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And Now We Are Five — The Scholarly Kitchen Reaches the Half-Decade Mark

Dice five

Dice five (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The first month of the Scholarly Kitchen was inauspicious — 29 views, and a few short posts. Now, five years later, we have 100,000 views per month routinely, despite the quiltwork of topics we cover; we have thousands of email and Twitter followers; and the Chefs represent a wide range of perspectives and interests and are uniformly excellent writers.

We even have a “road show” version that has played in the US, the UK, and as the closing session at the last few SSP Annual Meetings.

When this first started, I pledged to commit a year to it, in order to see if it could take off and flourish. After all, it takes a while to build an audience, find your editorial footing, and work out the kinks. Luckily, the superb network of volunteers SSP cultivates was ready and willing to help within weeks of the launch. From Howard Ratner to Phil Davis to David Crotty, writers with great experience and serious writing chops were soon on board.

And, boy, did they write, as you can see from some of our most popular and interesting posts over the past five years include:

We’ve been quoted in the New York Times, have our own Wikipedia page, and were nominated for a Webby in 2010, along with some major blogs from major media.

Today, after more than 1,600 posts, 17,000 comments, and thousands of Twitter and email and RSS followers, we have assembled a slate of productive authors, have excellent commentary on our posts, and produce a steady stream of interesting topics. Best of all, from my perspective, we’re still a bit audacious in what we’ll tackle and in the opinions we’ll put out there. We risk being unpopular if we think it’s the right thing to do. This kind of independence is right for scholars, for scholarly publishers, and for independent thinkers everywhere.

Throughout it all, I have to thank the tremendously smart and interesting bloggers who write here and have written here; the SSP for their dedication to our independence; and our readers for hanging with us as we’ve learned and grown. I also want to especially thank our executive editor, Phil Davis, for his diligence, courage, and frank opinions as we’ve moved ahead. And for his posts, which always make the turnstiles click.

A half decade already? It feels like we’re just getting started.

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About Kent Anderson

I am the Publisher at AAAS/Science. Previously, I have worked as CEO/Publisher of the STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are my own.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “And Now We Are Five — The Scholarly Kitchen Reaches the Half-Decade Mark

  1. Congratulations Kent and the whole team. This is my morning coffee read and one of the trusted sources that I keep in my RSS database of Publishing Business Intelligence. I look forward to another 5 years (and beyond) of posts, comments. Keep up the great work.

    Posted by Philip Roberts | Feb 21, 2013, 6:06 am
  2. Keep up the good work Chefs: your posts are essential reading for all involved in scholarly publishing, inspiring much useful debate and discussion. Here’s to the next 5 years – I am sure there will be ingredients aplenty.

    Posted by Andrew Miller | Feb 21, 2013, 7:46 am
  3. Congratulations, Kent and Chefs…. Kent, I remember our discussion in your office – the day you agreed to test this concept – like it was yesterday. I expect people could hear me scream with delight all of the way out into the parking lot.
    Your year long experiment is a great success largely because of your dedication, intelligence, creativity and enthusiasm.
    Bravo!!

    Posted by Sue Kesner | Feb 21, 2013, 6:09 pm
  4. I think I have learned more about the nuances and intricacies of scholarly publishing, especially journal publishing, from this blog than from any other single source, including the leading professional journals in the field. Keep up the good work!

    Posted by Sandy Thatcher | Feb 27, 2013, 4:24 pm

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The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is "[t]o advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking." SSP established The Scholarly Kitchen blog in February 2008 to keep SSP members and interested parties aware of new developments in publishing.
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