Archives for 2016

Maverick Publishing Specialists to launch two new service packages (and announce new Associates) at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair

Maverick to promote new “Product Development & the Researcher Experience” and “Discovery to Download” Publisher Support Services at this year’s Fair.

Dorset, UK October, 2016 – Maverick Publishing Specialists, the specialist strategic consultancy and outsource services company for the publishing industry, today announced that in conjunction with Lettie Y. Conrad Consultancy, they will be launching two new specialist publisher support packages at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. And in related news, Maverick will also be unveiling 3 new Associates who are joining the ranks of their worldwide consultancy team.

Maverick have established 5 bespoke “turn key” support services in the areas of Marketing, Market Research, Content Management and Supplier / Vendor selection that are already retained by several clients from many market sectors and regions. At the Frankfurt Book Fair, this year, Maverick will be launching two product-focused services for Publishers of all types. 

The “Product Development & the Researcher Experience” package is exclusive to Maverick and is designed to assist clients with all aspects of their “user experience.” Publishers often struggle to translate an operational awareness of researcher and customer experiences into commercial success for digital products – whilst their long-term success often depends on a new approach to managing products. User-centered, evidence-based programming accelerates product innovation, and optimizes engagement and downloads. By generating an accurate view of users to translate into defined strategies, this new suite of Maverick services will provide publishers and institutions with insights into their researchers’ experiences, interpreted to inform business goals and drive impactful product decisions. Maverick experts help clients establish cutting-edge product development routines and can address improvements in metadata architecture, content management and distribution strategy, product design, business models, and more. From strategy to implementation, Maverick Product Development & Researcher Experience services are arranged around three distinct stages of build > measure > learn. This new offering includes end-to-end development, as well as design and implementation of product management processes, automated quality assurance and data governance, and establishment of resultant KPI dashboards to ensure they are best organised to compete in today’s digital marketplace.

The “Discovery to Download” service package is focused on optimizing discoverability and digital product usage. Channels of scholarly content discovery and access are plentiful, complex, and ever-changing. Many clients are concerned they may be in reactive mode when it comes to pushing their content through the networks where their readers expect to find them. Others are looking to proactively drive usage across industry sectors and address the expectations of their end users. Albeit, no one-size-fits-all, product and business objectives are often best met by facilitating a smooth, successful user journey from discovery to download. This new service package includes a variety of methods that have been proven to effectively and efficiently optimize content workflows and database development. The service elements (organized around “Insights”, “Analysis” and “Progress”) are focused on adhering to information industry standards, protecting the value of your copyright and licensing agreements, and increasing engagement and the researcher experience.

Lettie Y. Conrad recently joined Maverick as an Affiliate Associate from SAGE Publishing where she was mostly recently Executive Program Manager, Discovery & Access. She has already been with the Maverick team at the recent ALPSP conference and brings to Maverick over 15 years’ experience in scholarly publishing. An Associated Editor for Learned Publishing and serving her fifth year in NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative, Lettie’s areas of speciality include (amongst others) UX, discoverability and SEO and Product strategy development. She is based in California, USA.

Also new to Maverick – and joining the 5 strong Maverick team at the Book Fair this year – is another well-known industry figure, Arend Kuester. For the last six years, Arend was Director of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals / QScience (the Qatar Foundation and Bloomsbury Publishing partnership). He is now back in Germany (Berlin) and has joined to help with both Business Development and Projects. With over 25 years publishing industry expertise, Arend is an international senior executive who brings a wealth of experience in STM business strategy, sales and marketing; academic and professional journal development; as well as managing trade publishing and business relationships. He is also one of Maverick’s most experienced Open Access development specialists. Arend’s past career has also included Business Development Director at Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, and prior to that, European Director for Publishers Communication Group (PCG).

Lastly, Clare Wratten has joined Maverick as an Affiliate and is based on the South Coast of the UK. Clare is a marketing operations and PR / communications specialist and has joined the existing Maverick marketing team to help bolster the ranks of this largest (and still growing) division. Clare is an industry professional with over 18 years’ experience in marketing and communications and most recently worked at Semantico. She is currently managing the marketing and social media for several clients.

New Senior Associates herald expansion of Maverick Publishing Specialists expert teams in both EMEA and USA.

Appointment of Industry leaders facilitate Maverick’s increasing business growth in USA and Canada as well as senior management level expertise in EMEA and International markets.


