Tag Archives: Q&A

Industry Spotlight: E-learning, Educational and Academic

 

Welcome to Atwood Tate’s industry spotlight series, where we go behind the scenes of each of our recruitment desks to give you the scoop on working with Atwood Tate. Our next entry is with our  fantastic editorial desk, manned by Christina Dimitriadi and Charlotte Tope.

Introduction

Welcome to the busy Editorial Desk where Christina, our Senior Recruitment Consultant and recent addition Charlotte, man the editorial fort. We look after all of the editorial roles that come in, for the Educational, E-learning, Assessment & Testing, Academic, Professional and Trade sectors in London and East Anglia. Pretty much all sectors minus STM, which our lovely consultant Clare Chan takes care off, and B2B which you read about in our last desk spotlight blog (if you missed it you can check it out here).

Today, we are going to focus on the Educational, E-learning and Academic sectors, tell you more about what they are, how they differ and what roles we cover. In a future post we will cover trade and the professional sectors.

Educational Publishing

Educational Publishing is one of the largest sectors of publishing in the UK and it covers the whole spectrum, from curriculum publishers for primary and secondary schools to higher education publishers for university level. Educational publishing is dedicated to the creation and publication of textbooks and curriculum material for schools and higher education institutions. This includes the development of any additional content needed to support the course; such as workbooks, digital software, interactive websites and teacher’s guides. We work with candidates from their first roles up to the latest stages of their career development and positions you will be seeing advertised will range including Editorial Assistants, Project Editors, Commissioning Editors, Managing Editors, Product Managers, Heads of Editorial Content and Publishers.

ELT

A growing division of educational publishing is ELT which stands for English Language Teaching and focuses on the development of print and digital resources for students learning English as a second language. This can be primary school students up to adults learning English for professional or academic purposes. For positions in the ELT editorial sector we will be usually looking for candidates with an excellent command of the English language, very strong editorial skills, and some ELT teaching experience. People coming from a teaching background have a very valuable insight of knowing first-hand which products do or don’t work in the classroom. Any relevant ELT qualification can also be an advantage, such as CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

E-Learning, Assessment and Testing

We also work with a range of publishers and providers of online courses for teaching, research, studying and assessment. This is an exciting aspect of educational publishing that has been rapidly expanding in the digital age and we are seeing more products moving away from the traditional text heavy books or paper products to new and innovative forms of online learning content, interactive courses, modules and assessments. The jobs we cover here would range from traditional editorial roles to Digital Content Developers, Instructional Designers and Product Managers. Our candidates will usually have a solid print or digital publishing or ed-tech background and they would focus on the technical development of the product/course, for example its usability and performance as an educational resource.

Academic Publishing

Academic publishing is intended to communicate the latest research and developments to the academic community. We work with a rage of smaller and larger publishers and societies who publish scholarly journals, books, eBooks, text books and reference works for researchers, students and academic libraries. It is common for universities and museums to publish academic books, aimed particularly at academics and we also work with academic associations, who share information with their members or the public. Depending on the discipline, academic publishing can be split into two sectors, humanities and social sciences (HSS) and scientific, technical and medical (STM). A common term you will hear when applying for academic journals roles is the peer review process, which is a procedure of reviewing and evaluating the quality and validity of articles prior to publication. You can read more about the process here and on the websites of the majority of academic publishers. Common roles you will see us looking for are Editorial Assistants, Publications Editors, Commissioning Editors and Publishers.

 

We hope this blog gives you a good idea of the sectors we work within and what roles we cover. More desk spotlights are scheduled to come so do keep an eye on our website. For more information on editorial roles in educational, e-learning and academic publishing feel free to contact Christina at christina@atwoodtate.co.uk or Charlotte and charlottetope@atwoodtate.co.uk.

Atwood Tate recruits across all levels and all functions so if you are looking for a new role in publishing please get in touch with us at info@atwoodtate.co.uk. We also have a very active temps and freelance desk so of you are open to short term contracts or are looking to boost your freelance career, you can reach Alison at alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk.

