share additional content. The “People’s Choice Award” for posters was awarded to “Ten Simple Rules for Post-Pandemic Preprinting” by Michele Avissar-Whiting, Editor in Chief at Research Square Company. “Ten Simple Rules” reflects on Research Square’s learnings from more than 20 months of navigating rapid research dissemination in a global pandemic and presents a list of 10 best practices for authors preparing a preprint submission.
Recognizing Our Members for Outstanding Contributions
Several individuals were recognized during the Annual Meeting for their outstanding contributions to the field of scholarly publishing.
The SSP Appreciation Award was awarded to three members whose work has benefited SSP and the scholarly communication field over a short term (under three years):
- Yael Fitzpatrick, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- Dr. Haseeb Muhammad Irfanullah, Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh
- Jennifer Regala, American Urological Association
The Emerging Leader Award was presented to two SSP members who have demonstrated their potential through outstanding service and contributions to the scholarly communication field early in their careers:
- Ryan Farrell, American Gastroenterological Association
- Vanessa Fairhurst, Crossref
The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Adrian Stanley (General Manager of JMIR Publications) for his work on behalf of SSP and the field of scholarly communication over his career. Adrian has focused on leading scholarly publishers into new markets with new technologies and increased access to research materials. Whether as SSP President, Board member, committee chair, or just as a highly active community member, Adrian is known for his commitment to ensuring a diverse range of voices are heard and has long fostered a global vision for SSP.
SSP also recognized students and early-career professionals who received a highly competitive Fellowship in 2022:
- John Oluwaseye Adebayo, University of Ibadan, Centre for Economics and Finance Studies, Ibadan, Nigeria
- Saumya Gupta, University of Delhi
- Hannah Harwood, Taylor & Francis
- Kevin Jewett, The Journal of Pediatrics
- Rebecca Kitchin, The British Medical Journal
- Kristine Krebs, American Society for Microbiology
- Kate Lavallee, Wiley
- Eliana Munro, The American Society for Health Care Engineering of the American Hospital Association
- Jennie Pajerowski, AAAS/Science
- Dylan Ruediger, Ithaka S+R
- Lillian Wang Selonick, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
- Jenny Stein, American Institute of Physics Publishing
Additionally, our hard-working volunteers were recognized at breakfast in their honor, featuring a local jazz trio overlooking a beautiful view of the Chicago River.
Visiting the Exhibitor’s Marketplace
The opportunity for publishers and service providers to reconnect with our community is always a major draw. The anticipation for this year’s marketplace was only bolstered by the last two years. With over 50 exhibitors, the Exhibitor’s Marketplace was the hub for networking and catching up with friends and colleagues.
On Thursday, a surprise visit from several local therapy dogs drew attendees to the Exhibitors Marketplace. Many attendees also popped into the Headshot Studio to update their professional headshots.
“Our vendors are a vital element of both the industry and the meeting, and many commented that this year’s Marketplace was the best yet with an innovative layout and ample room for networking,” said SSP Industry Relations Manager Christina DeRose.
“SSP’s 2022 Annual Meeting meant reconnecting in person with friends, mentors, and clients, in a simultaneously familiar and strange setting. Chicago looked much the same as my last visit, but Sherman “Dilla” Thomas left me paying far more attention to the city every time I was outdoors. I learned from speakers with diverse opinions and lived experiences. I enjoyed the extra space in the exhibit hall and have now updated my social media profiles with an updated headshot. It was the return to SSP I wanted and needed.” – Anna Jester, eJournalPress
Looking Ahead to 2023
Plans for SSP’s 45th Annual Meeting are well underway. The Annual Meeting Programming Committee will begin exploring session ideas this month. It will announce the Call for Proposals in just a couple of months!
Save the Date!
SSP 45th Annual Meeting
May 31–Jun 2, 2023
Oregon Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Portland
Portland, Oregon, USA
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 regional events to hear the latest trends from respected colleagues and discuss common and mutual (and sometimes divergent) goals and viewpoints.
Contact Melanie Dolechek, Executive Director | email@example.com | 303-422-3914