2020 Virtual Seminar: New Directions in Scholarly Publishing


New Directions in Scholarly Publishing: Community, Collaboration, and Crisis




10:00 am – 5:15 pm EDT September 30, 2020
10:00 am – 4:15 pm EDT October 1, 2020

The 2020 SSP New Directions Seminar in Scholarly Publishing will explore important new ways in which publishers and industry leaders can continue to support academic peer-reviewed research and the entire academic publishing ecosystem, especially in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

Scholarly publishing directly influences continued academic research, research funding, the validation of critical research, and the careers of academic researchers as we navigate a new normal. This seminar will present dynamic panel discussions, fireside chats, influential keynote speakers and more, with a focus on new ways to develop and support researchers and their institutions around the world. 

Dynamic and interactive sessions will allow for lively discussion and debate surrounding some of the most talked-about enterprises in the field—from the emerging use and policing of preprints, to the changing ways academic publishing is accomplished after a global pandemic forces us all to shift gears. 

The seminar will be an essential resource for all levels of academic publishing professionals, librarians, researchers, academicians, industry leaders, and corporate-level executives that work within the academic publishing arena, and will provide a necessary platform of solidarity as we move forward together to define and develop important new directions in scholarly publishing.   

Seminar Program

Day 1 – Wednesday, September 30, 2020


10:00 am EDT
Welcome and Opening Remarks

Melanie Dolechek, Executive Director, Society for Scholarly Publishing
Sophie Reisz, Vice President and Executive Editor, Mary Ann Liebert Publishing

10:15 am – 11:15 am EDT
Setting the Stage for New Directions: An Opening Discussion with the Chefs

A panel of Scholarly Kitchen Chefs kicks off the seminar with a lively discussion of how organizations are collaborating, communicating, and innovating, both internally and externally, during a time of change and uncertainty with no clear end in sight. Representing the views of a variety of stakeholders, the Chefs will explore how various organizations and institutions are supporting their workforces, furthering academic research, and addressing a number of emerging trends emerging in scholarly communications. Mindful of the opportunities as well as challenges arising from the “new normal,” they will also discuss how organizations can foster agility and resilience moving forward. Join us for this excellent introduction to the seminar and buckle up for an informative and meaningful program of talks ahead.

Moderator: Lettie Conrad, Publishing & Product Consultant, LYC Consulting
Haseeb Irfanullah, Independent Consultant - Environment, Climate Change, and Research System, Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh 
Judy Luther, President, Informed Strategies
Alice Meadows, Director of Community Engagement, NISO
Charlie Rapple, Co-Founder, Kudos 

11:30 am - 12:30 pm EDT
Navigating the “New Normal” of Academic Publishing
Segueing from the insights offered by the Chefs, this dynamic panel discussion will explore how the greater academic publishing community can constructively confront uncertainty in ways that ensure a more positive, inclusive future for our industry and our scientific communities. Speakers will offer useful new insights into how scholarly communications professionals can use this “new normal” to maximize opportunities across the ecosystem of academic publishing.

Moderator: Monica Hoh, Metadata Librarian II, Novelist
Alexa Colella,
Journals Marketing and Strategy Manager, University of Illinois Press
Simon Holt
, Publisher, Micro/Nanotechnologies & Reference Content Volume Strategy, Diversity and Inclusion Campaigner, Elsevier
Clair Irwin, Doctoral Student, MS, Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

12:45 pm - 1:45 pm EDT 
Cancelled, Postponed, Reimagined: New Directions in Participating in Academic Conferences

Academic conferences are a fundamental platform for communicating research, networking, revenue generation, and more. In the wake of a global health crisis, organizations have had to adapt, experimenting with virtual ways to meet, connect, and share. Our panelists will discuss the challenges and limitations that an online format brings, as well as some of the ways in which the pivot to virtual may change academic conferences for the better.

