Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Understanding how to get your journal article in front of the reader

Understanding how to get your journal article in front of the reader and working out how to navigate the multitude of discovery resources and authentication barriers is essential to the success of a publishing organisation. It is also the topic of one of our most popular training courses. Here, we spoke to Online Journal Discovery and Delivery: Working with Libraries and industry intermediaries to maximise readership co-tutor, Tracy Gardner, about the challenges of keeping up-to-date in this area.


"One of the biggest challenges publishers face is making sure their content can be easily found in the various discovery resources readers use to find journal articles, and then to ensure the steps between the reader finding the content and reading it are seamless and without barrier. There are so many potential pitfalls along the way, and this issue therefore concerns people working in production, IT, editorial, sales, marketing and customer service.

The pace of change is fast, technology is evolving all of the time and the driver for much of it has come from the libraries. Libraries are keen to ensure their patrons find and access content they have selected and purchased and by keeping them in a library intermediated environment they feel they can improve their research experience overall. Ultimately the library would like the user to start at the library website, find content they can read and not be challenged along the way.

Simon Inger and I have been running the Online Journal Discovery and Delivery course two or three times a year for twelve years now and we have never run the same course twice - it constantly needs to be updated.

Those working in customer facing roles such as sales, marketing and customer service may not fully appreciate how much library technology impacts on the way researchers find and access their content. Many people are surprised to learn that poor usage within an institution is often because something has gone wrong with the way the content is indexed within the library discovery layer, how it is set up in the library link resolver, or issues with authentication.

For those in operational or technology roles, the business technology side of journals can seem unnecessarily complex and, especially for those new to the industry, the way the information community works can seem counter to the way many other business sectors operate. What makes sense in classic B2B or B2C environments will not make sense within the academic research community.

By helping people who work in publishing houses understand how the technology supporting journal delivery works, and how they can most effectively work with libraries to maximise discovery and use of their content. Many people who have attended our course have not been aware of the impact some of their decisions have had and our course has helped them understand why they need to work in certain ways."

Tracy Gardner will tutor on the upcoming Online Journal Discovery and Delivery course on 20 March. Full course details can be found here

Monday, 12 March 2018

Realising 'Wa' in the East: A Sales Manager's findings

In this blog Martin Jack, Senior Sales Manager for IPR License and Course Tutor for our fantastic new course - Introduction to Sales Management in Scholarly Publishing: Selling to libraries, academics and institutions shares his pointers on doing business in Japan. 


Before I started doing business in Japan I read a number of books offering practical advice on how to be successful across the Japanese business table. “Bow from the back, not from the neck!” I repeated to myself mantra-like as I entered my first meeting and didn’t come to my senses until some-time afterward: a clumsy, graceless and inelegant 6”4 Scot is surely going to appear sillier the more he tries to imitate deep bows! My mistake was in thinking that I was going to win points for emulation…and to think, I had both watched and read James Clavell’s 1 million words+ Shogun! Oh well, Richard Chamberlain aside, at least I wasn’t in the position of Lord Macartney, whom 200 years prior was to head the first British diplomatic mission to China. “To kowtow or not to kowtow?”, in front of the ruling Qianlong Emperor of Beijing, was his predicament. And yet, his kowtow and my bow had no relevance whatsoever to the success of our meetings (one slightly more anticipated than the other perhaps). Then, as now, the essential requirement to successful international business is trust built on mutual cultural understanding – protocol is a secondary factor. As for imitation, Wilde’s judgement is final: ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness!’ And so, I’ve put together some pointers of my own for when you find yourself preparing for your first Japanese business meetings, which I hope are of some help.


Focus on the Relationship


Focus on the relationship entirely. You won’t succeed in your business in Japan if you can’t establish a relationship. Try to be friends first, develop a relationship, and earn and build some trust in each other. Start by taking a genuine interest in who you are meeting and remember their name, even if you have to write it down in front of them (they’ll invariably give you a business card at the beginning of the meeting with a transliteration of their name in English which you can refer to) and get them to help you intone the pronunciation if you struggle.


Setting the Pace


You won’t be the one to set the pace, no matter how much time you have for the meeting and no matter how many topics you’ve prepared to discuss. You have to defer to the pace at which your hosts are willing to proceed. Mirroring the pace of your hosts will show respect, save yourself from being seen to show impatience, and show that you are willing to spend as much time as necessary on any point raised. Those points may not appear to be important in the grander scheme of things but at the juncture when they are raised they should be treated with all the seriousness accorded by your interlocutor. Best to keep in mind what you aim to achieve in the meeting whilst preparing mentally for not achieving anything (see ‘Manage your Expectations’ below). The discussion over details of your agenda points can be picked up again afterwards over email or over the phone. 


