ATG People in the News 6/27/17

Springer Nature has announced that “Derk Haank is to retire from his role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Springer Nature  by the end of 2017.  Derk will be succeeded by Daniel Ropers, currently CEO of bol.com, who will join Springer Nature on October 1 and work with Derk until December to ensure a smooth transition.

Derk has thirty years of experience in the academic publishing industry, almost half of which have been with Springer.  He joined Springer Science+Business Media in 2004 as its CEO and drove the migration of content from print to digital, re-inventing the academic book market in the process.   Throughout his career, Derk championed new business models and in 2008, led the acquisition of BioMed Central which together with Springer’s own open products led Springer Science+Business Media to become the leading  open access publisher in the world.

The culmination of his career was the merger of Springer Science+Business Media with the majority of Macmillan Science and Education in 2015.  He became CEO of the newly created Springer Nature and for the past two years led the integration of the businesses to become the world’s leading open access publisher, the number one academic book publisher and publisher of the most influential journals…

Daniel Ropers is an experienced CEO with a proven track record of building successful B2C businesses that lead the market. He joins Springer Nature from the digital sector where he co-founded online retailer bol.com in 1999, becoming CEO in 2000. During his 17 years as CEO, Daniel created the leading retail brand in Benelux with a reputation for excellent personalised shopping, reliability and customer service.  After two consecutive periods under Private Equity ownership, he steered the sale of bol.com to Benelux based retail group Ahold Delhaize in 2012 and remained its CEO…”


The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) recognized the efforts of seven deserving individuals at its recent Annual Meeting held in Boston, MA, May 31- June 2.

“SSP could not accomplish what it does without the efforts of the many active volunteers that are passionate about advancing scholarly communication and their community within SSP,” said Melanie Dolechek, Executive Director of SSP. “They are the driving force behind the various year-round programs organized by the Society. These awards honor those that have gone above and beyond to help further the mission of SSP.”

Ann Michael, Chair of the Nominating and Awards Committee and 2016-2017 SSP Past President presented Mary Beth Barilla, Publisher Relations Director, RedLink; Lori Carlin, Director, Marketing & Senior Consultant, Delta Think; Yael Fitzpatrick, and Michael Clarke, President, Clarke and Company with the SSP Appreciation Award. The award recognizes the work of individuals whose recent actions have benefited SSP and the scholarly communication field.

Barilla was commended for her efforts on the SSP Annual Meeting Program Committee since 2014, serving in the co-chair position for three years.  During her time as a co-chair the Annual Meeting has exceeded records for both the number of concurrent sessions and numbers of attendees. Carlin and Fitzpatrick were recognized for their leadership in spearheading the Branding Task Force which recently launched a visual identity refresh for the Society. Clarke successfully lead the Scholarly Kitchen Renovation Task Force through a website redesign earlier this year.

Each year SSP acknowledges the achievements of up-and-coming leaders in scholarly publishing who have demonstrated their potential through outstanding service and contribution. Applications were judged on the nominees’ demonstration of leadership on an SSP committee or task force and innovative contributions made to the field of scholarly communications. This year the Nominating and Awards Committee selected two deserving candidates. The 2017 SSP Emerging Leader Award winners are Emma Brink, Associate Editor, John Wiley and Sons., and Matt Cooper, Senior Commercial Support Analyst, John Wiley and Sons.

Brink and Cooper, are members of the Career Development Committee and have served as co-chairs of the Early Career Sub-committee since 2015.  Through their efforts, they are bringing more visibility to and driving engagement from early career professionals through a number of outreach activities. They’ve also been central to elevating the issue of diversity and inclusion to the forefront for SSP and its membership.

The esteemed recipient of the 2017 SSP Distinguished Service Award is Will Wakeling. This award is given to a member of SSP for his or her work over an extended period to help further the mission of SSP and the field of scholarly communication. Wakeling has been a member of a variety of SSP committees since 2006 and received an SSP Appreciation Award in 2012. He has served as a member of the SSP Board of Directors and over several years, successfully guided the SSP Fellowship Program, previously the Travel Grant Program, to be the highly-competitive and enriching experience that it is today.  The Fellowship Program offers a wide range of career development and nurturing opportunities for students and early-career professionals in the scholarly publishing industry and provides funding for attendance to the SSP Annual Meeting.

“There is no more deserving recipient of the Distinguished Service award than Will Wakeling. In addition to his many years of service to scholarly communications and the SSP, Will has made it his mission to welcome students and early career professionals into the industry. We should all thank Will for the encouragement and hospitality he has extended to some of our most dedicated and talented colleagues,” said Michael.


Bookseller notes that “expert speakers disagreed on whether a “crisis of oversupply” exists in the academic monograph market, at a debate held to mark publication of the Academic Book of the Future policy report in central London last night (20th June).

Dr Michael Jubb, author of the newly launched report, said that around 63,000 academic book titles in the arts and humanities had a retail sale in the UK print market in 2015, up from 42,000 a decade earlier. Meanwhile the average sale title has dropped from  99 to 59 over the same period. “This is a very significant decline,” he said. “The key question is whether too many books are being published, or whether enough effort is being made to turn potential demand into actual demand [for them].” He added: ”Not every book an academic wants to publish needs to be published…

However Professor Geoffrey Crossick of the University of London, author of the influential “Crossick report” on monographs and Open Access, took issue with the concept of oversupply, saying the long structured analysis represented by the monograph is “fundamental to the research process” and can’t be replicated in a series of articles. He said: “The value of the book lies not in the object but in a process in which both authors and readers play a part – the process of writing and reading. Part of the research process is thinking. I’m not sure there is a crisis of oversupply. In a report that will be read by policymakers, the centrality of the monograph needs setting out clearly.

Frances Pinter, founder of the Knowledge Unlatched project, agreed, arguing that broad publishing is important. “We need to ensure the milk from which the cream emerges is out there,” she said. “Find me the publisher which has always been right [in selecting which book to publish], they don’t exist.”

But Pinter also picked out the report’s “excellent” chapter on intermediaries, saying the revelation that the “cut” given to vendors selling books to academic libraries is up to 50% of what libraries pay was one of the most striking findings. “An open and transparent discussion of what libraries need, and pay for, needs to be had,” she said…”

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