H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

Publishing: an evolving ecosystem
We are in the publishing business: publishing our own prestigious journals and delivering publishing services to our Member Societies. To stay on top of the developments in that industry and to share problems and solutions, AIP engages with other publishers through several trade associations. One such organization--the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM)--recently held a conference April 22-24, in Cambridge, MA. Themed Partnerships in Publishing: An Evolving Ecosystem, the conference drew many publishing industry executives from within the STM arena. The ecosystem of scientific journal publishing involves authors, reviewers, editors, publishers, libraries, readers, and hosts of online publications--all of which constitute vital links in the journal-publishing value chain. To stay healthy and thrive, they maintain a symbiotic relationship, monitoring and responding to each others' issues and concerns. This is especially true because the publishing ecosystem is under stress and the rules of the game are affected by two game-changers: the change in content hosting and delivery, driven by rapidly evolving information technology; and the economic pressures brought on by high prices of specialized journals and community demands for open access to publicly funded research.      

STM Publishing

Although most attendees were representatives of the publishing industry, other key stakeholders were present. I had the privilege of organizing and chairing a panel on e-Science, or "enhanced science," a term embracing features associated with how scholarship is conducted in a network environment that uses Internet-based tools and involves collaboration among scholars on a global scale. The panel consisted of three scientists from computer science, high-energy physics, and bioinformatics.

Robert Constable of Cornell University spoke of how combining interactive high-performance computing with massive data sets has led to a new knowledge paradigm. The essence of this digital knowledge paradigm is that the evidence for what we know cannot be assembled without computers. Erick Weinberg of Columbia University, editor of Physical Review D, gave as an example the high-performance computing grid assembled worldwide to handle data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider. He showed how the tremendous scale of frontier high-energy physics experiments drives all aspects of the resulting publications--from data collection and its subsequent reduction to the problems of writing and reviewing an article involving more than 2000 authors.

Ted Shortliffe of the University of Arizona College of Medicine–Phoenix and editor of the Journal of Biomedical Informatics spoke on the nature of scientific collaboration from the bioinformatics perspective: how computing and communication technologies transformed not only the way researchers share their discoveries but also the way science itself is performed. So, the publishing ecosystem is definitely evolving rapidly, and that rapid evolution has implications for publishers like AIP and requires an appropriate response or adaptation.



Exploring new possibilities with Mark Logic
SEGOnline Services and Publishing Technology staff have completed a major upgrade of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Digital Library (SEG DL) on Scitation. A new DL design features seamless integration to the SEG home site and enables a single sign-on via the Scitation partnership adapter. Additionally, the resource collection of the SEG DL has expanded to include the SEG's Digital Cumulative Index (DCI)--AIP's first online product built on Mark Logic. This index covers SEG's own publications, as well as publications of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Watch both Adventures in Agility and The Technology Blog for news about more products facilitated by Mark Logic.

DBIS on YouTube!
YouTubeIn April, staff from Media & Government Relations and Publishing Technology posted on YouTube six of the most popular videos from Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science (DBIS). Before posting, "brought to you by AIP" headers and footers were added to each one, along with appropriate watermarking. Most of these videos are less than two minutes long and were posted on Friday, April 25. In the first four days, one (Science or Art?) had more than 375 views and was rated very highly by several users. Through Martha Heil's channel on YouTube, Inside Science TV–Discoveries and Breakthroughs users can view individual videos or subscribe to this set of videos. Follow The Technology Blog for more items like this. 

DBIS was also recently promoted at the Radio–Television News Directors Association's annual meeting, attended by more than 1300 news directors, executives, general managers, and reporters.

History in the making
Spencer WeartThis Friday, May 9, we will celebrate Spencer Weart's 35-year contribution to the AIP's Center for History of Physics during a special symposium at the American Center for Physics in College Park. History that Matters: The Life and Heritage of Science will feature several renowned scientists and historians, including Walter Issacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. The RSVP deadline has been extended to close of business today (Monday, May 5). Staff may attend with supervisor's approval. Only those who RSVP will be included in the catering count. Alternatively, if you can only make it for part of the day, and if there's an empty seat, we invite you to fill it. To learn more and to reserve your spot, see the symposium website. Read more in next week's AIP Matters.

Physics Today
Physics Today offers new registration controls

Physics Today Online has upgraded its access controls to make them simpler and easier to use. With the new system, magazine subscribers can automatically register for online access by providing a valid email address. A new "view my account" button gives subscribers instant access to their online account, where they can change their email address and password and access any additional journals they subscribe to. The upgraded service should reduce the number of customer support queries received by the ACP Help Desk and Physics Today staff.

Special delivery
If you are eligible for employee benefits, you will receive a personalized mailing at your home later this week about your total compensation package.  This mailing will outline your monetary compensation as well as the value of the many other benefits you receive from AIP.  These benefits are not apparent in your take-home pay but provide you and your family with an added level of protection and improved quality of life. Contact Human Resources if you don't receive a letter or if you have any questions about the information summarized in the letter. 

ArtTime-Line art exhibition opens at ACP
A new art exhibit, Time-Line, opens at the American Center for Physics in College Park on Tuesday, May 6, with an evening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, featuring exhibiting artists and a gallery talk. Artists Pam Fox, Huguette Row, and Mike Shaffer "investigate time and line as conceptual underpinnings and formal elements in their art. With references as far ranging as science, math, architecture, material consumption, and nature, their works condense into individual studies, frozen moments that hold the potential of breaching their confines. In the aggregate, they chart an open-ended timeline, awaiting the viewer to complete." You are invited to view the exhibit and attend the reception.

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For past issues of this newsletter, visit the AIP Matters archives.