In February of 2008, Kent Anderson welcomed readers to The Scholarly Kitchen. Kent had come up with a clever idea for a way to drive the conversation around scholarly communication and asked the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) if they’d be willing to support the experiment. As we enter our 10th year of writing about our industry, we felt it was time to spruce things up a bit, and you’re looking at the results of our Kitchen renovation.
The “kitchen” metaphor has proved remarkably resilient. Kent’s original thoughts on it are just as valid today:
It seems an odd name, but that’s intentional — we wanted a name that is memorable, different, and welcoming. If anything is welcoming, it’s the kitchen. It’s where we gain sustenance, socialize at parties, and set things as we come and go. It’s perhaps the most functional space in any busy home. And this is intended to be a busy space for scholarly publishers.
While the name has held up well, the old site was getting a bit long in the tooth. 9 years is a lifetime on the internet, and we had clearly fallen behind the latest technological innovations. Back in February of 2008, we were barely 8 months into the iPhone era and even the tech press was still figuring out what exactly it meant (“There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful in a business this competitive.”). Mobile websites weren’t really mandatory for most of us until Google recently changed their algorithms to penalize sites without a good mobile experience, which we lacked. We’ve seen the impact of this change in a drop in readership of our long tail of older posts. The new site’s responsive design should make things more discoverable and much better for readers on-the-go.
If anything is welcoming, it’s the kitchen. It’s where we gain sustenance, socialize at parties, and set things as we come and go.
Another big change is that we are now offering advertising on the site. All funds that come in go to the SSP to support their programs and efforts on behalf of the scholarly communication community. We’ve built a strict firewall between editorial efforts and sales efforts to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. But if you’re interested in reaching an audience of publishers, editors, librarians, researchers, and publishing service providers, you might consider getting in touch.
There’s better navigation and plenty of new features, including a set of Collections available through the navigation bar above which we think feature some of our better posts on key subject areas. We invite you to dig around, let us know what you think (and if you spot anything that’s not working, please let us know as we clean up any bugs).
Most of all, we’d like to thank our readers who have joined us on this remarkable journey from a quick experiment to what has become a daily starting point for many in our industry. There’s so much going on in scholarly publishing, good and bad, difficult and challenging yet exciting and interesting. We’ll do our best to keep the conversation going.