As the saying attributed to Plato goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”. Many societies and associations are currently seeking new ways to engage and support their members during the pandemic when face-to-face meetings are not a practical option. The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is no exception.

SSP staff, leadership, and volunteers have been developing new programs to provide scholarly communications professionals with innovative ways to learn about issues and recent developments in scholarly publishing as well as stay connected with each other. The Scholarly Kitchen does an excellent job keeping us informed on current trends. However, we recognize there is still a need for more comprehensive educational resources and deeper conversations on pressing matters.

SSP on demand logo

OnDemand Library

While SSP decided to forgo a virtual Annual Meeting, we have been working on a new asynchronous learning platform that offers a variety of recorded video content users can access when convenient. This week, SSP launched the OnDemand Video Content Library, an innovative, “anywhere, anytime” alternative to the traditional webinar broadcast, designed for scholarly communications professionals to stay abreast of the current challenges facing our industry.

Users can purchase access to individual content items or an entire curated series. Some content is free to view, including previous webinar recordings from earlier this year and sessions from the 2019 New Directions Seminar. Special “live screening” broadcasts with live chats will provide an opportunity to interact with presenters and others interested in the topic. As part of a generous in-kind sponsorship, Cadmore Media and 3Play Media have provided video hosting, transcription, and closed-captioning services.

Because the content is pre-recorded, all videos are closed-captioned, providing greater accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as viewers whose native language is not English. The transcripts are also fully searchable, making it convenient to locate a specific section of the video or transcript for reference or sharing.

The debut series on the SSP OnDemand Library, the 2020 Professional Development Series, offers presentations on current trends and issues in scholarly communications — from the impact of COVID-19 to diversity, equity, and inclusion in publishing. Featuring panels of leaders in their respective fields, this series is a must for anyone wishing to keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry.

ssp ondemand professional development series

Presentations will be offered on the following topics:

  • Business Models and Strategies
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Editorial Innovations
  • Ethics and Standards
  • Global Trends
  • Research Perspectives

New content will be released each week through September and live screenings will be announced shortly before each new release. Sign up to receive notifications about SSP programming so you don’t miss a live event!

The series begins July 13th with our free opening session, “Scholarly Communications in the Era of COVID-19,” presented by Angela Cochran and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, both Scholarly Kitchen Chefs. In this candid conversation, Cochran and Hinchliffe discuss how their respective organizations are currently adapting to life in the pandemic, and the potential long-term impact of COVID-19 on publishers, universities, and libraries. Upcoming releases include SSP’s very first foray into dual-language programming, “How Latin America Is (Quietly) Revolutionizing Open Research” (available in both Portuguese and English), as well as “Bringing Privacy and Personalization into Conversation rather than Conflict,” a thought-provoking discussion on the challenges of balancing seamless access to content with user privacy,

The breadth of topics, a variety of viewing options, and flexible pricing for multiple sessions or users will allow these resources to reach a wider audience, including early career professionals and those with limitations that present a barrier to physical attendance. Our routines have been disrupted but we must find ways to progress, including new ways to further professional development. Industry-wide face-to-face events may have been our primary source of networking and development previously, but new platforms like the OnDemand library can provide these much needed resources, meeting us wherever we are.

To learn more and access the full release schedule, please visit https://www.sspnet.org/events/ondemand.

What’s Next?

Following our Professional Development series in the OnDemand Library will be our Journals Quick Starter program, featuring training modules on all aspects of journals publishing, from business models and production to marketing. This series will be the perfect introduction for those new to the industry.

Because professional development encompasses more than just viewing educational content, SSP will soon be launching another new program, called Quick Connect, to facilitate networking and keeping members connected. This new program — a type of micro-mentoring — is designed to connect members anywhere in the world for short-term, focused interactions. Scholarly communications professionals can get targeted help and receive a greater variety of feedback through this innovative program fueled by the belief that multiple and diverse viewpoints lead to better outcomes and understanding. While it’s difficult to replicate the serendipity and ease of networking at an in-person event, Quick Connect aims to provide these valuable connections year-round without the need to travel. It’s appropriate for all career levels and a convenient way to expand your professional network.

Connections are made within C3, SSP’s members-only community, through a self-directed matching process. Interactions might range from a one-hour phone call or meeting to exchanging several emails over a couple of weeks. Quick Connect will be open to all SSP members as well as all employees of SSP Organizational Members in good standing.

SSP will also be launching a new comprehensive resource directory for publishing services and events. This new directory will feature organization listings that provide publishing and related services, including a section devoted to freelancers, as well as complete listings for upcoming industry events. Watch for information about these new programs in SSP publications and communications over the next several weeks!

Society for Scholarly Publishing

The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), founded in 1978, is a nonprofit organization formed to promote and advance communication among all sectors of the scholarly publication community through networking, information dissemination, and facilitation of new developments in the field.

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