Success through partnerships
Seventy-eight years ago, five physics-related societies struck a partnership, which united them in a common cause—to publish scholarly journals—and created the opportunity to leverage their combined resources to better serve the scientific community. That partnership resulted in AIP, and it has continued to grow in size and scope, with 10 Member Societies and 24 Affiliated Societies. So, how does this partnership work today, and what tangible value does it bring?
One key advantage is effectiveness in advocacy. Because an umbrella organization represents the broad and diverse interests of its member organizations, it carries more weight in its interactions with the community and with the federal government. As an example, AIP, along with partnering societies, influences public-policy debates through sponsorship of State Department and congressional fellowships. This year the number of applicants for our congressional fellowships nearly doubled, for a total of 57. Fortunately, we were able to add an additional fellowship by partnering with the Acoustical Society of America and AVS: Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing.
Our reputation as a full-service scholarly publisher is strengthened by joint publishing ventures with nearly all of our Member Societies and several large Affiliated Societies. AIP provides its publishing partners with essential services at competitive prices and delivers additional value by continuously evolving and developing its online platform, by representing partner interests on trade association boards, and by engaging in public-policy advocacy on behalf of their publishing interests.
Several AIP core programs rely on functioning partnerships. For example, Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science, which creates science news videos for television stations, depends on the financial support and content from its 22 partners. Being part of the program enables the partnering organizations to reach a much broader audience than each organization could reach alone. The Society of Physics Students channels undergraduate student members into the ranks of the Member Societies through its joint-membership program, while many Member Societies offer SPS student reporters complimentary press passes to their national meetings, to report on the events through the eyes of an aspiring professional. In both programs, the value of SPS membership is enhanced, while partners gain the opportunity to interest the next generation in their science and their particular member society.
In another example of fruitful collaboration, AIP publishes Computing in Science and Engineering magazine in a joint effort with the IEEE Computer Society. The magazine covers computational science and engineering research in many technical fields, effectively broadening AIP's content offerings beyond the physical sciences. Likewise, the Physics Olympiad, run by the American Association of Physics Teachers, is an expression of solidarity among the Member Societies. Each society supports the program financially, thus emphasizing their common goal of advocating excellence in secondary education. There are many more similarly compelling cases within the Physics Resources Center and the Publishing Center, and throughout our network of relationships, that attest to the thriving symbiosis under AIP's extended umbrella.
Innovation in a time of great change
Content production and distribution organizations currently face a time of uncertainty and a dramatic evolution in communication, academia, and technology. Accelerated by the global economic crisis, the search is on for bold innovations to help navigate the turbulent waters of these changing industries. To this end, Tim Ingoldsby, director of strategic initiatives and publisher relations, and James Wonder, director of emerging technology, attended the spring 2009 meeting of the Association of Information and Dissemination Centers, held March 22–24 in Tampa, FL. Titled "Innovation in a Time of Great Change," the meeting focused on Web 2.0, content strategies, and how to use the Social Web to build better products and new revenue streams. James Wonder participated in a panel, "Case Studies in Social Networking and Social Content," which explored the experiences of societies using new technologies in innovative ways to support their members and increase the usefulness of their content. Read the Technology Blog for further details about this meeting.
Introducing JRSE News
Through a joint effort, the Journal Publishing Office and Fulfillment and Marketing Services launched JRSE News—a complimentary newsletter from AIP's Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. JRSE News, issued bimonthly, is the first in a series of e-mail newsletters to promote the journal and to alert readers to the latest journal content and features available at the JRSE website, including renewable energy news items, podcasts, highlighted feature stories, and the journal's blog, Clean. To introduce JRSE News to a broader community, an invitation to subscribe to the newsletter was sent to contributors to Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Applied Physics, and Review of Scientific Instruments. Further promotion of JRSE News—and the journal itself—will take place during the 2009 spring meeting of the Materials Research Society (MRS), being held in San Francisco this week. At the MRS exhibit, AIP will host a JRSE booth, and visitors will be invited to subscribe and enter a drawing to win a new Flip Video Ultra. Follow this exciting new journal at jrse.aip.org.
PTCN runs APS March meeting job fair
AIP's Bonnie Feldman and Alix Brice traveled to Pittsburgh, PA, last month to run the job fair at the APS annual March meeting. Bonnie, manager of the Physics Today Career Network, and Alix, PTCN senior marketing and sales representative, were kept busy as the job fair ran over its two-day time slot. Some employers continued to conduct interviews even after the official job fair was over because of the wealth of candidates available. The job fair enabled science and engineering job candidates and employers to meet face-to-face, network, and hold formal interviews on-site. More than 30 employers, including Ball Aerospace, Booz Allen Hamilton, the Ohio State University, and the US Army Research Laboratory, advertised nearly 150 positions.
Increasing ad revenue for Physics Today Buyers Guide
The Physics Today Buyers Guide offers 13 different ways to advertise online. Optimizing the Buyers Guide rank in online searches is critical to increasing revenues from online ads. To this end, Physics Today and the Physics Today Buyers Guide are using the services of the search marketing firm, Ephricon. Jon Payne, principal of Ephricon, visited AIP recently to discuss recommendations for increasing Buyers Guide impressions. (Per Wikipedia, an impression is a single appearance of an advertisement on a web page.) Ephricon's work for the Buyers Guide in 2008 doubled site traffic in the first two months.
Who we are—Web Management
Under the direction of Jenny Krivanek, the Web Management team (see page 63 of the organizational chart) is responsible for the overall architecture and visual design of AIP's website—aip.org—and related sites not on the Scitation platform. The goal is to create a cohesive web presence that exploits web technology to communicate and advance AIP's programs and mission.
Web Management personnel act in both a quality-control and an advisory capacity and are responsible for setting and enforcing website standards and best practices. As a team of web designers and developers, they collaborate with the business units across the organization to develop the units' online presence. In addition to technical skills, the team has expertise in online audience development strategies including RSS and e-mail marketing, search-engine optimization, social networking, and web analytics.