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[ Publishing Workflows ] November 17, 2022

4 ways societies can use conferences to predict their publishing future

In the world of scholarly communications, the annual conference is where the magic happens. It’s a place where members can connect, collaborate, and share new discoveries. But how can societies use these events to their advantage? How can conferences help organizations take the mystery out of academic publishing and stay prepared for what lies ahead?

1. Find your future leaders

In-person conferences have resumed, but that doesn’t mean we need to return to the way things were before the pandemic hit. Gone are the days when journals served as the sole disseminators of scientific information and early-stage research of all formats: in presentations, abstracts, and more, was discarded at the end of the event.

Now, through emerging technologies, societies can spot researchers making strides in their community before, during, and long after the conference. These individuals can transform your publishing output by becoming future peer reviewers or journal article authors.

Researchers can also showcase their work in one place with user profiles that track achievements and contributions from all stages of the research lifecycle. This makes it easier for organizations and even funders to find the individuals that have the potential to become their discipline’s next generation of leaders and support them by providing opportunities to collaborate and shine.


2. Harness the power of data

With full access to digital tools that process user data, societies and associations can empower their communities like never before.

With advanced analytics, you can see an overview of the various research projects your members are working on, fast-track high impact discoveries for publication,  and determine the best-performing publishing formats. This information can help your organization better understand your members and their interests so that you can create future events centered on what excites them the most. 

When you integrate data across the research lifecycle, it also helps you increase your publishing output and share the research that matters to the world faster. By monitoring engagement levels surrounding early-stage research, you can forecast what trending topics can be turned into future journal articles, conference themes, and even new open access journals that fuel the article economy. With a 360-degree view of user data, you can stay ahead of what trends will come to define the future of scholarly publishing.


3. Discover the future of research integrity

Peer review is one of the most important elements of scholarly publishing, so why save it for the final leg

Conferences provide an indispensable opportunity for researchers to gain valuable feedback on their early-stage ideas. This collective evaluation serves as a form of open peer review at the very beginning of the research lifecycle predicting and preventing future issues that may arise down the line. A publishing workflow that prioritizes research integrity long before a published article means higher quality conference proceedings, and an overall rise in integrity for research overall. By using conferences to integrate peer review earlier in the research process, journals can avoid potential retractions and give time back to future reviewers, speeding up the publication process as a whole.


4. Unleash the potential of digital transformation

Using technology to share findings from your annual conference that are traditionally kept offline allows scientists around the world to collectively build on these ideas. This can lead to powerful collaboration opportunities, allowing your community to make the discoveries that will shape the future of science. When you embrace digital transformation at your annual conference, preliminary findings can easily become tomorrow’s cutting-edge breakthroughs.

What’s more, early-stage research is the perfect place to experiment with new digital technologies to predict how these innovative tools can be used in the future at the end of the research process. How will publishing infrastructures be modified? What new tools will transform our industry? By putting emerging technologies to the test with your conference content, you may be able to predict (or even lead) these changes.



As the scholarly publishing industry moves beyond traditional methods and works to tackle our “innovation problem”, the future may look scary and uncertain. That’s why we make it possible for our partners to stay ahead of the changes that they may face through insightful and powerful solutions.

Microscope cutting of a cell with messaging about the future of publishing infrastructure