Jemma Blow
Jemma Blow
Associate Marketing Manager, Statistics & Mathematics

As we continue our series of profiles of statisticians in celebration of Mathematics and Statistics Awareness month, we spoke to Dr. Jennifer Rogers, Director of Statistical Consultancy Services at the University of Oxford, Vice President (External Affairs), Royal Statistical Society and President, British Science Association Mathematical Sciences Section, about what drove her to pursue statistics as a career. JRogers.png


Q. How or why did you choose statistics as a career path/study area?


A. I am actually an accidental statistician/mathematician rather than someone who actively chose it. I absolutely hated maths when I was in high school and was convinced that I was no good at it. In fact, it was my maths teacher who convinced me to take up maths as an A-level. I had picked three subjects and was considering biology as my fourth, but my maths teacher talked me into choosing maths and I’ve never really looked back. Once I started my A-levels, that was really it for me, I completely fell in love with statistics and that was all I wanted to do.


Q. What inspires you about statistics?


A. My love of the subject stems from having tangible datasets that you can investigate and explore. You can see data, plot it, analyze it and learn from it. I also love the many applications that statistics has. My job as a consultant means that I am involved in all sorts of different projects in many different fields. But my first love will always be medical statistics. Knowing that the work that I carry out can help keep people alive longer, prevent diseases, or improve quality of life is hugely inspirational to me and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work on some really worthwhile and life changing projects.


Q. What’s been the most exciting thing about your career in statistics?


A. Seeing my work presented at big medical conferences and hearing the subsequent discussions around how my analyses will inform future clinical practice is incredibly exciting. There’s a real buzz from hearing world renowned clinicians discussing your work and how it might help individuals in the future. I am also lucky enough to be able to undertake quite a lot of public engagement and media work. Standing on a stage in a big theatre in front of 1000 or so teenagers, or being interviewed for radio or TV are really fun, exciting aspects of my job which constantly keep me on my toes as you never know what interesting question/problem might come up next!


Q. What would you say to students/Early Career Researchers who may be considering statistics as a field of study or career choice?


A. Do it! You won’t be disappointed and you most definitely will never be bored. Being a statistician is challenging, thought-provoking, rewarding and constantly changing. There has never been a more exciting time to be a statistician in my opinion! We now live in a data generation and so our profession is only going to get more and more stimulating as we need more and more statisticians to make sense of it all. Data is only a raw material, after all. It takes a statistician to turn that raw material into knowledge. Oh, and I would also say listen to your maths teachers. It worked out pretty well for me!


Image Credit: Jennifer Rogers

    Amy Molnar
Amy Molnar
Marketing Manager, Wiley

Back in the day academic and research libraries (ARLs) were known for two basic things—they had a huge collection of source materials, and they had librarians who could help you find what you needed. Today the rapid pace of technological and sociological change has required libraries to adapt. Students and researchers now find source materials online, and teaching and learning methodologies often involve hands-on creative activities versus absorbing content passively. In response, libraries have expanded the services they provide through the use of technology. Technological solutions are being used to determine best space usage practices, develop enhanced search engine capabilities, and create new data storage and retrieval systems.


In the NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Library Edition, education and technology experts consider six challenges ARLs face in implementing these new technologies. The Report is produced by the NMC Horizon Project, an effort founded in 2002 to study technological developments expected to significantly impact education-related institutions. After an extensive cycle of discussions, the Horizon Project team sorted what they determined to be the most significant impediments to technology adoption by ARLs into three categories based upon the nature of the identified challenges: solvable challenges, difficult challenges, and wicked challenges.


Solvable Challenges are those that we understand and know how to solve. The two solvable challenges discussed in the Report include Accessibility of Library Services and Resources, and Improving Digital Literacy.


     1. Accessibility of Library Services and Resources


This challenge involves addressing how technological advances can negatively impact disabled persons. For example, while content is increasingly digitalized, the producers of that content are not necessarily concerned with accessibility. In response, ARLs are ensuring assistive technologies such as text-to-voice are available to their patrons and they are working with content producers to develop products designed to take advantage of current and future accessibility technologies. Likewise, ARLs are working with educators to ensure accessibility issues are considered during curriculum development.


2. Improving Digital Literacy


With the advent of the digital data environment, students, researchers and educators need to understand more than how to utilize digital tools and platforms. Rather, they need to understand the fundamental nature of the digital environment to enable them to creatively apply new technologies and to work in newly-enabled collaborative creation efforts. In addition, they need to comprehend the pitfalls digital technology can create (such as the uncritical acceptance of misinformation posted online). To address such challenges, ARLs are participating in digital literacy initiatives with business, academic and other governmental agencies to define and develop the needed competencies as well as related training programs.


Difficult Challenges are those we understand but for which solutions are elusive. The two difficult challenges discussed in the Report include Adapting Organizational Designs to the Future of Work; and Maintaining Ongoing Integration, Interoperability, and Collaborative Projects.


3. Adapting Organizational Designs to the Future of Work


Rapid technological advances are changing the way we work. Jobs increasingly require higher social and analytical skills than in the past. This reality has revealed a need to reconsider traditional organizational structures. Just as in the business world, library organizational structures have traditionally been largely hierarchical with decision-making being made at the top. The new reality, however, calls for more flexible, team-based decision-making to enable organizations to be more responsive to customer/patron needs. While such changes offer the promise of more seamless exchanges of information and higher technical competence of staff, what makes this challenge difficult is that as ARLs seek to redefine traditional roles, their staff members face steep learning curves and consequently often resist needed changes.


4. Maintaining Ongoing Integration, Interoperability, and Collaborative Projects


This challenge involves research funding initiatives and coordinating research information management systems and digital repositories. Much research funding is obtained in the form of competitive grants and awards, so it is critical that ARLs achieve and maintain high profiles and reputations in the eyes of funding agencies. To achieve this, it is incumbent on ARLs to establish strong partnerships with other research institutions. The proliferation of various research data storage and accessibility platforms require the development of interoperability methodologies. What makes these challenges especially difficult is a continually evolving research environment in which is difficult to develop universal standards which, in turn, allow ARLs to efficiently share their findings with funding sources.


Wicked Challenges are those that are difficult to define, much less address. The two wicked challenges discussed in the Report include Economic and Political Pressures, and Embracing the Need for Radical Change.


5. Economic and Political Pressures


Academic and research libraries face mounting economic challenges as the pace of research generation and publication increases. In addition, falling student enrollment, rising subscription costs, and diminishing government funding add to the need for more efficient operations. In response, ARLs have prioritized adopting technologies that cut costs through efficiencies. The problem is that the adoption of new technologies can be costly in itself: to gain efficiencies, you have to spend money up front. On top of this, the political climate can at times create challenges to ARL’s core principles of intellectual freedom.