Manage your Expectations


Don’t expect decisions to be made over the table and don’t put your counterparts on the spot, no matter how good your offer is. Many decisions are made in Japan on a consensual rather than individual basis, after much discussion, so that amongst other things, harmony (wa) is maintained. When a poor decision is made in Japanese business, the blame is generally shared amongst employees rather than it being attributed to any one person (which would result in a loss of face which the Japanese are careful to avoid). Try to avoid tipping the balance and spoiling the progress you’ve made by persistently chasing for a decision. Have patience (an invaluable Confucian trait!) or try to incentivise for a quicker decision. Remember, the Japanese are not necessarily working on the basis of your financial year.


Attention to Detail


A key feature of Japanese culture which has a direct bearing on the way you will do business is that of detail, detail, and more detail. Expect and prepare for detailed questions on your offering and proposal throughout and towards the end of your meeting. You will get the sense of the amount of detail the Japanese are used to absorbing by checking out any Japanese book on your favourite rock band. Not only will you get profiles of the band members and detailed album listings, you’ll get descriptions of their preferred guitars and each of the effects pedals they use. ‘Paisley!’, retorted an avid Japanese fan, ‘Paisley, not Glasgow!’, when I made claim to Gerry Rafferty as a fellow Glaswegian. Check your facts in advance!


Etiquette and Manner


It’s important to get an understanding of what is and what isn’t culturally acceptable amongst the Japanese so that you gain an insight into how they think and so you can conduct yourself in a manner that will be acceptable or even admired by them. Honne and tatemae are Japanese words roughly equivalent to the common concept of private and public face which is part of all cultures, however, in Japan this is something that is used in daily life and not in a negative sense – you could say that tatemae is a form of social lubricant. From a Western point of view, to conceal the truth is usually not taken well, however as it is so important to the Japanese to maintain harmony, most of the time true feelings and thoughts are not expressed directly in order not to hurt the feelings of others. Take that into consideration when you are approaching negotiation. There may not be much opportunity to negotiate prices, for example (certainly not as hard and fast and enjoyably as in mainland China), and so you might find it useful tailor your offerings so that they are as initially attractive to your counterpart as possible.


Profile photo of Martin Jack
Martin Jack
Martin is Senior Sales Manager for IPR License, the official rights and licensing solution of Frankfurt Book Fair. He has over eight years' experience in international sales in academic publishing with Taylor & Francis, having lived and worked in England, Singapore, China and Japan. 


For more info on our new course: Introduction to Sales Management in Scholarly Publishing: Selling to libraries, academics and institutions running on 28 March visit:
https://www.alpsp.org/Training/Sales-Management/52774


Thursday, 22 February 2018

Highlights from the 2018 University Press Redux Conference: A Sponsor's Perspective


Virtusales was delighted to sponsor the 2018 University Press Redux Conference, which was held at The British Library and completely sold out with an atmosphere that reflected it. Filled with lively discussions on policy, open access, disruptive innovation and the opportunities it presents, the importance of publishers providing genuine added value, and even Brexit and Trump.



In the opening keynote, Timothy Wright, CEO at Edinburgh University Press, presented the challenges for 2018 as: monographs, new models in print and distribution, ebooks, content, the skills gaps, open access, institutional support and the financial challenges facing the industry.

Richard Fisher from Yale University Press said that discoverability remains the number one challenge for most university presses and explained how marketing for individual titles has diminished but is still vital. Michael Jubb of Jubb Consulting reiterated this, stating that 50% of university press sales are sold through global retail channels such as Amazon, making it essential for content to be easily discoverable amidst the proliferation in formats, business models and retailers.

As a software supplier operating globally, we were particularly interested in the parallel session on Global, which looked at university presses outside of Europe, UK and USA. Another compelling topic was Digital, which was covered in the plenary session with Allison Belan from Duke University Press and Charles Watkinson from University of Michigan Press, chaired by Nicole Mitchell from University of Washington Press. The session included stimulating debate on the pros and cons of buying vs building systems and platforms. Allison explained that it is of utmost importance for university presses to understand and own their own content, data and business rules, and Duke’s decision to buy in technology expertise and systems allows the press to focus on what they are good at - creating content.

