Knowledgespeak: Could you tell us about yourself and your role at the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology?
Terry Van Schaik: Like many people in scholarly publishing, I came to it accidentally. After teaching English language and literature in a middle school, a high school, and small private college, I moved from a small Ohio town to St. Louis and couldn’t find a teaching position except as adjunct at a junior college. One cannot keep body and soul together on what I earned and so when a friend told me about an opening a Mosby (later Mosby-Yearbook and now part of Elsevier), I applied and somewhat to my surprise got the job. I started as an editorial assistant in the medical book division and eventually moved on to become a journal publisher. Somewhere along the way, I realized I had a career – not in education but in publishing. Since 1999 when I left Mosby until now I have been fortunate to work for Wolters Kluwer (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. As Publisher and Sr. Director of the Journal Publications Division at ASCO, I manage editorial, production, business, and administrative matters and participate in executive leadership decisions.
I have been an SSP member for several years and enjoyed serving as co-chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee twice before being elected to the Board of Directors. I began my term as president this June and am getting to know colleagues on our various committees and on the Board better as we work together to meet members needs and help them respond to issues facing all of us in scholarly publishing.
Knowledgespeak: Briefly talk about the SSP, highlighting the initiatives taken by the Society to promote and advance communication among all sectors of the scholarly publication community?
Terry Van Schaik: SSP’s mission is to advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking. In support of our mission we undertake multiple activities throughout the year. Some of these include:
Knowledgespeak: The Society is set to host the SSP IN Conference. Can you share with us any interesting events / trends that you expect to see during the event?
Terry Van Schaik: In Conference differs from the more traditional professional meetings that often consist of a series of plenary and concurrent sessions with audience interaction usually limited to Q/A sessions for a few minutes at the end of presentations. Although IN does include speakers, the attendees are integral to the meeting. Not only do they hear from experts in publishing and other professions, but also they take what they have heard into small group sessions. In this way they work together to respond to challenges presented via a case study specifically developed for IN. The beauty of this year’s approach is its practicality: attendees can test ideas in their small groups and then take back ideas that they can apply immediately to their daily work.
Knowledgespeak: The 2011 program features talks on the three pillars of modern-day publishing — globalization, innovation, and collaboration. Can you briefly talk about these sessions?
Terry Van Schaik:
Knowledgespeak: You have a very interesting panel of speakers lined-up for the Meeting. Can you give our readers some highlights from the schedule?
Knowledgespeak: New leaders are emerging with the vision to adapt or change their business models to embrace the opportunities created by the social web and the cloud. What, in your opinion, are the implications of these generational changes in technology and online networks? Do you see the forthcoming SSP IN Meeting as a venue for sharing information on these changes?
Terry Van Schaik: To be honest, I lose sleep over these questions and am looking forward to IN Conference to help me find some answers – and better sleep.