H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

AIP Executive Committee meets in Thomas Jefferson's backyard
Once a year, AIP management meets with the AIP Executive Committee to discuss longer-range, strategic issues facing AIP. June 12–14, we gathered in Charlottesville, VA, the home of Thomas Jefferson and the venerable University of Virginia that he founded. The environs of Mr. Jefferson—a statesman, scholar, scientist-inventor, and philanthropist (Jefferson bequeathed his extensive library to the Library of Congress)—provided a fitting setting for this planning retreat.

AIP Executive Committee members toured The University of Virginia’s Leander McCormick Observatory.

We devoted the first day of discussions to scholarly publishing. To initiate the day, Tim Ingoldsby, director of Strategic Initiatives and Publisher Relations, and Terry Hulbert, AIP’s director of Business Development, gave a broad overview of the future of publishing. The proliferation of web-based communication technologies is driving the way scientists interact and communicate, bringing new researcher needs to light. Scholarly publishers are responding by evolving the way information is delivered, using new web technologies to enrich the online versions of journals. In a subsequent presentation, Mark Cassar, acting publisher of Journals and Technical Publications, spoke on the profile and size of the physics journal market, focusing on AIP’s current position in that market vis-à-vis competition and the potential for growth. Jim Donohue, senior director of Publishing Services, provided a parallel survey of AIP publishing services, placing them within their competitive landscape. John Haynes, vice president of Publishing, concluded with a survey of the combined strength of AIP/Member Society/Affiliated Society journals, pointing to untapped opportunities for collaboration and strategic partnerships in publishing.

The second day of the retreat was devoted to two important topics within the Physics Resources Center: AIP’s role in generating and supporting public policy statements, and goals and strategy adjustments for Physics Today (PT) and Physics Today OnLine (PTOL). The first topic, introduced by Alicia Torres, director of Media and Government Relations, considered the potential strength of AIP, as an umbrella organization, to make reasoned and well-supported statements to aid the public debate on the many scientific and technological issues. The second topic, presented by Randy Nanna, publisher, Magazine Publishing Group, was an update to last year’s conversations that had led to an approval of a business plan for both print and online versions of this widely appreciated publication. Consequent discussions focused on PTOL users and content, and on how Member Societies can work more closely with PT. A newly formed Governing Board subcommittee will consider how to address the effect of the global economic downturn on the magazine’s financial position, as all publications that rely heavily on advertising income are under increased financial stress.

We appreciate the open engagement of the Executive Committee members at the retreat. Their feedback and consensus (especially as it relates to our products and services that are offered to Member Societies and the larger physical science community) are essential to our collective well-being. Unfortunately, all this work left little time for these volunteers to enjoy the history and ambiance of Mr. Jeffersons backyard.


Argonne National LaboratoryVirtual visit
In June, editorial support staff of Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Applied Physics, and Review of Scientific Instruments—all based at Argonne National Laboratory—took part in a video conference with Melville publishing staff. AIP's Editorial Operations, Peer X-Press, and Production Operations staff were enthusiastic about meeting with the remote journal staff as if they were in the same room. It was particularly useful to review the spring updates to the Peer X-Press code and make refinements in real time. Other recent activities in the Journal Publisher’s Office were discussed, including updated EPAPS (electronic physics auxiliary publication service) procedures, Scitation C3, and journal content promotion via—for example—Research Highlights on the journal homepages. Such communication facilitates uniformity in representing AIP and its journals effectively to authors and other customers. In the current economy, online meetings are a cost-effective way for AIP to continue—and even increase—interactions with remote editorial support staff, who provide such an important service to our author, reviewer, and editorial community.

2009 Industrial Physics Forum
The AIP Corporate Associates are gearing up for the 2009 Industrial Physics Forum (IPF), co-hosted by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine as part of the AAPM 51st Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA, July 26–28. This meeting will be AIP’s first major conference held with AAPM, which also has an active program for industry. AAPM’s program engages companies who use medical applications of physics to improve healthcare.  This year’s IPF will examine the theme “Frontiers in Quantitative Imaging for Cancer Detection and Treatment,” addressing the technical aspects of medical imaging related to diagnoses and therapies. Sessions cover topics such as nanotechnology in imaging and therapy, novel proton accelerators, and advances in ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) scanning. The AAPM President’s Symposium addresses the present and future roles of computers in medicine. There will be live blogging during the event, more details to follow.

Congressman Rush HoltPhysicists meet on Capitol Hill
On June 4, AIP government relations staff joined OSA and APS members on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their aides, to urge greater federal investments in research and development. Participants also enjoyed an extended meeting with physicist and congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ, pictured left).  Holt spoke about the importance of scientists and engineers communicating with their representatives.

Planning ahead
The Human Resources staff will begin negotiations with AIP’s health insurance carriers to determine the benefit choices for 2010. The goal is to develop the best overall benefit package while controlling cost increases. As part of this process, it is very helpful to know how our employees feel about the benefits that they have been receiving during the current year. Please let us know whether you have been satisfied with AIP’s medical, dental, and vision benefits. What benefit options would you like to see? Please be as specific as possible. Contact Human Resources, using the subject “Benefits feedback.” We look forward to hearing from you!

Who we are – Publishing Operations' Team 4
Our coverage of AIP’s Production Operations concludes this week with a closer look at Team 4 (organizational chart, page 36), headed by Diane Brzozowski. Team 4 produces scholarly journals on a wide range of subjects: from optics and medicine to earthquakes, tires, and teaching. Customers include both Member Societies and nonmember societies, such as the OSA, AAPM, AAPT, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Tire Society, and American Accounting Association. In addition, Team 4 produces several prestigious AIP journals: Biomicrofluidics, Physics of Plasmas, Physics of Fluids, Chaos, and the Journal of Chemical Physics.

Team 4

Production Operations’ Team 4, from the left: Joanne Hensel, Michael Lynch, Emily Tschinkel, Joanne Barker, Margaret Wilgosz, Debra Friedberg, Gail Guerin, Carol Weinstein, Rita Virga, Christine Sampson, Frances Lenz, and Diane Brzozowski. Not pictured are Wendie Stark, Eileen White, Mary Carrichner, and Susan Sinsabaugh.

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