One of the reasons why AIP was formed 76 years ago was to reap the economy of scale benefits in providing services. The Statistical Research Center (SRC) is an example of a service that continues to deliver value to the community. SRC's original mission was to collect, analyze and disseminate data on education and employment in physics and related disciplines. This core of the SRC's research agenda remains unchanged.
In the last 20 years, however, SRC has expanded its mission to provide research and statistical services to other AIP units and Member Societies. What began as a small effort—about one study per year—has grown considerably. Over the last two years, SRC conducted studies for AAPM, AAPT, APS, AGU, OSA, and AAS.
Moreover, thanks to its growing reputation, SRC now offers research services to related disciplines beyond the AIP family. Over the last two years, SRC completed studies for the National Research Council, NIST, the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists, and the American Meteorological Society. Most recently, SRC has begun to serve the social sciences and the humanities. This summer, SRC's professional staff completed a study of the early careers of PhDs for the American Sociological Association and began a study to develop indicator data on behalf of the humanities. As part of the latter project, SRC staff is working closely with the disciplinary societies representing history, modern language, religion, art, and linguistics.
These new projects are only undertaken if they fit the SRC's research agenda. SRC's core surveys and its services to the Member Societies always get top priority. New studies do, however, offer fresh challenges and opportunities to develop expertise and bring in additional revenue. SRC's staff size remains unchanged from 15 years ago even though the division now conducts three times as many surveys annually—quite remarkable!
Nurturing strong customer relationships
Production Operations attended a recent two-day Customer Relationship Management seminar sponsored by the American Strategic Management Institute in Washington, DC. In addition to hearing different strategies for handling customer service, the various speakers offered some familiar and some new noteworthy concepts, for example:
- The best way to attract new customers is to build a bedrock of satisfied customers.
- Consider each interaction with a customer as a "moment of truth"—a chance to make your organization look good or look bad.
- Put yourself in the customer's shoes.
- Understand that your customers are as good as you at picking up subtle clues you may give off (in your tone of voice, written responses, body language, etc.).
Practicing these common-sense guidelines can help us all to serve our customers better.
IOP Publishing joins AIP/APS Virtual Journals
Since August 2007, papers from two prestigious scholarly journals published by IOP Publishing are now routinely incorporated into the AIP- and APS-sponsored series, Virtual Journals in Science and Technology. Abstracts from New Journal of Physics and Physica Scripta can be found in the Virtual Journals without access restrictions. Each of the AIP/APS virtual journals presents an online collection of broad-range relevant papers from "source" journals in the physical sciences. The newest participating publisher, IOP Publishing, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to science communication (based in the United Kingdom). IOP Publishing is wholly owned by the Institute of Physics. For more details, check out the press release and visit AIP/APS Virtual Journals to learn about participating publishers.
Industry field work winds up
The AIP History Center's study of the History of Physicists in Industry has just completed its last major site visit. The photo shows Orville Butler (left) and Joe Anderson leaving the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Detroit. Since 2003, the AIP History Center's professional staff has visited industrial R&D labs at 15 of the largest high-tech companies in the U.S., conducting 132 interviews with physicists, R&D managers and information professionals. They also visited archives that preserve industrial records in this country, the U.K., and Germany, and conducted career-length interviews with 14 high profile corporate physicists. The History Center staff is loading thousands of pages of interview transcripts and other information into Nvivo, a software package that helps analyze the data. The study should offer a new understanding of career patterns, organizational structure, and research trends in contemporary corporate physics, as well as help form strategies for preserving the records that document the still largely hidden history of this important field.
DBIS mentioned in NIOSH news
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) monthly e-newsletter announced its partnership with AIP's Discoveries & Breakthroughs Inside Science (DBIS). DBIS delivers twelve 90-second reports (in both English and Spanish) for subscribing local TV newscasts all over the United States. According to the NIOSH newsletter, the partnership with DBIS "is part of the NIOSH and American Industrial Hygiene Association memorandum of understanding to advance the prevention of work-related injuries and illnesses and facilitate the transfer of research results to practice."
HR on the Web
You may know about the Employease Network, which has your individual employment information and helpful forms and resources, but did you know that AIP Human Resources has its own HR Website? It continues to grow and serve as a valuable resource to employees, with direct links to summaries of employee benefits, job openings, the holiday calendar, photo galleries (very new) from both Melville and College Park events, archived issues of AIP Matters and Inside AIP newsletters, announcements for Melville and College Park, and much more. From the employee benefits page, you can review a summary of each major benefit and link directly to the home page for most of the major benefit carriers, such as Aetna or TIAA-CREF. So if you haven't done so lately, go to www.aip.org/hr and check it out!
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