Director's Matters

Guest column by John Haynes, VP Publishing

John Haynes

Today I start my second full week as your new Vice President of Publishing. I am delighted to be joining Executive Director and CEO Fred Dylla and the team in Melville and College Park during a period of great change on the world stage. At a time like this, it is important to reach out for new opportunities. This week Strategic Planning and Publisher Relations Director Tim Ingoldsby and I will be in Japan for a series of high-level meetings with editors, scientists, government officials, and society officers. Japan is our largest market for sales outside the United States, and represents a sophisticated market for science research. Science is a global enterprise, and AIP's publishing activities already reflect this fact. This dimension is sure to expand in the future. For example, Mark Cassar—AIP Publisher, Journals and Technical Publications—is taking the lead in opening an AIP office in Beijing later this year to grow our customer base in China.

We face tough competition from established players and new entrants alike. Our competitors range from large, multi-subject commercial publishers—such as Elsevier, Wiley, or Springer, which have thousands of staff and similar numbers of journals—to new start-ups and offshore vendors. In this competitive market, what sets AIP apart in a positive, dynamic way is our mission. More than ever, we need to leverage our network and connections within the scientific community to add value for science and scientists—our key customers—as well as provide the very best customer service for all our products and services. Technology is playing an increasing role in our strategy and vision. The challenge here is clear: to find new ways to use technology to enhance scientific productivity and aid discovery. Publishers' delivering increasing numbers of "flat" PDF files has clearly had a major impact, but this is only the beginning; the challenge is to find new and meaningful ways to help scientists in all aspects of their day-to-day scientific work.

AIP's publishing services and journals are world renowned for their quality and impact, due to the hard work, commitment, and expertise of publishing staff. I have already had meetings with my core team and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the coming weeks.

On a personal note, I would like to thank you all for your very warm welcome to the AIP family. There is much work to be done, and I relish this new challenge.

John
John Haynes

Polopoly takes root
In mid-January, Anders Roxenhag and David Johansson, two representatives from Polopoly (our web content management vendor), arrived from Sweden for a two-week site visit with Publishing Technology and Online Services staff at the Melville publishing center. The goal for the visit was to set the technical direction for AIP's new online platform. The first week focused on knowledge transfer and design of the new Scitation C3 system. Week two was devoted to running a full "sprint" using the agile software development "scrum" methodology—an iterative incremental process of software development. The first sprint resulted in the successful display of an abstract and table of contents, developed with reusability in mind. By the end of the visit, all participants were pleased with the results. Read more about scrum methodology and Polopoly in The Technology Blog.

PT coverPhysics Today feature republished in Indian reference book
Physics Today editor Toni Feder's November 2007 Issues and Events feature "Animation Uses Old Physics to New Effect" has been reprinted by the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) University Press in a reference book, Animation Industry, published in 2008. In the article, Feder discusses the use of physically based simulations to achieve visual realism in both animated and live-action films. The ICFAI is a nonprofit organization that sponsors several universities throughout India. The press produces professional reference books on various topics, including finance, accounting, and information technology.

Who we are—ACP Information Services and Telecommunications
The American Center for Physics (ACP) Information Services and Telecommunications (IS) group is engaged in the maintenance, security, and deployment of information technology at the ACP. You won't find all the IS staff in the AIP organizational chart (page 57), however, because some members of the business unit are APS employees. Under the direction of Jeff Kobilinsky, IS supports systems that employees at ACP, AIP in Melville, APS Ridge , and the APS Office of Public Affairs in Washington, DC,  depend on to do their jobs. Supported systems include shared file/print services, telephone, Internet connectivity, network switches and routers, wireless data access points, secure remote network connectivity via a virtual private network (VPN), and e-mail. In addition, ACP IS provides critical business continuity services (for example, running daily enterprise-wide backups, storing media off-site, and maintaining standby ACP servers at a co-location facility). ACP IS staff provide computer, telephone, and software training; repair hardware failures; and keep systems up-to-date and secure. ACP IS also coordinates audio–visual needs, purchases new equipment, and offers daily user support through the HelpDesk. Business Systems and Operations staff supply user support in New York; that group will be featured in a future issue.

ACP IS is continually adding services to empower employees to work more efficiently and, when necessary, to work securely and effectively from anywhere. If you're interested in finding out more about these tools, please e-mail Helpdesk-MD@acp.org.

From the left: (seated) Rial Coleman, Melody Bratton, Alex Brown; (standing ) Paul Richards, Chaitanya Mahajan, Jeff Kobilinsky, Jim Lombardo and Brian Sanks Jr. Daniel Tamiru is not pictured.

AAPT logo

AAPT—in conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)—just wrapped up its 2009 Winter Meeting, held February 12–16 in Chicago, IL. A triad of Nobel laureates—Al Gore (Peace, 2007), Leon Lederman (Physics, 1988), and George Smoot (Physics, 2006)—were the most noteworthy draws for the estimated 7,400 combined attendees. Other highlights included talks on dark matter in the laboratory, synchrotron light sources, Neanderthal DNA, and the personalities of the Manhattan Project.

AIP's contribution was a spectrum of support, from data study information, physics education, undergraduate research, journals, magazines, and career services, to the promotion of frontier science. The Statistical Research Center gave a presentation on the relationship between the number of physics teachers at a high school and the likelihood of the school's inclusion on a list of "best" high schools. The Society of Physics Students (SPS) accompanied a cadre of undergraduate physics majors to present research in oral and poster sessions; the happy circumstance of Gore's participation nudged their poster session into the main reception, assuring prime exposure and high traffic. AIP added to the satisfying congestion of the exhibit hall with three booths: one on student programs, one showcasing the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy and other AIP services, and one raising awareness for Computing in Science and Engineering. The Physics Today Career Network managed the AAPT Job Fair.

Several staff attended workshops, participated in AAPT national and "area" committee meetings, and held  numerous project, advisory committee, and planning meetings because most of the key committee participants were present. AIP Media and Government Relations consulted with the AAAS, recommending specific physics topics for future AAAS meetings. AIP congratulates AAPT and AAAS on a successful meeting.

We invite your feedback to this newsletter via e-mail to aipmatters@aip.org.

For past issues of this newsletter, visit the AIP Matters archives.