The [very] Special Libraries Association
Every June, after the spring semester has wrapped up on college campuses, an important group of librarians meets for their annual conference. The Special Libraries Association (SLA) met last week in Denver attracting over 3,000 attendees from college, university and research institution libraries. A subset of this organization, the Division of Physics, Astronomy and Math (PAM), holds dedicated meetings at the SLA conference. The PAM group (numbering ~ 100 librarians) is no doubt the most important group of customers for AIP and many Member Society publications. To ensure that the PAM librarians are communicating their concerns and criticism (both positive and negative) to AIP and our fellow publishers, several roundtable discussions and networking events are held with the scientific publishers who attend this meeting. I joined the AIP and APS marketing and publication development teams to gauge this important customer feedback first hand.
In general, these librarians are very pleased with AIP services and with services of other professional society publishers. However, they operate under constant budget pressures and are allied with us to find the most cost-effective means of providing online document retrieval and delivery to their clients while preserving accurate archival records.
On June 3, AIP along with its collaborating partners sponsored a lunch for the PAM librarians to launch a test version of our new joint-search product, Scitopia. This product, which we previewed in the April 23 issue of AIP Matters, is described below. Scitopia derives from a growing collaboration of now 15 society publishers to link all their publications along with related documents, such as government reports and patent disclosures. The librarians in attendance gave the Scitopia development team plenty of useful feedback so that it can continue to make the product more valuable than existing free and fee-based searches.
I moderated the session, and I am pleased to report to you that the “buffet launch,” as we referred to the event, provided by the Scitopia team, was enjoyed for the lively discussion and food.
Mile-high ‘buffet launch’ for Scitopia
Scitopia.org - publisher-supported federated vertical search portal - launched on June 3 at the Special Libraries Association meeting in Denver. On hand from AIP were Fred Dylla, Tim Ingoldsby, and Doug LaFrenier. Fred served as Master of Ceremonies for the luncheon celebrating the product launch. An overflow crowd of more than 100 librarians attended the event, which also featured a presentation by Barbara Lange of IEEE and a live demonstration of Scitopia searching by Phil DiVietro of ASME. AIP and eight Scitation® Publishing Partners (APS, ASA, ASCE, ASME, AVS, ECS, SIAM, and SPIE) are among the 15 science and technology publishers who have created this new search portal. The librarians at the meeting engaged in a spirited discussion with the publisher representatives, contributing a host of suggestions for additional features and improvements. This exciting new search portal is now available to the public. Try it out for yourself at www.scitopia.org.
The Publishing Services Sales group recently attended the 50th Annual Meeting of the Council of Science Editors (CSE) in Austin, TX. In addition to an AIP booth, a session on the STIX Fonts Project was organized by Tim Ingoldsby, and a Business Continuity Planning session included a presentation by James Wonder. Gatherings like the CSE meeting are important image-building and networking opportunities for AIP as we strive to expand our client base and strengthen relationships with current customers.
Keeping science in the news
A recent test of the U.S. missile defense system prompted MGR to write an Inside Science News Service story questioning the technical feasibility of short-range missile defense systems. MGR worked with Francis Slakey and James Riordon of APS to develop the story. Consequently, The New York Times and USA Today both published articles on the subject last week. Also, a leadoff letter on the benefits of accelerator science, signed by Fred Dylla, was published in the Science Times section of The New York Times.
PT article republished
The Indian Science News Association (ISNA) recently reprinted an article by Stephen Benka, editor-in-chief of Physics Today magazine. Steve’s article, “The Entangled Dance of Physics,” was originally published in the December 2006 issue of Physics Today. Among other things, Steve extols the virtues of physics and the way new fields of study are created from the synergistic entanglement of multiple areas of study. The article is also published in the March-April 2007 issue of the ISNA's journal Science and Culture.
UPDATE: PT Buyers Guide video challenge winners
Eight employees won PT highlighters for recognizing the Career Network’s Bonnie Feldman as the voice talent of “Golda” in Physics Today’s Buyers Guide video.
Human Resources for hire
Most employees are aware of the various functions of AIP Human Resources (HR): recruitment, compensation, benefits management, employee relations, training, performance management, and more. But HR also provides many of these services to a number of our Member Societies at very reasonable rates. ASA, AAS, AVS and AAPM take advantage of almost every one of these services, while others take advantage of a select number of services HR offers. AIP is currently working to fill five positions for two Societies. For more information about HR services, contact Jonathan Goodwin.
Practice makes perfect
Staff from four AIP departments (BSO, C&F, OSD, & Pub. Tech) traveled to our recovery site in Sterling Forest, NY to exercise our ability to recover critical operations in case of a disaster. They worked around the clock for 60 hours to successfully restore Scitation®, PXP, MACS and other systems from backup tapes, running through a battery of tests to make sure all functions worked properly. While we hope we will never experience a disaster, the exercise we do three times a year makes sure we are prepared. For more information on AIP’s Business Continuity process, contact Stephanie Finnegan.
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