Monday, June 14, 2010

H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

Asking far-ranging questions

Once a year, the AIP Executive Committee meets to take a long-range view of and to engage in strategic thinking about AIP's future performance and viability. This year's AIP Executive Committee Long-Range Planning Retreat was held June 3–6 in Rehoboth Beach, DE. The meeting followed an ambitious agenda: three sessions on publishing, membership, and governance, followed by a concluding summary session.

During the publishing session, Robert Harington (Publisher, AIP Partnerships) addressed the topic of society journal publishing in the 21st century. During the workshop-style session, participants examined the role societies have to play in the ever-more-complex publishing arena. John Haynes (VP, Publishing) engaged the group in a scenario-planning session using a version of the Six Thinking Hats framework pioneered by the de Bono Group. The exercise involved imagining a potential nightmare scenario—a world where disruption results in all research articles being freely available and accessible. The group considered aspects of the scenario from several perspectives, represented by different colored hats: red—denoting gut reactions and emotions; black—caution, pessimism, and defensiveness; yellow—optimism; and green—creativity.

Cathy O'Riordan (VP, Physics Resources) chaired the session on AIP/Member Society collaborations affecting membership. Rachel Ivie (Assistant Director, Statistical Research Center) discussed the trends in membership growth and composition over the last 10 years. Discussion centered on common trends in Member Society growth and concerns about sustaining current membership. Gary White (Director, Society of Physics Students) talked about the role SPS plays in introducing students to Member Societies through the joint SPS/MS membership program, SPS reporter program, SPS travel awards, and joint promotion opportunities. During a short brainstorming session that followed, the audience generated ideas on how to expose more students to the benefits of AIP Member Societies.

Executive Committee members toured the Zwaanendael Museum (Lewes, DE), a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military, and social history. Modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, the museum commemorates the founding of Delaware's first European settlement by the Dutch in 1631. Linda Crompton (President and CEO of BoardSource, an organization dedicated to excellence in board service by helping nonprofits build exceptional boards and inspiring board service) led the third two-hour working session. Crompton's presentation was a tutorial on nonprofit governance, its role and responsibilities. The ensuing discussion concentrated on best practices in governance—equally important for AIP and for Member Societies.

Delaware's Lieutenant Governor Matthew Denn (son of Executive Committee member Mort Denn) extended a warm welcome to members of the Executive Committee and presented AIP with an official Governor's Tribute.

I am grateful to the AIP Executive Committee members, who are volunteers, for making the time commitment to focus on critical issues and offer their best thinking on how to ensure AIP's and our Member Societies' success into the future.

Publishing Matters

SciLabs: Supporting Scitation's innovative C³ platform

Scitation Labs SciLabs is an interactive workspace for the Scitation technology and development teams to work on rapid development of new features, applications, and products and services. It also serves as an open forum where users can submit their feedback and ideas. Now that C³ is here, the Scitation technology and development teams continue to work on enhancing the features and functionality of C³ to its fullest potential while continuing to track next-generation applications that comply with all the latest web standards, including the new emerging HTML5 standard.

Some of the new developments include the following:

  • Real Time Guided Searching empowers the user to analyze and quickly narrow relevant search results before the submit button is clicked. The underlying function calculates result sets in real time and displays the number of articles found for any given search query.

We invite you to look around the Lab to see what other exciting developments are in progress.  

STIX Fonts Version 1.0 released

StixFonts logo AIP recently announced the release of STIX Fonts Version 1.0—a new web-based character set that perfectly renders the full range of characters and symbols needed in scientific, technical, and medical (STM) publishing. A coalition of publishers, including AIP, developed the fonts in order to support individual researchers' efforts in reporting their results.

Excerpt from the May 28 press release:

"After more than 10 years in development, the STIX Fonts are now available for free download at These Unicode-based OpenType fonts have been designed to support the full range of characters and symbols needed in STM publishing, for both print and online formats. The fonts include more than 8,000 glyphs in multiple weights, sizes, and slants and support the complete range of Latin alphabets, as well as Greek and Cyrillic. The largest component of the fonts is devoted to the thousands of mathematical operators and technical symbols necessary to report research."

PRC Matters

SRC offers research services

The Statistical Research Center provides research and statistical expertise as a service to the scientific community, including AIP business units and Member Societies. SRC staff can assist with any or all parts of survey research, including questionnaire design and web hosting, data analysis, and interpretation of the findings. Our experience includes surveys about the benefits of membership in a particular society, salary and compensation, magazine and journal readership, the journal article publication process from the authors' point of view, the impact of specific programs, and the undergraduate or graduate curriculum.

If you need data on a particular subject, contact Roman Czujko or Rachel Ivie of the SRC.

Around AIP

Who is your beneficiary?

AIP Employees: Please visit the Employease Network to verify the beneficiaries of your Reliance Standard Life Insurance policy. This benefit provides your designated beneficiaries with two times your annual salary in the event of your death. If you need to edit your record, also download and complete a "Change Beneficiary Form," found under the Company Guide tab, Reliance Benefit Information, and submit it to Human Resources. Remember that Human Resources staff cannot approve any changes you make online until they receive the paper copy. Please contact Janet Wehrenberg or Laura Magri if you have any questions.

This week at AIP

Thursday, June 17

  • AIP's Beijing Office Grand Opening (Beijing, China)

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