Platform Strategies 2018

September 26 & 27

Washington, DC


Platform Strategies 2018, organized by Silverchair, is the only industry meeting exclusively devoted to strategic thinking around the core technology platforms used to create, market, and deliver research and reference content to global audiences.  As the needs around these platforms expand and change in a dynamic environment, it is vital for business and technical leaders from organizations large and small to convene and examine strategic considerations.  Take the pulse of what is happening in the platform space by engaging with experts and peers at Platform Strategies 2018.

View the agenda below, peruse the list of our esteemed speakers, and reserve your spot now for this vibrant forum.


Note: registration has now ended. Please email to be added to the waitlist.


The conference will take place at the National Union Building (918 F Street NW) and will run from 1 – 5pm on Wednesday September 26, with networking reception in the same location from 5 – 7pm, then 9am – 5pm on Thursday September 27, with a reception from 5:30 – 7:30pm at The Loft at 600 F (600 F Street NW). Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Thursday, and networking breaks will take place between sessions, with refreshments.

The preliminary agenda is provided below, and the full speaker list with bios may be found here.

reception space

Wednesday, September 26 – Afternoon

Technology Leadership Roundtable: Changes, Capabilities, and Culture

What are the primary challenges and concerns of technology leaders for a scholarly publishing organization in the current era? What issues consume the majority of that executive’s attention? How do these technical leaders manage increasing ecosystem complexity? Possible topics:

  • What are the trade-offs between a modular environment (integrating multiple best-of-breed components) and vertically-integrated platforms?
  • What is the ideal balance between internal and external technical resources? What is essential core competency or mission critical for today’s publisher?
  • Where does scale play, and where is it less relevant, from a technical point of view?
  • What areas are destined to be commodity, and what areas can provide opportunities for differentiation?
  • In what areas are organizations in danger of overspending or underspending on technology?

Mark Doyle  •  American Physical Society
Max Gabriel  •  Taylor & Francis
Jim King  •  American Chemical Society
Stuart Leitch  •  Silverchair

Building a Unified Product Delivery Platform

Part 1: Benefits and Challenges of Platform Unification: Overview and Case Studies

What are the benefits of a unified content delivery platform (as opposed to multiple platforms that purport to specialize in specific product experiences and use cases)? In this session we will review the operational efficiencies and opportunities for product creation, marketing, user management, engagement, and discovery that a unified product delivery platform can enable.

Scott Henry  •  ASM International
Jasper Simons  • American Psychological Association
Jake Zarnegar  •   Silverchair (moderator)

Building a Unified Product Delivery Platform

Part 2: Productization: Putting it All Together

Once you have all of your organization’s content assets consolidated in a modern services-oriented platform, what are the new things you can do? Our speakers will provide a demonstration of how new sites and products can be created and launched in minutes. Watch as we walk through the process of collecting the appropriate assets for a new product launch, organize them into interfaces, and launching them to the world. This demo will spur ideas to open up new opportunities for targeting individual institutions, companies, and other customers with rapid, focused custom products.

Allison Belan  •  Duke University Press
Daniel Griffin  •  Duke University Press
Jake Zarnegar  •   Silverchair (moderator)

What is the State-of-the-Art in Mobile Apps, and Is it Relevant to Scholarly Publishing?

Users of scholarly content have adopted mobile access at a slower rate than users of consumer content, and scholarly publishers focus on the mobile experience as a separate consideration has waned. What are we missing? What are the mobile use cases that create distinctive value for scholarly research and reference users? Learn why truly successful mobile approaches require much more than simply porting full text to smaller viewports via Responsive Web Design; they require re-envisioning the purpose and function of mobile access from a user-centric perspective.

Tobias Dengel  •  WillowTree Apps

Welcome Reception, 5:15 – 7:00pm, National Union Building


Thursday, September 27 – Morning

8:00am – Breakfast, National Union Building

9:00am – The Future of Interfaces, Part 1: Human and Machine

How can we leverage our content and data in new ways to accelerate scientific discovery and develop new revenues? What is the potential value of enabling text and data mining across our content assets? Learn about TDM techniques and how to best empower this new consumption model on your content delivery platform.

Paul Cleverley  •  Robert Gordon University & GeoScienceWorld
Pierre Montagano  •  Code Ocean
John Unsworth  •  UVA / Hathi Trust
Tanya Vidrevich  •  XSB / SWISS
Jake Zarnegar  •   Silverchair (moderator)

The Future of Interfaces, Part 2: Smart Content – From Semantics to Ontologies to Topic Tagging

This session will look at different models used to drive context-based connections and personalized content delivery, what types of content they most benefit, and the data surrounding ROI.

Jane Greenberg  •  Metadata Research Center, Drexel University
Jabin White  •  JSTOR / ITHAKA
John Magee  •  Gale Cengage Learning
Travis Hicks  •  American Society of Clinical Oncology
Jake Zarnegar  •   Silverchair (moderator)

Digital Education Gets an Upgrade: New Approaches, Products, and Services

As markets for journals mature and growth flattens, publishers are increasingly turning to digital education in search of new opportunities. Learned societies are natural providers of domain-focused training, continuing professional development (CPD), maintenance of certification, advanced curricula, and exam preparation, given their focused content assets and engaged audiences. What are the technical approaches, business models, and opportunities for synergy in this expanding space? What are the skill sets required to succeed?

Michael Clarke  •  Clarke & Esposito (moderator)
Paul Gee  •  JAMA Network
Mike Mutka  •  Straightaway Health Careers / Relias Learning
Anna Salt Troise  •  American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

LUNCH, National Union Building


Thursday, September 27 – Afternoon

Search and Discovery

What is the state of the art in web-scale discovery of scholarly and academic resources? These key leaders in aggregated search will share critical insights about the technical landscape of web discovery, to help you optimize your production outputs for the broadest possible digital visibility.

Anurag Acharya  •  Google
Niall Little  •   Silverchair (moderator)
Jan Reichelt  •  Kopernio / Web of Science
Ruth Pickering  •  Yewno

Scale v. Survival: Is the Future of Scholarly Publishing Exclusively Commercial?

The fundamentals of publishing – creation, marketing, and delivery of research and reference content to global audiences – accelerates in complexity year after year. As a result, it is ever more difficult for non-commercial organizations to stay competitive (or even viable) in the absence of relevant operating scale. As a small number of very large commercial publishing organizations continue to expand their efficiencies through acquisitions and consolidation, will independent publishers survive? Or are we headed for a future where all publishing operations are managed exclusively by large commercial organizations?

Brian Crawford  •  American Chemical Society Publications
Tom Easley  •  JAMA Network
Jayne Marks  •  Wolters Kluwer Health
Ann Michael  •  DeltaThink (moderator)
Alix Vance  •  GeoScienceWorld

Closing Reception, 5:30 – 7:30pm, The Loft at 600 F

Venue & Lodging

Platform Strategies 2018 will be held at the National Union Building in Washington, DC.

The discounted block of rooms at the Grand Hyatt is now full. Rooms may be reserved there at full price.

event space


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