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The ALPSP Conference 2023

Open access, metrics, and responsible research evaluation; the biggest talking points in academic publishing at this year’s ALPSP Conference.

Attended by delegates from across the globe, the ALPSP Conference 2023 was the biggest event in academic publishing calendar. Hosted by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), this three-day conference in Deansgate, Manchester was an opportunity for industry leaders and experts to discuss big issues in academic publishing, including open access (OA), metrics and Responsible Research Evaluation (RRE).

Wednesday began with a keynote speech by Dr Elizabeth Gadd: Future Trends in Responsible Research Evaluation, in a session sponsored by PLS and introduced by Chief Executive Sarah Faulder. Outlining the link between research assessment, research culture and the sustainability of the academic research sector, Dr Gadd spoke about the challenges of research assessment reform. Her compelling arguments for a more value-driven and less metrics-centric framework resonated with the audience, highlighting the need for a broader acknowledgment of research contributions and contributors. Later sessions tackled ways the scholarly publishing community  can work towards tangible progress in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and build inclusive cultures within the workplace and was followed by short presentations from the four finalists for each of the award finalists in Impact and Innovation.

Thursday's conference agenda was filled with insightful discussions that delved into critical topics. The speakers covered a wide range of issues, starting with open access and open science, emphasising the importance of transparent and accessible research. Equity in OA and the broader landscape of research and academic publishing was a central theme, highlighting the need for inclusivity and fairness in disseminating knowledge. Marketing OA emerged as a key aspect, underscoring the importance of effectively communicating the benefits of open access. Additionally, the discussion on diversity in commissioning and the potential disruptions in scholarly publishing due to demographic shifts were thought-provoking. The Disruption in Scholarly Publishing panel explored ways in which as academia evolves to embrace greater diversity and representation, scholarly communication models are naturally evolving as well.  This  panel explored how the academic publishing industry is adapting, or in some cases, facing challenges in meeting the changing demographic's needs.

Thursday concluded with industry updates, with a focus on AI’s threats and Opportunities for Publishers. Publishers’ Licensing Services’ Will Crook, Springer Nature’s Leslie Lansman and Wiley’s Dr Hong Zhou discussed the limitations and consequences of failing to create proactive and comprehensive AI policies  and the importance of protect rights-holders . The conference fostered a dynamic exchange of ideas, with attendees actively participating by asking insightful questions. These discussions continued during networking lunches, extending into the Awards Dinner, after which participants had the chance to test their general knowledge in the highly competitive ALPSP Conference Quiz. It was a day that showcased the vibrancy of the academic community and its commitment to addressing pressing issues in research and publishing. The winners of the ALPSP Awards 2023 were announced at dinner. We are pleased to spotlight the winners of the Rising Stars Award:

  • Jade Koo, BMJ
  • George Litchfield, eLife
  • Alex Oxford, Edinburgh University Press
  • Danielle Tremeer, Geological Society of London

The ALPSP Rising Star Award is sponsored by PLS.

The ALPSP Conference showcased not only the industry's dedication to excellence but also its capacity to adapt and thrive in a dynamic landscape.