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Peer Networks Program

The Problem

Do you ever feel like you’d like to get to know other SSP members better? The annual meeting is great, but it’s easy to feel lost, and not so easy to connect with a thousand people, even if you’ve been attending for years.

Would you…

  • rather discuss things in small groups than ask a question in front of a ballroom full of your peers?
  • like to explore a topic in depth with a small group of people?
  • enjoy examining views on controversial topics, but not in a public forum?
  • benefit from sharing your challenges and getting advice from others in similar situations?

The Solution

SSP is piloting a new Peer Networks Program. Peer Networks are small facilitated groups of SSP members organized to explore individual topics or bring together people from similar organization types or backgrounds or with common goals or challenges. Five Peer Network groups will launch in 2018 as a pilot to test this new program concept. The intention is to take the lessons learned from the pilot and create an ongoing, sustainable program. Assuming the pilot is successful, any SSP member will be able to apply to develop a group and act as its facilitator if there are a sufficient number of members interested in participating.

Who will be involved?

Each network will consist of a trained facilitator and 5-15 people, all of whom have expressed interested in the topic. Each peer network participant must be a current SSP member.

When will the pilot begin?

The pilot peer network groups will launch in April 2018 and continue until August 2018. We are accepting applications for the program through March 6. Members of each Peer Network will decide how frequently the group meets. We anticipate that most networks will convene monthly.

What topics or cohorts are available for the pilot?

The program will start with the following pilot groups:

Exploring New Markets: Brazil

If you are responsible for a publishing related company or society that dares exploring new markets, and Brazil is in your radar, than this group is definitely for you! Whether you already landed or are just willing to spread your wings, join peers and locals exchanging experiences of achievements, failures, challenges and cultural differences that will help you shortening gaps when doing business with this rapidly evolving “not-just-Portuguese-spoken” science (chatting about carnival and soccer allowed).

Facilitator: Alvaro Bussab, Caboverde Tecnologia e Servicos Ltd.

Equality in Scholarly Publishing: Explorations in Diversity

If 60 percent of the people employed in scholarly publishing are women, why do we continue to see all-male panels at conferences, upper management dominated by men, and a continuing wage gap between men and women? Our group will discuss the data available and still needed and strategies for the industry to do better. Participation from people of all gender identities is welcome.

Facilitator: Carol Anne Meyer, Aries Systems

Early Career

Early-career publishing professionals (defined as those within their first ten years in the industry) occupy a unique space within publishing. This peer group will offer a community via which those individuals can connect and discuss elements specific to publishing professionals early in their career, such as training, development, and growth.

Facilitator: Jamie Wielgus, Wiley

Small Organization Self Publishers

Small Organization Self Publishers work hard to offer their authors, subscribers, and external publics all the bells and whistles of the large publishers on a limited budget and often with limited staff. This peer group will offer a connection place for sharing tips, support, and best practices.

Facilitator: Traci S. Nolte, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

Book Publishers Unite!

Scholarly book publishers often have unique needs and issues that set them apart from journal publishing professionals. This peer group will be a general forum for book publishing professionals, covering a wide variety of topics such as state-of-the-industry, trends, digital platforms and eBooks, content management systems, metadata, author/editor management, and more.

Facilitator: Jeff Mahony, American Academy of Pediatrics

Where and how will peer network meetings be held?

Peer Network meetings can be held in any way that the members choose. We envision that most groups will primarily meet via conference call. SSP’s C3 community platform, will be available to peer networks to facilitate online discussion and exchanges. Access to this dedicated online community will be limited to group members and includes a discussion forum and library. If convenient, a Peer Network group may meet in person at an industry event or a local office or restaurant, (although there is no current intention for SSP to support in-person meetings either logistically or financially, meeting space may be available to reserve at the SSP Annual Meeting).

What resources are available from SSP to manage the groups?

SSP will provide training for each peer network facilitator to help ensure successful group interaction and positive group dynamics. Groups will be provided with templates and suggestions for establishing their rules of engagement as well as best practices for maintaining a productive and professional environment for the group. SSP can assist facilitators of new networks to recruit members through its various communication channels.

How can I participate and what are the requirements?

To participate in one of the pilot Peer Networks, simply apply online by March 6, 2018. If there is space available, you will be invited to join the network by the facilitator. You must be a SSP member in good standing to participate and agree to abide by the Code of Conduct for the program. There are no fees for participation in a pilot network. Pilot group participants will be required to provide an evaluation of the program at the conclusion of the pilot.

During your first meeting, members of the peer network will determine the scope of the group, and agree to meeting logistics including time and venue. They will also establish rules of engagement for the network. SSP will provide resources to guide the network with this process.

Where Do I Sign?

Sound good? Sign up to participate in a pilot peer network by March 6, 2018.

Not an SSP member yet?  Join Now! to be eligible to participate.

Please direct any questions to Melanie Dolechek.