Working on the (digital) Highway

Seminar Room, NH Berlin Mitte, Berlin, Germany

Building of NH Hotel Mitte at Leipziger Strasse 106 - 111

Pre-Conference Day - Monday, 18 January, 2016 (Education and Training Course)

Working on the (digital) Highway (or "Lessons from the Boss")


Bruce Springsteen has often been named as the hardest working man in showbusiness. Talking to colleagues in the STM publishing industry makes one feel like everybody is feeling like the hardest working person in publishing.


The changes in scholarly communication have had a great affect the way we do business. As an industry we have (to a certain extend) moved from selling products to selling services. Digitizing means that we need a different skillset than 10 years ago. The days of lifelong employability are behind us, and in order to make a living and add value to scholarly communication we, as people working in the industry, have to adapt.


The focus of APE has been primarily on the way companies and institutions operate. But, the changes will also have a great impact on us working in the industry: librarians, society officials and publishers.


The APE 2016 Pre-Conference Day looks at developments that impact the way our bosses and clients expect us to work. The aim of the day is to send everybody home with a few tips and insights on how to become and remain competitive. Get in the mood and click here for Bruce Springsteen - Working on the Highway.


Confirmed Speakers: Bas Straub, Sanne M. de Kemp, Martin Marlow, Jan-Peter Wissink, Prof. Dr. Alexander Grossmann,Judith Hoffmann, Dr. Joris van Rossum, Catherine Cotton, Anthony Watkinson



Venue of the APE 2016 Pre-Conference Day:

NH Hotel Berlin Mitte
Leipziger Strasse 106 -111
10117 BERLIN, Germany


Special rates available for trainees, students and groups. Please apply at




click program Pre-Conference Day: Status 17 December 2015

Doors open for Registration (Coffee, Tea & Snacks)


Getting Together - Welcome and Opening


Embedding the Change

Bas Straub, Managing Director, Magknowlia, Haarlem


The business of STM publishing has changed a lot during the past decade. Online editing, production and dissemination has become main-stream. We are no longer selling a single product but a package or a service. Through Open Access we have shifted from 'consumer pays' to 'producer pays'. These, and many more changes have influenced the way we do business. It stands to reason that this will also change the requirements for those working in the industry. Bas will try to lay the foundation for a Pre-Conference Day looking at the 'ideal' STM publishing individual.


Shifting Skills and Competencies in a disruptive Media Landscape

Sanne M. de Kemp, Sr. Consultant, 227 Media - Executive Search & Recruitment, Maarsbergen


The recruitment perspective on recent developments and trends in media and mobility. Which new skills and competencies are required? What are employers looking for, now and in the future? Life long employment versus life long learning. Flexibility of the labour market. An overview and outlook.


Quick Wins, long-term Gains and Risk Mitigation - The Why, When and Wherefore of the Contractor Market

David Thew, David Thew & Company Ltd., Potterhanworth (in cooperation with Maverick Publishing Specialists, Ltd. Dorset)


The publishing market emerged from the worst of the recession reasonably intact but facing many challenges in terms of new markets, new technologies, new business models, new players and new demands from its existing client base. For all publishers, this has required new skills, a better understanding of market landscapes and client demands, research into new opportunities, threats and challenges, and creative ways to meet these challenges in ways which can provide quick wins but limit risk and financial over-exposure. In this climate, hiring contractors, interim and project-based staff with specific skills for short-term requirements, often as a pre-cursor to a permanent hire, has become a popular option for many publishing organisations. At the same time, experienced professionals across multiple disciplines have found reasons to work on a self-employed, project or interim basis. So what's in it for the employers, what are the attractions for both sides and what are the pitfalls? What should employers take into account? How should contractors market themselves, what should they charge, and how should they set themselves up? And what should employers take into account when considering migrating from contractor to permanent hire? And overall, what are the benefits in hiring contractors as part of the recruitment model?


Coffee, Tea & Networking


(Working Title) Relating to (Young) Researchers

Anthony Watkinson, Principal Consultant CIBER Research and Honorary Lecturer, University College London


Publishers (like libraries) are facilitators of scholarly  communication. Their role depends on researchers recognising the value they add. Is that still the case? There is evidence that researchers see publishers as needed to organise peer review but there are also growing signs of suspicion and indeed downright hostility. At the same time, among the larger publishers at least, it could be argued that subject specialists, spending a career devoted to a particular field, are no longer properly recognised for what they do. There are positive responses too — for example the growing emphasis on author services — but in general a mechanistic attitudes among higher management may be destroying crucial relationships. At present models for transformation have almost no influence among scholars in spite of decades of library advocacy, but will this change? Will the change happen particularly among younger researchers? CIBER Research is just embarking on a project to understand early career researchers in the context of digital change funded by the Publishers Research Consortium (PRC): the thinking behind this will be explored.


Change Management — how to Change the Culture of a Publishing Company?

Jan-Peter Wissink, Director, Amsterdam University Press


Change management in the case of Amsterdam University Press was about creating a new strategy and about implementing all necessary changes as quickly as possible.

Essential in this process was to get commitment from employees and bring in outsiders with the relevant expertice. Three years after defining the strategy we can show encouraging results.


Coffee & Tea & Networking


How to get to the Top and Stay at the Top?

Prof. Dr. Alexander Grossmann, Founder & President, ScienceOpen, Berlin and Professor of Publishing Management at the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences


What happens if you are no longer needed at the top of an organisation? The ‘Peter Principle’
describes that typical situation in which a candidate for a new, advanced position in an organisation has been selected after considering the employee’s performance in his current role. In most cases, however, the candidate’s abilities which were needed for the intended position have not been considered. As the result, the employee will have a fair chance to fail when trying to deliver the expected performance in the new position - and finally loses support and promotion. This talk will

focus on the ‘Peter Principle’ in cases, experiences and observations.


Staying atop What (new types of) Trainings are needed within Academic Publishing?

Judith Hoffmann, Head Further Education and International Projects, mediacampus, Frankfurt am Main


The complexity of our daily workflows has changed considerably. With rapid changes in technologies and trends, success–as a company or personal–necessitates new skills, but also commitment and a willingness to learn. Most companies thus made professional trainings and qualification programs a priority in their HR development. Constantly adapting to new requirements also has a great influence on what we learn and how we learn, shifting from subject-driven trainings — the mere transfer of knowledge — to customized trainings that are fitted to meet specific needs and strengthen personal skills and competencies.

How professional trainings benefit the company’s success as well as one’s personal career is subject of this talk. Learn about the newest trends, and why life-long learning isn’t as dull as it sounds.


How to adapt to a Changing World?

Dr. Joris van Rossum, Co-Founder at Peerwith, Amsterdam


The way we work is changing. From lifetime employment to temporary projects, from steady roles to constantly adapting to new circumstances. Joris discusses how this was his motivation to start Peerwith — from a business perspective as well as from the perspective of being a publishing professional himself.


Coffee, Tea & Networking


The Importance of Entrepreneurial Thinking

Catherine Cotton, Managing Director, FEMS (Federation of European Microbiological Societies), Delft


Changes in science and academic publishing have resulted in various “crises” – including the threat to the survival of the infrastructure provided by scholarly societies, and an increase in the peer review burden of researchers engaged in peer review. Bearing in mind it was Eugene Garfield who came up with the IF (Impact Factor) and Vitek Tracz who founded Biomed Central and F1000 — both of which have had a significant impact on researchers and publishers alike — one wonders how entrepreneurial thinking like this can help the publishing sector, together with academic societies, to address such issues to improve the lives of academics and the roles (and reputations) of STM publishers.


Discussion & Exchange of Experiences


After Work Party (Going Dutsch)


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