Monday, February 14, 2011

H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

Making the deal

During the first week of February, several hundred people involved in the business of publishing scholarly journals converged on the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, for the annual meeting of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the American Association of Publishers. The meeting attracts an international clientele from non-profit and society-based publishers, commercial publishers, and representatives of companies that provide services to those publishers.

One highlight of this year’s program was a day-long pre-conference seminar, “Publishing on the Move: Facing the Emerging World of Mobile Content,” co-organized by AIP’s Terry Hulbert (Director of Business Development). At the main conference, invited speakers engaged in an Oxford-style debate, offering perspectives on the future of journals and reference works as vehicles for providing scholarly information. Registrants were also treated to prize-winning author Robert Merry’s retrospective on how the newspaper industry developed in the US from the political broadsides printed and delivered by hand during our colonial era to its current—and difficult—transition to Web delivery.

Doug LaFrenier (right) and Lori Carlin (Director, Fulfillment and Marketing) meet with a subscription agent during the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Conference participants included many of AIP’s friends and colleagues in the publishing business, so we took the opportunity to stage a farewell party for Doug LaFrenier, Director of Sales and Market Development. Doug will retire at the end of this week after a 17-year career with the AIP Publishing Center. He came to AIP after a distinguished career in the commercial sector of publishing at Macmillan, McGraw Hill, and the Scientific American Library. AIP and our library and institutional customers were very fortunate to have Doug manage this important interface between publisher and customer.

LaFrenier and physics librarian Claudine Xenidou-Dervou meet at the central library at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Doug became known at many library and publishing conferences as the face of AIP because of his capable representation of the business as an honorable enterprise and for promoting AIP’s—and many of our Member Societies'—role in this business. While with AIP, Doug served on the board of directors of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), was a speaker at many publishing conferences, and was viewed as an ambassador of the publishing community at important library events.

In October 2007 LaFrenier signed an agreement with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, to supply free AIP journal articles to registered scientists in the developing world.

One of Doug’s most significant contributions to AIP and several of our Member Societies (APS, AAPM, AAPT, ASA, AVS, OSA and SOR)—and a number of our Affiliated Societies as well—was the initiation of consortium contracts for selling journals. Making a deal with an aligned group of customers from a geographic region or a library group rather than from a single institution enhances the benefits to both the publisher and the subscriber. Because most of these consortia are internationally based, Doug had to log considerable airline miles and develop the diplomatic and cultural skills to successfully negotiate deals in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America.

Consortium agreements will likely continue to grow in importance as the scholarly publishing business continues to expand internationally, and as publishers and subscribers seek more cost-effective arrangements. I thank Doug for his invaluable contributions to AIP, our partners, and customers, and I wish him well in his retirement. Let’s hope he uses some of his time to finally read those wonderful books he has been collecting for this next stage in his career.

LaFrenier with colleagues from Japanese journal subscription agent Kinokuniya

Leading Chinese Society chooses AIP as publisher of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics

The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (CSTAM) has appointed AIP as the publisher of its newest journal, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters. Published on behalf of CSTAM and hosted on AIP’s Scitation platform, TAML will be an essential source of groundbreaking research in mechanics for scientists and engineers worldwide.

Two of the most respected scientists in the field of mechanics serve as co-editors: Jiachun Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Yonggang Huang from Northwestern University. Li remarked, “Collaborating with AIP on a journal in the physical sciences lends instant credibility to our publication. In addition, hosting TAML on AIP’s Scitation online platform greatly expands the visibility and global reach of the journal, and helps researchers to leverage a wide range of valuable discoverability features.” Read more from the press release.


Physics Today featured as ASBPE's Facebook page of the month

Physics Today’s Facebook page was recently featured by the American Society of Business Publication Editors as its Facebook Page of the Month. ASBPE highlights a different professional, trade, or association magazine's Facebook page each month to show its followers what business-to-business publications are doing with social media. According to ASBPE web editor Martha Spizziri, Physics Today seems to be one of only a few publications that feature job listings, which, she says, “are not only immensely helpful for readers, but so easily passed along on the web.” She adds, “I'm also impressed that you have readers posting on your Facebook page—you'd be surprised how many magazines don’t!”

AAPM Career Services joins Physics Today Career Network

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) launched its heavily updated online Career Services job board on January 3. This enhanced site is part of the Physics Today Career Network. PTCN will manage customer service, sales and marketing, and site administration for its new partner. Angela Keyser, Executive Director of AAPM, gave an early vote of confidence to the new partnership. “The launch of the new AAPM Career Services program is a smashing success!” she said. “I know that AAPM will benefit greatly from this partnership. AIP brings a new level of expertise to the program that equates to much more value, both to the job seeker and employer. Just in the first month, we’ve seen a 23% increase in revenues and 16% increase in number of ads when compared to the same time in 2010.” PTCN looks forward to refining the site in the coming months to maximize its potential as a relevant and useful AAPM member benefit.

NMS announces hiring of manager of Media Services

Charles Edward Blue will join AIP's staff on March 3 as the Manager of Media Services (News & Media Services Division). Blue will manage media services provided to Member Societies, promote AIP journal content through EurekAlert! and oversee our science writing awards program. Blue comes to AIP with more than 20 years' experience in public relations for several scientific societies.

What's happening this week

Tuesday, February 15

  • ACP brown bag lunch, "African American History Makers," 12 pm
    (College Park, MD)

Wednesday, February 16

  • Quarterly all staff update, 11:00 am (College Park, MD)

February 17 – 21

  • AAAS Annual Meeting (Washington, DC)

Friday, February 18

  • Doug LaFrenier retirement toast (Melville, NY)

Tuesday, February 22

  • AIP Investment Advisory Committee meeting (Phoenix, AZ)

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