Author engagement and support was another recurring theme throughout the conference with an emphasis put on the need for publishers to add genuine value throughout the supply chain and for authors, contributors and stakeholders to recognise the value added. This was at the heart of Tuesday’s parallel session on Production where delegates heard from Andy Redman from Oxford University Press, Neil Clarke from CPI UK, Bret Freeman from LifeVroom, and Wednesday’s session on Commissioning with Simon Bell from Emerald Group Publishing, Brian Halley from University of Massachusetts Press and Katherine Reeve from Bath Spa University.

On the policy front, the requirement for all long form works to be available as open access in order to be eligible for the 2027 REF was by far the most impacting point mentioned, with Steven Hill from HEFCE suggesting how it could be achieved using different models such as Freemium, author pays, and mission orientated new university presses.

Closing Keynote: Richard Charkin
Finally, Richard Charkin from Bloomsbury Publishing gave an engaging closing keynote on academic publishing. Technology was mentioned in virtually all presentations, in one form or another, and it seems clear that publishers need its support now more than ever. It is essential for platforms and systems to be flexible enough to manage metadata at content, article and chapter level, bring efficiencies to the production process and supply chain, and liberate publishers so that they can focus on creating, curating and enriching content to engage with their consumers.

At Virtusales we are committed to streamlining publishers’ workflows and bring efficiencies to their business processes with innovative software, exceptional service and a collaborative approach. Our recent white paper looks at the current landscape of academic and educational publishing, some of the disruptions that publishers are facing in today’s arena and ways in which they can capitalise on the changing environment.

Virtusales Publishing Solutions is the creator of the Biblio suite of publishing software and works closely with some of the world's leading academic, scholarly, professional and trade publishers including Harvard University Press, Bloomsbury Publishing, Manchester University Press, Pearson Education, Penguin Random House, Hachette and Macmillan Publishers.


Find out more about Virtusales and the Biblio suite or request our white paper, please visit our website: www.virtusales.com
Follow us on Twitter: @virtusales 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/virtusales-publishing-solutions/

For further information on the University Press Redux conference and to access slides and audio from the event please visit: https://www.alpsp.org/UPRedux

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Signposts from the Future - scenario planning at BMJ

In this guest blog, Katy Alexander, Head of Strategic Marketing for Journals at BMJ takes a fascinating look into the future.....


It’s 2037, the fourth industrial revolution has come and gone. The medical research landscape is highly automated and cloud based. Medical researchers are required to combine scientific qualifications with advanced programming and policy/communications expertise, patients are driving the healthcare research agenda and the very nature of disease is disrupted by technology. While some of this may seem implausible, I’ll bet that a number of us would have said the same in late 1990s when the scenarios of the time were pointing towards a potential future when the publishing industry would become a technology industry, prey to small disruptive innovations companies.

As with many industries, the publishing and healthcare industries operate within a complex, rapidly and consistently changing environment. In the past five years alone, the medical research and healthcare space has been influenced by a range of disruptions brought on by digital technologies, political and social unrest, and shifts in customer behaviour.  Wearable patient-monitoring devices and apps like Sea Hero Quest  have started to offer access to unprecedented data sets, often in real time. This period of rapid change has presented wide-ranging uncertainties.

While scenario planning is far from a new discipline, companies are increasingly incorporating scenarios practice into strategy processes as a means of surfacing and managing these uncertainties more systematically.  The process pushes us to think more expansively about potential futures in order to inform today’s strategic choices and the signals and underlying trends we may see in the future that could indicate which scenarios are playing out and how we should adjust to them. Practically scenarios are a structured way for companies to paint divergent versions of the future, they offer possible views of the world in the form of a narrative or “story”.

In November 2016, BMJ embarked on a scenario planning process based on the Saïd Business School’s Oxford Scenarios Programme (OSP).  We didn’t set out to predict the future; I think we can all agree that isn’t possible. However, we did want to think more systematically about the future, strengthen our abilities to cope with unpredictable shifts in the landscape and plan for innovation. Led by our Competitive Intelligence team and Director of Strategy, the process took just over eight months. During this time, we identified our two critical uncertainties - (Technology Adoption / Dominant Funding Model) - and defined a set of forces that could influence the direction of medical research. We carried out over 50 interviews with internal and external stakeholders as well as global thought-leaders from a wide-ranging list of industries, hosted three workshops and developed four varied and plausible scenarios describing the range for the future of Medical Research.  An overview of our four scenarios is provided below:

Techtopia: The fourth industrial revolution has rid the need for entire medical disciplines and many roles previously carried out by medical researchers are now done by machines. Researchers are required to develop expertise in programming, engineering, and software & informatics. While a small private ecosphere, driven by philanthropic organisations, is paying for research to be undertaken in neglected areas private technology corporations monopolize all elements of medical research. Medicine is highly personalised, health wearables are abundant, patients are triaged in the cloud and medical facilities are small and owned by large corporations.