 

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Julie Irigaray

 

If you could write ‘THE Book’ on something, the definitive how-to-guide on any subject, which topic would you choose?

After living in four different countries, I’d love to write a book on living abroad and learning a new language. I’ve learned a lot from these experiences as we often don’t realise how our vision of the world is limited by our culture.

What three books changed your life?

Le coeur cousu (translated as The Threads of the Heart) by Carole Martinez. I offered this book to at least ten people because the story and the language are mesmerizing. Set in 19th century Andalusia, this novel is about a family of women with supernatural powers who struggle to remain free in an oppressive environment. The language is so superior to any book I’ve read that it discouraged me from writing in French! During my studies, I chose to translate a very difficult passage into English and I told the author at the Paris Book Fair that she was a nightmare to translate. She apologised and signed my copy: “Thank you for giving flesh to my paper characters in English”!

East Wind, West Wind by Pearl Buck. My mum tried to make me read this author for years so I reluctantly started. I ended up reading it in seven hours non-stop. The narrator is a woman in early 20th century China whose brother marries an American woman and whose husband rejects Chinese traditions. This novel deals with a country which struggles to keep its traditions at the time of great political changes. The theme of cultural differences could only appeal to me!

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri. The author describes her obsession for the Italian language and culture and her journey to become not only fluent in Italian, but to write too. Reading this book was a very disturbing experience as she raised important points which echoed my life: why is someone fascinated by a specific language and culture? Why do some writers choose to abandon their mother tongue? Are they rejecting their own culture by doing so? I still haven’t found answers to these questions.

What has been the highlights of the year?

Graduating and leaving Ireland, moving back to Paris (without finding a job) before arriving in London (where I have found a job)! I always wanted to come back to the UK, so I attended The London Book Fair and seized the opportunity to meet the Atwood Tate team. The rest is history…

If you were the embodiment of a publishing business model what animal would you be and why?

Despite their bad reputation, I’ve always admired foxes (all the more since two of them are wandering around my place every night)! I think every business needs cunning to succeed. I like long-term plans, anticipating the next five years and developing strategies. I also love informing myself about what competitors do (that’s for the crafty part!)

Who would you invite (and why) to your fantasy literary dinner?

Without any surprise I’d do a remake of “the Dead Poets Society” by inviting:

  • Arthur Rimbaud – because he made me want to become a poet
  • Federico Garcia Lorca – because of his humanism, his melancholic tone and the gorgeous imagery of his poems
  • John Keats – for his rich and sensual language
  • Sylvia Plath – for the distinctive voice and rhythm of her poems, the fact that she mastered her craft so well and her complex symbolism.

On a more cheerful tone, all my favourite novelists are alive, and I even had the chance to meet some of them! I’d invite Elif Shafak, Carole Martinez, Jeffrey Eugenides, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt and Zadie Smith – I saw her in a restaurant but didn’t dare interrupting her dinner…

Bonus question: Give us one random fact about yourself. 

After living in an attic in Paris and a micro-studio in London, I moved (for cheaper!) to a Renaissance palazzo in Bologna. The wheel of fortune may turn again…

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Industry Spotlight: B2B

Welcome to Atwood Tate’s industry spotlight series, where we go behind the scenes of each of our recruitment desks to give you the scoop on working with Atwood Tate. Our next entry is with our  fantastic B2B desk, manned by Karine Nicpon and Julie Irigaray.  Karine and Julie help match B2B clients and candidates across the country, with a variety of roles across a range of business sectors.

What is B2B publishing?

B2B or business-to-business publications are industry focussed and aimed at people in work. They are also called ‘professional’ or ‘trade’ journals (which are different from academic journals, don’t get confused!). An example would be The Bookseller or InPublishing: both are B2B magazines aimed at the publishing industry. There are as many B2B publishing sectors as there are job industries. You will find business publications for lawyers and finance professionals, but also construction workers, nurses, farmers, the list goes on. B2B readerships can be ‘vertical’ (publication is aimed at a specific industry, such as lawyers) or ‘horizontal’ (the audience is spread over many industries, such as PAs). These titles can be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly etc. in print and/or digital. A lot of B2B publishers also run conferences and events aimed at the industries they cover. Some publishing groups publish both B2B and B2C magazines.

What is the difference between a B2B and a B2C publication?

B2B is aimed at people in a professional capacity whilst B2C publications are consumer magazines made to entertain/inform in a more general capacity (such as fashion magazines or TV listings) or consumer specialist titles about a special interest/hobby (e.g. music, cookery, photography). We need to differentiate these two sectors from customer publishers/content marketing agencies who produce content aimed at customers on behalf of a specific company. Examples include free inflight magazines or supermarket magazines. Some customer publishers have become more specialised and produce print and digital content on behalf of businesses, charities, educational or professional bodies, who might not have an in-house publishing team.

What publishing sectors does Atwood Tate cover?

Atwood Tate is a specialist publishing recruitment agency. We work with publishers across a number of sectors from consumer books (fiction/non-fiction), educational and academic publishing to STM (scientific, technical and medical) publishing.

On the magazine side of things, we mainly focus on B2B publishing and events and also work with information providers. We sometimes do have vacancies across customer/contract publishing as some of our clients do both B2B and custom publishing. But we rarely represent consumer-only publishers, unless their publications are niche/specialist magazines, which we find have a lot of similarities with B2B publishing in terms of skills required to fit a role.

Does B2B publishing automatically mean finance or legal publishing?

Not at all! As mentioned above, B2B publishing can cover any industry. We very often do have roles in financial publishing but we also partner with clients producing content for retail or marketing professionals, GPs, lawyers, optometrists, etc. If you chose to work in B2B publishing, you could end up covering any subject; the possibilities are endless!

What roles can Atwood Tate help with in B2B publishing?

We recruit across all publishing functions from content creation (reporter, features writer, news editor, copy-editor/sub-editor, managing editor, etc.) to production (designer, production editor, production manager) and sales, events or marketing roles. We also have more specialised roles such as market/price reporters or data journalists. And we can even help with IT roles as we have an IT consultant! We recruit for permanent and contract or temp/freelance roles.

For more information about B2B publishing, feel free to contact Karine  at karinenicpon@atwoodtate.co.uk or Julie at JulieIrigaray@atwoodtate.co.uk. For B2B temp/freelance roles, please contact Kellie Millar  at kelliemillar@atwoodtate,co.uk

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Clare Chan

 

What three books changed your life?

There is definitely one book that changed my life – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I read when I was 14.  It was quite a mature read then, but it changed my perspective on my daily life and focus.  I read this book in Chinese, probably time to read the English version now.

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

A lot of things happened in 2017 – got my first publishing job in the UK, meet different book buyers in the UK, travelled to Croatia and camped on the beach for the first time, flew back to Hong Kong twice…  It was a fab year!

What are you most looking forward to in the second half of 2018?

I have just joined a gym for the first time in my life; I used to swim a lot in public pools but never signed up for a gym membership.  They even have a rock climbing wall there – will see how it go!

What is on your Birthday wish list?

Time flies – my birthday is coming in less than a month.  My first wish is I will have that magic door from Doraemon (a Japanese comic character) that allows me to travel between two places just through a door so I can always see my family in Hong Kong.  My second wish is I will finally learn how to drive.

If you were the living embodiment of a publishing business model what animal would you be and why?

I would happily be a robin bird.  First, it is my favourite bird, and I love to sing too!  Secondly, they are very observant and adaptable.  I enjoy talking to different people and learn what’s new in the publishing world.  I also love to learn new skills because there is always something around the corner!

