R2R in Giggabox Case Study

The 2023 Researcher to Reader Conference has been highlighted by our AV production partner Giggabox as a case study in effective hybrid event delivery. The case study illustrates how Giggabox supported R2R on 21 & 22 February, bringing our online & physical contributors and participants together in a high-quality hybrid environment, and earning 100% positive ratings in our delegate feedback survey.

Read the case study here:

Mark Carden
26 March 2023

RSC Renews as R2R Gold Sponsor

We are delighted to announce that the Royal Society of Chemistry has once again renewed their Gold Sponsorship of the Researcher to Reader Conference. With the 2024 Conference still over 11 months away, this early renewal by RSC is a a great vote of confidence in the Conference and its enthusiastic support for sponsors. By sponsoring at this stage, RSC secures its Gold position, gives the Conference an early boost, and also maximises the exposure that the the Society gets from its involvement with Researcher to Reader over the coming year.

Sponsor Heading Gold Singular Long 01

The Royal Society of Chemistry is an international organisation connecting chemical scientists with each other, with other scientists, and with society as a whole. Founded in 1841, the RSC has an international membership. The RSC uses the surplus from their global publishing and knowledge business to give thousands of chemical scientists the support and resources required to make vital advances in chemical knowledge. The RSC is a catalyst for the chemistry that enriches our world.

The 2024 Conference will be on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 February 2024 and the Call for Papers will be launched in July.

Mark Carden
17 March 2023

R2R Positive Feedback Continues

Participant feedback for the 2023 Researcher to Reader Conference, delivered in a hybrid format on 21-22 February, shows continued high levels of satisfaction with the event, with delegates rating the Conference very positively. Of those responding to the survey, 94% to 98% rated the Conference relevant, valuable and recommendable, with the content overall receiving 89% positive ratings. The plenary sessions received average scores ranging from 3.0 to 3.5 (out of 4) and the lightning talks averaged 3.2 overall. The majority of the workshops received 100% positive feedback, with an average score of 3.7. The event administration got 96% positive feedback and the AV an impressive 100% from both physical and online participants. More details are given below.

The survey, completed by 60 out of about 200 participants, showed over 98% of respondents agreeing that the Conference was relevant to them professionally, and 94% saying it was valuable use of their time and that they would recommend it to others. Just three respondents said that R2R was not valuable to them, although two of these did describe their workshops as ‘brilliant’ and ‘excellent’, and rated several sessions as ‘great’.

The plenary sessions at the Conference (including panels, presentations and the debate) also received a highly positive response across the board. All sessions received an average rating of 3.0 to 3.5 (out of 4). This consistent range of high scores shows that the vigorous curation of the programme is highly effective in ensuring all sessions are of high quality, and are valued by the vast majority of participants. Five of the plenary sessions were rated as ‘Great’ by over half of the respondents, with particular highlights being the debate (with 66% of respondents rating this as ‘Great’) and the panel on the future of OA funding (with 92% of respondents rating this positively).

The hybrid interactive workshops were also all highly rated, receiving an average rating of 3.3 to 3.9 (with around 5-10 responses for each of these breakout sessions). Almost everybody rated their workshop ‘Good’ or ‘Great’. The session providing feedback from all the workshops, given to the whole Conference, was viewed positively by 100% of respondents.

The lightning talk sessions also received generally positive feedback, with average scores ranging from 3.1 to 3.4 (based on around 10-15 responses for each talk given by those who actively chose to attend these optional sessions). The lightning talks are proving to be consistently (and increasingly) popular, even though some are purely commercial presentations.

The overall content and structure of the Conference was positively reviewed, with almost all respondents giving very positive scores and comments on the content of the sessions. Confusingly, a few people commented R2R was too ‘publisher-centric’, while others said that there was not enough content relevant to publishers. We aim to offer topics covering the whole scholarly communications ecosystem, as content is passed from the researcher to the reader, but this does mean we can seem a bit too ‘broad’ for some people.

The format and timetable for the Conference was also positively reviewed by over 70% of respondents, although there was some dissatisfaction with the pace of the event (with some people reporting that the breaks or the sessions were too long, and others that they were too short). Our shift to a later start and finish and to a two-break structure (partly to cater to the time-zone needs of US-based online participants) was questioned, or actively disliked, by several people. Our increased proportion of panels over presentations (partly driven by a desire to offer a highly interactive experience for online participants) was disliked by a few respondents, while others valued the interactivity. Several respondents suggested that the lightning talks should be part of the plenary programme, not running during the breaks, although it would be challenging to find time to schedule this, and some people might dislike ‘non-optional’ commercial presentations. Encouragingly, several people suggested that the problem was an excess of good content, and that we should move to a 3-day event. We will review the format and timetable for future events in the light of this feedback.

