Publishers' Seminar

Added by Michael Jubb on 03 June 2007 18:38

Along with well over a hundred others I attended on Friday an interesting ?Executive Seminar? run by Wiley-Blackwell. Under the title ?Opportunities and Challenges in Society Publishing, the seminar brought together an impressive range of representatives of UK learned societies (many but by no means all with journals published by Blackwell), journal editors and representatives of the publishing industry.

The focus was much wider than the title might have suggested, with interesting presentations from a variety of speakers ranging from Lord May (the former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government), on uses and abuses of citation counts, through David Shotton of the Bioinformatics Research Group at Oxford, on the publication of research data and especially those in the form of images, to Tim Bucknall, of the library at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, on the effects of the big deal on both libraries and scholarly publishers. The presentations were generally thought-provoking, and of high quality. It struck me that it would be well worthwhile to make them more widely available, though I do not know if there are any plans to do that.

The seminar was the second in a series initiated by Blackwell before it was acquired by Wiley, and more are planned. They are clearly in one sense part of the Wiley-Blackwell marketing strategy, intended to enhance relationships with societies and editors. But there was a refreshing openness in both the presentations and the discussions that followed. And in bringing together an impressive range of journal editors, the seminar achieved the kind of dialogue with the research community (at least, an important segment of it) which we in the RIN are trying hard to achieve ourselves.

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