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39th Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting 2017: Conference report (Part 2)

39th Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting 2017: Conference report (Part 2)

This is the second part of the two-part series where Sneha Kulkarni, Managing editor, Editage Insights, attended the 39th annual meeting of Society for Scholarly Publishing in Boston, USA, accompanied by Nikesh Gosalia, Director, Academic and Publisher Relations, Editage, and Donald Samulack, President, US Operations, Editage. This is Sneha's personal account of the three-day event. Please read the first part of her post. 

The next two days of the conference were as buzzing with sessions, networking breaks, and conversations as the first one. 

Day 2

The day’s sessions began with the keynote by Jeffrey Mervis, who is reporter and editor at Science magazine. His talk focused on one of the topics that is widely being discussed across the globe – Trump’s science policies and the impact of his appointment on the future of science. Jeffrey pointed out the inadequacies in Trump’s administration, such as the lack of interest in staffing up the working government. He also emphasized the need for academics to find ways to ensure responsible changes. The keynote was followed by a very interactive question and answer session with several participants discussing their views on how Trump could provide better opportunities to researchers. 

Soon after this, the day’s sessions began. I started off by attending the session Breaking free of the platform: Journals leveraging distributed web technology. The panelists comprised representatives of technology companies and not-for-profit initiatives such as eLife, TrendMD, Hypothes.is, Open Science Framework, Public Knowledge Project, and Collaborative Knowledge Foundation. They drew the attendees’ attention to how technology is changing the ways users are accessing content, which means that there is a need to explore new platforms that cater to the newer user needs.  

Following this interesting session was the talk I was looking forward to: Defining impact: Views from across the research ecosystem. The panelists discussed questions such as: What are important signals of impact? Which metrics matter when defining success for researchers, publishers, and other organizations across the research ecosystem? This was indeed a great session! The final session of the day was Meet the user (personas) in which I understood the importance of knowing your users and defining them through different personas. Interestingly, Deirdre Costello, Principal UX Researcher at EBSCO Information Services, who was one of the panelists, explained the personas using characters from the popular Harry Potter books!

Since the last activity for the day involved networking at the exhibitors marketplace, I headed to the Editage booth and engaged with everyone who stopped by to know more about our services and also about the survey results that Don presented the previous day. All in all, the second day was very fruitful! 

Day 3

The last day of the conference was relatively different because there were fewer sessions and more conversations! Having made close contacts with several participants, I was saddened that soon we’d have to say our goodbyes. I attended two great sessions that covered topics I am passionate about: Leveraging technology better in publishing to solve the reproducibility crisis and Who’s faster, a pirate or a librarian? Both sessions had expert panels that answered the many questions the attendees had. Have a look at the engaging discussions: 

After this, I headed to the most awaited session, which was A discussion with the Scholarly Kitchen chefs. To make things exciting, a lovely dessert course had been arranged and everyone had their fill before settling down for the closing plenary of the conference. I was overjoyed to see all the chefs on the stage ready to dish out their thoughts and perspectives on the themes presented throughout the conference. Touching upon the different challenges academia is dealing with, the panel discussed the changing roles of publishers, libraries, and research societies. When the floor was thrown open to questions, attendees both at the venue and those who were present virtually engaged the chefs with interesting questions and perspectives. 

With this session, the conference ended. What a memorable three days full of learning and insightful conversations! 

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