A physicist in scientific publishing from quark dynamics to database publishing
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A Physicist in Scientific Publishing: From Quark Dynamics to Database Publishing. Stefan Scherer. From Quark Dynamics to Database Publishing. ≠. A few Facts about Springer. In 1842, Julius Springer founded what is now Springer Science+Business Media in Berlin .

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A Physicist in Scientific Publishing: From Quark Dynamics to Database Publishing

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A Physicist in Scientific Publishing:From Quark Dynamics to Database Publishing

Stefan Scherer

From Quark Dynamics to Database Publishing

A few Facts about Springer

  • In 1842, Julius Springer founded what is now Springer Science+Business Media in Berlin.

  • Merged with Kluwer Academic Publishers (KAP) in 2004.

  • Leading global scientific publisher, … provider of local-language professional publications in Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands

  • Around 55 publishing houses in about 20 countries in Europe, Asia and the USA

  • Consolidated turnover in 2010: EUR 866 million

  • More than 5,500 employees around the world – about 500 in Heidelberg

  • Springer eBook Collection with more than 45,000 titles available on www.springerlink.com

  • Product range across all media: books, journals, newsletters, CD-ROMs, online platforms, protocols, databases …

  • Some 2,000 journals and more than 7,000 new book titles every year in the STM (science, technology, and medicine) and B2B (business to business)

  • main publishing fields: science, technology, medicine, business, transport and architecture

Source: http://www.springer.com/about+springer/company+information?SGWID=0-174704-0-0-0

Physics at Springer

  • Physics & Astronomy is just a part of the global company

  • About 20 Physicists working for Springer world-wide, half of them in Heidelberg

In Publishing, everyone is an Editor …

But what you are actually doing depends on the product you are “editing”

  • “Managing Editor“organizing peer reviewassisting editorial boardsoverseeing production schedules

  • „Commissioning Editor“looking for new titles,organize editorial boards

  • No active participation in peer review!

  • Editor for Journals

  • Editor for Textbooks and Monographs

  • Editor for Reference Works

  • “Commissioning Editor“, “Planer”looking for new titles and new authors,organizing review of book proposalskeeping contact with authors,assisting authorspolishing/improving manuscripts can be part of the job

  • “Commissioning Editor“, “Planer”

  • “Development Editor”keeping contact with scientific editors and authors,assisting authors,organizing production,polishing/improving manuscripts (“copy editing”)

  • “Market analysis”

  • “Sales Representative”There are actually physicists doing this!

… or a Product Manager

German-Language Publishers in Physics

Publishers in Physics World-Wide (not exhaustive ….)

My path to where I am in Publishing…

For example, there was the classic (and, in my experience, largely useless) question about how we each found our current jobs. … The students really wanted to hear stories about how we noticed a posting on Science Careers or Monster.com, answered an ad, and survived competition with 200 random applicants -- …. Instead, each of the panel members talked about how we found our own careers through serendipitous meetings, friends-of-friends, and good old blatant nepotism.

… was a bit serendipitous

Saarbrücken, 1995

Frankfurt, 1997

Darmstadt, 2006

Heidelberg, 2008

Albert Einstein:

Die Plancksche Theorie der Strahlung und dieTheorie der spezifischen Wärme

Annalen der Physik 22 (1907) 180-190.

DOI: 10.1002/andp.19063270110

What is Landolt-Börnstein?

  • 200.000 pages |150.000 figures | 100.000 online documents

  • 250.000 chemical substances | 1.200.000 references to original publications

  • systematic and comprehensive critical evaluation of data by renowned authors and editors (… since 1883)

Landolt-Börnstein is now SpringerMaterials


How do I profit from my PhD background?

  • Knowing „How physicists tick“

  • Experience of teamwork and cooperation with people from all over the world

  • Experience in giving presentations

  • Practical skills: Working with computer, and computer, and computer …(Perl, HTML, CSS, XML, LaTeX, mySQL, but even bash and vi …)

What are „essential skills“ in Publishing?

  • You have to communicate a lot:with authors and editors, vendors, colleagues from other departments, people from other companies in publishing, with customers and users …

  • You should develop an understanding of what topics are profitable and worth the effort – they might not be your pet topics, but in the end, it should pay your salary!

  • You should have a broad knowledge and overview of physics, and curiosity and openness to learn new things

Stop worrying and learn to love phyllosilicates!

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