True fact:

I probably got this from my dad, but I love watching car racing.  I used to go to Macau every year to watch Grand Prix with my dad.

 

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants covers, go to the “Meet the Team” page: http://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/Atwood/meet-the-team.asp

 

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5 Great Reasons to Work in Academic Publishing

Today marks the end of Academic Book Week 2018 (#AcBookWeek), which is ‘a week-long celebration of the diversity, variety and influence of academic books aiming to open up a dialogue between the makers, providers and readers of academic books.’

Academic publishers produce and sell scholarly journals, books, eBooks, text books and reference works for researchers, students and academic libraries. We work with a lot of academic publishers on a variety of roles, from Editors to Marketing gurus to Production Controllers to Salespeople, in permanent, temporary and freelance positions. It’s an exciting and rewarding industry to be in, and here’s why:

  1. You work on cutting-edge research from top academics. The articles and books you publish will help teach new generations of students, and may even revolutionise the field. You could even publish work on sociology and politics which helps to shape public policy. If you’re looking for a rewarding career that makes a difference, academic publishing could be for you.
  2. Use your strong academic background in a related field. Your humanities or arts degree or postgraduate degree will be invaluable in an editorial role in academic publishing, so you can continue working on the subjects you love. (N.b. you do NOT need a PhD to work in academic publishing, but it is an advantage in some areas. A keen interest in the subject area is essential.)
  3. In a world of fake news and the devaluation of experts, be part of an industry which values intellectual rigour and research integrity through peer review processes.
  4. Be at the centre of exciting debates and advances in the industry. Join the debate on Open-Access or be at the forefront of technological advances in academic materials and e-learning. If you’re into tech and finding new ways of engaging digitally-savvy audiences, academic publishing is an exciting place to be.
  5. While it’s not all about the money, the salaries are often higher in academic publishing than in other sectors like trade.

So what’s your favourite thing about working in academic publishing?

For more information about what academic publishing is and how you can get into it, see our blog posts here and here.

To see our current academic vacancies, click here.

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Kayleigh Pullinger: Interview with a Book Designer

This is an interview with Kayleigh Pullinger, Designer at emc design. emc design is the largest design agency dedicated to book publishing in the UK. Kayleigh joined emc in 2017 after earning her designer’s stripes in the big city. Although new to book design, she is excited to learn new skills and over the moon that she can now spend more time with her lopsided pet rabbit (Bobbity) instead of commuting.

1) How did you start your career? And do you have any tips for people wanting to cross over from graphic to book design?

My first job was working as an in-house designer for a charity, followed by two jobs working for design agencies with clients varying from independent start-ups to big FTSE100 corporates.

My tips to those who’d like to cross over from graphic design to book design would be to familiarise yourself with inDesign as much as possible, and brush up on your basic Photoshop skills. Knowing the software that you’ll use day in day out will speed you up and free some headspace for getting creative with the realia (realia is the term used for images on the page, used to illustrate a language learning point). Start looking at the world around you, which, as designers, you probably do anyway. Take notice of how websites work, what makes an online article look different to one in a magazine? Study the pizza menu next time you’re out and about and make a mental note of how the menu is designed. All these little things help in really unexpected places.

2) What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your job?

My favourite part of my job is definitely styling realia, closely followed by a good stint of text formatting. I love how quickly you can go from a completely unstyled page of text to something visually engaging. I have to say that my least favourite part of my job is checking my own proofs, as I’m terrified of missing a big blunder.

3) If you could travel five years back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t panic if what you’re doing feels unfulfilling at the time, it’s all a learning curve, and eventually you’ll end up doing something that engages you properly. Take your time over every job, no matter how small. Get off the internet and go out into the world more, to museums and galleries and concerts and even just down the road.

4) Who do you admire and why?

Jessica Hische is my hero. She’s a lettering artist and illustrator, which is a far cry from what I do, but her career path and drive inspire me. She also keeps a lot of personal projects on the boil, which I think really helps keeps your creative cogs oiled. Oh, and she can code too!

