by Mike Groth
Despite the economic turmoil, war in Ukraine and climate change, our publishing partners and customers could look back on the past year confidently, stepping off the roller coaster ride of the pandemic to enjoy some sense of stability. It was a year of progress and adaptation where the big scholarly publishing trends, such as Open Science, sustainability, and AI, seemed to further entrench themselves in the market.
The KGL PubFactory team enjoyed another positive year with new site launches and renewals, an exciting acquisition by our parent company, some fresh faces and the return of in-person events. We spoke to PubFactory’s co-founder and VP of Client Services, José Fossi, to explore his highlights for the year.
MG: Tell us about the new PubFactory community members who have launched this past year, as well as those who have renewed on the platform.
JF: It’s so exciting to see our community expand, but it is equally satisfying to see our existing customers show their appreciation and commitment by extending their contracts with long-term renewals. And 2022 was certainly a positive year on that front.
In terms of new community members, we were delighted to welcome Bristol University Press, and its imprint Policy Press, on-board. The publisher went live last June with its new, integrated scholarly portal Bristol University Press Digital. The new site provides access to over 1,400 books and 6,000 articles from its 18 peer-reviewed journals, and more.
We were extremely pleased that Edward Elgar Publishing extended its longstanding relationship with us for an additional five years. We have been working closely with the independent publisher since 2011 and the renewal marked the launch of the upgraded Elgar Online with new PubFactory platform enhancements. Later in the year, international social sciences publisher Brill—another long-time customer—renewed with us having doubled its online business in the last six years. There were also significant contract renewals signed with Berghahn Journals, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) for its ebooks platform.
MG: 2022 was the year when in-person events seemed to bounce back, and publishers were finally able to mix and mingle once again. What were your favorite moments and highlights from the events calendar?
JF: While the industry is very much well-adapted to hosting and participating in virtual events, and indeed we have established and held several of our own, it was really encouraging to have in-person events return in 2022.
The KGL PubFactory team was out in force at the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) Annual Meeting and it was fantastic to see my colleague Tom Beyer deliver a poster session alongside our platform partner Stuart Maxwell of Scholarly IQ to discuss how to make the most of business intelligence and analytics in an Open Access era. In addition, Tom presented at the SSP Innovation Showcase recently, where he spoke about how customers can use the PubGen module to help boost platform experience with freeform content. And finally, he moderated a fascinating debate at the Charleston Conference back in November along with our customers, Elgar and Bristol, on how technology can help publishers tackle global social challenges, particularly in the support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Meanwhile, back in the virtual world, our KGL PubFactory Virtual Series was bigger and more information-packed than ever before and included a public-facing Industry Day, with a lively discussion around OSTP and Public Access.
Looking ahead, we are thrilled to be exhibiting at the London Book Fair alongside KGL and Sheridan (come and meet us at Stand 3A12), and also look out for our Industry Breakout Session on one-stop content workflows for scholarly associations at the SSP 2023 Annual Meeting.
MG: Recently KGL PubFactory’s parent company CJK Group announced the acquisition of Allen Press. How do you anticipate this deal will have an impact on PubFactory?
I think the acquisition of Allen Press is a really significant and positive move that will benefit PubFactory and the community in a number of ways. Perhaps most significantly will be the addition of the Meridian hosting service for small, independent societies and association publishers, which will really help to grow and enrich our community. Beyond that, there are a number of new in-house services available to our customers as part of the KGL portfolio, including association and meeting management, marketing and creative services, and advertising sales.
MG: The KGL PubFactory team is growing. Which are the latest recruits to the team you are most excited about?
Recently we made two very noteworthy hires to bolster our project management team. Casey Buchta joined us last September as Senior Project Manager, bringing a wealth of experience from the Science Partner Journal (SPJ) and Human Kinetics. Samantha Fuller, who worked with Casey at SPJ and has over 10 years of academic publishing experience, joins us this month too, also in the role of Senior Project Manager. We’re excited about these two new recruits and the expertise they bring to our current and future platform customers.
MG: And finally, what are the latest platform developments our community should know about?
At the beginning of this year, we announced that we will be partnering with GetFTR—which helps to streamline access and remove barriers to research—by adding this fantastic API to our platform. One of our customers, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), is already on board and using the tool and we expect that many others in the community will follow and take full advantage of this new partnership for the benefit of their institutional users. This is just one of a number of exciting developments and enhancements we are working on and we look forward to announcing more in the near future.
José Fossi is VP of Client Services and co-founder of the KGL PubFactory platform. He oversees the breadth of the PubFactory business and focuses on operations, excellence in delivery, and the scaling of PubFactory technologies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org