In this episode of SSP’s Early Career Development Podcast, hosts Meredith Adinolfi (Cell Press) is joined by SSP’s current president, Randy Townsend. Randy is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing and is an Adjunct Professor of the MPS in Publishing program in the College of Professional Studies at George Washington University. Meredith and Randy discuss Randy’s presidency so far, his plans for 2024, and his perspectives on the critical role of early career professionals (ECPs) in our industry.

Randy chronicles his career trajectory that led to his current role, from working in entertainment and marketing before starting in the scholarly publishing industry, and his involvement with SSP. He explains how he interacts with the Board members and uses them as a conduit to understanding what’s happening in SSP’s many committees and to gauge the pulse of the membership. Continuing on, Randy delves into his plans for 2024, specifically his mental health initiatives, through which he hopes to normalize conversations about mental health with the help of webinars with mental health professionals and regular Scholarly Kitchen posts.

Randy also talks about the importance of ECPs in the industry and encourages them to get involved so they can become leaders in the future. In addition, Randy encourages ECPs to stay up to date and keep learning. While it can seem like there’s too much information out there, Randy suggests reframing this as a positive problem — there’s always something new happening! — and also trying to figure out what’s important to you to filter through the noise. Listeners will also hear what Randy is excited about in 2024 and his best piece of advice.

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Background on this podcast series

SSP’s Career Development Committee launched this podcast series in 2019 to offer advice and discussion on how early career publishing professionals can add to their skill sets, develop networks, and take advantage of new opportunities. The series presents interviews and insights from experienced professionals on how to navigate one’s career in a diverse and ever-changing landscape of scholarly communications. If you have any feedback for the hosts, creators, or for future episodes, please email