CISPC 2018 – meet our moderators!

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It's just a week until our annual event, Challenges in the Scholarly Publishing Cycle 2018, and it's time to meet our moderators.

Helen Blanchett, our librarian moderator, is a scholarly communications subject specialist at Jisc – a UK not-for-profit company whose role is to support post-16 and higher education and research.

After qualifying and working as a librarian in her early career, Helen worked for Jisc Netskills for 13 years providing training and working on a diverse range of projects across various sectors.

She went back to her roots in 2011, working as a librarian in the liaison team at Newcastle University, before returning to Jisc in 2015. 

Helen has a keen interest in all aspects of information and digital literacy, and in supporting staff and students in their development. She was the lead author for Teaching information literacy: 101 practical tips and is series editor for Facet’s Practical Tips for Library and Information Professionals series.

She said: 'Scholarly communication is a fast changing area, particularly around open access. This year there have been several major reports released and both Wellcome and the newly formed UKRI are reviewing their open access policies. And that was before the announcement of Plan S.

'The UK is now leading the world in terms of open access publishing (37 per cent made available immediately OA, as opposed to 25 per cent globally) and this is largely due to the efforts of librarians who, along with research managers, are often mediating the process – a recent report found that 71 per cent of repository deposits are done by professional support staff rather than researchers. This is often a manual, resource-intensive process that has led OA to be described as a ‘drudge’ and a ‘chore’. 

'I’m looking forward to the event to discuss how librarians, publishers and researchers can better work together to ease the administrative processes around open access to enable librarians to focus on supporting researchers in making the most of the opportunities provided by open research.' 

Tasha Mellins-Cohen, our publisher moderator, is director of publishing at the Microbiology Society, where she is accountable for all aspects of the Society's publishing program, from portfolio development to sales, via operations and finances.

A well-known and respected figure on the scholarly communications conference circuit, Tasha has previously worked as director of strategic engagement services at Highwire Press, as director of product development at Semantico, as head of content management at IoP Publishing, and as head of publishing operations at BioMed Central.

She told Research Information: 'The scholarly communications industry is very much in a state of flux at the moment, perhaps more so than in recent years. 

'Publishers have an important role in the scholarly communication community – and, in this fast-changing landscape, they need to recognise that that their key relationships are with not just researchers but academic librarians as well.

'I look forward very much to discussing the needs of both sets of stakeholders at CISPC 2018.'

Alastair Horne, our researcher moderator, is an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral partnership PhD research student based at Bath Spa University and the British Library. 

His work explores how mobile phones are changing storytelling, and his published articles include ‘Transmedia Publishing: Three Complementary Cases’ (in The Routledge Companion to Transmedia Studies) and ‘Publishing: the last (and next?) five years’ in The Indexer. He also works part-time as a freelance journalist specialising in scholarly publishing, writing monthly newsletters on developments in the industry for the London Book Fair, and has spoken at the London and Frankfurt Book Fairs.

He told Research Information: 'I'm expecting some lively discussions at December’s conference, particularly on the continuing challenge of achieving the largest possible impact for research while complying with funder requirements has been thrown into ever sharper focus by the cOAlition S initiative. 

'Comprised of 12 national research funding organisations from across Europe, including the French National Research Agency and UK Research and Innovation, the alliance has issued a 10-point plan that requires authors to retain copyright over their work and forbids publication in hybrid journals.'

The event will be held on Monday 3 December at the London Art House, in the Borough of Islington. For more details and to book, visit the website.

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