Webinars charting paths forward for open access publishing by learned societies

White cardboard puzzle piece filling black hole

The Society Publishers Coalition (SocPC) and Transitioning Society Journals to Open Access (TSPOA) invite you to register for free webinars about the changing face of society journal publishing. 

This three-part webinar series is intended to help foster the transition of learned society journals to open access by contextualizing their role within a changing scholarly communications landscape, increasing awareness of their publishing practices and operational needs, and engaging the broader community of publishing stakeholders in discussions and decision-making about how best to support society publishing in an open access landscape. 

Registration is now open! Please RSVP using the registration buttons below. 

Registrants will have opportunities to ask the panelists questions during the live recording. The webinars will be recorded and made available online following the events.

Questions? Please contact contact-tspoa@googlegroups.com

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Webinar 1

Understanding Learned Societies

20 November 2019

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. PST / 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. GMT

Join society publishing experts in a deep dive into the modern purposes, functions, and needs of scholarly societies—-with particular attention to the publishing opportunities and challenges they face within an evolving scholarly communication ecosystem. 

The goals of the webinar are to help: 

  • libraries and research organizations come away with a better awareness and understanding of learned societies’ operational needs and academic impacts, positioning them to engage in strategic decision-making about how they wish to support society-related publishing endeavors
  • society editorial teams and journal publishers connect with new sources of open access publishing funding and support, and give voice to their publishing needs

Suggested audience: libraries, research organizations, societies, and funders.


Lauren Collister

Dr. Lauren B. Collister is the Director of the Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing at the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, where she leads initiatives such as the library’s Open Access Journal Publishing program, institutional and subject-based repositories, and copyright education and advocacy. She is a member of the Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access (TSPOA) working group and the chair of the Linguistic Society of America’s Committee on Scholarly Communication in Linguistics.

Sally Hardy

Sally Hardy is Chief Executive of the Regional Studies Association. She began her career at the Economic and Social Research Council where she worked as a Scientific Officer in the Industry and Employment Committee dispensing funding to UK based social science academics. Sally moved to the Regional Studies Association where she has been CEO for just over 30 years. She has developed the organisation from a small, UK focused organisation into a global Association with an international footprint. Sally has become an advocate on publishing issues for the learned society sector speaking regularly at national conferences and events. She has advocated on different aspects of Open Access – for journals as well as for monographs and also around copyright reform and educational exceptions. She speaks on publishing practice and particularly on how to grow impact from publishing activity and on issues of learned society strategy.

Stuart Taylor

Dr Stuart Taylor is the Publishing Director at the Royal Society. He has responsibility for the Royal Society’s publishing operation which consists of a staff of 30 who publish the Society’s ten journals. He joined the Society in 2006 after working as a Publisher at Blackwell Science (now Wiley) in Oxford where he was responsible for postgraduate book and journal acquisitions in clinical medicine. He is a keen advocate of open science and believes that the scholarly communication system should genuinely serve science and do so far more effectively and efficiently than it does at present. He is a member of FORCE11, is also on the Board of Directors of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA) and works in several other open science groups. He has an MA in chemistry and a DPhil in psychopharmacology from the University of Oxford, and has published 25 peer reviewed scientific papers in neuroscience. He has also published a number of articles on journal publishing and scholarly communication. In 2015, he organised a four day conference as part of the Royal Society’s celebration of 350 years of science publishing entitled The Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication.

Sharon Todd

Ms Sharon Todd is the Chief Executive Officer of SCI (Society of Chemical Industry). Sharon is an experienced senior executive with over 28 years in the chemical industry. She has worked for a number of global corporations, and has held board positions in several listed companies. She was first introduced to SCI whilst studying chemistry at the University of Southampton, and met her first employer at an SCI event in 1988. After a career in industry she joined SCI late 2015 as Chief Executive, bringing her industry experience to strengthen the ties between SCI and industry. Sharon sits on the Advisory Board of Chemistry Department at Southampton University and is a member of the Chemistry Council, an industry/government partnership.

Webinar 2

Funding Pathways for Learned Society Open Access Publishing

6 December 2019

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. PST / 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. GMT

We next provide an overview of a variety of funding models that scholarly societies may consider in transitioning to open access publishing. We will explore the implications of each funding strategy—the pros and cons—as well as associated implementation needs or partnership dependencies. This will help libraries and consortia understand their potential roles in supporting emerging OA funding models, and help societies begin to evaluate which funding strategies might work for them. 

Suggested audience: libraries, research organizations, societies, and funders.


Curtis Brundy

Curtis Brundy is the Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Communications and Collections at Iowa State University. He is active in efforts to transform scholarly communications and is especially interested in finding sustainable open models for self-publishing societies. His work at Iowa State has largely focused on finding ways to shift its traditional subscription collections spend towards supporting open access. He currently chairs the OA2020 US Working Group and is involved with several other groups working to transform scholarly communications.

Kamran Naim

Dr. Kamran Naim is Head of Open Science at CERN. His career has been focused on promoting equity in access to knowledge and greater accountability and transparency in the scientific enterprise. He has worked to devise innovative transitional models to support open access to research journals, most notably as an architect of the Subscribe to Open model. Kamran holds a PhD from Stanford University, where he investigated the promise of cooperative models to support the transition of journals to open.

Malavika Legge

Malavika is Director of Publishing at Portland Press, the wholly owned publishing arm of the Biochemical Society. Along with strong roots in content development and extensive licensing experience, she has a special interest in workflows and publishing technology. Prior to her time at the Biochemical Society she held a variety of editorial and management roles at Informa PLC (in academic-publishing divisions that now sit within Taylor & Francis). The majority of her experience is in cross-functional working, and her current focus is balancing editorial, charitable and commercial interests in the context of today’s scholarly communications landscape and the Biochemical Society’s stated objective to transition its publishing business model – more on this here. Malavika has a degree in Biochemistry and a Masters in Bioscience, and retains a passion for serving the research community.

Scott Delman

Scott Delman has been working in the scholarly publishing industry for over 25 years and currently serves as the Director of Publications for the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), where he has overall responsibility for editorial, content development, publications policy, rights & permissions, production, Digital Library sales & marketing, and publications strategy, including ACM’s longterm transition to Open Access. Prior to joining ACM, Scott served in a number of senior and executive level management positions at Springer and Kluwer, including Vice President for Publishing and Vice President for Electronic Publishing at Kluwer Academic Publishers and Vice President for Business Development at Springer before leaving and joining ACM in 2007. In addition to his current role at ACM, Scott is actively involved in the governance of a number of the scholarly publishing industry’s most innovative and impactful non-profits, including Crossref, where Scott serves as the organization’s Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors, CHORUS, where Scott serves as Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors, arXiv, where Scott serves as a Member of the Member Advisory Board, and as a Member of the Portico Advisory Committee.

Kathryn Spiller

Kathryn is Licensing Manager for Jisc, where she develops transformative agreements with smaller society publishers. She has worked in academic publishing for more than 17 years, most recently as head of publishing at Bioscientifica.

Webinar 3

Engaging Societies and Society Journals in Transitioning to Open Access

12 December 2019

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. PST / 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. GMT

The webinar series concludes with an exploration of how authors and libraries can work with and support society journals and publishers as they prepare for and undertake an OA transition. We will examine the kinds of resources, consultations, and advocacy both needed and available for authors, libraries, and society journals. 

Suggested audience: society journal authors and editors, and libraries.


Catherine Mitchell

Catherine Mitchell, PhD, is Director of Publishing & Special Collections at the California Digital Library, University of California. As such, she oversees CDL’s library publishing, special collections and mass digitization programs, publishing 80+ open access scholarly journals via eScholarship and providing robust access to unique digital assets from the UC libraries as well as the libraries, archives, and museums of the State of California. Catherine is also Operations Director of UC’s Office of Scholarly Communication and serves on the boards of both Crossref and the Library Publishing Coalition. She is Co-PI on the recently-announced “Next Generation Library Publishing” initiative, funded by Arcadia.

Sharla Lair

Sharla Lair serves as a strategist for the Content & Scholarly Communication Initiatives team at LYRASIS. She joined LYRASIS in 2015 after spending several years coordinating consortial eresource licensing and professional development programming for public and academic libraries at a statewide level. Sharla obtained a Master of Science in Library and Information Studies as well as a Master of Science in Geography from The Florida State University. She feels fortunate to be able to combine her love of libraries and geography in her day-to-day work, as community-building, sustainability, and learning about the relationships between people and the diverse systems in which they interact inspire Sharla’s professional passions. At present, she is particularly interested in developing sustainable open access models for monographs and journals, as well as better understanding the dynamic relationships between the scholar, publisher, and librarian, especially as they interrelate via university presses, scholarly presses, library publishers and libraries.

Emma Molls

Emma Molls is the Publishing Services Librarian at the University of Minnesota, where she works alongside of editors to publish open access monographs, textbooks, and journals. Emma serves on the editorial board of Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication and is an associate editor for the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Rachael G. Samberg

Rachael leads UC Berkeley Library’s Office of Scholarly Communication Services. A Duke Law graduate, Rachael practiced intellectual property litigation at Fenwick & West LLP for seven years before spending six years at Stanford Law School’s library, where she was Head of Reference & Instructional Services and a Lecturer in Law. Rachael speaks throughout the country about scholarly communication issues, and is a national presenter for the ACRL Workshop, Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement. She is project director for Building Legal Literacies for Text Data Mining, an NEH-funded project to help digital humanities researchers and professionals learn to navigate law and policy issues in text data mining. Her chapter, Law & Literacy in Non-Consumptive Text Mining, was published in Copyright Conversations (ALA, 2019). In 2019, she co-founded TSPOA, a group of library and publishing professionals working to support learned society publications transition to open access.