6. Embracing the Need for Radical Change


With data increasingly stored in digital form in the Cloud, ARLs are reassessing their acquisition strategies and the nature of the services they provide. In this new reality they must determine how best to utilize their physical space and what services they should provide going forward to maximize their value propositions. This highlights the need for ARLs to work with educators and others to find ways to integrate their offerings into academic programs.

In addition to these challenges to ARL technology adoption, the Report also discusses trends influencing technology adoption in libraries (see the recent post, Six Trends Driving Technology Adoption in Libraries) as well as new library technologies on the horizon. We will discuss these upcoming library technologies next month in a post entitled “Six Important Developments in Technology for Academic and Research Libraries.” Stay tuned!


    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

Community is at the heart of any society. The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) fosters a robust and engaged member community by understanding what their members need. Rebecca Gethen, Communications Manager at ECPR, shares insights into the organization’s priorities.


Q: What are some of the engagement strategies ECPR uses to engage with current members?



A: The ECPR is unusual since our membership is institutional, but all benefits of that membership are aimed at the individuals within those universities, from graduate student level up. Our membership communication strategy therefore should take into account the different roles and needs of the various stakeholders. For example, the individual appointed as ‘Official Representative’ at each member institution has the dual role of being part of the ECPR’s Council as well as a key decision-maker in their university’s renewal of ECPR membership each year. They must be kept informed of governance issues as well as how their staff and students might benefit from their membership. The relationship we have with these c. 340 individuals is vital to the health of the organization and it is our Communications Officer’s job to ensure they are fully supported, informed and engaged through regular correspondence throughout the year. We also have an annual meeting of Council each year at our autumn conference, where members of Council are invited to engage with the Executive Committee (ECPR’s board of trustees) and air any issues or concerns.


However, since the membership benefits are aimed at individuals (or ‘affiliate members’ as we call them), how we communicate with and engage this community is equally as important. Primarily we use email and social media to speak to our affiliates, but the big challenge to us is information overload. We are a large organization and regularly have a lot of, what we consider, important information to share, so we constantly walk a tightrope of keeping people informed so they can fully use the benefits of the membership their university has paid for, and bombarding people with information. We have therefore been working on a strategy over the past 18 months or so, of streamlining communications into fortnightly email bulletins that give a quick concise overview and/or a clear call to action, linking to detail and substance on our website (either through content pages or bespoke news stories). We then supplement this with ad-hoc emails on specific activities as and when we feel it is needed (such as calls for papers, new book releases etc.) to more targeted lists. This is then supported through our social media channels and primarily Twitter, which we feel works best for us (though we do also use Facebook and LinkedIn).


Feedback from our members is important and highly valued, and at an institutional level is channeled through the Official Representative; at an affiliate level, we run surveys after each event which feed into future planning and invite feedback via the website. We have also run large-scale affiliate membership surveys in the past, and recently ran a program of engagement with our members and Standing Groups which helped shape the development of our new Open Access journal, Political Research Exchange (PRX).


Q: Can you share a little about the formation of MyECPR? What role does this community play in your engagement strategy?


A: MyECPR is the cornerstone of our engagement with the community – anyone who takes part in any ECPR activity needs to have a MyECPR to manage their participation. Through this, individuals can manage their subscriptions to our mailing lists and in turn what information they receive from us. The data held in MyECPR is vital in helping us understand trends in engagement across gender, geographies and generations, which in turn helps shape the benefits and services ECPR delivers.


Q: Following your 2016 Gender Study, what are some of the actions you are taking to help engage members and influence gender equality in the organization?

A: Our study (which will be updated this summer) showed that, overall, levels of participation between men and women at the grass roots of our organization are broadly equal but increasingly reduce in favor of men the further up through the leadership and governance of the organization you go. Women are under-represented as Section and Workshop Chairs at our events, as Editors of our publications, as Standing Group Convenors, Official Representatives and on the Executive Committee (the new EC has four female members – the highest number to date). We have also found that the numbers of women submitting to, and being published within, our journals is very low compared to their male colleagues. The new Executive Committee will be developing a strategy over the next year to seek to improve the participation and representation of female political scientists in ECPR and these could include looking at composition of roundtables, plenary panels and lectures at events and identifying methods of attracting more female candidates for editorial positions as and when they arise.


Q: What do you hope to see for your member community over the next five years?

A: There is a growing trend towards open scholarship and increasing pressure from funding bodies for our affiliates and members to publish their research open access, but at the same time limited funds within the social sciences for scholars to meet these obligations. Political Research Exchange (PRX) has been designed to support our community by providing access to this form of publishing at a fraction of the cost of established OA journals and will be seen as a key new membership benefit, which we hope both the institutions and affiliates will find of value. 


Image Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

On Saturday April 14, people gathered in more than 200 cities around the world to show their support for science. The second annual March for Science shows the power of community and what we can achieve by working together to advocate for a future built on evidence and knowledge that improves lives around the world.

In Washington DC, we were delighted to sponsor a tent on behalf of the National Council for Science and the Environment. This organization advances informed environmental policy through interdisciplinary research, scientific assessment, communication, and training. NCSE specializes in research and education that supports collaboration between diverse institutions and individuals.

They shared with us some of their favorite signs and moments from the day.


The theme of the tent was sustainability. At the tent, NCSE offered trivia on sustainable actions that we can all take in our everyday lives. They also shared some information about sustainability work many of their member universities are doing in the region, and encouraged visitors to support sustainable actions in their communities.


There was also a sign-making station, where marchers created signs explaining why science matters to them. Jessica Soule, NCSE Deputy Director, shared a favorite moment from the day when a number of young students stopped by and shared that science was their favorite subject. Many drew pictures of some of the experiments they were doing in school.

All in all, the DC weather was beautiful, and the day was a powerful celebration of the role science plays in all of our lives.

Elsewhere, marchers enjoyed an equally sunny day in London, where Wiley colleagues joined in to show their support for all of the amazing work our society partners do every day.

“The March for Science brings together a diverse, interdisciplinary coalition of partners in support of equitable, evidence-based policies for the common good,” says Caroline Weinberg, March for Science interim executive director.


We are proud to support the work of scientists researching diseases, climate change, technologies, and new innovations that will transform our world. We are also thrilled to continue our partnership with the March for Science, through our support of Vote for Science, a new program that seeks to secure the long-term funding of science policy, by providing access to scholarly and scientific content. We look forward to providing science advocates with direct access to research through this program, focusing each month on different areas of science and policy.

