Feeling the Flow – Celebrating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility at the 44th SSP Annual Meeting in Chicago

Feeling the Flow – Celebrating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility at the 44th SSP Annual Meeting in Chicago

What better way to kick off summertime than to visit Chicago for the 44th SSP Annual Meeting to join them in their call of Building a More Connected Scholarly Community?

The SSP event is one of the major platforms for the various stakeholders from the research and publishing industry communities to get together for a few days, filled with networking opportunities and a chance to discuss the most pressing questions and issues, or to present new services and solutions.

Usually, I spend my days talking or staring at screens, but this June I was sent out and about to join in the networking with other industry leaders. Admittedly, I cannot say 3 days was sufficient time to counter 2,5 years of carefully conditioned social distancing.

As a newbie at the SSP but not a newbie within the Open Science or Open Access communities nor within the publishing industry, I was however positively surprised to learn the SSP was a rather welcoming place. The diverse series of breakout and educational sessions provided a great overview and offered insights into a multitude of topics nested in a collegial atmosphere evocative of the warmth and inclusiveness of the Open Science scene; several networking sessions, a business luncheon, evening receptions, and not least the first attendee breakfast rounded up the educational side with a communal and open space that likely jumpstarted even the shyest of attendees.

This year ScienceOpen was invited to the SSP to present their latest project, the BookMetaHub, a recently launched platform freely accessible for publishers to import and maintain or create rich metadata sets for their scientific book publications both on a book- and chapter-level to be used for further distribution.

We also had the honor of being amongst the lucky dozen to get selected for the Previews Session aimed at presenting new and noteworthy products. Coming in 6th place amongst this impressive lineup of contestants speaks volumes about the great potential that the BookMetaHub has to help build a bridge of accessibility to an apparent disconnect currently pervading much of the available metadata and content when it comes to books.

In case you missed it, feel free to check out the published poster Book Metadata for an Open Access World : Open Metadata-Management for Scientific Book Publications online or visit the BookMetaHub directly!

So, I’d say 3 days is hardly enough to get an understanding for all that’s cooking in the industry (thankfully there is an on-demand option in the conference app and next year’s conference) but it seems plenty to get a feeling for the beating heart that excites commotion and progress within the broader field of the scholarly community.

It is certainly enough time to catch a whiff from the kitchen and get infected. Though not with Covid, thankfully!

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