Moderator: Violaine Iglesias, CEO and Co-Founder, Cadmore Media
Nisha Doshi, Senior Digital Development Publisher, Cambridge University Press
Colleen Scollans, Practice Lead, Marketing and Digital Transformation, Clarke & Esposito
Charley Thompson, Head of Events, Bioscientifica

BREAK [~2 hrs]

4:00 pm EDT - 5:15 pm EDT 
Supporting Researchers, Not Just Their Research
As scholarly publishing professionals, we often ask ourselves what we can do to support our authors, editors, peer reviewers, and readers. These questions and considerations are at the forefront of our minds as we work towards navigating new directions in scholarly publishing. Panelists for this session will discuss the systemic and societal issues that challenge researchers, as well as how our industry can create bridges rather than barriers. 

Moderator: Jordana Schmierer, Graduate Student, Rochester University 
Koen Vermeir
, Research Professor, CNRS / Co-Chair, Global Young Academy / Editor-in-Chief, Centaurus
Adriana L. Romero-Olivares, Department of Biology, New Mexico State University
Jory Lerback, PhD candidate, Dept of Geology & Geophysics, University of Utah
R. Jason Heustis, Director of Student Development and Training Evaluation, Harvard Medical School 

Day 2 – Thursday, October 1, 2020


10:00 am EDT - 11:15 am EDT
Welcome and Keynote Address

A British geneticist and the first female editor-in-chief of Nature, Magdalena Skipper is a household name in the academic publishing community. In her keynote address, Magdalena will emphasize what she has noticed, understood, learned, and navigated as an editorial leader during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on new directions in academic publishing since the pandemic emerged and touching on the cultural discussions of diversity and inclusion currently taking place around the world.

Speaker: Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief, Nature

11:30 am - 1:00 pm EDT 
Preprints: Testing Science’s Need for Speed Limits

It’s more and more common these days to hear about preprints—on NPR, in the New York Times, or on the evening news. The general public, like researchers before them, is absorbing scientific and medical developments at record speed. But what are the risks and challenges that come with this speedy sharing of experimental results? Join our expert panel for a discussion about new initiatives and varied perspectives around preprints. How widely are researchers taking advantage of this new venue for sharing early results? How does this differ by discipline?

Each speaker will be introduced by a specially crafted scenario, designed to highlight a key theme. Through this activity, attendees have the opportunity to step into the shoes of researchers, peer reviewers, and editors, to tackle such topics as citing preprints, preprints in social sciences and humanities, and awareness of journal policies around preprints. With preprints seemingly playing a bigger role than ever before, familiarity with multiple perspectives is more important than ever.

Moderator: Heather Staines, Head of Partnerships at Knowledge Futures Group
Richard Sever
, Assistant Director, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Colin McAteer, Manager, Journals, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Iratxe Puebla, Associate Director, ASAPbio
Jon Gurstelle, Director of Publications, American Political Science Association 

[BREAK 2hrs]

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm EDT 
New Directions in Tools, Visibility, and Findability of Research

An engaging panel of experts will creatively present the tools and technology that will lead to new directions in academic publishing. Ranging from emerging Artificial Intelligence-based tools to Open Science Tools, preprint tools, and more, this team of panelists will discuss new ways of addressing current challenges faced by the industry.

Moderator: John Shaw, Chief Technology Officer, Sage Publishing

Speakers: Lettie Conrad, Publishing & Product Consultant, LYC Consulting
Ian Mulvany, Chief Technology Officer, BMJ
Stephen Rhind-Tutt, President, Coherent Digital
Nancy Roberts, Founder and CEO, Umbrella Analytics


Early registration deadline is August 31, 2020

Individual Registration (Single viewer via single login) $199 $250 $225 $275
Librarian/Student/Researcher/Funder Registration (Single viewer via single login) $120 $140 $135 $160
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Event Sponsors: 


Sponsorship opportunities available. Contact Christina DeRose at [email protected].

Event cancellation policy: 

Cancellations received in writing two weeks before the event will be issued a refund less a $30 processing fee. No refunds will be processed for cancellations less than two weeks before the event. SSP encourages you to send a substitute in your place if you cannot attend. SSP reserves the right to cancel any program or session. In the unlikely event of cancellations, SSP will refund registration fees, but is not responsible for any costs, damages, or other expenses of any kind, including and without limitation, transportation and/or hotel costs incurred by registrant. Speakers are subject to change without notice.


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9/30/2020 - 10/1/2020
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