5) Will you be at London Book Fair and if so, what are you most looking forward to? 

I won’t be personally this year, but some of my emc design colleagues are going down, so feel free to say hello to John and Ben.

Bonus Q: What book characters would you invite to your fantasy literary dinner party?

Being a child of the Harry Potter generation, I’m definitely inviting Albus Dumbledore, Luna Lovegood and Dobby. Let’s also throw in Anne Elliot, Lyra and  Marvin the Paranoid Android to mix it up a bit.

Thanks Kayleigh for taking the time to answer our questions! You’ve made me want to try my hand at book design now…

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Is a Publishing MA right for me?

A Publishing MA can be a big boost to your CV, due to the technical and theoretical knowledge it can give you, as well as the practical work experience you will gain. It is by no means a prerequisite for a job in publishing, but it can help when you enter an over-saturated job market. However, it’s not for everyone and lots of people get into the industry via other means, such as internships and work experience. Before you apply, you should consider whether the course is right for you.

What universities offer a Publishing MA course?

Some universities which offer the course include:

Things to consider

Cost

Fees vary between universities, but are usually around £6,000-£10,000. You will also need to fund living expenses. UK postgraduate students can apply for a loan of up to £10,280 (https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/what-youll-get), and there are various bursaries available. See the websites of individual courses for more information about the financial support they can offer.

You may want to work part-time during your MA; however, if your course includes full-time work experience placements as well as studying, then consider whether you will have time to work alongside it.

What does the course cover?

What sectors of the publishing industry does the course look at – trade? Academic? STM? And what job roles/departments will you learn about – editorial? Production? Marketing?

If you are not 100% sure which area you want to go into, a Publishing MA can be a great way of finding our more information about areas you may not have previously considered. Then you can make an informed decision about your future career path rather than going in blind.

Links to publishing houses

What publishing houses does the course have links with? Ask where previous students have done placements and consider whether these are the types of companies you want to work for. Work placements and contacts at top companies are one of the most valuable components of publishing courses.

Other things to think about

  • Are you the kind of person who likes working in an academic environment? Are you prepared for the exams and/or dissertation or would you rather gain your skills on the job?
  • Will this help you get a foot in the door or increase your future earning potential?
  • Have you already done some work experience in the publishing industry? This can help you make sure this is the right career for you – before you spend any money.

For more information about getting into publishing, please see our Work Experience and Entry-Level Resources page.

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Claire Carrington-Smith

Introducing our new Oxford-based consultant, Claire Carrington-Smith! Claire, along with Alice Crick, works on roles outside of London and the Home Counties.

Claire sitting in front of afternoon tea with lots of cakesWhich literary figure would you be?

Definitely Matilda Woodworm, because like me, she is a bookworm. Matilda also taught me about feminism, as both Matilda and Miss Honey are strong female characters, and were very inspiring to me growing up. Roald Dahl was one of my favourite authors as a child, and I remember wanting to be just like Matilda!

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?

Other than Matilda’s telekinetic super power, I would also love to be able to time travel to a magical and distant land like Lucy in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. This the first book I remember falling in love with I was a child, and it’s still is one of my favourites.

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

The past year has been very eventful as well as moving house I left publishing to working as a Recruitment Consultant at Atwood Tate! Leaving publishing after 10 years was such a big decision, but I am so excited to be here and the new challenge it brings. I’m really enjoying it so far.

What is on your birthday wish list?

It sounds really boring, but I have just had my birthday and I got a running jacket and some new trainers as I have just started running. It’s definitely a new years’ resolution I hope to keep up!

Claire Carrington-Smith is responsible for Editorial, Production, Production Editorial, Design, Distribution & Operations roles in all sectors (excluding B2B) in all UK locations outside of London, Home Counties and East Anglia.

