Scholarly Communication | Career advice | Mentoring |Academic Librarianship
by Charlie Rapple | May 9, 2019
Last week, I was part of a panel at the Society for Scholarly Publishing’s (SSP’s) first regional event in Oxford, UK. Hosted by Oxford University Press, and organized by Isabel Thompson (Holtzbrinck), Vanessa Fairhust (Crossref) and Sara Grimme (Digital Science), the evening’s focus was Building Your Career in Scholarly Communication: Tips, Tricks and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know! Here are some of the highlights (IMHO) from the talks (my own given in a bit more detail, given that I have better notes!).
Highlights from Andy Sandland (Senior Business Development and Strategy Manager at Oxford University Press) (slides):
Career development is not all about vertical ascent. Career breadth gives you knowledge of different departments, helping you be more efficient because you understand colleagues’ needs better. “You have a shortcut to a trusted relationship.”
Consultants | Archivists | Records Management | Information Governance
Margot Note | April 29, 2019
As a Certified Archivist, a Certified Records Manager, and an Information Governance Professional, I help my clients to benefit from their information, from its creation, use, storage, and disposition. Working with a skilled consultant gives you peace of mind that your data is always ready to be leveraged throughout its life cycle.
The Alchemy of Adroitness
No matter how big or small your project is, an archives and records management consultant can help you transform your organization through its information. Here are ten ways in which consultants work magic:
Expertise. The skills necessary for the growing and changing needs of an organization are unavailable inside the organization. Therefore organizations turn to consultants to complete projects or solve problems.
Time. Even when the skills are available in the organization, staff members may not have the time to complete special projects or research. A consultant can be a part of the organization just long enough to achieve what needs to be done.
Experience. Certain professions have a shortage of trained employees. Consultants can fill in until demand is met by training or hiring new employees.
Flexibility. Consultants can be brought in for the short term to complete a project. When the work is completed, the organization can terminate the relationship easily and quickly.
Objectivity. Consultants provide fresh perspectives. Outsiders can look at a problem in a new, unbiased way. Read more…
“What are you planning to do when you graduate?”, is a question that I often ask undergraduate and graduate students. Responses are as wide ranging as the student population itself. There is the predictable “Good question”, the more resigned “I don’t know” and the more altruistic variants on “save the world — make a difference”. Most though have a common goal, either continue on in their academic pursuits or…..get a job. A recent article (published by BBC) on a study done at University of Westminster revealed many of the experiences I have had over the years are not unique, but rather data points in the much larger phenomenon of recent graduates not being able to find a job. (article here)
Before coming to Washington University in St. Louis almost ten years ago, I spent 17 years in the private sector, working as a project manager in the civil engineering\architecture business. Part of that time was as a self employed consultant, part working for a major engineering software provider, and part working directly for engineering companies. I feel extremely fortunate to have had the real-world project experiences that have shaped my professional career. All of these experiences had a common denominator. You must bring value to the job.
Sharing these experiences have led students and recent graduates to my door to ask for my help in finding gainful employment after graduation. They come with CV in hand and want to know what to change and how to modify content to get a job. They are crushed to discover that almost no one cares which lab they worked in during college, what their GPA was, or who they were a TA for (and how many times). They make the changes only to find that it’s still not enough to land their dream job….or any job. The disconnect between resume and interview is real. read more…
by Mary Ellen Bates The Reluctant Entrepreneur |April 29, 2019
I’ve seen a lot of myths about consulting, all of them as hoary and false as the idea that if you build a better mousetrap, people will beat a path to your door. Following are the infopreneur myths I’ve found to be most prevalent… and wrong.
#1. Consulting is what people do when they’re between jobs
In my experience, you can’t both start a business and look for a job; either you are focused on finding what your clients need most and how you can meet those needs, or you’re focused on finding who will hire you for your skills.
#2. The services I provided as an employee will be valued by consulting clients
Broadly speaking, employees are paid to maintain processes, while consultants are paid for outcomes. While you may do the same type of work as a consultant as you did as an employee, the focus – and what your client is paying you for – is very different. Read more…
A guided tour (free) of the two-floor Albertine with an opportunity to browse the shop. The event will be followed by an informal gathering at a nearby café (at cost).
Albertine is part of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and is located inside the historic landmarked Payne Whitney mansion designed by Stanford White. As indicated on their website, it is “the only bookshop in New York devoted solely to books in French and English with more than 14,000 contemporary and classic titles from 30 French-speaking countries.” The store regularly hosts authors, debates and discussions open to the public at no charge. Since 2017 the Cultural Services has awarded the Albertine Prize for American readers’ favorite work of contemporary Francophone fiction that has been translated into English.
We will be greeted by the Assistant Director who will explain the history, design and decor of the shop and answer any questions.
The actions you take during your first few months in a new job have a major impact on your success or failure. Build positive momentum early on and it will propel you through your tenure. Make some early missteps and you could face an uphill battle for the rest of your time in the job.
The biggest challenge leaders face during these periods is staying focused on the right things. You are drinking from the proverbial fire hose while trying to get settled and figure out how to start to have an impact. It’s easy to take on too much or to waste your precious time. So, it helps to have a set of questions to guide you. Here are the five most important ones to ask…and keep on asking on a regular basis:
How will I create value?
This is the single most important question. Why were you put in this role? What do key stakeholders expect you to accomplish? In what timeframe? How will your progress be assessed? As you seek to answer this question, keep in mind that the real answer may not be what you were told when you were appointed or recruited for the job; it may also evolve as things progress and you learn more. Remember, too, that you will probably have multiple stakeholders to satisfy, not just your boss, and that they may have divergent views of what constitutes “success.” It’s essential to understand the full set of expectations so you can reconcile and satisfy them to the greatest degree possible. Read more…
Open Access | Scholarly Communication |Academic Journals | Research
To democratise scholarly publishing, individual academics need to take action
by Jason Schmitt |
‘It’s a case of either giving broad society access to scientific advances or allowing these breakthroughs to stay locked away for financial gain.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Academic and scientific research needs to be accessible to all. The world’s most pressing problems like clean water or food security deserve to have as many people as possible solving their complexities. Yet our current academic research system has no interest in harnessing our collective intelligence. Scientific progress is currently thwarted by one thing: paywalls.
Paywalls, which restrict access to content without a paid subscription, represent a common practice used by academic publishers to block access to scientific research for those who have not paid. This keeps £19.6bn flowing from higher education and science into for-profit publisher bank accounts. My recent documentary, Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, uncovered that the largest academic publisher, Elsevier, regularly has a profit margin between 35-40%, which is greater than Google’s. With financial capacity comes power, lobbyists, and the ability to manipulate markets for strategic advantages – things that underfunded universities and libraries in poorer countries do not have.
Furthermore, university librarians are regularly required to sign non-disclosure agreements on their contract-pricing specifics with the largest for-profit publishers. Each contract is tailored specifically to that university based upon a variety of factors: history, endowment, current enrollment. This thwarts any collective discussion around price structures, and gives publishers all the power. Read more…