Watch the live stream of the flagship event in Washington, DC for compelling speeches and some clever and powerful signs. You can watch on YouTube here.


Image Credit: Jessica Soule, National Council on Science for the Environment

    Jen Holton
Jen Holton
Director of Global Rights and Permissions at Wiley

The images, figures, tables, graphs and charts published within research articles are often the most important information in the paper. Photos can sum up key findings in a single image, and tables tell a story with their numbers. People around the world search for these images every day, whether it’s for personal research, new publications, educational and training materials, presentations, or promotional purposes. But finding the right image and getting permission to use it can take a long time. Wiley’s new partnership with Lumina Datamatics helps solve this perpetual problem by making it easy to find - and get permission to reuse – the images published within journals.


Before, anyone who wanted to reuse a figure in a journal published by Wiley could not even search online for the image they wanted to reuse because there was no metadata attached to images and figures. Once they did find an image, they then had to find the publisher information, request the type of permission they needed, and then wait to receive a license agreement. Now, through the new Lumina Datamatics database, you can find images through a simple Google search or through the database itself. And you don’t need to know anything about where or when the image was published in order to find it.


Here’s how it works: when I do an image keyword search on Google, I get a list of results, including any relevant results from the 2 million, high resolution, licensable images currently in the Lumina Rights platform. When I see the image that I want, I can click through to request it, download a high-resolution file, and pay any associated licensing fee all in one easy transaction. Or, instead of Google, I can use a direct link to Lumina’s online Rights Platform to look for the images I want, searching either for a specific publication or via subject-specific keywords. I don’t necessarily need to know what article it was published in to find the image I need. The database also automatically excludes third party images and anything else that can’t be licensed, so once you’ve found what you want, you know you can use it.


Besides making it easier for people to find and use the rich collection of images published within Wiley journals, the new service also quickly credits licensing fees back to the right publication. By opening up access to the millions of images published in Wiley journals to more researchers and members of the public, regardless of whether or not they are subscribers, the new database also helps more people find journals they may not have been aware of it before, making it a powerful new way for potential readers and authors to discover your journal.


Wiley has published millions of figures and images built on our heritage of over 210-years of quality publishing. Now these resources can be easily found, accessed and utilized by researchers, members of the public, and other enterprises, regardless of whether they subscribe to or purchase our publications. Clearing rights to reuse the images is quick and easy. We see this as an innovative and helpful service for our customers and we are thrilled that Lumina Datamatics will be helping us to accomplish this.

View the press release here.


Image Credit: Hero Images/Getty Images

    Kim Tairi
Kim Tairi
Librarian, Auckland University of Technology

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa (hello, hello hello to you all) from Aotearoa (New Zealand). My name is Kim Tairi and I’m the Kaitoha Puka or University Librarian from Auckland University of Technology (AUT).  If you want to know more about the kind of university we are, I suggest you watch this wonderful video of our UniPrep students. You might need tissues!



Like most libraries, we are grappling with how to continuously transform our library in an incredibly competitive higher education sector. One of the strategies we are using at AUT is to firmly position the Library as a learning and social space, changing the perception that we are merely repository for books. Many people are “nostalgically protective of libraries” as Dr Layla McCay notes in Huffington Post, which can add layers of complexity to making changes to much loved libraries and collections. Thus, bringing the community along with you when creating new services and spaces requires lots of engagement with users. I want to share with you an example of where we have been successful.


Studio 55 – AUT Makerspace


You may already be familiar with the makerspace ethos. Essentially, they are shared spaces where people with different skill levels, can come together for informal peer-led learning (Gardiner, D Engineering Students in Studio 55_Portrait_1.JPG2016). In the Library we were keen to create a space that mirrors some of the more innovative teaching and learning spaces in the university as well as real-world workplaces. It seems likely that many of our graduates won’t ever work in office spaces as we now know them. They will work in co-working spaces and studios. We also recognized that studio space in faculty is often restricted to students from that faculty. Thus we wanted to offer faculty agnostic space for all.


Haere mai (Welcome) to Studio 55


We opened the makerspace in semester 2 of 2017 and the response has been wonderful. The name Studio 55 is a homage to the artist and musician David Bowie, who frequented the New York nightclub, Studio 54 and our street number, 55.


We program regular activities in Studio 55 and in the first few months an alumnus, Ryder Jones was our artist-in-residence. He created works of art and ran workshops for the AUT community. The makerspace is particularly popular with our design and engineering students, many of whom weren’t using our physical library spaces before because we weren’t providing the right environment to meet their study needs.


Our program includes activities such as: printmaking, yoga, mindfulness, zine-making, sustainability and hack-a-thons. Some are facilitated by students and faculty and our ultimate aim is for the bulk of the workshops to be run by our community.


The makerspace provides the perfect place to engage and collaborate. We offer meaningful opportunities for people to acquire new skills and knowledge. Attendance at workshops is steady and growing. The library looks and feels more vibrant and dynamic. When Studio 55 is not being used for workshops, students/staff are free to use the space, materials and much of the equipment. In fact, we have increasingly found that staff from the Library and other areas in the University are using the space for stand-up meetings, agile sprints and team activities.


Return on Investment


Reusable Tote Bags_Landscape_1.jpgSpaces like this are relatively easy to create. We have kept ours deliberately low tech. The focus is more on peer-led learning. We set the whole thing up for $50,000. Our Marketing and Engagement Specialist Hans Tommy coordinates the space and does the programming and promotion alongside his marketing and communications responsibilities. Ideally, we’d like more resources to expand and grow the activities offered but we’re managing for now. The space is a great investment in terms of changing perceptions about academic libraries. The positive PR and wow factor has paid dividends. More people see the Library as a place that fosters learning, creativity and innovation.


Our Library Roadmap (our mission/strategy) talks about creating an environment that encourages curiosity, creativity and experimentation plus fosters learning, teaching, research and openness. The makerspace does all of these things. AUT is the first university in New Zealand to have a library makerspace. It is a win/win for AUT!


Kim Tairi

Kaitoha Puka (University Librarian)

Twitter: @kimtairi | Email: kim.tairi@aut.ac.nz


    Anna Ehler
Anna Ehler
Society Marketing    

Social media is a great way for societies to build connections with members. If you’re just starting a social program or want to see how your tactics measure up, listen to this month’s interview with Wiley Associate Marketing Director Sarah Garfunkel.