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants cover, go to the “Meet the Team” page:

https://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/about/meet-the-team.aspx

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Q&A Round Up

Last week was the Publishers Association’s #workinpublishing week! We did a Q&A on Twitter – if you missed it, you can catch up here.

Q: What are the key features recruiters look for in a CV and Cover Letter when recruiting for entry level publishing jobs?

A: Office/admin experience is useful across the board, as are work experience, internships or temp roles in publishing houses! A well written, clear and concise cover letter will also get you a long way.

Q: How important do you think events like literary events and trade shows are?

A: Getting to know people at industry events can be really useful, especially as you can get a feel for different roles and sectors! Having said that, it’s not compulsory, so if you don’t live in London and you can’t get to events easily, don’t worry!

Q: When considering a job offer, it’s not just about salary. What else should candidates be thinking about?

A: Consider what’s important to you – the commute time, flexible working opportunities, training/professional development and company benefits!

Q: What are the most desirable additional tools to have experience in?

A: It depends on the role! But skills like InDesign, social media, general admin/database experience are useful for a lot of publishing work.

Q: I have a lot of volunteer experience with indie pubs, and I’m starting to look for my first publishing job. What would you say my next step should be?

A: Sounds like you should start applying for entry-level roles! You’d also be a great temping candidate, which can sometimes lead to long term roles.

Q: how can I make myself stand out from the hundreds of other graduates when applying for jobs?

A: Make your cover letter stand out by talking about your work experience, any temp roles, admin experience, and extracurricular interests which give you transferable skills!

Q: Are entry level publishing roles hard to come by? I feel like I haven’t seen many around since I graduated.

A: Entry-level roles are VERY competitive so get filled quickly, but a great way to get your foot in the door is through temping! Register with us for temping opportunities and we may be able to help.

Q: What are the most in demand roles in publishing?

A: Most people want to work in editorial, but publishers are always looking for Commissioning Editors and Production Controllers!

Q: What are your top tips for writing a good CV?

A: Be clear and concise, use bullet points, and put most relevant experience at the top! No long paragraphs please! For more tips see our blog post here.

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Guest Post: What will defy, embrace or become a disruption in scholarly publishing?

We are thrilled to bring you a guest post on our blog from Jessica Edwards, as she reflects her thoughts on the BookMachine’s recent event, ‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’.

What will defy, embrace or become a disruption in scholarly publishing?

Thoughts from BookMachine’s latest event

‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’

By Jessica Edwards

The Jam Factory, Oxford, 7 September 2017

Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta

Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta

Last Thursday, as I trundled slowly towards Oxford (kicking myself for accidentally catching a slow train – who knew there were quite so many stations between Reading and Oxford?!) I wondered what was in store at BookMachine’s latest event, ‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’. Arriving at The Jam Factory, I scanned the room of busily-networking people and took a deep breath. Although I’ve now worked in publishing for over 2 years, and always enjoy chatting to inspired publishing-types, a few seconds of panic always descends when, turning from the table of beverages, glass in hand, the reality hits that one must shuffle into a group at random and strike up a conversation. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to approach two lovely individuals from Atwood Tate – Claire Louise Kemp and Alice Crick. Not only were they extremely friendly, our conversation (and Claire Louise spotting me scribbling notes during the panel discussion) led to the suggestion, offer, and composition of this blog post!

My name’s Jess Edwards, and I’m currently Marketing Executive at Gale, a Cengage Company. Gale creates digital resources (from journal and eBook databases to digital archives) for academic, special, school and government libraries worldwide. Consequently, when the advert for BookMachine’s scholarly publishing seminar popped into my inbox, it not only looked interesting but extremely relevant to my current position, and I quickly purchased an early-bird ticket!

