Emily Gillingham
Emily Gillingham
Director of Library Relations, Wiley
Warren Holder
Source: Warren Holder

1. Could you please begin by letting us know what your role at the University of Toronto has been that you’re now retiring from?


After 35 years at U of T I’m retiring from the role of Electronic Information Resources Co-ordinator. The background to this is that in the mid to late 1990s I made a shift from an administrative role to information technology services because this is when Academic Press came out with their model of selling e-journals to consortia. I was asked to put together a consortium in Ontario and at this point I became an electronic resources coordinator. My role was to be aware of what was going on in the emerging electronic sphere and to negotiate pricing and licenses. I didn’t have a budget of my own which was a bit frustrating at the time. Instead, I had to persuade collection development librarians from across the province to pool their resources. Also at that time, Elsevier were experimenting with TULIP, allowing libraries to locally load. We really embraced this idea at U of T and, after starting with around 200 journals, we’ve continued to this day with locally loading journals and books. I feel very fortunate I was given a wide scope in my work.


2. You’ve been a very strong advocate for e-books over the last ten years or more, speaking at many international conferences on the topic. Has the pace of books digitization and the adoption of ebooks matched what you hoped and expected to happen? Have there been any surprises?


I thought moving to e-books was going to be straightforward. To my surprise we had to go back to the beginning in many ways, revisiting many of the arguments about e-journals. At the beginning some librarians felt that e-journals were unnecessary, ie. people should come in to the library and use the journals that we had there. The same arguments came up in relation to e-books as for e-journals, eg. maybe they’d be needed in science but not in social science and the humanities. Then it was ‘maybe in social science, but not in the humanities’. People said the user doesn’t want them. However, we’ve proven over time people do want them. There were the same issues with e-journals in the early days.Perhaps if it had been more simple I may have got bored!


Our experience at the University of Toronto was quite different. While we found some titles we bought in e-form were not heavily used, there were many that we never had had in print which were heavily used electronically. In general, though, I’ve been quite surprised at how slow libraries have been in purchasing e-books. I viewed my job as trying to anticipate the information needs of users and satisfying those needs, making access as easy as possible. Clearly, for that, electronic is the way to go.


3. What is your view of the ‘Big Deal’, and how do you view Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA) as an alternative model?


We’re a big fan of the big deal at University of Toronto as we’d already bought so much content in print. However, I’ve also tried to take an evidence based approach for e-books. For example, we base our decisions on finding the books that are on course reading lists and the books which have multiple reservations in the library. Regarding DDA, it sounds good but I feel it’s us reneging on our responsibility. If we’re relying on DDA then we’re not talking enough to our users and finding out what they want. Our catalogues are bad but I still like to believe that users can find content without DDA. We’ve already got big deals with the top 20 publishers on our wish list so maybe DDA is appropriate for the next tranche. However, it’s tricky as some publishers don’t allow it or have the functionality.


4. What do you think are the most important success factors for libraries to engage and connect with their user communities?


This is something I think we should be doing a lot more of and thatI think will shape the future. I don’t think libraries spend enough time talking to researchers and graduate students. I may be being unfair but, from my experience, we don’t reach out to the community and say ‘now that we’ve provided you with this content, what are your information needs we’re not meeting?’ Something I’d started before leaving U of T was to set up an author event and I think there’s a lot of opportunity in this, for publishers and for libraries, and for the two to partner much more. For example, how can we, publishers and libraries, help graduate students to get published? How do we support them to get jobs as associate editors? I hope it’s the next big thing. It’s in everyone’s interests that people write well and edit well. Sometimes I think that you, as publishers, have a better relationship with our users than we do. Some reference desk librarians say they have a good relationship but a lot of researchers aren’t going into the libraries.


5. You’ve been a member of several Library Advisory Boards (including Wiley-Blackwell’s and OUP’s). Do you see these Boards as useful mechanisms for improving understanding and collaboration between librarians and publishers?


