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APE | Pre-Conference (2019)

Bringing Value in Academic Publishing: Practical Solutions for Thriving in a Changing Environment

In conjunction with APE 2019 | Academic Publishing in Europe
Platforms or Pipelines? Where is the Value in Scholarly Communications?

14 January 2019

Hotel NH Collection Berlin Mitte at Checkpoint Charlie
Leipziger Strasse 106 -111
10117 BERLIN, Germany

The Society for Scholarly Publishing is delighted to be collaborating again with the Academic Publishing in Europe conference on a Pre-Conference day that will explore the theme of Bringing Value in Academic Publishing: Practical Solutions for Thriving in a Changing Environment. Building on the question “Where is the value in academic publishing?,” the SSP Pre-Conference will focus on the methods and tools that academic publishers need to cultivate to successfully meet the challenges posed by ongoing disruption in the scholarly communications ecosystem. How do we keep innovating? How do we ensure our innovative solutions meet the needs of stakeholders in the academic publishing space? We will explore the needs of the main/traditional actors, and those of less-recognized stakeholders whose perspectives are now rightly receiving more attention.

Please join us!

Register at: http://www.ape2019.eu/registration


9:00      Doors open/sign-in (coffee, tea)
10:00    Welcome and Introductory Remarks
10:05    Keynote address: What a Difference a Decade Makes: Digital Innovation at SAGE

What does it take to set up an organization for innovation? How do you decide which opportunities to pursue? Martha Sedgwick, Vice President, Product Innovation at SAGE Publishing will share lessons learned from the journey of online innovation at SAGE, from variations on existing platforms to launching new types of content, to expanding into new technologies with big data and technologies for teaching and learning.


Martha Sedgwick, Vice President, Product Innovation at SAGE Publishing

11:00    Morning break (coffee/tea)
11:15    Panel Discussion: Overcoming Blind Spots: Keeping Our Perspectives Open

Different users and different organizations have different needs. At the same time, ensuring we serve the specific needs (e.g. access difficulties) of some users is beneficial for all. How can we put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our practice, so that no-one is overlooked? Our speakers will address specific needs from a variety of perspectives (e.g. users with disabilities, researchers, librarians, and publishers in emerging economies) and suggest how we can establish practices to take these into account.


Stephanie Decouvelaere, Product Manager, SAGE Publishing


  • Anne Powell, INASP
  • Koen Vermeir, Member, Global Young Academy and Associate Research Professor at the French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • Philip Shaw, Executive Managing Editor, SAGE Publishing
  • Bill Kasdorf, Principal, Kasdorf & Associates, LLC

12:30    Lunch & Networking
14:00    Workshops: Identifying User Problems and Value-Driven Solutions

To bring value to scholarly publishing, our offerings and solutions must meet a need and solve a problem. There are many product development tools to help organizations identify problems to solve and validate the usefulness of a solution, while keeping the user at the centre. Attendees will select from current, impactful topics in scholarly communications and use a value proposition canvas to identify user problems and explore potential solutions.


Peer review
Moderator: Alice Meadows, Director of Communications, ORCID
Online user experience and accessibility
Moderator: Bill Kasdorf, Principal, Kasdorf & Associates, LLC
Editorial and production processes
Moderator: Lauren Kane, Chief Strategy and Operating Officer, BioOne
Search and discovery
Moderator: Vanessa Fairhurst, Community Outreach Manager, Crossref
Publishing ethics
Moderator: Angela Cochran, Associate Publisher and Journals Director for the American Society of Civil Engineers
Research data management and Open Data
Moderator: Heather Staines, Director Business Development, Hypothes.is
Moderator: Stephanie Decouvelaere, Product Manager, SAGE Publishing
Plan S compliance
Moderator: Ann Michael, CEO, Delta Think

Accessibility and access control
Moderator: Greg Suprock , Head of Solutions Architecture, Apex CoVantage


15:30    Afternoon break (coffee/tea)

15:45    Panel Discussion: Case Studies: Developing Solutions Grounded in User Needs

How do we ensure our innovative solutions meet the needs of stakeholders in the academic publishing space? And what does this process look like in different organizations? Our speakers will present the processes they used to develop new offerings to meet today’s challenges and share how they keep the user front-and-centre.


Heather Staines, Director Business Development, Hypothes.is


  • Vanessa Fairhurst, Community Outreach Manager, Crossref  
  • Sara Grimme, Director, Strategic Accounts, Digital Science
  • Jason Colman, Director of Michigan Publishing Services, University of Michigan Library

17:00    Closing Remarks/Adjourn

Pricing Information

SSP Pre-Conference Fee   € 220.00*
For Members: SSP Pre-Conference Fee   € 165.00*
Complete 3-Day Package   € 950,00*
For Members: Complete 3-Day Package   € 700,00*
APE 2019 Conference Dinner   € 98.00*

Special Academic Rates and Group Rates for Sponsors are available. For more information, contact: Arnoud de Kemp at dekemp@ape2019.eu.

*(including lunches, coffee, tea & snacks)
*Please note, by German law we have to levy 19% Value Added Tax (VAT) for all conference activities

Hotel Room Reservation

We recommend the renovated hotel NH Collection Berlin Mitte at Checkpoint Charlie. This hotel has been completely renovated and is conveniently located.

Hotel NH Collection Berlin Mitte at Checkpoint Charlie,

Leipziger Strasse 106-111, 10117 BERLIN, Germany

Room Rates (incl. Breakfast and 19% VAT. Please note: a City Tax will be added on booking but cancelled at Check-out.): Single Room € 129,00

Please reserve directly using this link www.nh-hotels.com/event/ape-2019-

Speaker Biographies

Martha Sedgwick, Vice President, Product Innovation, SAGE Publishing. 