There were four engaging speakers on the panel. Phill Jones, Director of Innovation at Digital Science, a company who invest and nurture research start-ups creating software to aid scientific research; Charlie Rapple, Sales & Marketing Director and co-founder of Kudos, a platform which increases research impact by driving discovery and facilitating the sharing of academic work; Byron Russell, Head of Ingenta Connect, a publisher-facing content management system that enables publishers to convert, store and deliver digital content; and Duncan Campbell, Director of Digital Licensing and Sales Partnerships at John Wiley & Sons, ranked ninth on the Publisher’s Weekly list of the world’s 50 largest publishers, 2017. Bringing together speakers (and an audience) from both large, established publishers and newer, often technology-based start-ups, led to some interesting discussion on the relationships between the two; the responsibilities of each; and whether one or the other is best placed to cope with the disruptive forces in publishing – or themselves be disruptive.

The discussion generated by the panel was wide-ranging and insightful, broadening my understanding of the challenges, relationships and roles in publishing beyond my own. It made me think more deeply about the hugely influential and clearly disruptive issues looming over the industry, as well as the ideas and innovations which currently exist around the edges of the industry, meeting niche requirements today, but which could, in time, disrupt, engulf or evolve the whole publishing landscape.

Insights and topics of discussion that I found particularly intriguing include:

  • The symbiotic relationship between start-ups and established publishers

The opening discussion about innovation in publishing included the suggestion that it is more difficult for established companies to innovate – something easier for new-comers. However, there was also an agreement that innovation is a necessity at every tier of the industry. The conversation moved on to the common practice of publishers supporting innovation elsewhere; encouraging and funding the technological start-ups often responsible for floating fresh new ideas. The arguments were put forward that these start-ups rely on funding and support from the publishing establishment, who had a responsibility to nurture them. Yet the establishment in turn rely on the innovation of the start-ups for their own development and evolution – often acquiring them down-the-line as part of their innovation strategy – thus the relationship could be described as cyclical or symbiotic.

  • Piracy V. Green OA

Although I was relatively familiar with the term ‘Open Access’, I was not with ‘Green OA’. (This was one of the things I was inspired to google following the event, and consequently am now aware of both green and gold OA!) Reference to green OA was made in discussion of the threat and disruptive nature of piracy in the publishing industry. There was also consideration of how attitudes towards sharing have changed over time – and where the fine line now sits between piracy and OA. It was suggested that in the past, if one academic was to email an article to another based elsewhere, it would have been seen by publishers as an infringement of copyright. Now, perceptions of sharing have evolved, with the industry instead taking an observational approach; monitoring such behaviours with the intent to better understand the market. The distinction was made, however, and agreed upon unanimously by the panel, that sharing on a need-to-know basis remains different from mass-uploads by networks such as Sci-Hub. Yet it was also recognised that such ‘dark’ enterprises are also examples of innovation forcing the publishing industry to evolve. The disruptive impact of such ‘dark’ innovation was nicely summarised by Phill Jones: ‘It has forced the agenda, but at the same time, it’s not the solution.’

It’s testament to how packed, insightful and content-rich the discussion was that I could go on…! However, this blog post is already heading towards classification as a tome, so I won’t elaborate on the other interesting discussions, though will squeeze in that these included the impact of new business models such as ‘Netflix for journal articles’(!), how a trend towards trans-disciplinary research and developments in research evaluation will affect publishing, and the future of Discovery Systems.

All-in-all, I highly recommend anyone interested in learning more about a particular area of publishing, or the industry in general, goes along to a BookMachine event. Absorb what the experts have to say – it will almost certainly come in useful in the not-so-distant future – and meander your way into a conversation during the networking drinks – who knows what connections you’ll make, you might even end up writing a blog post for somebody!

A little like Where’s Wally…spot me in the stripey top! Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta.

A little like Where’s Wally…spot me in the stripey top! Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta.

Nb. All views are my own, and not those of Gale, Atwood Tate, or BookMachine. If I have misrepresented any of the discussion or speakers’ arguments, this is down to my own misunderstanding.

Twitter @Jessica2Edwards

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicaedwards1/

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