I used to think these LABs were just chances to travel but my view changed. I really do believe that being on the boards helped me and it helped them. When managed well they have great potential for covering the big future topics, such as text mining, big data clauses, author rights, etc. Conversations should start with advisory boards. My recommendation to publishers would be that you need to really work your advisory board members.


6. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in libraries during the course of your career?


The switch from print to electronic is the big game changer of course. The basics of acquiring content, organizing it, and making it available still hold but access is a big change and it’s now much easier for researchers and grad students. It means they have more of a fighting chance the night before the essay is due. Our discovery tools are not there yet but they’re certainly better than our catalogues were.


7. As you leave the profession, what do you think are the greatest challenges that librarians are facing?


We need to talk to the users more. Librarians really are going to become irrelevant if we don’t understand and meet user needs better. If we satisfy their information needs then I believe the money will flow. Everybody wants to be more highly ranked and to do more research. There’s money there for research but libraries need to show why they should get the money. My advice would be to make yourself relevant. There are also some big issues looming on the horizon, such as text mining and big data. Visualizations may also be making a comeback. Librarians need to stay on top of and ahead of the curve on these issues.


8. What words of advice do you have for the librarians of the future?


Don’t be complacent. It works pretty well when people come to us, but we need to be out there more, interacting with our users, being aware of what’s going on in the world. Also, a bugbear of mine is that we call ourselves research libraries, but the one thing we don’t do is research. We can learn as much from our failures as from our successes. There should perhaps be more synergies with the library school.


9. What will you miss the most from your work?


I regret that I’m leaving at a time when more and more publishers and librarians are talking to our end users together. I’d like to be there to see the next big thing coming along.


10. What are your plans for enjoying your retirement?


I have a long list…I want to get more physically active, do yoga, relearn the piano (I haven’t played since I was 10 years old). I want to keep travelling and I have a list of books to get through. I’m also going to explore volunteering in my community, especially with older people. I won’t be bored!

    Anne-Marie Green
Anne-Marie Green
Content and Community Marketing Manager, Wiley
SEO pic
Source: Kalawin / Thinkstock

Here’s the bad news about search engine optimization and your paper:  it’s going to mean more work.

Yep.  It’s not enough that you hustled for funding, figured out who your co-authors would be, conducted the research, wrote the paper, decided where to submit it, hoped that it would be accepted, made necessary revisions, and waited anxiously for it go up online.

Nope.  Now, before your article goes up online you have to make sure that your article is prepared for the real world: the digital world.     You need to ensure that your paper is search engine optimized.  To quote Zhang and Dimitroff: “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) … is the process of identifying factors in a webpage which would impact search engine accessibility to it and fine-tuning the many elements of a website so it can achieve the highest possible visibility when a search engine responds to a relevant query. Search engine optimization aims at achieving good search engine accessibility for webpages, high visibility in search engine results, and improvement of the chances the webpages are retrieved.”(1)

Except, to put a filter on it, replace the word “webpage(s)” in the quote above with “journal article”.  A little daunting, no?

Now here’s the good news:  it’s worth the effort.  After all, why go to all the toil of authoring an article if your research is going to be buried on page 275 of Google or Google Scholar’s search results?  Scholarly information is increasingly more accessible online, but not inherently more discoverable.  Employing SEO can leverage the visibility of a paper so that it has better odds of being at the top of search results, and, therefore, better odds of being read and even cited.  Moreover, if you are publishing open access, you will also be getting the best value for your (or your funder’s) money if your research is easily accessible via search engines.

“Isn’t that the journal’s (or publisher’s) job?” you might ask?  Well yes and no.  Journals and publishers need to make sure they do everything they can to optimize their online platforms so that search engines can easily crawl and index content.  58% of all traffic to our online platform, Wiley Online Library, comes from search engines (predominantly Google and Google Scholar).  And publishers need to actively promote journals and featured content in a crowded online space.  However, they do not have ultimate control over the discoverability of content at the article level. You do.