For more on how other societies are using social, check out these posts:

How to Make Social Media a Powerful Member Engagement Tool

Implementing a Journal Social Media Strategy: A Successful Case Study

How to Create Engaging Conferences

Listen to the previous podcast episode: Keeping Research Relevant: “In Our Society There Is No Distinction Between Opinion, Wishful Thinking, and Evidence"

You can listen to this episode and others – including our conversation with Wiley family member Jesse Wiley about the future of societies – by going to iTunes and subscribing to the Wiley Society Podcast.


    Jemma Blow
Jemma Blow
Associate Marketing Manager, Statistics & Mathematics

As we continue to celebrate Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, we recently spoke with Helen MacGillivray, who wears multiple hats as President of the International Statistical Institute; Editor of Teaching Statistics; and Adjunct Professor in Statistics, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)


Q. How or why did you choose statistics as a career path/field of study?

A. Like many, I didn’t set out to be a statistician, as I was intending to be a physicist, but discovered that I was much more at home with statistical and probabilistic thinking, and its assumptions, modelling, analysis and applications. Statistics was optional in my undergraduate program, but by the end of my honors degree in mathematics, I was captivated by its conceptual structures, judgement, real-world problem-solving and universality. Nor would I have predicted my passion for teaching statistics and where it would take me, with its data-driven approaches, real and rich contexts, importance across so many discipline, learning environments which reflect the practice of statistics, and the explosion in technology. About 25 years ago I had to choose between progressing on the university leadership or the professional and teaching leadership pathways, and I chose the latter to stay in the statistical world.


Q. What inspires you about statistics?

A. My PhD was on statistical questions from industrial crystallisation but it led me to some fundamental problems requiring bringing together concepts, theories and applications. Such synthesis is part of the fascination of statistics, as well as the appeal of the endless challenge of understanding, analyzing, making sense of, and communicating uncertainty and variation in an amazing variety of real contexts across all disciplines. My teaching and leadership have ranged from large (200-600) classes across all engineering, life, health and physical sciences, technology and others, to specialist courses at honors and postgraduate levels. I have never stopped learning about teaching and communicating statistics through observation and evaluation, research, sharing learning with students and colleagues, and interacting with other disciplines and international communities.


Q. What are the most exciting things about your jobs?

A. My work now is in honorary international professional positions, having retired from fulltime work as a Professor in Statistics and Director, QUT Maths Access Centre. Across all my work, as tutor, counsellor, lecturer, professor, discipline leader, director, consultant and professional presidencies and editorial positions, the most exciting aspects have been to innovate and make a difference and to interact with people: hundreds of thousands of students, staff in statistics and many other disciplines, colleagues nationally and across the world, employers, past students, school teachers and authorities, authors and publishers.


Q. What would you say to students or Early Career Researchers who may be considering statistics as a career or field of study?

A. Studying statistics opens up an amazing variety of interesting and rewarding careers with something for everyone. Statistically-trained people with good communication, teamwork and computing skills are greatly in demand and not in good supply, so financially rewarding careers are available across diverse interests.



Helen is only the second female, and second Australian, to be President of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) in its 130 year history. She was an inaugural Australian Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow, first female President and first female Honorary Life Member of the Statistical Society of Australia. She is Editor of Teaching Statistics, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Chair of the newly established UN Global Network of Institutions for Statistical Training, and a past President of the International Association for Statistical Education. Her work in teaching and curricula design across multiple disciplines, class sizes and educational levels received recognition and support through national awards and significant grants. She has published textbooks, book chapters, keynote, invited or refereed papers on authentic learning and assessment in statistics, quantitative learning support and statistical research interests in distributional properties.



    Richard Threlfall
Richard Threlfall
Digital Product Manager, Wiley

As the number of papers published in journals increases exponentially every year, authors, editors, reviewers, and societies are all faced with a growing problem: How do I make sense of the huge volume of information that’s out there and how do I quickly find the information that’s most relevant to the questions I want to answer? As a publisher, part of our job is to help everyone find their way through the information deluge and Intelligent Solutions is Wiley’s new data science and machine learning group that is dedicated to doing exactly that.


One of the challenges that editors often face is finding high-quality papers for their journals. Preprint servers, where papers are made publicly available before or simultaneously with submission to a journal, are a rich source of good papers. However, before an editor can assess posted papers for quality, he/she first must sort the papers that fit the journal scope from those that don’t, which means screening hundreds of papers every day and, importantly, doing it ahead of the competition. This takes a lot of time and is representative of a raft of editorial tasks that could benefit from a smarter approach like that of our new XrXiv Alerter service.


Through machine learning, XrXiv Alerter learns which papers potentially fit the scope of each of the 1600 journals that Wiley publishes, then alerts journal editors when a potentially suitable paper is posted to a preprint server. This means editors spend less time scrolling through lists of irrelevant papers on preprint servers and more time on assessing the relevant papers that might really matter to their journals. Editors face a similar challenge downstream in the publishing process. That being helping to find a home for high-quality papers that aren’t suitable for their own journals but could be published elsewhere. In some cases, a paper may be rejected from several journals before it’s finally published, creating extra work for the authors, editors, and peer reviewers at each step. But what if an editor could visualize the common pathways that submissions like these follow from one journal to the next so that the best journal for a paper could be found faster, with fewer resubmissions?


This would be almost impossible to do by hand when you consider that most journals reject hundreds or even thousands of papers every year, but our Submission Pathfinder app can do it in just a few minutes. The app not only enables editors and societies to more easily provide support and guidance for authors of rejected papers, but also quickly identifies potential gaps in the market where there might not  yet be a good home for a subsection of papers.

Data Driven decisions.png

Image: Submission pathways of papers in clinical psychology: An almost impossible task to map by hand but generated in only a few minutes with Submission Pathfinder.


If you think about it, there are similar problems throughout the publishing process. How do authors find the most appropriate journals in which to publish their papers? How do editors find the most appropriate reviewers for submitted manuscripts and then ensure that peer review is as fair as possible? How can societies find and retain more of the best papers for
their journals, identify opportunities to launch new journals, and find the best editorial board members for their journals? Beyond journals, what opportunities are there for us to work with societies on broader issues like thought leadership, connecting research to current affairs, and increasing membership?


Happily, Intelligent Solutions can offer Wiley’s society partners innovative tools that complement the experience of the experts engaged in all stages of the publishing process. It’s our aim to help everyone make better, more consistent, data-driven decisions without condemning anyone to the drudgery of sorting through today’s data deluge by hand.


About Intelligent Solutions: Intelligent Solutions consists of a group of Ph.D. scientists who are former Wiley journal editors turned data scientists. We have experience in developing innovative technology products for researchers, such as the revolutionary organic chemistry tool ChemPlanner and the free-to-use 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy data checking service. Combining data science skills with insight into scientific research, publishing, and product development, we’re able to help colleagues, researchers, and society partners meet the challenges of today’s competitive
publishing landscape.