As Vice President for Product Innovation, Martha oversees the product development group working on SAGE’s library products and SAGE’s innovations in research methods. 

Joining SAGE in 2008, Martha has been a key member of SAGE’s team spearheading SAGE’s new product launches and strategic expansion into technologies for learning and research. New products include SAGE Research Methods, SAGE Video and SAGE Stats, as well as the acquisition of Talis Ltd and technology start-up Lean Library. Martha alsooversees the roadmaps for SAGE’s major platforms including SAGE Journals and SAGE Knowledge. 

She is currently leading an enterprise to develop digital products and services that respond to new methodological challenges facing social scientists in a world of big data through SAGE’s newly developed initiative SAGE Ocean.

Martha can be followed on Twitter @coffeepot.

Vanessa Fairhurst, Crossref. Vanessa Fairhurst joined Crossref as the International Community Outreach Manager, part of the Member & Community Outreach team, in June 2017 and is based in Oxford. She previously worked at International Development charity, INASP, with a focus on access to scholarly information and research in developing countries. Having lived and worked both in Asia and Europe, Vanessa has always enjoyed working cross-culturally, with a diverse network of people.

Sara Grimme, Director, Strategic Accounts, Digital Science. Prior to joining Digital Science last year, Sara was Publishing and Product director at Elsevier, and launched Elsevier’s open access mega journal, Heliyon. Before joining Elsevier Sara worked for Nature Publishing Group, launching and running the open access journal Scientific Reports.



Philip Shaw, Executive Managing Editor, SAGE Publishing. Philip has worked in publishing for over 20 years, including almost 10 at SAGE, where he is responsible for the Therapeutic Advances series and for leading a team launching and developing new open access journal titles, primarily in clinical medicine. Prior to SAGE he worked in books publishing and in medical communications agencies. He has a keen interest in issues relating to diversity and inclusion, and has led SAGE’s working group with a remit covering recruitment practices and policies as they relate to the company’s ambitious diversity aspirations.

Bill Kasdorf, Principal of Kasdorf & Associates, LLC. Bill Kasdorf, kasdorf.bill@gmail.com, is Principal of Kasdorf & Associates, LLC, a publishing technology consultancy focusing on accessibility, XML/HTML/EPUB modeling, information infrastructure, editorial and production workflows, and standards alignment to future proof content and systems. He is a founding partner of Publishing Technology Partners. Past President of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), Bill is a recipient of SSP’s Distinguished Service Award, the IDEAlliance/DEER Luminaire Award, and the Book Industry Study Group’s Industry Champion Award.

Active in many standards initiatives, Bill serves on the Steering Committee of the W3C Publishing Business Group and is a member of the W3C Publishing Working Group developing the next generation of Web Publications and EPUB. He is a member of the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), which governs many standards for image and video metadata as well as rights metadata and other standards for the news industry, and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), which is publishes resources for the book industry, with a special focus on accessibility and EPUB implementation. He is also a member of ABC, the Accessible Books Consortium, an activity of WIPO.

Bill has led seminars, written articles, and spoken widely for publishing industry organizations such as SSP, O’Reilly TOC, NISO, BISG, IDPF, IPTC, DBW, AAP, AAUP, ALPSP, STM, ALA, Publishing Business, Seybold Seminars, and the Library of Congress. He is the General Editor of the Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing. Most recently, he is the author of the chapter on EPUB metadata and packaging for O’Reilly’s EPUB 3 Best Practices and the chapter on EPUB in the book The Critical Component: Standards in Information Distribution, published by the American Library Association in collaboration with NISO. He serves on the editorial boards of Learned Publishing and the Journal of Electronic Publishing.

In his consulting practice, Bill has served clients globally, including large international publishers such as Pearson, Cengage, Wolters Kluwer, Kaplan, and Sage; scholarly presses and societies such as Harvard, MIT, Toronto, Taylor & Francis, Cambridge, ASME, and IEEE; aggregators such as VitalSource; and global publishing and library organizations such as the World Bank, the British Library, the Asian Development Bank, OCLC, and the European Union. .

Koen Vermeir, Global Young Academy. Koen Vermeir is a Research Professor (CR1) at the French National Center for Scientific Research, Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Centaurus and member of the Executive Council of the European Society for the History of Science. A physicist turned historian and philosopher of science, he is interested in the nexus between science, publishing and public policy. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Young Academy (GYA), where he drives societal and policy changes related to the sciences. He has led several working groups, including those on Open Science and Science Advice. He regularly advises the European Commission, the UN and international science agencies and recently spoke at ESOF, NAS and UNESCO.

Anne Powell, INASP. Anne’s work has focused on developing strategic partnerships, helping library consortia secure their places in national research systems. She works with partners to supply and critically evaluate information and published evidence. Anne holds a Master’s degree in library science (University of British Columbia) and, prior to joining INASP, worked as a librarian and library educator in Zimbabwe for 21 years.



Jason Colman, Michigan Publishing. Jason is Senior Associate Librarian and Director of Publishing Services at Michigan Publishing, the Library division that also includes the University of Michigan Press and the Deep Blue repository. His department is home to about 30 open access journals and publishes about 15 books per year across a wide range of disciplines. It is also the digital home for Lever Press, ACLS Humanities e-Book, and other partners on the Fulcrum platform, which is being developed with funding from the Mellon Foundation.