So what do you need to do?  We’ve created an SEO for Authors tips sheet to give authors an at-a-glance guide to optimizing their papers.  Here are some highlights:


    • Carefully select relevant keywords


    • Lead with keywords in the article title


    • Repeat keywords 3-4 times throughout the abstract


    • Use headings throughout the article


    • Include at least 5 keywords and synonyms in the keyword field


    • Link to the published article on social media, blogs and academic websites


A lot of this boils down to selecting appropriate keywords (i.e. search terms) and using them frequently and appropriately, because, “Generally speaking, the more often a search term occurs in the document, and the more important the document field is in which the term occurs, the more relevant the document is considered.”(2)

This shouldn’t be a completely daunting process or even that much additional work.  It's really about being more mindful of how users will search and find the published version online.

So with that...happy optimizing!


1. Zhang, Jin, and Alexandra Dimitroff. "The Impact of Metadata Implementation on Webpage Visibility in Search Engine Results (Part II)." Information Processing & Management 41.3 (2005): 697-715.

2. Beel, Jran, Bela Gipp, and Erik Wilde. "Academic Search Engine Optimization (ASEO): Optimizing Scholarly Literature for Google Scholar & Co." Journal of Scholarly Publishing 41.2 (2010): 176-90.

    Alice Meadows
Alice Meadows
Director of Communications
anne glover pic
Source: Anne Glover

1. Thanks for talking to us Anne – please can you start by telling us what your role as Chief Scientific Adviser to the European Commission involves?

My job consists of four main strands. First, I advise President Barroso on any aspect of science & technology. Second, I liaise with other science advisory bodies of the Commission, in the Member States and beyond – this is important to ensure that science gives a coherent message. Third, I have an early warning function, looking into science & technology foresight and spot developments that may represent an opportunity or threat for Europe. And fourth, I promote the European culture of science & technology wherever I go. Actually, there is also a fifth function which is written down nowhere, but people feel that I am the Scientific Ombudsman of the Commission to which they can go when they feel that Commission services ignore the evidence.

2. You’re also Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Aberdeen. How have you managed to juggle the two roles?

Obviously, being a Chief Scientific Adviser in the European Commission is a full-time job, so my own research activities are currently rather limited. I have kept, however, my research lab in Aberdeen and continue to be involved with it because I think it is very important in such a position to keep my feet on the ground and remain credible in the scientific community. I have an agreement with my employer that I can spend a few days per year in the lab. In between, modern communication technologies help a lot to stay in touch with the people there. But obviously I had to agree that for instance my lab won't apply for EU money to avoid any conflicts of interest.

3. Before working for the EC you were Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland – was that a good preparation for your current role?

My experience in Scotland was certainly very helpful in terms of knowing how to fill such a role and get acquainted with the possibilities and pitfalls. When I started as a Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, the government had no clue what the role would entail, nor did I. Now at least I know what I can and should do, while the European Commission is still on the learning curve. In any case, the European Union is an entirely different beast. First, the scale is entirely different: Scotland has 5 million inhabitants, the EU has 500 million. So the magnitude of the challenges is much bigger. Second, the enormous cultural and linguistic diversity of the continent - which is, in fact, Europe's biggest strength - makes different attitudes and mentalities clash with each other. That's thrilling, but time-consuming. And third, European policy-making works in a completely different way than national policy-making due to the setup of the European Institutions. When I convinced the First Minister in Scotland that something would be the right thing to do, it was done. When I convince President Barroso of a particular idea he tells me: right, and now go and convince 28 Member States. It is a very complex setup, which is perhaps one of the reasons why scientists in the past were rather reluctant to raise their voice in Brussels.