     Chloe Wenborn
Chloe Wenborn
Wiley, Library Services

Working in a library, you're part of a busy environment that requires you to possess a multitude of skills, from expert knowledge of new technology to strong people skills. That’s why, for many, the need for training never ends.


There are always new skills to learn and new abilities to master, and that’s why so many librarians continue to utilize CPD opportunities to boost their overall knowledge.


When it comes to CPD it is important to take charge of your own development. Not only will CPD help you grow professionally it will also provide you with necessary skills to help you adapt in the ever-changing environment that is the library. The benefits will not only be seen in the short-term in your existing role but also in your longer-term career.



library organize.jpeg

Here are four tips for professional development


1.     Teach yourself a new skill


You don't always need structure or a class to learn something new. Identify a skill that will support you in your line of work or one that you need to improve and start practicing. Web development or Excel mastery are perfect examples of skills that you can teach yourself and that are useful in the workplace. The web is full of free online tutorials, videos and quick guides on how to use these kinds of tools that will enable you to teach yourself.


For example, here is a tutorial on the Wiley Network showing you how to create your own images for posters or social media.


In order to do this, it’s important to dedicate some time to learning during the workday. Practicing these skills often will help you to learn quickly. Learning in the work place will also enable you to use and perfect these skills in real time and in real situations.


2.     Shadow a Colleague


What better way to learn than from the people around you? 


Your colleagues are likely to have insight and knowledge in related areas that you can learn from and practice, so why not ask? Find someone who has a skill set that you are interested in gaining and ask him/her if he/she is willing to share his/her expertise. Additionally, shadowing offers a broader knowledge of various jobs and functions within your team. It can provide insight into additional skills you may want to acquire as you watch your colleagues put them into practice.


3.     Take a Free Online Course


Taking a certified online course can not only can be an asset to your C.V. but can leave you with valuable skills to help progress your career. Online courses are often less expensive than more traditional courses onsite at a university and often they are even offered for free. The emergence of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) offers librarians another online education option. Many colleges and universities have begun to accept credits earned via MOOCs.


Online courses give you the opportunity to plan your study time around the rest of your day, instead of the other way around. You can study and work when at your most productive, whether that’s early morning or late at night. All of this makes online learning a good option for balancing work and other commitments.


4.     Attend a conference


Lastly, have you attended a conference already this year? If you found yourself joining fellow librarians and professionals at UKSG 2018, ALA, ADBU Congress in France, Bibliostar in Italy or even Bibliothekartag in Germany then you can already tick off one of these professional development tips!


Attending a conference can be an exciting way to network and learn more about your industry. Decide which conferences are most worthwhile for you, and don’t be afraid to consider those in related industries, such as technology or marketing.  Research the conference presenters and attendees and review the agenda to make the most of a day away from the library.


These are just a few suggestions for making time to continue your professional development. Do you have your own professional development tips? Share them with us below.


Image Source: Pexels.com/PhotoMix Ltd.


     Chloe Wenborn
Chloe Wenborn
Wiley, Library Services

When you work in a busy library environment it might seem that there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete every task. Alongside your own tasks, you might have patrons requiring your expertise, time, energy and support. Often this can feel completely overwhelming.


In order for you to complete each task to its fullest and provide accurate help and advice to your patrons in a distraction-filled environment, you need to help your brain handle all that input at once. Remind yourself of these three techniques to help you work effectively when you have to multitask.


1.    Prioritizelibrary.jpeg


Effective multitasking takes prioritization.


After making your list of things you need to do that day, you need to be able to prioritize those tasks that are most urgent and those that are not. To simplify, at the top of your list should be those tasks that need to be done first and those tasks that can be done later at the bottom.


If you work in a hectic environment, the key is to make sure these lists remain visible throughout the day to ensure important or urgent tasks don’t slip through the cracks. So, put your list in a prominent spot and revisit it during the day Color coding tasks can also help you prioritize while drawing attention to your list to keep it in the forefront of your mind.


2.    Set specific time frames for task completion


Multitasking includes time management.


It's amazing how focused we can really be when we have a deadline or a short amount of time to get a task completed. However, this doesn’t always mean that tasks are completed to the fullest as we will often rush when we have a short amount of time to complete something.


Once you have prioritized your to-do list you need to estimate how much time you will need to complete those urgent tasks. Give yourself realistic time frames to make sure you set that time aside. These time frames can often act as motivation while giving you focus.


If you have 15 minutes here and there, utilize that time for smaller tasks. This is especially useful if you have a day filled with meetings! Focus on setting the intention that you will get it done within the allotted time you have so you can move on to your next task while ticking another thing off your list.


3.    Use downtime to review information


Utilize that extra time for efficient multitasking.


One of the downsides or dangers of multitasking is that we can sometimes forget a task we have completed. We can also forget to follow up that task or review it. 


In a library environment you may find that there are natural lulls in the day or, perhaps by luck, part of your day has become freer than expected. Utilize that time! If you have had to skim an important document during a chaotic week or you’ve been delayed in completing a task as something else has required your attention, take the time to review it later that day or week. Re-read that document or make the finishing touches to that task in your downtime during the day. You can even set aside time to do a mental review of what you have completed to make sure it meets your own standards or pick up something that has slipped down the priority list.


If you’re someone who finds motivation in ticking items off a checklist, why not consider time logging? The idea is that you track where you spend your time and in doing so you can more accurately report on projects and more clearly see your own productivity.


For more information read a previous post on time logging here:


What techniques help you “get it all done”? Let us know in the comments below.


Image Source: Pexels.com/PhotoMix Ltd.



     Carlos Grajales
Carlos Grajales
Statistician and Business Analytics Consultant

As Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month continues, Carlos Grajales shares his journey into the world of statistics.  Carlos is a Mexican Statistician and Business Analytics Consultant. He runs his own consulting and polling company, where he has followed Mexican elections since 2010. He is also currently an Analytics consultant for PepsiCo Latin America and member of the Significance Magazine Editorial Board.


statistics.jpgTen years after graduating with a degree in Statistics, it’s fun to remember how it all started: how I made it into the Stats world. At the outset I had almost no idea about what statistics was, yet I enjoyed math and was looking for some fun way to use numbers inmy career. With that premise in mind, I began researching the different careers available to me. Engineering seemed appealing but I wanted something more diverse and broad. Economics also looked cool, but not “mathy” enough. In the midst of this research, I heard of one of the only two Statistics degrees offered in Mexico and after some digging intothe University, I realized that statistics was just what I dreamed of: a chance to apply deep numeric analysis to almost any field you could think of. Statistics are everywhere, which is what I love most about what I do. It is inspiring to learn about new research, methods and models where statistics are used in exciting and somewhat surprising new ways. After just a few months in college I realized I could use my knowledge in Statistics to work on Industry related topics, psychological research or political science. I could work in the agroindustry or fora pharmaceutical company. Moreover, back when I was in college, using models to improve AI programs or image recognition software was something that seemedout of reach, yet currently these are areas of development where a statistician can employ his/her skills today. Almost any question a firm, a political party or a researcher has can be solved with stats and only a statistician can answer them.