Sustainable health 2037: Governments have come together to address the big, global issues. A combination of regulation and taxation has encouraged a diverse and highly collaborative research ecosystem. Medical researchers progress in their careers by producing high-quality data sets in areas prioritised by governments. Machine learning provides real-time analysis and interpretation of datasets, and technology is making lifestyles healthier, even in once-remote regions. However, the replacement of human-to-human interaction by technology is exacerbating mental health problems associated with social isolation and loneliness.

Post West power shift: Economic and social instability and volatility in the West have curtailed international movement, and political agendas now focus narrowly on issues of national security and economic health. The West no longer dominates the medical research landscape, Easternisation and the rise of the Global South is causing a geographic shift. Medical researchers are employed by public research and healthcare facilities.

Neighbourhood science: The voice of the people drives the setting of medical research priorities. There is increasing investment in medical research at the boundaries of health and social care, and the data comes from mostly from social networks and community apps that share personal health information. Clinical research is a niche interest collected by crowd-funding and pockets of small investors, and are driven by public appeals.

 Aside from informing our strategy process, as a company we have benefited from scenario planning in three main areas:
  1. Scenario planning has widened the conversation at BMJ. It has stretched teams at all levels and in all departments, bringing us together and enriching conversations, leveraging expertise and knowledge from across the business and challenging everyone’s assumptions. 
  2. Our thought process has collectively moved further away from a linear, preordained and operational path to understanding that linear concepts are not the only way to think about time. We are setting up early warning indicators that can be monitored and contingency plans implemented. This means we can revisit the scenarios and if necessary, revise them.
  3. Scenario planning draws on a wide range of disciplines and interests, including economics, psychology, politics and demographics, it has engaged us all to think outside of our industry and to remember that even modest environmental changes can have enormous impact

We don’t know exactly what 2037 will look like; it may have some aspects of these scenarios or possibly none. However, we can and should be asking ourselves how key uncertainties and broader trends affect our industry and business. Through this process, we should constantly be looking for ways to innovate and shape the future that we wish to see.

If you want to read more about the scenario planning narratives and the key forces we believe are impacting and shaping medical research  please visit our site www.bmj.com/company/scenarioplanning

If you are interested in learning more about our process and the thinking behind our scenarios, keep your eyes open for “The​ ​future​ ​of​ ​global​ ​research​ ​-​ ​a​ ​case​ ​study​ ​on​ ​the​ ​use​ ​of​ ​scenario planning​ ​in​ ​the​ ​publishing​ ​industry​” in a future Issue of the Learned-Publishing.

Katy Alexander is Head of Strategic Marketing for Journals at BMJ and has over 15 years experience in the publishing industry, serving in a variety of marketing and strategy positions. She is always happy to discuss anything related to publishing or disruptive technologies so reach out on twitter @kla2010


Website: www.bmj.com/company
Twitter: @bmj_company
Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/bmjcompany
LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/company/28437/

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

University Press Redux: The Return

In this guest blog, Lara Speicher, Publishing Manager, UCL Press and the curator/host of next year's conference, tells us the story of University Press Redux so far and her involvement in the next chapter.


For me, and I think for many others in the university press sector, the first University Press Redux Conference in March 2016 marked a sea change in the way UK university presses are seen, and see themselves.

Kick-started by the momentum generated by the Academic Book of the Future project (a two-year research project into the scholarly publishing industry, funded and supported by AHRC and the British Library, 2015-2017), the first University Press Redux Conference in Liverpool in March 2016 was launched by Anthony Cond, Managing Director of Liverpool University Press (winner of both the Bookseller and the IPG Awards for Independent Academic Publisher of the Year in 2015).

I use the word ‘launched’ deliberately, since 'organised’ does not fully convey what Anthony achieved in that first conference. Attended by over 150 delegates from around the world and with speakers from the US, UK and Europe covering all aspects of university press (UP) activities, and with representatives from all levels and functions, the conference offered an opportunity on this side of the Atlantic for university presses to meet, discuss and exchange ideas and information. The mood was buoyant, the presentations were stimulating, and we all learnt a huge amount.