4. You’re about halfway through your tenure now – what have been your biggest challenges and achievements to date?

The biggest challenge has been of course the setting up of the position itself. This starts with very practical organizational issues that often require imaginative solutions – getting things done in Brussels is not always straight forward. But most importantly, the biggest challenge is one of changing mind-sets: to convince people that it is a good thing to have somebody like a Chief Scientific Adviser who is an independent voice and is able to point to the big elephant in the room nobody dares to talk about. People are starting to appreciate that this is, in fact, very helpful and eases discussions, also for sensitive or controversial topics. People are getting a real appetite for the role and are engaging in debates around the scientific evidence. But if you see how public opinion differs across Member States on issues like genetically modified organisms, then you will understand that we still have quite some way to go.

5. What are your priorities for the rest of your tenure?

There are a couple of initiatives which I started and which I would like to see take off in the months to come. The most important one is to establish a European network of government science advisers. This would enable science advisers to share a common view about the scientific consensus on a particular issue and ensure that Heads of State are briefed in a coherent manner when coming to Brussels to decide on often highly technical matters. Structures in Member States differ quite a lot, of course, but I am getting a lot of support when talking national science ministers about it. Another big issue is the impact assessment process, which is currently being reviewed by the European Commission. It is still very much focusing on economic impacts, less so on social ones, and is too much driven by a risk-avoiding than a risk-embracing approach. If Europe wants to be ahead of the pack in a globalized economy, we need to have a more constructive approach to managing risk. This can be achieved by putting risk in relation to the potential reward.

6. You’ve said that you what you do is science for policy, not policy for science – what do you mean by this?

It's quite simple: I am not dealing with research policies, that is Horizon 2020 and similar funding instruments, which are being dealt with by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn and DG Research and Innovation, partly also DG Education and Culture. I do have my opinion, of course, and am happy to provide it when requested, but my focus is on what science can do to deliver better policies and ultimately a more rewarding life for all of us. This cuts across the entire Commission and across all policy areas. So I am here to say what science can do for you, rather than asking what you should do for science.

7. Equality issues are very important to you, especially in terms of attracting and – most importantly – retaining more women in science. What are the biggest blockers to achieving this and how could they be overcome?

The problem is not that women are not interested in science, on the contrary. The problem is that we lose too many bright young talents as their career progresses just because the framework conditions are not right. This has to do with childcare facilities, with flexibility at the workplace, with the possibility of re-entering after a career break, but often also very simple, subtle issues such as the way vacancy notices are formulated. I am convinced that with the stiff competition from other parts of the world and an ageing society Europe simply cannot afford any longer to lose all these brains. What is so fabulous about Europe is that we can learn from best practice examples that can be found in the different countries, for instance Finland or Denmark.

8. What do you see as the role of societies in scholarly communication today and how do you think this will change in the future?

Learned societies play an absolutely crucial role in science communication and that is because they are true societies in the sense of the word. They gather all the experts in a given field – many societies do not only have members from the academic environment, but also practitioners (e.g. working in ministries, agencies, planning offices, consultancies, industry…), school teachers and ordinary citizens. They foster societal dialogue, at the national level (e.g. via the academies), but also at local level as many of them have local or regional chapters. They engage with the public and bring science into the neighborhood, often on a volunteer basis. Let's not forget that it is mainly learned societies who organize "citizen science". Citizen science wouldn't happen if there wasn't an organization providing the templates and methodologies. For instance, all the hobby bird watchers are organized in learned societies. Other examples are astronomy or environmental monitoring where citizen science wouldn't be possible without learned societies getting the hobby scientists lined up and working towards a common goal. With all the new ICT technologies this is an area that will see exponential growth in the future.

9. Could they play a larger role in policy making in future, by representing their members’ needs to the research funders, institutions, and others who are setting policy?