You never get bored as a statistician. If modeling starts to become burdensome for you, you can simply change fields.. For instance, I love politics, which is why most of my work is related to polling, political studies and social science research. But in non-election seasons, I get to collaborate with private companies to develop financial models, marketing research studies and Visualizations. This allows me a change of pace for a while and ensures I’m not stuck doing the same thing over and over. Few careers offer that much flexibility.


Another thing I love about my job, which is something not many statisticians talk about, is that in this career, you get to give your personal touch to everything you do. Consider that statistics is a career with no absolutes. By this I mean that there are not necessarily “right” or “wrong” solutions. It is fairly common to have two different approaches to the same problem, two different models and two different outputs. Many more, actually! Once you become experienced, the software you use, the decisions you make and the methodologies you employ will allow you to produce some very original analyses: something truly yours. The joy of feeling you created something unique when your job is complete can’t be overstated.. We get that feeling often.


All this is why I have some important advice for anyone considering a career path in Statistics: Do It. I can’t stress enough how fun and diverse it is to work in this field. But beware, it’snot easy. You really need a solid math background to be a good statistician and these days it is becoming more and more important to have good programming skills. Be humble and always be ready to learn from someone else. It is great to collaborate with other statisticians who bring their own vision and ideas. Being a statistician is truly a collaborative endeavor and you will learn about  many different topics and fields. A few years back I was lucky enough to learn about the process of producing coffee, the effects of family on addiction prevention and what factors drive voters toward a political option. And these are the just the topics I worked on while in college!


I could talk about the many job opportunities statisticians have (Polling is an area where we are in high demand-a great opportunity for anyone interested) or how it is considered among the fastest-growing and most profitable careers. But your career choice should be based on what you love, on what you dream about  and what you aspire to. What you must really know is that, by joining our profession, you’ll be entering one of the most rewarding and exciting fields there is. I’ll be more than happy to welcome you.


Carlos is a Mexican Statistician and Business Analytics Consultant. He runs his own consulting and polling company, where he has followed Mexican elections since 2010. He is also currently an Analytics consultant for PepsiCo Latin America and member of the Significance Magazine Editorial Board.


How do you maintain your well-being as a postgraduate student? Let us know in the comments below.


Image Source: Pexels.com/NegativeSpace


     Chloe Wenborn
Chloe Wenborn
Wiley, Library Services

Continuing from our previous blog post ‘What Will Libraries of the Future Look Like?’ we look in more depth at the changes you may see in your academic library.laptop and coffee.jpg


Technology continues to evolve, and as it does it is becoming more and more integrated with society.. Smart appliances and voice controlled assistants are just two examples of how technology is evolving to make people’s lives easier. As technology changes the way we manage our lives, will it also affect the way libraries are managed?


Spurring innovation in the library


One of the major changes we expect to see in academic libraries is the use of new innovating technologies. The NMC Horizon Report Summary 2017 Library Edition suggests that in the very near future we will be seeing “libraries adapting to accommodate new applications of technology for learning, research, and information”. This is certainly not something new for academic libraries - they have had to be adaptive and flexible with new innovations in learning and research for some time now – but the report specifically references new applications of technology.


Adopting these new applications will allow institutions to “unite across international borders and work towards common goals”. This means we could be seeing further collaboration across the globe, enabling libraries in providing improved access to scholarly material and resources. These innovations could also “help libraries to more effectively preserve and mine their collections online”, therebyimproving and redefining access for researchers.


This growing focus on the accessibility of digital resources will undoubtedly impact the role of library professionals. Librarians will be challenged to “learn new skills to be able to implement the new technologies for learning, research and information for their patrons”. This could lead to an increased focus on learning and development within libraries, a shift in what is taught in Library & Information Science courses or perhaps simply an expectation of librarians to extend their professional development.


Innovations will also lead to advancements in digital data management that will result in more accurate subject search results and citations while enabling libraries to more effectively curate and display relevant resources.


These new innovations will significantly improve the way patrons discovercontent, making it more accessible and relevant for them.


Re-thinking library spaces


The Horizon Report also identifies a shift in how students now use their libraries.


It explains that “students are relying less on libraries as the sole source for accessing information and more for finding a place to be productive”. Students now expect to be able to learn and work everywhere, with continuousaccess to learning materials and oneanother for collaborative learning. Their changing expectations, likelydue to the always accessible Internet,, places more demand on the library. Students seek out immediate and constant access to materials and libraries are having to explore new ways of accommodating this.


This demand for collaborative learning will also challenge institutional leaders to reflect on how the design of library spaces can better facilitate the face-to-face interactions that take place there. As a result, we are beginning to see the architecture of libraries change significantly. As we move forward, we may begin to see libraries implement new and innovative technology that allows room for active learning spaces, media productions, virtual meeting spaces and other areas conducive to collaborative and hands-on work. For some institutions this may mean a complete overhaul of the library space, while others may explore less costly solutions that work with their existing space.


What is clear, with technology innovations and the evolution of library spaces, is that if we see these changes in academic libraries they will change the way libraries are used forever. Libraries are adapting to fit with a world that is increasingly digital and although we can explore trends, as with the Horizon report, there is no guarantee as tohow this will evolve. In 10, 20 or even 30 years from now we could see libraries with completely paperless reading areas, touchscreen information portals and robotic assistants as guides. The real innovations remain to be seen.  


What changes have you seen in the library already? Let us know in the comments below.


Image Source: Pexels.com/George Becker


    Kiera Sullivan
Kiera Sullivan
Library Services, Wiley

What one thing do you really wish you’d known for your first library job? And what do you think is the most important skill a librarian will need for the future?


To better understand the highs, lows and challenges of working in Academic libraries, we asked delegates at the last year’s UKSG conference to give us their answers to four questions UKSG17 stand.JPGaround their past, current and future roles.


