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New Directions in Scholarly Publishing: Creating the New Possible: Shaping the Future from Lessons Learned

SSP’s 2022 New Directions Seminar gathered experts in the field to review the latest developments and innovations in our industry and discuss how we can collectively take the best of what we’ve learned over the past few years into the future. 

Featured presentations highlighted the advancement of new ideas, technologies, and collaborations that are currently shaping the future of academic publishing, including new directions in open access; new agreements and collaborations that could change the course of research and research funding; ethics in peer review; new technologies in scholarly publishing and the importance of adapting to a data-driven future; and much more. Topics were presented by a diverse and passionate group of speakers from academia, scholarly publishers, librarians, and industry service providers.

The New Directions Seminar should be viewed by anyone eager to learn more about the new technologies, policies, global movements, and negotiations that are shaping the future of academic publishing. Watch any session below for free in our OnDemand library.

Seminar Program

Keynote: New Directions for Leadership

Over the past few years, a pandemic, increased social and political unrest, and economic somersaults have reverberated through the workforce. These events and others have triggered a change in what it means to lead in today’s environment. Demands for better equity, accessibility, inclusion, and belonging practices mean that many leaders in various industry sectors have had to step up in unprecedented ways and shift their perspectives. We will discuss how leadership has had to pivot and grow in the face of global challenges. In the course of the discussion, we’ll touch on the definition of leadership, whom we view as leaders, and how diverse leadership styles and skills can affect various communities in the workforce. Please feel free to bring your questions and perspectives to an interactive conversation on this crucial topic.

Rajendrani (Raj) Mukhopadhyay, PhD, Vice President, Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect, American Chemical Society

New Directions in Career Development

The pandemic forced our industry to take a new direction almost overnight with the immediate transition to working from home. What was initially an interesting experiment turned into the establishment of possibly permanent virtual corporate cultures around the world. This swift transition in work culture definitely has its benefits; however, it might have left some feeling somewhat confused as to the future development of their careers. Without an office, how is productivity measured, and how does one continue to advance in their professional role? And, most importantly, how can we continue to support each other, our colleagues, our direct reports, and our supervisors as we strive to develop and grow as professionals? Speakers will address all of these questions and more as they explore early-, mid-, and advanced-career opportunities in a virtual and hybrid working environment.  

Moderator: Lauren Kane, CEO, BioOne


Lily Garcia Walton, Chief People Officer, Silverchair
Stacey Burke, Director of Publishing Marketing & Sales, American Physiological Society
Allison Belan, Director for Strategic Innovation and Services, Duke University Press

New Directions in Open Access: Welcome to the “5-Minute Open Access University”

This session takes a creative and fun educational approach to OA,  breaking down everything you need to know into bite-sized components for anyone in scholarly publishing who wants to keep track of the latest implications and permutations of open access models. Numerous perspectives will be characterized as courses an OA student might progress through in their ongoing curriculum: 

    • History 101: How Did We Get Here: Milestones (Heather Staines, Senior Consultant, Delta Think)
    • Geology 201: Metals and Gemstones (Maridath Wilson, Head of Scholarly Resources, Boston University)
    • Sociology 301: Equity in the Global Content Arena (Sara Rouhi, Director of Strategic Partnerships, PLOS
    • Biology 400: Symbiotic Transformations (Moriana Molchanov Garcia, Scholarly Communications Librarian, University of Rochester)
    • Business 502 (graduate-level only): Licenses and Other Legalities (Sarah Forzetting, Associate Director, Acquisitions and Collections Services, Stanford University) 
    • Environmental Sciences 600 / Capstone Project: Sustainable OA: A Case Study (Bill Moran, Publisher, AAAS/Science)

New Directions in Publisher Collaborations and Access to Content

The complexities of operating in today’s scholarly communication marketplace require finding new ways to work together to achieve more than each of us can do alone. Publishers are banding together to deliver content, achieve and maintain sustainability, and meet mission-driven objectives. This session brings together publishers finding new paths through synergy in their disciplines and alignment of their models, to serve audiences in ways not possible before.

Moderator: Heather Staines, Senior Consultant, Delta Think

Ralph Youngen
, Senior Director, Digital Strategy and Business Integration, American Chemical Society
Andrea Lopez, Director of Sales, Partnerships, and Initiatives, Annual Reviews
Allison Belan, Director for Strategic Innovation and Services, Duke University Press

New Directions in Peer Review

Responsible and rigorous peer review is critical to the academic publishing process. Over the past two years, researchers have not only faced a global pandemic, but have also had to manage an overwhelming flood of requests to review manuscripts. The pandemic has left the already-strained peer review system in a state of burnout. Editors, publishers, and researchers continuously ask themselves: How can we improve, and yet simplify, this essential process? What can we do to support researchers and peer reviewers in sustainable and equitable ways? Join us in this dynamic conversation as speakers discuss how all stakeholders can strike the right balance between streamlining peer review to deal with increasing research output and ensuring that it is thorough enough to uncover critical issues and ethical problems. Strategies for how the academic publishing community can protect and support this essential workflow will also be explored. 

Moderator: Ben Mudrak, Senior Product Manager, ChemRxiv

Yael Fitzpatrick
, Editorial Ethics Manager, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
John P. Fisher, Fischell Family Distinguished Professor and Department Chair, University of Maryland
Paige Wooden, Senior Program Manager, Publication Statistics, American Geophysical Union (AGU)

New Directions in Tech

Back by popular demand, this session will feature an engaging panel exploring the tools and technology anticipated to drive the field forward. Ranging from emerging open science tools, artificial intelligence-based technologies, findability resources, and more, speakers will cover a variety of technological advances that are contributing to the growth and development of our industry. 

Moderator: Jeff Lang, Director, Platform Development, American Chemical Society

Anita Bandrowski, PhD,  CEO, SciCrunch
James Harwood, Founder, Penelope.ai
Leslie McIntosh, CEO, Ripeta

New Directions in Data and Scholarly Publishing

Just as new directions in leadership have changed the way organizations have thought about their activities, cultures, and policies, new directions in data have done the same. While many organizations have used data to track the success of usage, sales, and other activities, this panel will outline some actionable ways to blend quantitative and qualitative data to foster innovation. In this session, our panelists will discuss the ways organizations can use internal data to improve workflows and staff experience, how we can use data to better inform the impact of our outputs and activities, and how data can help us understand our stakeholders’ decision-making process and motivations.

Rebecca McLeod
, Managing Director, Harvard Data Science Review
Christina Drummond, Executive Director, OA eBook Data Usage Trust
Dylan Ruediger, Senior Analyst, ITHAKA S+R
Lillian Wang Selonick, Assistant Managing Editor, Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences