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“The purpose of my consulting company is to consistently produce good work for the organizations I work with.”

                    Mary Waltham

The Project Process

  1. Initially clients approach me with an idea or brief written outline of where they need some help or support. The concept may also emerge from a face-to-face meeting or telephone conversation.
  2. It is then useful to meet and review in some depth the objectives and goals of the work – to be sure there is utter clarity here. I then put together a draft statement of scope and send it to the client. This outline articulates the boundaries and parameters of the work and provides a basis on which to develop a project proposal.
  3. Once the scope is agreed, I prepare a proposal – including time-scale and fee -  based on my understanding and assessment of the time and resources required to complete the work. I normally work on a project basis and not usually on an hourly or day rate.
  4. The proposal is sent to the client – and if agreed the work starts and is completed as per the agreed schedule.

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Confidentiality and conflict of interest

In my work I keep all information about my clients utterly separate and completely confidential. That  rigorous integrity is crucial to the role of any professional independent consultant.  I never use inside knowledge gained from working with one client to inform a project for another client and do not accept work that might lead to such a circumstance. If I am approached to work on a project that competes with one I am currently working on I declare a conflict of interest and decline the project.

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My Clients

Organizations I have worked with include:

  • Academic Press
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Banker
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Heart Association
  • American Institute of Biological Sciences - AIBS
  • American Medical Association
  • American Physical Society
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Society for Plant Biologists
  • Amigos Library Services
  • BioOne
  • BPA International
  • British Medical Journal Publishing Group
  • Cell Press
  • Eaton Publishing
  • Elsevier Science London
  • Estuarine Research Federation
  • Geological Society of America
  • Harcourt Health Sciences
  • Human Frontier Science Program
  • IEEE
  • Industrial Research Institute
  • Ingenta Inc.
  • Institute of Physics
  • Intelligence Research Ltd.
  • International Reading Association
  • JISC the Joint Information Systems Committee (UK)
  • Journal Watch
  • Marine Technology Society
  • Modern Language Association
  • National Academy of Science
  • National Humanities Alliance
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • Optical Society of America
  • Portico
  • Rockefeller University Press
  • SICOT – The International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology
  • Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
  • SPI – Scholarly Publisher Services
  • The Special Programme for Research & Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) WHO
  • University of California Press

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Recent Projects

During the past ten years I have completed a broad range of projects working with publishers in the USA and Europe, with information providers and with major global organizations interested in publishing issues. Listed here are some examples of such projects grouped under their main areas:

Market appraisal, market research and competitive landscape analysis for new product development, and to define new market entry strategies

  • Feasibility study to establish if a market exists for new journals in a range of STM fields followed by a publishing proposal and business plan for the new launches with an appropriate evaluation framework in place to help judge success.
  • Feasibility study for a new online service formed from a large aggregation of online peer-reviewed content from the leading publishers in the sector.
  • Review and analysis of the competitive landscape surrounding a well-known high impact publisher, with a recommendation on key and core areas for development both strategically and operationally in order to strengthen the editorial and market position online and in print.
  • Market appraisal of the US not-for-profit scientific, technical and medical publishing market and recommendations on sales strategy and operational priorities for technology providers.
  • Market analysis and business plan modeling for a substantial aggregate of online journals in a key field of science working closely with professional scientist members of several key learned societies.
  • Competitive analysis, market review and pricing recommendation for the market leading bibliographic database in the humanities.

Online strategy, online business model selection and recommendations on pricing

  • Feasibility studies for two online only (one in science and one in clinical medicine) services designed to select and filter information for the professional end-user.
  • Working with a leading global NGO to clarify their publishing strategy and then to define the key elements of an innovative online service using a number of research tools. The result which has been launched as TropIKA is designed to enhance access and to share essential knowledge with health researchers and policy makers dedicated to improving the control of the main infectious diseases of poverty.
  • Defining and developing a strategy for the daily online news service of a major science publication.
  • An independent review of the current online subscription model of a leading science publisher, leading to an assessment of market share, proposing practical options for increasing revenue and the resources required to achieve this and projecting several revenue scenarios.
  • Online pricing study leading to a recommendation on price and journal product groupings to meet the specific needs of two new market segments for a market-leading scientific society.
  • Defining, developing and preparing strategic, operational and business plans for migration and transformation of the print classified advertising business to an online full service careers and recruitment site. Studies have been completed for two major publishing groups – one in science and one in medicine.

Scenario and business planning for managing the transition from print to online

  • Working with the staff of a university press to build their first five-year business plan and assess and respond proactively to the speed of migration from print to online.
  • Definition, analysis and scenario development including financial projections for the key strategic options in migration of a large group of technical journals from print to online revenue based models.

Strategic and operational audit of publishing activities in print and online

  • Strategic and operational audit of four publishing groups:-  two large for-profit publishers – (one in health and the other in science), and two not-for-profit – (a university press and a learned society both publishing in the sciences). Each project included independent assessment and analysis as well as recommendations for the online presence and business strategies of the respective publishers.
  • Publishing review of a major science publisher’s web presence – suggesting an alternative and more aggressive strategy focused on the end-user, and presenting options for increased integration and cross-marketing within the existing site.

The strategic planning process

  • Working with the staff of a large STM publisher to develop a strategic plan for their main online product, ensuring buy-in to the strategy by all the stake holders involved.
  • Options and recommendations for the publishing of their journal for a prestigious international group of medical specialists looking forwards three to five years.

Initiation and development of country and market specific publishing strategies, with an operational plan

  • Market review and appraisal of the 4 major Spanish language markets in clinical medicine for a leading publisher.
  • Analysis of current market performance within significant international markets for a major medical publisher, and for a market-leading science publisher. Development of a unique evaluation framework for each of these publishers based on their specific external and internal factors. Recommendations on how and where to build significant business growth over the next 3 to 5 years.
  • Analysis of the current strategy of a non-US based international medical publisher within the US and a set of recommendations on how to develop a business presence, build market share and strategic advantage.
  • Independent review of the current initiatives to provide free online access for developing and transitional countries, and the strategic issues of infrastructure and pricing that these face.

Publishing Economics

Analysis and review of the print and online costs and revenues of 5 large separate groups of journals published by not-for-profit publishers. Specific recommendations at the publisher and journal level provided confidence in tackling longer term strategic issues such as the business model to adopt, pricing by format, and pricing by product type.

Two major journal economics studies, one in STM for JISC in the UK, and one in HSS for the National Humanities Alliance in the USA. Each involved working closely with a group of 8-10 publishers to collect, analyze and provide recommendations based on detailed review of their journal economics. Both studies have been published and are quoted and used widely within the industry.

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What is "Good Work?

According to Howard Gardner at Harvard University - good work “is work that is at once exemplary in quality, reflects the core values of the profession, and contributes to the well-being of the broader community.” For more information on Gardner's work see the Good Work Project.

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Last Modified: January 14, 2016