Maverick Publishing Specialists, the specialist strategic consultancy and outsource services company for the publishing industry, today welcomed five new Senior Associates to its lead consultancy teams in both the USA and UK / EMEA.  The appointment of both Andy Slade in the UK and John Lavender in the US to the Core Maverick consultant ranks, and Andy Williams and Clare Painter (UK), and Nicola Poser (US), to its network of Affiliate Associates, further strengthens Mavericks ability to provide board level, global market expertise to its clients in all regions.

Andy Slade comes to Maverick with over 25 years’ experience in the industry, and joins from Wiley where he has held senior positions in life, earth and environmental sciences, most recently as Global Editorial Director (Books) for Health Sciences. Andy’s background particularly focussed on developing and implementing strategies to exploit business opportunities, improve efficiencies and meet financial targets. Recently this involved strategies for transitioning sales from print to digital; introducing new workflows to support and drive digital growth; launching digital products; and strategies for selecting and partnering with technology providers. He has experience of acquisitions and mergers, business plan development and delivery, team and departmental re-engineering.

John Lavender also has over 40 years’ experience in STM publishing, mainly at senior executive level. His experience of working in both major English language publishing markets and his career covering almost all the major roles in publishing gives him an unrivalled view of the industry. His corporate experience includes senior vice president of publishing (books and journals), online development, marketing, web development and international sales with Taylor & Francis and director of marketing, international sales and business development and electronic publishing with the Thomson Corporation. John specializes in marketing strategy and internet marketing; market research and creating advisory panels; publishing strategy for books and journals; list development; online platforms and packaging of content online; selling online products; and international sales expansion. He too also has extensive mergers and acquisitions experience.

Before joining Maverick as an Affiliate Associate, Andy Williams’ most recent role was Operations Director for Palgrave Macmillan where he was responsible for running the production, technology and bibliographic data departments. Andy has well over 30 years’ experience in publishing production and operations, combining both hands on project experience with strategic level planning and directing, across books, journals and reference titles. Having worked for a number of publishers and suppliers in traditional print and prepress production, his digital publishing knowledge developed further at Macmillan Online Publishing. There he managed all aspects of their reference sites, including Grove Art and Music, Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences and the Statesman’s Yearbook, from article creation to customer delivery, and from hosting to access control. Subsequently, at CUP and then at Palgrave Macmillan, he was heavily involved in developing their digital publishing strategies and content delivery solutions. At Cambridge he also ran the digital asset management team, and took the lead role in defining and implementing their replacement global DAM used by both the academic and ELT divisions.

Nicola Poser, also an Affiliate Associate and specialising in marketing, market research and sales, brings over 15 years of experience in academic and STM publishing to the team, having worked on books, journals, and online products at publishers of varying sizes and business models. Nicola’s areas of strength include strategic planning; branding and message development; audience and author engagement; new product launches; and customer experience and insight. Most recently the Marketing Director at The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Inc., she led a comprehensive branding project from market research and stakeholder interviews through messaging, positioning, revised style guide and logos, and enhanced programs for reviewers, authors, and surgical residents. In addition, Nicola built a content marketing program leading to increased end-user and author engagement with the JBJS portfolio.

Clare Painter is a well-known rights and licensing professional, helping publishers and content-owning organisations to manage digital licensing and reduce copyright risk, especially where licence terms need to be both effective and practical. She has a particular expertise in digital rights, and works with a wide variety of clients including book and journal publishers, professional membership associations, NGOs, business schools and universities, case study providers, information professionals and university presses (including OUP). Clare combines strategic overview, market knowledge and an eye for contractual detail. Her focus is on copyright audits, digital rights strategy, licensing contracts and permissions.

Speaking of the appointments, Martin Marlow, Principal Maverick Publishing Specialists, said, “We’re delighted to welcome such a talented group of individuals on board. In the last few years, Maverick has grown from strength to strength and these appointments further demonstrate the extent to which Maverick’s client base is also growing and requiring high level strategic and operational advice. John and Nicola’s appointments in particular supports Maverick’s recent high levels of increased business and new client additions in the US region. By attracting such high calibre Senior Executives to the team we can now draw on their considerable experience of the publishing industry to supply an even better quality service to our clients.”

Standing on the Digits of Giants: Research data, preservation and innovation

On  Tuesday the 8th of March the ALPSP seminar  Standing on the Digits of Giants: Research data, preservation and innovation, organised by Maverick Fiona Murphy, will take place in London.

This seminar will examine emerging trends in scholarly communication from the perspective of the publication and long-term access to the scholarly record.  This includes outputs not traditionally included within the primary scientific canon such as metadata, software and research data.

