SSP 2017 Recap: “Striking a Balance”


Last week, Silverchair attended the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) Annual Meeting in Boston, where we hosted a booth in the exhibit hall, sponsored the mobile app, and had staff on three different panels. We enjoyed meeting with clients and consuming some excellent local fare. Here are some highlights from those who attended.

During sessions, the Silverchair booth offered a quiet place to catch upDuring sessions, the booth offered a quiet place to catch up

Stephanie Lovegrove, Marketing Coordinator

"SSP impressed me with the level of engagement of its attendees. Our booth was host to many lively, in-depth conversations—and not just for its proximity to the beer tasting on Thursday! I enjoyed hearing about how platform providers like Silverchair have improved the landscape and functionality of ebooks in Changes in Academic Book Publishing Models, and hearing feedback from librarians, researchers, and publishers about user experience for ebooks in But What Do the Users Really Think? The highlight for me, though, was the 5-minute product presentations on the final day. I'm excited to see how products like BenchSci, Code Ocean, and Remarq develop and affect the scholarly publishing community."


John Condi, Product Delivery Manager

"My favorite session was Embracing Failure: Innovating and Learning. The Director of MIT Press shared a story about a big project that she led. They repurposed existing text books into micro content or “Bits.” It was very interesting to learn about the approach they took, why it failed, and what they could have done differently."

New Silverchair Platform Feature: Split View
New Feature: Split View

Basia Jones, Product Delivery Manager

"I sat in on two sessions where researchers described many of the challenges they face when interacting with online resources (journals and books). I was SO excited to think to myself how our platform has already addressed so many of these in the UX and features we provide. I understood why Split View is such an attractive feature! Kudos to all those who helped make it a reality."


Michael Crumsho, Senior Product Delivery Manager

“I really enjoyed the 100% Solution panel discussion at SSP, which featured the perspectives of publishers, marketers, purchasing librarians, and researchers with regards to how modern products and resources make it from inception to daily use, and how the needs and demands can change from audience to audience—a useful perspective to understand since we are in the business of trying to satisfy a lot of different stakeholders with each of our clients. It was also great to see the new JAMA Network projected on the screen and accompanied by some very kind words of feedback by Howard Bauchner during his presentation.”

Silverchair's Basia Jones and Paige Angle

Paige Angle, Director, Client Engagement

"SSP is one of those rare events where we get to see clients, prospects, and others in one building with everyone focusing on the industry we all share. I enjoyed catching up with ACP, ASHA, Duke, and GSW in person and in a relaxed, professional environment. It was great having a booth again, which by the way is pretty spectacular and received many compliments! It highlighted our prominence in the industry and was a great meeting space."


Craig Griffin, Solutions Engineer

"My biggest takeaway was the robust mergers and acquisitions activity. Lots of change in organizations around us and very hard to predict how things will settle out, but we are staying the course."


Wes Royer, Director, Product

"The high number of presentations and panels on Open Access was not surprising and was on par with other scholarly publishing conferences this year. But SSP 2017 started some new discussions about how analytics and data insights will differ for OA content, and about how OA content is impacted by predatory journals and piracy.

I was surprised to hear how many journal websites still don't leverage responsive web design to ensure their user experience is consistent across device sizes and orientations. More importantly, it was reaffirming during one of the ebooks sessions to hear that Silverchair is ahead of the information architecture curve for online book and chapter display, meeting all the standards recommended during the panel.

Idea jam at the Innovations in Book Publishing session

Idea jam at the Innovations in Book Publishing session

The application of machine learning came up in several sessions on content discovery and analytics insights, as well as a growing number of vendor presentations. It will be exciting to see how this machine power will be used to improve subscriptions, readership, sharing, and new product development.

Regarding piracy, a couple studies provided troublesome numbers for publishers. In a survey about discovery and access to free content 88% of respondents do not think downloading a free version of a subscription-based article is wrong. And why do they do it? 51% said they do not have access, 17% cited "convenience," and 23% object to the paid academic model.

In another study, 51% of non-OA content was found on ResearchGate. Ironically, 62% of authors admitted to uploading their own articles, but 83% of authors said they respect their publisher's copyright. Combine this with behaviors such as sharing subscription credentials and it became obvious that scholarly publishing suffers from the same piracy dilemma that the music, movie, and software communities have been experiencing for over a decade now, where technology constantly is looked at to defend against or even change unfavorable customer behaviors."

Want more? Here's what the Chefs at the Scholarly Kitchen had to say. See you next year!

The lights go down on the SC booth...until 2018!
The lights go down on the SC booth...until 2018!

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