Redux 2016 happened at a particular moment, which also helps to explain its success. Scholarly publishing is undergoing significant change, with a challenging market, changes in library supply, digital distribution, new HE policies, and changing university missions which have led to a reexamination of the purpose of university presses. At the same time, many new presses have been springing up, signaling a desire on the part of institutions to do things differently. Redux was an opportunity to share those challenges and changes with all those who work in the sector – not just the UPs, but also the affiliated sectors that we work with: libraries, authors, academics, suppliers, policy makers, funders and our own institutions.

The things that shone through clearly to me during that conference were threefold:

1) that we are a ‘thing’, with distinct skills, responsibilities and challenges, quite different from scholarly publishing generally, even though we share many similarities
2) that despite our shared identity, we are also remarkably diverse in our outputs, activities, practices, sizes and missions
3) that we should be incredibly proud of what we do, and that our parent institutions should also be incredibly proud of what we do for scholarship and for our universities’ brand recognition

And what also came through very clearly was the feeling that we must do this again.

And so Redux was born as a regular event on the conference calendar. The University Press Redux 2018 takes place on 13-14 February 2018, at the British Library Conference Centre. It will take place every two years, and it is now ably supported by ALPSP, putting it on a firm footing for the future. Each conference will be hosted in a different location by a different university press which is responsible for organizing the speakers and the programme.

I volunteered for Redux 2018 for the main reason that having only launched in 2015, UCL is very new university press with a fully open access model which is still very unusual. As such, UCL Press is keen to collaborate as much as possible with other university presses - to help establish itself, to learn, and to share its experience of its OA model. But also, I volunteered because it’s fun. I think we are incredibly lucky to work in such a collegial sector. There is a genuine eagerness to collaborate and help each other which really stands out.

Registration for Redux 2018 bookings is now open and well underway – please join us for two full days of stimulating conversation and presentations. We look forward to seeing you in February! 


Lara Speicher is Publishing Manager at UCL Press, which launched in June 2015. She set up the Press from scratch as the first fully open access university press in the UK. The Press has gone on to publish over 50 books which have been downloaded over half a million times round the world. The Press won the UCL Brand Ambassador Award in 2017 for the global reach of its publications and was also shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards in the Digital Innovation Category

Lara has worked in publishing for over 20 years and has previously held publishing roles at British Library Publishing and BBC Books. She sits on the HEFCE/UUK Open Access Monographs Working Group and on the School of Advanced Study (University of London) Publishing Advisory Board. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Innovation starts with HighWire’s Intelligent Publishing Platform


In this ALPSP guest blog, John Sack, Founding Director of HighWire Press shares how how Highwire are working with their user community to drive innovation.


We help scientific and scholarly publishers stay ahead of research and education trends, adapt to changing user demands, and increase revenues across channels. HighWire continually invests in data science across all our products to offer integrated analytics and insights that drive digital innovation.

The evolution of print and digital publishing is accelerating. Publishers work with us to bring innovative products and services to market faster and deliver the very best user experiences and business outcomes with our Intelligent Platform. Our customers tell us that the evidence we offer, via our Strategic Business Consultancy Services, transform conversations about content development and product strategy. Working together as a strategic business partner, our goals are to advance innovation and best practices, inform successful editorial and business decisions, and create great products and services and business outcomes.

Insights drive innovation across the industry


At HighWire Publishers’ meetings, our community shares analysis, insights, and practical advice to address the challenges they face as well as a future focus on strategies to keep ahead of the curve in the ever-changing publishing ecosystem. Conversations at our meetings focus on delivering what users want, improving workflows to attract readers and leading authors, and creating new revenue opportunities. You can watch brief video excerpts of presentations at recent meetings now available for the first time on our web site outlining specific achievements working collaboratively with HighWire.

Joe Puskarz, Director, Division of Journal Publishing, American Academy of Pediatrics shares the strategic process, data insights, and success metrics around a dramatic change in AAP’s Pediatrics print strategy and online publication gateway to better serve readers and advertisers while improving profitability. See videos Optimizing a publications gateway with reader feedback and analytics and Pediatrics Print Strategy: User behavior drives product development.

HighWire’s Intelligent Platform includes end-to-end publishing solutions from strategy to delivery. Machine intelligence and predictive analytics are applied across all our products to help understand user behavior patterns to attract target readers, authors, and advertisers and inform product development. Kim Murphy and Nandhini Kuntipuram from American College of Cardiology (ACC), describe their journey to develop customer personas, define product requirements and optimize the user experience, leading to the successful launch of ACC’s journals with JCore. Watch Using field research in UX to inform and measure website success. Don’t miss brief case studies on more recent journal launches with JCore.

