The 32nd annual meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) was held at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco on 2–4 June 2010. The theme was “A Golden Opportunity: A Shared Vision for Publishers, Librarians, and Users”. That theme was reflected in the pre-meeting materials and on the program cover as an image of the Golden Gate Bridge at night with the circular SSP logo hanging in the background to represent a large golden moon.
The meetings were kicked off by the pre-meeting seminars held on Tuesday, 1 June, with three morning and three afternoon seminars (“Social Media Tools”, “Implementing a Full-XML Workflow”, “Planning in a Time of Uncertainty”, “Automating Workflow”, “Giving Away Content”, and “Digital Rights and Permissions”). I co-organized the seminar “Social Media Tools: Where Are We Now and Do They Work?” and the invited guest speakers were fascinating: Six publishers presented case studies of their varied experiences in using social media. After their presentations, Michael Clarke (Clarke Publishing) and Kent Anderson (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery) presented a point–counterpoint exchange regarding the potential for marketing opportunities as exemplified by the case studies. In the afternoon, I attended the session “Digital Rights and Permissions”, where panelists discussed their experiences in obtaining permissions for new media. Richard Stim, of Nolo, provided a number of solutions for managing permissions related to digital archiving, access, sales, and repurposing.
The 20 concurrent sessions on the following days included interesting discussions about developing mobile-device applications to help scientists communicate better, using new technologies to evolve the scientific article (such as three-dimensional visualization of figures), semantic searches for ease of discoverability, metrics for social media and journal evaluation, changes in reference publishing, best practices in publishing ethics, and finding the right tools for connecting with the millennial generation. Some of the liveliest discussions were heard in the “Geoff and Kent Redux” session— where Geoff Bilder (CrossRef) and Kent Anderson opined on and debated topics submitted by the audience, such as “demise of the Web”—and in the closing session, “Food Fight! The Best of The Scholarly Kitchen”, which included discussion by all the regular “Kitchen” contributors.
Provocative plenary talks were presented by Brewster Kahle (Internet Archive), who put forth his ideas about a distributed system for readers to find books across the Web, and John Sack (HighWire Press), who emphasized the shift to mobile devices as the “post-Web world” phase in scholarly communication. Although I was able to attend only one of the luncheon roundtables (an engaging conversation on what’s happening at Google with Chrome, Wave, Buzz, and so on), I heard other attendees talking about open access, outsourcing, e-books, and impact-factor metrics.
SSP’s IN Conference (Philadelphia, 21–23 September) will have taken place when this article is published. The theme is “Imagining the ‘Dream E-Tool’ for Education and Training”, and the conference will focus on strategies for using scholarly content in the classroom.
The SSP Fall Seminar Series will also have taken place on 9–11 November at the American Geophysical Union in Washington, DC. Tuesday’s full-day seminar will explore innovative roles for societies, institutions, presses, and libraries as partners in publishing. The full-day seminar on Wednesday will concentrate on marketing in Asia and the Middle East. Finally, one of the half-day seminars on Thursday will present ideas on enhancing journal articles, including perspectives of authors, reviewers, and libraries; and the other will focus on the use of mobile devices in publishing. Information about upcoming seminars and the 2011 annual meeting may be found on the SSP Web site at www.sspnet.org.