As announced last week, Kent Anderson has assumed his new role as this year’s President of the Society for Scholarly Publishing. Kent has been a tireless proponent for the scholarly publishing industry, for the research community, for the SSP and a driving force behind this blog. But with the tremendous amount of work the presidency entails, and with the governance rules of the SSP, Kent needed to take a step back and hand over stewardship of The Scholarly Kitchen.
Rather than pretending any of us can match Kent’s drive, energy and seemingly superhuman ability to produce a constant flow of well-written and strongly-reasoned blog posts, we’re hoping to take a more distributed approach to the work, and relying instead on the collective nature of The Scholarly Kitchen as we move forward. I’m nominally the new Executive Editor, but the real heart of the blog remains the talented writers and interesting voices our team provides.
The good news is that Kent will be sticking around and blogging as his schedule permits. We’re seeing this as an opportunity to bring in some new voices. Looking around the room at last week’s SSP Annual Meeting, I was struck by the tremendous range of our membership. Every point on the publishing spectrum was represented and better yet, the room was filled with an impressive level of collegiality and a strong desire to communicate and inform. Librarians were seen happily dining with sales agents, representatives from PLoS sitting down for a friendly drink with executives from Elsevier. We may differ in our approaches and our philosophies, yet we share many common goals and there’s so much we can learn from one another.
To start things off, I’m thrilled to announce two new “Chefs” joining the blog, Robert Harington and Ken Wissoker.
Robert is the Associate Executive Director, Publishing at the American Mathematical Society, and previously served as Publisher for the American Institute of Physics. The Scholarly Kitchen has always been strong in the Medical and Life Sciences, so it’s great to add some expertise from other areas of research. Even better, Robert serves on the MathJax steering committee and can allow us to better address the world of technology development. He’s keen to discuss the enormous opportunities for developing how a society can serve its mission and membership by applying new approaches to publishing. He also plans to look at the balance of conservatism and innovation within societies as many of us embark on developing our publishing futures.
Ken is the Editorial Director of Duke University Press. He brings The Scholarly Kitchen a leading voice in academic book publishing, and broadens our reach into the humanities and social sciences. Ken plans to address the increasing disequilibrium in the ecology of scholarly book publishers, the publishing and certification needs of the academy, and the reading needs and preferences of academics themselves. He’ll also write about the difficulties in planning when the preferred formats and media for long form reading are so radically unknown and the possibilities for argument based-work in humanities and interpretive social sciences in more digital forms.
Consider this the beginning of a diversity drive. I’m encouraging all of our Chefs to reach out to colleagues and do more interview based posts. This lets us bring in more viewpoints and voices (without asking those often busy voices to commit to the hard work of regular blogging). Look for these in the near future, and if there are people and subjects you’d like to hear from, please do drop us a line.
The other place you can help out is in the Comments Section of each post. The vibrant debate and discussion that goes on in the Comments is indicative of the interest and varied viewpoints of the community. I wanted to take a moment to reiterate our comments policy–all comments are moderated and must be approved by an editor before going live on the site. Just as the SSP encourages collegiality and debate without rancor or personal attacks, we strive for that same level of intellectual exchange in our Comments. If your remarks are seen as too over the top, they may be deleted, or you may be contacted and asked to resubmit a toned down version. Flamewars can be fun but ultimately they’re unproductive. Though I should add that our spam filter can on occasion be overzealous, so if your comment does disappear, don’t hesitate to check back on it with us.
And so on to the next chapter for The Scholarly Kitchen. Please do bear with us as we find our way forward. We will strive to maintain our regular publication schedule, but may hit a few bumps along the way. There may be a little dust in the Kitchen as we remodel and we’ll do what we can to keep it out of your food.
8 Thoughts on "Shaking Things Up in the Kitchen: New Faces and New Directions"
Best of luck as you move forward. You have a tough act to follow, but I know you all are up to the challenge.
Congratulations, David. I hope to see a broader base of contributors to the SK under your leadership. It’s good to see two new contributors, but I notice they are both publishers, shifting the bias of the Kitchen yet further in that direction. Of course you could argue that that’s perfectly reasonable for the blog of the SSP; but if you want to escape from the echo-chamber mentality that can sometimes characterise this blog, it would be great to get some more researchers, librarians and editors on board.
Thanks Mike. Point taken, but it’s often hard to get really busy people to commit to regular blogging. We’ve reached out pretty frequently to a broad portion of the spectrum to no avail. Perhaps there’s a special kind of masochism required for being a publisher that also fits the bill for being a blogger.
I’m hoping though, that through doing more interview style posts, we can at least bring in those voices, if only for a day, without asking them to make a regular contribution.
How regular would you need? My impression (I’ve not checked the numbers) is that plenty of the bloggers on the SK roster contribute only a few times a year. I bet you could sign several people up on that basis. Even among (say) pro-open researchers. If you know what I mean.
It’s something we’re working on determining. For the last 5 years, we’ve had the luxury of relying on Kent. Agree with him or not, he’s an incredibly prolific writer, so he’s really picked up the slack for the rest of us. And I’m with you on broadening the viewpoints here–many, if not most of us do consider ourselves “pro-open” at least to some degree but I would like to reach out a little further in that direction. Stay tuned.
It is quite a feat to provide such an appetizing fete everyday! Look forward to reading the new contributors and interviews. Congratulations–DC and SK will not disappoint. –BMM