The day will include contributions from:

•    Phill Jones, Head of Publisher Outreach, Digital Science
•    Peter Burnhill, Director of EDINA and Head of Edinburgh University Data Library
•    Mike Taylor, Senior Product Manager, Infometrics, Elsevier
•    Josh Brown, ORCID
•    Dr Matthew Addis, CTO, Arkivum
•    Wendy White, Associate Director (Research Engagement), Hartley Library, Southampton University
•    Sarah Callaghan, Senior Research Scientist at STFC and Editor-in-Chief of Data Science Journal

For more information and booking see the ALPSP website:

How do you get to Cambridge? Well I wouldn’t start from here.

Fiona Murphy sums up APE 2016

I attended this year’s APE conference in Berlin on behalf of a project I’m working on for Jisc, the Jisc Publications Router, so I wanted to catch up with vendors, publishers and members of the STM community face to face, and give them a quick overview of the project.

Also, I have an interest in research data and publication, including work with the Research Data Alliance and so I was very interested to hear from well-known thinkers in STM. The keynote speakers this year were really fantastic mind-jangling stuff.

The Jisc Publications Router System is currently being developed to support institutions in their open access objectives including their compliance with the policies of various research funders, notably the policy on open access and the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK. It’s scholar-orientated: looking to gather metadata about journal articles at the point of acceptance, and then at publication point. After this the system will allow the manuscript to be lodged with the institutional repository. The key is that it will show information on papers where there is any author at all associated with a UK institution, as opposed to being organised by the corresponding author or by the funder. And depending on the quality of metadata received, the system will also provide the institutions with information on embargo periods and licensing requirements.

What emerged for me at APE was how this initiative reflects the bigger European Open Access Design. One of the presenters was Stephan Kuster from Science Europe, which is an organisation that advises on and co-ordinates research policy across the EU countries, and it emerged during his talk that much of the Router is looking to achieve is also coherent with Science Europe’s objectives.

Taking the overall tone of the meeting, it seems to me the whole publishing industry really is trying to change. Comparatively ‘new’ topics predominated: recognition for reviewers, data publishing, automating, building services and tools and enabling communication across various siloes.  There was a general sense that having advanced to the current point, technology now needs to be refined to become truly transformative.  ‘From noise to collective intelligence’ was a fantastic phrase used by Emma Green of Zapnito. She was referring directly to her company’s mission around building clean, frictionless links between experts and the people who need their expertise. But really this could have been the motto for conference writ large.

At the same time, there’s clear pressure on the bigger companies to adapt. Open web communities, open source software, sharing all of these are potential challenges to the traditional subscriptions journal business model. I don’t believe they’re insuperable, and there are some impressive people working on adaptation initiatives  at the conference Alicia Wise of Elsevier and Todd Toler of Wiley for instance. However, the journals publishing landscape is littered with so many add-ons and bolt-ons and mishmashes of technology and processes, which at each stage in the last 20 years made sense as a response to the situation of the time, that the industry’s technical, cultural and social resources are really very stretched.

And in the midst of this, new questions are being asked. What is a research output? Whose responsibility is it to look after the digital record, the metrics and data around the articles, the links between? Open access is the new reality for some at least, but there’s a huge lack of agreement on where we’ll be in twenty years’ time. Different communities are evolving at vastly varying rates, according to discipline, resources, cultural influences, and so forth.

Finally, to bring the speculation back to earth, the salient point was made: the scholarly establishment (the real decision-making population within the institutions) still wants to see articles published in highly cited journals. No matter how much researchers and authors talk about Altmetrics, immediacy and datasets, ultimately the shots are still being called by people for whom Impact Factor is really key.

It’s no news that scholarly publishing is still in an era of change. And despite the best endeavours of many of us, I suspect the noise levels are going to get louder before they subside. 


Author: Fiona Murphy

New paper in Learned Publishing by Fiona Murphy

The January 2016 Issue of Learned Publishing includes an article by Fiona Murphy; An update on peer review and research data. The paper examines technological advances in the amounts of data that researchers generate and use, and the subsequent problems for the scholarly communication system. How, when and by whom should quality checks and assurance be integrated into an already overloaded ecosystem?

Fiona outlines the challenges, illustrates some current initiatives and posits possible directions for the future.

The article is freely available to read at the Wiley Online Library:

Murphy, F. (2016) An update on peer review and research data. Learned Publishing, 29: 5153.

doi: 10.1002/leap.1005.