Last year, we hosted 20 sessions across four working groups that explored high-impact topics for publishers on the platform:
- Analytics Working Group: Our conversations focused on analytics wins and success stories, how to make Silverchair Analytics more user-friendly and efficient, the joys (and challenges) of fostering a data-driven organizational culture, opportunities to extract more value out of existing platform reports, and ways to improve Silverchair Platform documentation around analytics.
- University Presses Working Group: This group explored a wide range of topics, such as how to diversify language support on the platform, but primarily focused on authentication. We dug deep into the challenges posed by browser changes to traditional authentication methods like IP access, shared ideas for improving platform functionality like cumulative access and institutional affiliation features, and identified opportunities to enhance the platform's authentication offering in 2024.
- Aggregators Working Group: This group wrestled with some complex and expansive themes this year, such as different ways to define a "publisher" on the platform, the data needed to support partner publisher agreements, how to manage co-publications, and opportunities to share site management with partners. However, these topics revealed an underlying theme: finding impactful ways to improve the platform tools would help to streamline publisher workflows and underscore the value that publishers bring to their publishing partners. This was one of the main drivers for setting up 2024 as the "Year of Platform Tools."
- Search + Discoverability Working Group: This group focused on a wide range of topics related to discoverability, such as SEO, accessibility, content syndication, ways to enhance or add more nuance to on-platform search, and what LLMs might mean for the future of scholarly discovery. One of the highlights of the year for publishers was a roundtable discussion with the folks at Google Scholar, where we talked about how Silverchair's platform supports indexing and shared actionable steps publishers could take to improve their indexing in the Google Scholar index.
Here's what a few respondents had to say:
"Collaboration between publishers and Silverchair has been great to see. It has also helped to make connections with other publishers who have similar business models and needs. The search/discoverability discussions have all been outstanding."In 2024, we'll continue the Analytics, Aggregators, and Search + Discoverability Working Groups, as well as kick off a new group focused on AI. The AI Working Group will provide a forum for publishers to discuss how they can leverage AI and machine learning to solve existing problems and unlock new opportunities in the publishing industry.
"Getting a sense of other publishers' experiences, practices, and insights has been great. Also getting a sense of Silverchair's priorities for future work."
"It was valuable to see across publishers AND across working groups what topics/themes/functions clearly rose to the top."
We're looking forward to continuing these and other forums for bringing our community of publishers together to address challenges and seize opportunities together.