As librarianship is such a collaborative industry, it’s no surprise that over a hundred of you took time out during the conference to share your advice, opinions and knowledge. One wall of the Wiley booth quickly turned into an interesting snapshot of your thoughts on the past, current and future of academic libraries and librarianship.


As well as the two questions above, we also asked: “What’s your favorite thing about your job?” and “What do you think will be the biggest change for libraries in the future?”


Responses ranged from the ever-popular skill of “flexibility” to the controversial “Burn all the books!” but what came across in all the answers is a sense of how much librarians enjoy their roles, and an excitement for the future and the changes and challenges it will bring.


Many of you stopped by the Wiley booth to answer our questions and read some of your peer’s thoughts. As we embark on this year’s UKSG conference we have collated all the responses into a report for you to have a read here.


If you will be attending this year’s UKSG conference in Glasgow, please stop by the Wiley stand #34 & 36, as we’d love to hear your thoughts on the report or you can comment below.


And, here again is the report.


    Claire O'Neill
Claire O'Neill
Library Services, Wiley

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.

–Ray Bradbury


Each year, National Library Week celebrates libraries and librarians across the nation, promoting library use and awareness. First sponsored in 1958, this year’s celebration marks the 60th NLW.pnganniversary of the event.


Now in 2018, the acknowledgement and support of libraries is more important than ever. With a rapidly-evolving user base and an increasingly intricate information landscape, librarians are being called upon to help researchers navigate complex terrain and align their services more closely to the holistic academic journey.


And librarians are out there answering the call—and then some. Check out some examples of the ways libraries are making a difference to researchers and thinking outside of the box as they work to lead change.


1. Librarians as leaders of student affordability initiatives

Under increased pressure to demonstrate their impact on student success, many academic libraries are offering programs to educate faculty and students on eTextbooks and open educational resources. A multitude of institutions are tackling the issue of student affordability head on. Just to name a few: NYU has been piloting a eTextbook program, the University of Washington has a grant available for faculty to provide open textbooks, Temple University hosted a workshop for faculty to provide instruction to the world of open educational resources, and Rutgers University has implemented the Open and Affordable Textbooks (OAT) Program to help relieve the burden of costly course materials for students.


In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim. –Linton Weeks


2. Libraries expand outreach programs to reach larger audiences on important topics

In an effort to amplify outreach efforts, academic libraries are now often seen hosting workshops and events to proactively answer researchers’ questions and connect them with the resources they need to succeed in their work. Recently Brown University started a Library FYI workshop, covering basic resources and “keys to efficiently wrangling information” as well as a drop-in workshop on “Citing and Publishing Your Data.” Southern Methodist University has adopted this approach as well, offering a “Request a Workshop” option where students can choose the topic and preferred timing in order to accommodate their busy schedules.


3. Combining two of the best things: books and food!

In April, many institutions are participating in edible book festivals, where contestants turn their favorite books into edible art and compete for prizes. Schools like Georgetown University, Pennsylvania State University, and Johns Hopkins University are joining the edible book festival trend this year as a fun way to demonstrate the love of reading and express creativity.


4. Expanding the possibilities of research direction

Although research often starts in the library, it doesn’t always have to end there! The University of Washington is hosting a unique program titled “Going Public: Connecting Research & Community,” where attendees will explore ways in which students can engage with the community in the research process “through public scholarship, citizen science, community-engaged research, and participatory research.” This program will include panel presentations from community participants and researchers, graduate student poster displays of success stories, and several workshops. This is a great way for researchers to connect with like-minded people, involve members of the public in research, and explore different ways of conducting research.


Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.

–Neil Gaiman


5. Libraries are improving user experience

A major challenge that librarians continue to face is promoting awareness of the library’s resources and encouraging its users to leverage the library website as a starting point for search. But without an up-to-date interface and user-friendly navigation, many researchers won’t take full advantage of all of the opportunities their institutions’ libraries have to offer. To address this challenge, many schools like the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, and Dartmouth University are building new websites, taking into consideration a great deal of feedback and troubleshooting to deliver the best user experience and gateway to their libraries.


Librarians are tour-guides for all of knowledge. –Patrick Ness


6. Libraries are transforming their physical spaces

To stay relevant, librarians are taking on more than just their websites—their physical space is getting a refresh as well. Librarians know that the library is no longer simply used for its stacks, but that it requires modern and open study areas, computer zones, and meeting spaces to accommodate a more tech-oriented, collaborative culture. For example, Princeton University is planning to renovate its Firestone Library in order to create a building “that is well-suited to support library services and contemporary approaches to scholarship.” Similarly, the University of Michigan is building a brand new Special Collections Research Center “with newly-renovated spaces for reading, instruction, and consultation, designed to maximize the opportunities for engaging with the library’s extensive collection.”


7. Providing opportunities to promote projects and get published

Among the many other hats that they wear, librarians are some of researchers’ most valuable advocates. In order to help users navigate the publishing process and see success in the competitive world of scholarly communications, librarians are providing opportunities for researchers to learn from each other. In one such example at Concordia University, the library is hosting its Research Forum, an event that provides librarians, archivists, graduate students, teaching faculty, and information professionals with an opportunity to “describe and promote their completed or in-progress research practical case studies, or projects.” Using a different approach, Georgetown University will have a Hoyas Publish Fair for students who want to get published, are interested in working on student-run publications, or want to read other students’ published work.


8. Librarians give students a platform to be heard 

Many academic libraries recognize the need to communicate with student researchers directly to learn about their library needs, rather than make educated guesses on their behalf. The University of Michigan, for instance, has recently started a Student Engagement Ambassador program, and are hiring for Fall 2018. This program will use students to reach students. The engagement ambassadors “will plan events at the library for fellow students and participate in the library’s social media channels for marketing and research”. Similarly, the University of Alberta has developed the Help Us Break Barriers program and is requesting students be part of a focus group to help test the accessibility of library spaces, the library website, and its programs and services.


Libraries always remind me that there are good things in this world. –Lauren Ward


9. Incentivizing research to enrich student experience

Award programs are one way in which libraries provide benefits to students as an acknowledgement of their hard work. Through its Archival Scholars Research Awards, the University of Pittsburgh has not only helped accomplish this goal, but also facilitates a deeper connection between undergraduate students and their research materials, career plans, and fellow researchers. Offering award recipients a monetary stipend to develop independent research projects that draw on the library system’s archives, this program includes workshops, archival training, and presentations.


10.) Libraries connect the community and raise support

Libraries across the world continue to lead events and activities that connect researchers and students and enhance the community. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the library is holding their semiannual book sale during National Library Week. This sale is organized “to support the university’s annual lecture series, special purchases for the library collections, preservation of library materials, and grants for the visiting scholar program.” With the help of volunteers, the community event is open to the public and includes books that have been donated by University of Wisconsin faculty, staff, students, and Madison-area residents. Not only do events like this raise money in support of libraries’ collections and activities, but they also help preserve books, spread the joy of reading, and connect the community.


