I attended the Academic Publishing in Europe conference held in Berlin from the 17th -19th of January on behalf of ALPSP. The overall programme was impressive, and the mainly European slant of the keynotes in particular meant that there was some interesting and fresh insights into scholarly publishing. Hopefully some of the presentations will be available from the APE09 site to download at some point. I found the session on the Google Settlement very useful (contributions from Dan Glancy from Google Book Search and Jan Constantine from the Author's Guild being very illuminating), and there were other highpoints including the best description I have heard yet of semantic web technologies from Prof Rudi Studer of the University of Karlsruhe, and a lively workshop on eBooks amongst much else. Of course there were many contributions from ALPSP members too numerous to mention. The conference had over 200 delegates and a waiting list, which was also impressive in these difficult financial times.
ALPSP had organised a pre-conference meeting on the 17th of January at the conference hotel, at which Carmela Ramjoue from the EC Research Directorate General gave a succinct summary of their programme of research as it relates to scholarly publishing. You can download her presentation if you log in as a member from the ALPSP website. A discussion was then prompted by comments from Richard Gedye of OUP and Nol Verhagen of Amsterdam University Library. Thanks to both for volunteering to do this without having seen Carmela's talk in advance - very impressive. The overall aim of the meeting was to involve European members who cannot always visit London, and also to introduce ALPSP to potential new members. I hope this was achieved, and it was certainly good to have a full room with about 60 people attending.