There is definitely a niche for the learned societies in the policy-making process. I don't want to talk here about "representing their members' needs" (that's policy for science), but actually about what learned societies can offer to policy-makers. And that's an awful lot. Apart from the science academies with all their reputation there are so many learned societies out there who could, for instance, summarize the state of the art on a given topic and advise policy-makers accordingly. They have access to all the experts and at the same time they are vibrant communities active at the frontiers of knowledge. So they could also play an important role in scanning what is coming up on the horizon. Being the ones organizing citizen science, learned societies are also the ones sitting on all the wealth of citizen science data. This is still a largely untapped resource for policy advice, although there are good examples of where it is used, e.g. by the European Environment Agency. But for all this to happen it is necessary that the learned societies themselves recognize that there is a role for them to support evidence-based policies. They need to work hard and collaborate with each other to identify how they can best have impact in policy-making and I am pleased to work with them to achieve that.

10. What do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges facing learned societies?

Let's face it: the landscape of learned societies is extremely fragmented. There are literally thousands of them in Europe and new ones pop up almost on a weekly basis. There are big ones such as the British Ecological Society with its 4000 members, but also very small ones. Some national learned societies have founded European roof organizations (such as the European Ecological Federation representing the national ecological societies), but this is still an exception. Moreover, there is no European roof organization that represents all the learned societies as a whole, a kind of European ICSU. This makes it very difficult for policy-makers at all levels to interact with them because nobody knows which number to dial. We should also not forget that, apart from the academies with their history and real estates, learned societies are very weak from an organizational point of view. This is because they fund their activities almost entirely by individual membership fees. So funding is definitely an issue. Despite these shortcomings I believe that learned societies can play (and do play) a pivotal role in science communication and education. As they bring together all the expert communities – no matter whether they have a university degree or not – they could also serve as test-beds to see whether a particular policy idea is going to fly or not. And that would sometimes really be useful before policies are adopted. But again: learned societies need to get their act together and raise their voice in Brussels, in a coordinated manner. Otherwise, NGOs with vested interests will always have a stronger standing – and some of their views are not at all based on the best possible balanced evidence.

    Catherine Tan
Catherine Tan
Nanyang Technological University Libraries

“Engage with us” is a tagline used by the librarians here at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. NTU Libraries serves 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences.


Learning commons at Lee Wee Nam Library
Learning commons at Lee Wee Nam Library

Our librarians are constantly looking for creative ways to introduce the library’s e-resources and services to our user community. A combination of push and pull, online and offline promotional approaches are used to engage our users.

To welcome freshmen, we run an orientation program. Since it is their first encounter with librarians, we wanted this encounter to be fun and memorable. Freshmen take part in interactive activities such party in the library, social media photo booth and a discovery quiz. What better way to make these activities memorable for the user is to let them feel special by winning a prize? We’ve had a lot of support from publishers, database providers and library supply vendors who provide prizes for these orientation activities. These prizes can be small corporate premiums or a 500 GB hard disk or even a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2!

As their academic career progresses, we continue with campus-wide outreach programs such as new book talks and quizzes. Publishers and database vendors are supporters of such programs. The recent “Spring into Wiley Online Library” Online quiz 2013 saw 260 participants from NTU. An undergraduate student walked away with the prize of an iPod Nano. We started a series of talks on academic publishing. These talks are targeted towards early career academics, researchers and postgraduates. In 2012, Wiley’s editor spoke to more than 100 participants on “How to get published in international journals”.

In addition to physical activities, we are using social media to engage with our users.

We’re connected with our users through the NTU Library Facebook, with more than 4000 ‘likes’. In 2011 and 2012, our photo booth campaign garnered a huge number of likes as participants posted and tagged on Facebook photos taken at the orientation session photo booth. Look out for the new Orientation videos on our Twitter in August 2013. We have gone mobile with Library Xpress , our regular newsletter. Using the ISSUU platform, this newsletter publication can be read online and using a mobile device.

We also make available print copies as print newsletters are harder to ignore if it is just sitting on your desk.

The top 4 things to remember when promoting the library's information resources and services are:

  1. Let’s have fun – put in place a really robust and engaging orientation program for new students. Have fun yourself too.
  2. Use all the tools at your disposal –social media, print, web, events and activities. Don’t forget the librarians to the forefront!
  3. Get out of the Library – set up booth in a high traffic area, go into the classrooms, talk to the faculty, go where the users are.
  4. Knowing your users – Each community has their own needs, target your promotion according to their needs. Make your activities and messages relevant to them.


