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The Work of the Joint Task Force on Career Progression in the News

Beyond the “Accidental Profession”: Bringing More Structure, Equity, and Respect to Scholarly Publishing Employment

By Charles Watkinson and Lisa Bayer

Published in The Scholarly Kitchen in September 2022.

Like super-adaptable tardigrades, mission-driven scholarly publishers thrive in an astonishing variety of habitats. . . . The common feature that most of them share is that they embed scholarly publishing professionals within a larger organization whose primary business is not publishing.

Being an “embedded publisher” can be exciting, offering privileged opportunities to get involved in the process of research, not just its products. However, from a career progression perspective, it can be challenging: The parent organization may, at best, simply not know how to categorize publishers within their HR structures and, at worst, fail to respect the distinctive role publishing staff play as information professionals. 

Continue reading in Scholarly Kitchen.

Watkinson directs the University of Michigan Press and is the current President of the Association of University Presses. Bayer directs the University of Georgia Press and was the Association’s President in 2021-2022. Together they represent AUPresses as co-chairs of the Joint Task Force on Career Progression.

Announcement of the Formation of the Task Force

May 2022

The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) and the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) have established a joint task force to create a scholarly publishing position reference directory – a first-of-its-kind reference that charts position descriptions and career paths across the industry.

Read more here.


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— AUPresses Mission Statement in Hmong