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The Association of University Presses and the Society for Scholarly Publishing create joint task force on career progression -

The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) 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.

The task force will solicit and analyze position descriptions from publishing professionals across the industry to uncover typical themes, titles, and responsibilities. Building on the SSP Publishing Skills Map, a particular focus will be on identifying the skills needed to start a career and advance in it. An additional goal for the AUPresses representatives is creating a reference tool for higher education human resources processes at their parent organizations.

Scholarly publishing professionals from all fields are invited to submit position descriptions to the task force to aid in the development of the reference directory. Respondents are asked to share the organization name and position title, and then upload a position description through the collection form.

Any description format is accepted; analysts will parse submissions for summary sentences that describe the core skills and functions of the position and the necessary requirements for consideration. The result will be templated position descriptions derived from the aggregated data.

The project stems from a shared recognition that publishing professionals from learned societies, universities, and other mission-driven organizations often occupy two different employment spheres. They may belong to a parent organization that is not solely focused on publishing, while the publishing industry tends to be dominated by larger commercial entities.

Position descriptions often map awkwardly to both environments, resulting in unclear criteria for comparable positions and poorly defined paths for advancement, leading to inequity and exclusion. Members from both organizations will create a structured list of publishing positions located in organizations big and small. Position descriptions gathered from SSP and AUPresses communities will be analysed for common core responsibilities, skills required to accomplish them, and titles.

Data collection will be ongoing throughout 2022, and respondents can upload and submit a position description via the collection form. All answers will be anonymized and analyzed in conjunction with aggregate data.

At the conclusion of the task force, SSP and AUPresses will identify the skills needed to acquire a particular position and then advance within it through the publication of an HR-informed structure for presenting both individual position descriptions and the entire corpus of descriptions in a way that will be useful for both employers and employees.

Click here to read the original press release.


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