All in all, the job of a librarian is as much about providing excellent services as reaching out to your users.

    Iain Craig
Iain Craig
Associate Director  Market Research & Analysis, Wiley

impactSummer is Impact Factor (IF) season. Publishers, societies, and journal editors the world over anxiously await the outcome of the latest version of the Thomson Reuters  Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Will their journal IFs have increased or decreased? How will they compare with the competition? Has a new journal made it into the JCR for the first time? Many faculty are equally interested in the JCR rankings – universities and funders use this data to help inform decision-making about tenure, promotion, and appointments, as well as research funding.

Wiley journals have once again performed well – over three quarters of our journals (1,192 titles) now have Impact Factors, following the announcement of the 2012 JCR on June 17.  Of these, 25 achieved a top category rank across 31 JCR categories, compared with 21 journals ranked top in 22 categories the previous year. Similarly, the number of Wiley titles indexed in the top 10 of their JCR categories increased by 27 to 264. And, of publishers with more than 100 journals indexed in the 2012 JCR, we had the largest proportion of titles (just under 60%) increasing in Impact Factor.

All cause for celebration, for sure. But this year there is an added dimension to the IF results. The330px-Dora recently published San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) challenges the use of the IF and other journal metrics in decision-making. DORA grew out of discussions at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology with a group of editors and publishers of scholarly journals, and it focuses on three main themes:


    • the need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations;


    • the need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published; and


    • the need to capitalize on the opportunities provided by online publication (such as relaxing unnecessary limits on the number of words, figures, and references in articles, and exploring new indicators of significance and impact).


Interested parties are invited to become signatories to the Declaration, and over 300 organizations and more than 8,100 individuals have already done so.

Others, while generally supportive, feel that some modifications are needed. Dr Peter Goelitz (Editor-in-Chief of Angewandte Chemie, which is published by Wiley-VCH on behalf of the German Chemical Society) supports the first two themes, but is not planning to sign the Declaration because “the recommendation to “explore” new indicators goes in the wrong direction. Article level metrics are already with us and will be subject to “engineering”, just like the journal Impact Factor. I would favor a “Declaration” that is outspoken in pushing back on “metricizing” scientific journals and articles.” Dr Goelitz also believes that “The third theme is a “blurred” one as it mixes several issues. Length of articles, proper referencing, new indicators of significance and impact are totally different things; the length of articles is a non-issue these days, and one could argue for better and more succinct writing these days instead of recommending relaxing limits to length. Proper referencing has little to do with the (restricted) number of references but a lot with true scholarship and fairness. .. It is not the number of references (a “metric”) that is an issue.”

Wiley as an organization will not be signing up to the Declaration either, in part because it contains specific statements about intellectual property in the form of reference lists (For Publishers, item 9), where it would be inappropriate for us to agree given that we do not own all of content we publish, and data (For organizations that supply metrics, item 12), where we would be recommending that other commercial entities manage their IP in a certain way.

However, individual editors and society partners (and their editors) are, of course, free to sign up to DORA and many of our societies and journal editors have already done so. If you wish to join them, simply complete and submit this online form.

In a scholarly world that is increasingly looking for ways to measure output, the IF and other journal metrics can be a valuable – if imperfect – tool, but only if used to measure the right things in the right way. Other tools, including altmetrics, are being developed to help us gain a more rounded view of a journal or article’s impact. Wiley, like many other publishers, is experimenting with these, including participating in a six-month trial of Altmetric. In addition, NISO recently announced that it will be developing standards for the collection and use of altmetrics.

It is essential that anyone using any kind of metrics to make important decisions – whether as a publisher or a society, a funder or a recruiter – really understands their shortcomings as well as their strengths.

Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: