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If Rumors Were Horses

by | Sep 25, 2023 | 0 comments


Against the Grain V35#4

Whew, we have a lot going on in library and publishing land!  Read on for this installment of “Rumors!” 


A big thank you to Sven Fund for helping to plan and organize the event at Frankfurt mentioned above.  Sven is also our International Column Editor for “Looking Over the Edge!”  Check out the article on pg 51 Connecting Preprints and Peer Review: Toward Better Provenance, Quality, and Trustworthiness by Alberto Pepe, Director, Strategy and Innovation, Wiley, Co-Founder Authorea.

Maddie Hinds and Selwyn Salter

Great news!  Maddie Hinds, Leah’s lovely daughter, just got engaged!  Her fiancé’s name is Selwyn Salter.  He is obviously very romantic since he proposed to her on a scenic overlook on Grandfather Mountain!  Several pictures are included here!  Maddie has served as a graphic design intern previously for the conference, and has designed several of the conference theme logos.  She also has worked at the Registration Check-in Desk and the Information Desk on site at the conference, so be sure to say congratulations if you see her this November in Charleston!

Big news of an organizational change at OhioNet:  Nancy Kirkpatrick, CEO, has been appointed Dean of University Libraries at Florida International University in Miami and will be leaving OhioNet at the end of September.  Congrats, Nancy! 

More changes at Publisher’s Weekly:  Jim Milliot, editorial director of Publishers Weekly since 2014, will retire at the end of 2023.  Milliot joined PW in 1993 as business and news editor and, after serving in several different capacities, was named co-editorial director with Michael Coffey in 2010, following the sale of the company to George Slowik Jr.  After Coffey’s retirement, Milliot was appointed sole editorial director.  With Milliot’s pending retirement, Jonathan Segura has been appointed co-editorial director, and will become editorial director in January.

We were deeply saddened to hear of the recent passing of John Warnock, Adobe co-founder and inventor of the PDF.  From the Guardian:  “Widely known for creating the pioneering technology — in full, the portable document format — that changed the way documents are shared and printed, Warnock died on 19 August, Adobe said.  “John’s brilliance and technology innovations changed the world,” Adobe said.  “It is a sad day for the Adobe community and the industry for which he has been an inspiration for decades.” Warnock is survived by his wife, Marva Mullins, three children and four grandchildren.  Christopher Warnock, CEO of Helper Systems, is his son.

Upcoming Events

We’re planning a bam-zowie Charleston In Between on Peer Review Challenges and Opportunities, a virtual conference to be held September 6-7.  Shout out to the amazing Cris Ferguson, Dean of Libraries at Murray State University, for her hard work and organization to bring this event to life.  Thanks also to Heather Staines, Director of Community Engagement and Senior Consultant at Delta Think, for her work as a Conference Director helping with the series.  “Peer review is one of the most important signals of trust and integrity in the research life cycle, but this effort is under considerable stress as the number of scholarly papers increase and activities by bad actors abound.  This Charleston In Between will look at the current state of peer review, as well as its future, bringing multiple stakeholders to the table and considering new models and new technologies.  Sessions address issues such as article retractions, open peer review, equity in peer review and more.  Speakers include representative stakeholders in the peer review process, including publishers, researchers, and librarians.”  Full program and registration available here!

The Charleston Conference is also planning our first in-person academic conference event at the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair on Friday, October 20, from 9:30 am – 12:00 pm.  This event is part of the Publishing Perspectives Forum and is free for anyone attending the book fair!  It will feature a networking breakfast followed by two panels, one on research integrity chaired by Sven Fund (Senior Director, Knowledge Unlatched), and one on sustainability chaired by our Executive Director Leah Hinds.  We even have discounted book fair tickets available for ATG subscribers or Charleston Conference attendees.  Full program and more details here!

That same week, Leah Hinds will also be attending the STM Conference: OPEN/SHIFT.  Will you be there?  Contact Leah to set up a meeting in Frankfurt. 

October is a busy month for meetings!  Be sure to check out the NISO Plus Forum to be held at the AGU headquarters in Washington, DC on October 3, 2023.  The theme of the day of conversation and problem solving is AI & Machine Learning in Scholarly Publishing: Services, Data, and Ethics.  

And why not make one trip count for two meetings!  The SSP New Directions seminar will also be held in the AGU Conference Center and online October 4 & 5, 2023.  

DC is the place to be, because Silverchair’s Platform Strategies meeting will also be held there on September 27.  The in-person Platform Strategies event returns after a three-year hiatus with renewed energy and excitement to tackle the technology challenges facing the scholarly publishing industry. 

Anniversary Celebrations

In May, Knowledge Unlatched celebrated a significant milestone as it marked ten years of OA publishing in 2023.  To commemorate this achievement, KU is thrilled to announce the launch of its tenth round of funding, which has to date supported the publication of over 4,000 scholarly books and 50 journals in a range of humanities, sciences, and social sciences.  Knowledge Unlatched is part of Wiley Partner Solutions.

And the DOAJ is celebrating a 20 year anniversary: open, global, and trusted since 2003.  DOAJ Founder, Lars Bjørnshauge, was the driving force behind turning DOAJ into a global and trusted service, but collective efforts from different players also made DOAJ into the service it is today.

On 12th May 2003, Lund University in Sweden launched a new service that would give prominence to open access journals.  In 2002, Lars Bjørnshauge was Lund University Library Director and was hosting the Nordic Conference on Scholarly Communication just a few months after the game-changing Budapest Open Access Initiative declaration.  A member of the audience suggested that someone should start a list of open access journals.  As the conference host, Lars volunteered that Lund should do this.  Congratulations on 20 years!

Company/Product News

Hum recently announced the open source release of their new large language model (LLM), Lodestone.  Lodestone is the new LLM model powering Alchemist.  “We are building general AI capabilities for the publisher community, and we’re glad to share along the way,” said Dustin Smith, Hum’s Co-Founder & President.  “Lodestone represents an upgraded foundation for Alchemist, and can be adapted for a wide array of AI applications.”

Tea Time

Anthony Watkinson and Family

Have you been paying attention to Tea Time by Katina and Leah?  A new post is added each Friday at https://www.charleston-hub.com/category/rumors/.  Here are a few recent excerpts:

1)  Just heard from the charmingly peripatetic Anthony Watkinson.  He and his wife Sarah and his daughter Ruth and her husband and their two children and their dogs have just spent the day at the Northumberland County show.  Thousands of others (many of them farmers) were around looking at horses, cattle, sheep, goats, sheepdog demonstrations, a bagpipe band and farmers of both sexes doing tugs of war with tractors!  Sounds like a P.G Wodehouse story!  How refreshing in these computer-dominated days!

And!  Here is more information about Sarah Watkinson!  Sarah Watkinson’s debut poetry pamphlet Dung Beetles Navigate by Starlight won the 2016 Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Prize.  From 2019-20 she was inaugural writer in residence at Wytham Woods, producing The Woods of Hazel with Romola Parish.  Her debut full collection Photovoltaic (2021) was long listed for the Laurel Prize 2022 and is published by Graft Poetry.  The collection is available to buy directly from the publisher, Waterstones or from Amazon.  A novel Native Soil will be published 6th October 2023 and is available for 

pre-order on Amazon.  As emeritus research fellow in fungal biology, Sarah has worked extensively on the activities of fungal networks in woodland, and co-authored three editions of the international graduate textbook The Fungi, Elsevier.  She is interested in exploring the creative common ground between science and poetry, co-organising interdisciplinary meetings of poets and scientists in Oxford through the TORCH SciPo network, founded in 2016 with poet Jenny Lewis.  And her forthcoming novel!  Native Soil sounds intriguing!  I just ordered an advanced copy from Blackwells!

2)  The Gala reception at the Charleston Conference every year is generally held at the South Carolina Aquarium.  We have learned that the Aquarium has just received $1.5 million through the SC state budget.  Have you visited the Sea Turtle Care Center yet?  We are looking forward to the Gala reception in November 2023!  See you there!  Sponsored by University of Toronto Press!

3)  Technology is everywhere!  Even for horse-drawn carriages in downtown Charleston!  I was surprised to learn that there are an average of 40,000 carriage rides a year between Charleston’s four carriage companies, and it makes sense that horses when they have to go, they go, causing clean up problems.  Enter Daniel Riccio, director of Livability and Tourism with GPS monitors that carriage drivers can wear with clickers to mark the spot needing cleanup. 

Submit your stories and tidbits for Rumors or Tea Time to editors@against-the-grain.com.  We want to hear from you!!!

Charleston Conference

We’re gearing up for another unforgettable year of the Charleston Conference.  The vendor showcase has already sold out all but 6 booths, and registrations are coming in strong.  Our plenary sessions this year include: 

Executive Panel: Large Publishing Organizations, moderated by Roger Schonfeld, Vice President, Organizational Strategy / ITHAKA;  Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums / Ithaka S+R; featuring panelists Judy Verses, President, Academic and Government, Elsevier;  Bar Veinstein, President, Academia & Government, Clarivate;  Frank Vrancken Peeters, CEO, Springer Nature.

James Daunt, CEO, Barnes & Noble:  Achilles James Daunt is a British businessman.  He is the founder of the Daunt Books chain, and since May 2011 has been managing director of the bookshop chain Waterstones.  Since August 2019, Daunt has also been CEO of Barnes & Noble, the American bookstore chain.  He is known as “the man who saved Waterstones.”  He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the publishing industry.

The Long Arm of the Law panel, moderated by Ann Okerson, Director, Offline Internet Consortium;  featuring panelists Kyle K. Courtney, Copyright Advisor, Harvard University and Michelle Wu, Georgetown University Law Center.

The full tentative agenda will be made available on September 8, and the early bird registration deadline is September 22, so be sure to register!  We’ll see you there to “Let the Good Times Roll!”

That’s it until next time.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more in our always jam-packed November issue!  


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