Top 5 take-aways from the ALPSP International conference

Posted on September 19, 2013   by Kerry Cole, Sales and Marketing Manager and Rachel Walker, Publishing Operations Manager

A week ago, the Society Publishing staff attended the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) International Conference in Birmingham. The conference brings together members from across the scholarly communications industry to reflect on the present and consider the future of publishing.

There were talks and plenary sessions from society publishers, early career researchers, large corporate publishers, policy researchers and top digital innovators. In addition to this, we had plenty of opportunities to network with colleagues both old and new.

A lot of information was shared and ideas were flowing all week. We’ve tried to condense what we learned into our top 5 take-aways that we plan to share, discuss and develop back at the office:

1. Investment (but not as we know it)
Invest time and space for innovation, involve everyone across the organisation in imagining change and respect their perspective.

2. Print is declining but is unlikely to die
The key for publishers is to not allow the remnants of print to constrain digital innovation. Ignore the print ‘rulebook’.

3. Open access is a journey
There have been many reports and recommendations on open access policy from several major governments. But how this will be implemented by institutions and publishers, and the effects that this will have, is still under debate.

4. Data, data and more data
Data is the language of the future – it needs to be properly described, persistently accessible, safe, discoverable and useful.

5. Listening is just the beginning
We need to ask the right questions of our end-users to find out what they want from a publication. Finding the answers and solutions is more difficult but as publishers we must commit to doing this.

We are excited to be involved in publishing at such a dynamic time, when there are so many changes and opportunities to develop the Society’s publishing portfolio. If you were at the conference, what were your top five take-aways? And if you’re not a publisher, what’s your reaction to these points and how do you think the Society should respond to them?

If you want to read more about the conference, the ALPSP blog cover it in more detail.