Chris Graf
Chris Graf
New Business Director, Professional Innovations, Wiley

Below is the second in our series of posts covering last week's Wiley Executive Seminar. "The Next Big Thing." Don't forget to share your thoughts by tweeting @WileyExchanges using hashtag #WileyES14.

What’s the next big thing for research authors? Delivering innovation for authors and society members requires calm assessment of the trends that matter, careful selection of the innovations that justify introduction, and then support for authors and society members to use them. The 2014 Wiley Executive Seminar (#wileyes14) highlighted some important trends for authors, and shared news about innovations at Wiley. Here are some of my highlights, with a focus on authors.

Scott Lachut of PSFK (@scottlachut) presented his insights into digital trends for researchers and authors, through a lens provided by some of the innovations he is watching, like:

  • IFTTT.com, which monitors events in the digital world and then initiates the actions that you specify
  • hi.co, a new social publishing platform
  • premise.com, which turns big data into insight by tracking ‘macroeconomic and human development trends in real time’
  • thingful.net, which collects new kinds of big data by sharing to the web data from any enabled device

But which digital innovations most deserve our attention? Allen Moore (@allenjmoore) shared part of the answer: The innovations that matter most put authors front and center. Moore is co-editor in chief of the open access journal Ecology and Evolution. He reminded us that author attitudes are changing and, lest we forget, that what authors think will remain central in every successful society publishing strategy. Moore builds his editorial philosophy around authors as partners:

 

“Authors are our partners, our friends, and we should respect them and their efforts. Most importantly, we need to make this clear to them.”

 

If Moore had a message for publishing innovators it might be this: focus on authors, and at the same time make it clear to those authors that they have our undivided attention. Kudos is one innovation, supported by Wiley and more than 20 other publishers, that does this. Melinda Kenneway (@MelindaKenneway) shared how Kudos was born of authors’ need to do more to promote their research work:

 

“84% of researchers think more could be done to increase the impact and visibility of their work”

 

Expertise Portals are another. David Tharp of Knode (@davidtharp) explained how Wiley-Knode Expertise Portals derive new kinds of value for communities of authors automatically, from their research outputs. Tharp suggested that Expertise Portals might feed membership strategy particularly for life and biomedical societies by, for example, identifying new members, spotting rising stars among their members, or facilitating creation of new collaborations between members.

 

Digital innovations like these need parallel innovations in policy and operations. Victoria Forlini, from the American Geophysical Union discussed data publishing and the AGU’s data policy. The policy says ‘all data necessary to understand, evaluate, replicate, and build upon the reported research must be made available and accessible whenever possible.’ Forlini described this as “the perfect storm for authors”. Even so, she reported that AGU has high compliance, at 95%, with its data publishing requirements:

 

“We’re working to make our authors’ lives run smoothly”

 

I take a second message for publishing innovators from Forlini’s presentation: Process and policy innovations go hand-in-hand with digital wizardry.

 

The third message for publishing innovators that I took from the seminar is this: Speed up. Innovation is perspiration, as well as inspiration. It requires an innovation strategy to combine expertise from professional communities and societies with a go-the-distance innovations team. Steve Miron, in closing remarks, vocalized how Wiley recognizes this need for speed:

 

“We’re responding to a clear imperative: Pick up the pace.”