Our industry's need to improve workflows for efficiency regularly generates discussion and innovation. HighWire collaborates with publishers to develop and implement innovative approaches that support researchers who require faster times to publication while continuing to meet rigorous editorial and content management requirements. Stuart Taylor, Royal Society; Claire Rawlinson, BMJ; and Claire Moulton, Company of Biologists; each contributed a recent London session on “Emerging Trends in Academic Publishing." Issues and opportunities addressed included pre-print servers, post-publication changes designed for an online world, overlay journals, and post publication peer review.

Highlights from our previous Publishers' Meetings


Publishers recently presented on a range of topics at our Fall Meeting in September, including our session on the “Bibliometric Intelligence” product pilot with Meta which illustrated the opportunities offered by predictive analytics. 

Read about past presentations by Valda Vinson, AAAS; Suzanne Rosenzweig, Society for Neuroscience; Keith Gigliello, American Society of Hematology; and an illustrated case study using Impact Vizor to compare article citation levels across disciplines within a journal and to other journals.

Getting in touch with us is easier than ever! Click Talk to Us and connect with industry thought leaders and experts like John Sack regarding emerging trends you think should be addressed in our 2018 meetings.

John Sack is the founding director of HighWire Press and focuses on market assessment, client relations, technology innovation, and the kind of thought leadership and industry-forward thinking that has helped defined the Company's mission since 1995.


Twitter: @highwirepress



Highwire is a proud Silver Sponsor of the ALPSP 2017 Annual Conference.

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Emotion of Data – Your Child Is Always Beautiful


In week’s guest blog we hear from Kent Anderson, the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, on the emotional pull of well-presented data….. 


An Excel spreadsheet or data table isn’t usually enough to rouse the emotions. Rigid rows and columns crammed with shapes are difficult to bond with and even harder to get worked up over. Trends are concealed in there somewhere, meaning lurks, yet our senses are stymied by how raw data are assembled.

Over the past 18 months, guiding RedLink, a data company with the slogan “See What You’re Missing,” has opened my eyes to the wonderful emotional pull of well-presented data – what we might call the ultrasound of data, when a real emotional connection begins to occur. I’ve attended dozens of sessions in which we reveal to new customers their data in our products, and every time there is a strong emotional response – the “ooh!” and “wow!” – because they are seeing something of great interest clearly for the first time.

Visualization isn’t the only way to create emotional connections for users. There are other techniques, such as gamification, personalization, and connection.


Visualization – Seeing Is Believing

Turn a set of columns and rows into a set of interactive curves or lines or bars, and suddenly meaning leaps out. Making these trends clear is powerful for sales people, business leaders, managers, and purchasers. There is also the ability RedLink has to import data for libraries and publishers, saving them days or weeks of effort, that liberates time to look at the data and think about its implications.

Gamification – It Makes Data Engaging

Games are great ways to make complex subjects approachable and more understandable. We’ve adopted some aspects of gamification in our products, adding Unlocks and clever names and treasure maps to business-specific products that otherwise would be officious and off-putting. These conceptual candies help to sweeten the experience, adding memorable and pleasant dimensions to the user experience while boosting utility.


Personalization – It’s Your Data

Increasingly, personal data are viewed not as commodities but as elements you have a right to manage. The EU has been more proactive on this front than the US, for example, with initiatives like “the right to be forgotten” and data portability. This places new constraints on data companies. Yet, constraints drive design and innovation, so new services like Remarq – which allows users to put a lot of data about their usage of the scientific and scholarly literature in one place  – are on the leading edge of the data personalization trend.


Connection – Relevance Matters to Meaning

Data matter the most when you can immediately do something with them. We focus a lot on making this happen, whether it’s allowing users to only see data for customers they manage, to see trends across disciplines instead of just around products, to view the macro (consortia, bundles, titles from multiple sources) and the micro (individual institutions, individual titles, individual sources), giving quick paths to relevant views is crucial to making data matter. These views connect the user with the data so that decisions can happen quickly and confidently.

Conclusion

As an independent data company, RedLink helps libraries, consortia, publishers, and end-users “see what they’re missing.” By using visualization, gamification, personalization, and connection, data can become powerful, efficient, and even enjoyable sources of information to help publishers, librarians, administrators, researchers, editors, and authors make better decisions.



Redlink is a proud Silver Sponsor of the ALPSP 2017 Annual Conference.