As we continue to celebrate National Library Week, please join us in expressing our heartfelt thanks to all the librarians out there who continue to devote themselves tirelessly to the community and make critical knowledge available to us all.

    Cameron Werner
Cameron Werner
Medical Student, Western Michigan University

The sheer volume of demands on today’s medical students, and the amount of information they must master, can be unsettling for even the most calm and collected of future physicians. Practicing wellness is a strategy to keep you balanced, happy, and enthusiastic throughout medical school. By doing this you will be less likely to encounter burnout, and more likely to remain happier longer into your career. Below are some suggestions of how recovery breaks, physical activity, developing friendships, and pursuing a passion can help you decompress as a medical student.zen garden.jpg


1.   Discover and capitalize on activities that help you recover from long days.

Consider whether you are an introvert or extrovert, as these two personality types may have different needs for decompression. Introverts generally enjoy solitude after a busy day. Therefore, napping, car rides, or Netflix binging may be the best way for an introvert to recover. Extroverts, on the other hand, are energized by interacting with others. Talking and listening to classmates is a great way to reenergize an extrovert. It is important to note that everyone is different, but it is essential to identify how you recharge; being strategic and efficient during your downtime is just as important as the time you spend studying.


2.   Find a way to stay physically active.

Exercising has many benefits that include the release of endorphins, a state of meditation that relieves stress, and over time it can cause your mood to be more positive with reduced levels of anxiety. Breaking up studying blocks with exercise can also help you maintain concentration, which will improve your productivity and longevity. And, most importantly, you can make exercise enjoyable by choosing activities that fit your schedule and interests! I have seen classmates thrive as weightlifters, rock climbers, marathon runners, ultimate frisbee players and so on. Having a regular exercise schedule gives you guaranteed daily time to decompress, and these habits will benefit you long into your career as a physician.


3.   Take time to foster friendships.

Developing peer support in your medical school class is a great way to fight burnout. You undoubtedly spend countless hours with your classmates during didactic lectures, labs, team-based activities, or in the clinic. Without their support, medical school can become exceptionally isolating. Therefore, cultivating relationships with your classmates can help you deal with the stresses of medical education. These relationships are particularly powerful because of the common struggles you will endure, and they offer opportunities to decompress if you need to talk a frustration out. Additionally, it is just as important to have friendships with individuals who are not in medical school. Spending time with friends who are not medical students can round out your personal and professional life, as well as provide new perspectives on issues that are affecting you and your schoolwork.


4.   Pursue extracurricular activities that you are passionate about.

Lower levels of burnout are associated with medical students who get involved and take on leadership roles. Cultivating a passion through your leadership experiences is an avenue to staying excited through the rigors of medical school. You can do this by volunteering in the community, joining student interest groups or school committees, or finding research opportunities. Remember, the quality of your leadership experience is more important than the quantity of roles you take on. It is essential for you to be interested and excited about your extracurricular activities, rather than just completing them for recognition. Furthermore, choosing select activities you are passionate about will allow you to build meaningful relationships with classmates and faculty. These individuals will be a part of your support system throughout medical school, and more importantly, they will be able to attest to your personal attributes and qualifications.


How do you maintain your well-being as a postgraduate student? Let us know in the comments below.


Image Credit: Sean Locke/iStockphoto

    Amanda Golbeck
Amanda Golbeck
Statistician and Social Scientist


April is Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, and presents a timely opportunity to help raise the understanding of the field. To aid in this quest, a number of renowned Wiley Editors, Editorial Board Members and Authors have taken the time to tell us why they embarked on their journeys in their chosen fields, what inspires and excites them, and why they’d encourage you to take the plunge!


Over the next four weeks The Wiley Network will publish selected perspectives for you to read and share with your colleagues, students and friends.  All responses will feature on StatisticsViews.com throughout April.


To start Amanda L. Golbeck, statistician, social scientist and academic leader shares her story


Happy Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month!


My career path into statistics was catalyzed by the Soviet Unions launch of Sputnik, the world’s first satellite. Because the U.S. government thought, Wed better catch up!”, I was selected for a nightsky2.jpgspecial class (from fifth to twelfth grades) where we were given our STEM courses a year early. I especially liked the mathematics and was good at it, and it was special that my dad and I continued to bond while working problems together at the kitchen table. At the same time, I was immensely curious about people: the differences and similarities among them, as well as factors that can affect the status of members of groups. I eventually found the field of statistics to be a great way for me to connect mathematics and people.


I continue to be inspired by statistics, because we can use it to learn so much about how to improve lives and contribute to social justice. I share this vision with the late Elizabeth L. Scott (1917-1988), who was a mentor when I was a graduate student in statistics at UC-Berkeley, and who is the subject of my recently published biography/microhistory (Equivalence:Elizabeth L. Scott at Berkeley). Scott completed a PhD in astronomy before settling into a career in statistics, and while she never lost her love for astronomy, I believe that her interests in helping to solve societal problems was one of the factors that especially attracted her to the field of statistics. Her work to improve the status of academic women, including providing methods to evaluate their salaries relative to those of academic men, was particularly impactful across the country.


Channeling the Mary Tyler Moore television show from the 1970s, imagine me enthusiastically and happily throwing two hats into the air to celebrate my work! One hat is that of dean, as I am
the associate dean for academic affairs in a college dedicated to improving the health of all members of our community. Here I get to practice organizational leadership, where I bring the benefits of statistical thinking to academic policies, processes, planning, decision-making, and really everything that is involved in the academic affairs enterprise. The other hat is that of faculty
member, because I’m also a professor of biostatistics in a department of talented statisticians who regard themselves as family. In this role I exercise thought leadership on the big picture of my profession together with national and international groups of mathematical scientists among others.


Statistics is a field that lets a thousand flowers bloom. There are so many ways to be a statistician, contexts to work in, and ways to contribute to society! I have never been bored, either in terms of thinking about the philosophy of statistics, its methods, or its applications. The door has always been open for me to find a new path within the field of statistics. Statisticians have traditionally been looked at to provide leadership within research project teams. Now that the field is maturing, we’re increasingly being looked at to also provide leadership within organizations. Statisticians make great leaders because, among other things, we have well developed listening and strategic thinking skills. A book that I recently co-edited provides a window into statisticians as leaders and encourages statisticians to develop their leadership competencies (Leadership and Women in Statistics).

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