“I want control over the author journey, not the technology.”
That’s how Head of Open Research at Emerald Publishing, Shelley Allen, phrased it when we asked her why she likes to work with technology partners.
On February 24, we hosted our second webinar on publisher partnerships with technology providers. Guest speakers were Head of Open Research at Emerald Publishing, Shelley Allen along with two of the publisher's technology partners, David Leeming, Delivery Director at 67Bricks and Tim Lloyd, CEO of LibLynx.
Watch the full recording of the webinar and read a summary below.
Last week, we invited Shelley Allen from UK-based scholarly publisher Emerald Publishing to join us for our second webinar to learn more about the publisher’s experience with external partnerships.
Joining in for the session were also Tim Lloyd from LibLynx and David Leeming from 67Bricks – two of Emerald Publishing’s technology partners. With Publisher Relations and Business Development Manager from ChronosHub, Romy Beard, in front as moderator, the session evolved into an inspiring dialogue about the interplay and dynamics between publishers and third parties. The webinar covered why off-the-shelf solutions aren’t always ideal, what makes a good partnership, and important learnings looking back.
The webinar was kicked off with the essential question: Why search for third parties instead of going in-house?
For our guest speakers, knowledge and capacity are central components. In a fast-paced word, things change rapidly, and there’s a need to be able to deliver things quickly, be agile, and foster good, unique user experiences. External partners usually have a broader network that goes beyond a customer’s immediate sphere and can thereby offer diversity, best practices, and knowledge sharing that can be paramount in moving things forward without disturbing the day-to-day practice for internal teams. As such, focus should always be on core publisher activities, Tim Lloyd pointed out.
In short, the beauty of a partnership is that it allows for dialogue, flexibility, and co-creation, all three speakers agreed – something you won’t get if you go with off-the-shelf solutions. Therefore, the key to a good partnership is communication, the trust that comes with it, and the resilience that develops over time. Things can go wrong, but with the right communication, you can be creative and supportive in the solution. A partner is the critical friend who wants to work with the customer to find the optimal solution, David Leeming underlined and added: “We want to believe we’re going to make a difference. Successful partnerships are those where both sides believe. We’re in this together.”
Naturally, it takes time to build a partnership – it requires effort and patience, especially in the beginning, Shelley Allen pointed out. When you search for partners, rather than simply ticking a box on a fixed solution, you’re bringing in a diversity of opinions, drawing on the expertise of a wide range of people and can build stronger solutions.
“In my experience, smaller companies tend to be more collaborative and less one-sided. It’s not one size fits all. Customers want different things”, Shelley Allen underlined. Ultimately, this resonates well with Emerald Publishing’s vision of enabling real-world impact and provide good, unique user experiences.
Curious to know how the dialogues unfolded? Have a look at the recording above and listen to all perspectives and learnings brought forward during the webinar.
We look forward to new insights to come! Remember to keep an eye on our upcoming events on our website and social media channels.
Romy is specialized in the academic online publishing industry, with a focus on publisher relations. And she’s one of our key experts in Open Access publishing terms.