View from a Leader: Providing a Network and Knowledge

As President of Informed Strategies, LLC, Judy Luther is a publishing professional leading a team that provides data analysis and market intelligence in support of business decisions and provides a customer-oriented perspective in the design and development of electronic products and services. Her prior experience includes managing sales at the Institute for Scientific Information (now Clarivate Analytics) and at Faxon, preceded by her work within the academy managing libraries and collections (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, & Stetson University). Luther is Past President for the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and currently writes for the SSP blog, the Scholarly Kitchen. She has also served on the boards of the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) and the Association for Information and Dissemination Centers (ASIDIC); Co-Chair of the NISO Working Group that created SERU (Shared Electronic Resources Understanding); and led the creation of the Juried Product Development Forums for the Charleston Conference.

SSP 2017 Med 333x500 sm head shotNetwork and knowledge – these two key words that I associate with SSP define the benefits I’ve received over the twenty years I’ve been a member. As the Society for Scholarly Publishing SSP has continued to grow and includes individuals with a broad range of expertise in creating scholarly content, not just publishers. In welcoming people working for societies, commercial publishers, standards organizations, academic libraries, vendors, technologists, printing, and companies offering software solutions, SSP has created both the network and knowledge base that makes it so valuable.

The organization has thrived by engaging its members and in my experience volunteering is the key to getting the most from a membership in SSP. That is how I met many people I consider close friends and professional colleagues today.  Through these relationships I have felt supported in my career and have gained insights from multiple perspectives.  Whenever a question arises, I know someone who can expand on an issue or provide an alternative view.

When SSP was a smaller organization, I had the pleasure of sharing the work of CoChairing three different committees with Norman Frankel.  My activities began in program planning which was a fun way to hear people I admire speak on topics of interest to the community. That led to being CoChair of that committee, followed by a shared leadership role on the membership and subsequently the development committees.  With each assignment, I met a different group of people, developed additional skills, and was able to contribute to SSP’s sustainability.

In my work as an industry consultant I’ve had both the opportunity and the challenge of working on a variety of cross sector initiatives that involved participation by publishers, librarians and vendors.  SSP is a rare organization in that it focuses on the development of publishing – which in a digital world is increasingly about the creation of content in different forms. I find SSP as vital today as it has been throughout the last two decades.  Given its continued growth I expect it will play a leadership role in the landscape through this next phase of evolution.

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