The changing skillset of the publishing professional

We look at the changing skills of the publishing professional, using one Maverick’s career as an example of the changes we’re all grappling with.  So what does a career in publishing look like? Anthony Finn shares some insight:

What was your first job in publishing?

I was desk editor for New English Library; editing type-written manuscripts, blurb writing and proof-reading. This was back in the days when printers typed authors’ manuscripts using hot metal typesetting (linotype) and proofs were supplied as galleys and corrected with red, green and black ballpoint pens. We didn’t have computers – and I remember the excitement of moving from a manual to an electric typewriter with a correction tape!

I spent most of my day on proofs and manuscripts – and reading the pile of unsolicited manuscripts.

What are the key skills you’ve learned in recent years?

I moved from trade book publishing to academic journals with T&F journals, which in turn led to becoming a consultant in academic books and journals. Most of my fundamental skills come from mainstream employment, but consultancy has required that some of these skills be honed and developed to suit a different way of working.

Project management, negotiation, strict adherence to deadlines and diplomacy skills are vital for any freelancer or consultant. And though the client is always right, there are times when it takes all those skills to get them there.

[Read more...]

Biodiversity, PubMed and the US Government Shutdown

As reported by Scholarly Kitchen during the recent government shutdown in the US many functions of the research and dissemination process came to a halt in an incredibly worrying way.

Well, the government have come to their senses, and we can all go back to work. (Hooray!) I feel a huge amount of sympathy for the anger and frustration of those whose lives were put on hold, but in the long run I wonder if the shutdown might not have dealt a serious blow to the idea of publically funded dissemination.

[Read more...]

Maverick Publishing Specialists and Dublin Six form alliance to take The Auditor™ to market

Companies join forces to fully develop and launch ground breaking, library side usage logging and holdings verification / monitoring software, The Auditor™. Full worldwide Beta release announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Maverick Publishing Specialists, the specialist strategic consultancy and outsource services company for the publishing industry, today unveiled their new alliance with the rapidly emerging and innovative digital library services company, Dublin Six (www.dublinsix.com). Over the next few months, Maverick and Dublin Six will combine forces and expertise under a new corporate entity designed to fully develop and launch Dublin Six's groundbreaking library usage logging and holdings verification software The Auditor™.

Alongside Maverick Publishing Specialists team at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year, Josh Pyle, CTO and President of Dublin Six, will also be joining Martin Marlow (Maverick CEO and now also CEO of Dublin Six) to present The Auditor™ and announce its move from Pilot to worldwide Beta release.

Maverick and Dublin Six have been working together for the last year on developing the supporting commercial models and support infrastructure for this unprecedented product. The Auditor™, which Dublin Six has had in initial and pilot development over the last 2 years, is now ready to enter beta testing and accept new customers on a worldwide scale. The beta phase will be formally announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where Maverick and Dublin Six will also be talking to organizations that are interested in investing in The Auditor's final development to commercial launch and beyond.

The Auditor™, available on a yearly subscription basis, is an innovative software package designed to dramatically increase time- and cost-efficiencies for institutional libraries. Installed on an institution’s network, The Auditor™ passively monitors all network traffic and makes libraries aware of every form of content that is being used. It presents this information in clear and comprehensive COUNTER-style reports. While libraries usually receive reports from only those publishers with whom they have a relationship, The Auditor’s reports include content from every publisher on every platform. The Auditor™ also reports on content from open access or free information sources. In addition, The Auditor™ far exceeds the granular level of detail currently available from other solutions on the market.

Alongside hitherto unavailable levels of usage tracking, The Auditor™ also continuously monitors and verifies the institution’s uninterrupted access to all content for which it has paid (or unpaid) access – instantly and automatically alerting the library and its users whenever there is a broken link or other service interruption. This not only supplies invaluable, real time data to help libraries provide optimum service provision to their patrons, but also assists them accurately monitor and compare against any service level agreements they have in place with their content providers. And as the Auditor software is deliberately designed to monitor all activity without any active assertion or external calls, it  won’t artificially inflate the usage statistics gained.

Speaking of the announcement Josh Pyle, President and CTO Dublin Six, said "After two years of development and testing, we are excited to be joining with Maverick to bring this revolutionary new product to market." Martin Marlow, Principal and CEO Maverick Publishing Specialists, and Dublin Six's newly instated CEO, further commented, "The Auditor™ is a fantastic product. Designed with the library in mind, it will analyse exact usage patterns to help librarians and institutions make informed purchase decisions. We're excited to be working with Dublin Six in this venture and to add our business infrastructure and customer support expertise to help them bring this fabulous service to market."

Creating an effective RFP process; a game of two halves

There’s no doubt that a key element of successful digital publishing is having the right delivery platform. And whilst most publishers don’t have any problem imagining the digital platform that they want, purchasing the right technology and getting the project all the way to successful implementation is a far greater challenge. And that challenge begins with the RFP process.

[Read more...]

Do you value your education enough to let your lunch go cold?

On Saturday, just before lunchtime, I got a phone call. It wasn’t from a number I recognized and when I picked up it wasn’t someone I knew. Under usual circumstances a phone call like that will take about three and a half seconds while I wrestle with how rude I’m going to be to the poor underpaid individual at the other end. But on this occasion I ended up on the phone for the best part of half an hour; the subject? My education.

[Read more...]