PSP Conference 2010

The Association of American Publishers sponsored the annual Professional and Scholarly Publishing (PSP) conference February 3-5, 2010 in what turned out to be a blustery Washington, DC. Although the unprecedented winter storm that hit the nation’s capital cut the proceedings short on the last day, the conference proved to be a warm and successful meeting of the most distinguished scholarly publishers in the world. In addition, nineteen vendors were in attendance. MPS distributed information about our end-to-end capacity of services for publishers and also emphasized our LMNS and digital services divisions.

Over one hundred organizations took part in the meeting, which was titled, “The New Reality: Disruption, Innovation, Relevance.” Critical issues facing today’s publishers were the focus of well-attended seminars moderated by top industry executives. What was on everyone’s minds was how technology is influencing traditional publishing models and changing the marketplace. Publishers wanted to hear about the best uses of metadata for bringing their enriched content into the new digital landscape and delivering it to specifically targeted audiences. They wanted to make sense out of the new digital delivery outlets and the ever-expanding array of reading devices for digital content. They wanted to understand how to manage digital rights. In fact, one seminar took the form of an Oxford-style debate on copyright protection itself. One team held that copyright protection is the cornerstone of publishing, while the other maintained that copyright protection is an outmoded relic that is choking the flow of knowledge in the Internet age. Self-publishing too is viewed as a new and viable model for sustaining scholarly journals, where authors pay a publishing charge and see their work peer reviewed and placed online. This model has been created in order to sustain journals that would otherwise succumb to traditional marketing and printing overheads.

One of the highlights of the PSP conference is the announcement of the winners of the coveted American Publishers awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence, also known as the PROSE awards. These awards are given to the best scholarly publications of the year in over 40 book, journal, and eProduct categories. Of these winners, the very best of the year is then selected for receipt of the highly prestigious R. R. Hawkins award. Ever since 1976, this award has distinguished the best of the very best. It is telling that this year’s Hawkins award was given to two finalists: The University of Chicago Press for the print book “Plato’s Philosophers: The Coherence of the Dialogues,” by Catherine Zuckert; and John Wiley & Sons for the online site “Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs),” the very first ever eProduct to be chosen for such an honor.  To watch Sean Pidgeon, Vice President and Publisher at Wiley-Blackwell, accepting the second of the Hawkins awards, click here.

 John Sollami 

VP, Customer Relations 

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