The online platforms – the digital venue (Eventscase) and the virtual rooms (SpatialChat) – got generally positive reviews, but the use of the virtual rooms to deliver hybrid lightning talks (aimed at making this easier for online participants) was not satisfactory for many physical participants – although the talks themselves went well – and a few people reported having problems using the online resources. Several physical participants were disgruntled at being encouraged to use the digital platform for text chat. The audio-visual presentation, managed by our partners Giggabox, received 100% positive reviews from both online and physical participants.

The event administration, managed by The Events Hub, got 96% positive scores, and only a handful of people now say that they get too many emails, almost balanced by people saying that our marketing communications are ‘just right’. Several people thought the print programmes (and the R2R jigsaw puzzles) were unnecessary and unsustainable, but many others were very keen on them. We recycled about 60 programmes after the event; in future we will probably continue to print a programme, but in smaller quantities and without posting them to delegates. Our remaining stock of cardboard jigsaw puzzles (printed in Latvia on sustainably-sourced card) will continue to make their appearance in future, but we may have to recycle some in the end.

The venue and catering (BMA House) got many positive comments during the event and in the feedback survey.

The feedback on the hybrid nature of R2R was vary varied, although most online people were impressed with the experience, and many online and physical participants were strongly supportive of hybrid. We were disappointed that no online participants took the opportunity to join the plenary Q&As live on screen, but many of them were very active in the hybrid workshops. All of the online respondents agreed that the Conference was relevant, valuable and recommendable, and on average they rated almost every aspect of the event slightly more positively than the physical participants. Several respondents were, however, very committed to a physical meeting experience, including some online participants who say that they plan to be physically at the venue next time, and some people were critical of the scheduling, platform and cost compromises necessitated by hybrid. Running a hybrid event is challenging and expensive, and certainly risks making things a little harder for physical participants, and for moderators and facilitators. We will have to carefully consider the viability and processes for hybrid in future.

Many of the comments in the survey were very positive, both about individual sessions and the event as a whole. Participants said:

  • Interesting discussions; lively speakers
  • Very relevant to me
  • Engaging and thought-provoking
  • The subjects covered were good
  • Always fun and informative
  • All the sessions were fantastic
  • The conference was excellent
  • I really love how interactive it is
  • The workshops were brilliant
  • Networking opportunities are excellent
  • Excellent mix of attendees especially from US
  • Great for networking
  • Very good conference, quality of the hybrid experience a real strength
  • The hybrid option worked well and online participants were visible
  • Excellent hybrid experience/platform, congratulations to those responsible
  • I’m really impressed how well the hybrid format worked and think it’s very innovative
  • Administration very friendly and helpful
  • Registration was excellent as was all the pre-conference support
  • The organisation was brilliant
  • Good marketing communications
  • Good value, fair pricing
  • The venue and catering were amazing
  • Loved the vegan food!
  • Excellent venue

Overall the survey results (and other feedback) suggest that 2023 Researcher to Reader Conference was informative and enjoyable for the vast majority of participants. We are reviewing all the feedback carefully to see what improvements can be made in future.

Mark Carden
17 March 2023

Highest Ever R2R Registrations

Registrations are at their highest ever level for the Researcher to Reader Conference, taking place as a hybrid meeting in London and online on 21-22 February 2023. The end-of-January total was higher than in any of the previous 7 years of the event, and new registrations are still coming in.

For past Conferences, anywhere from 10 to 50 additional people register during February, with some people just turning up on the day, so registrations remain open for people who want to join this meeting at the physical venue or online. This year’s Programme is available on the website, along with Registration information.

Mark Carden
6 February 2023
(typo corrected 8 Feb)

R2R Announces Lightning Talks

The 2023 Researcher to Reader Conference, which will take place as a hybrid event in London and Online on 21-22 February, will include several ‘Lightning Talks’. These are short presentations given by Conference delegates during the breaks in the main programme.  The planned Lightning Talks are likely to include the following:

Streamlining Routes from Discovery to Access
– Hylke Koers
   ♦ Chief Information Officer at STM

Publishing XML – The First Step Towards Openness
– Dr Kaveh Bazargan
   ♦ Director at River Valley Technologies

Streamline Submission Checklists Using Process Automation
– Andrew Walker
   ♦ Director at TaskAdept

Author Services
– Kurtis Jackson
   ♦ Head of English Editing at MDPI

Supporting Authors to Succeed
– Hazel Newton
   ♦ Director, Research Solutions at Springer Nature

The Multi-Faceted Researcher/Reader
– Zoe Wake Hyde
   ♦ Communty Development Manager at HCommons

Supporting Academic Authors Through Project Stages
– Christine Tully
   ♦ President, Defend&Publish

Strengthening Scientific Integrity Through a Cross-stakeholder Approach
– Dr Leslie McIntosh
   ♦ CEO at Ripeta

What Scholcomm Professionals Need To Know
– Will Cross
   ♦ Director of the Open Knowledge Center at North Carolina State University

Publishing Partnerships: Shared Values, Shared Success
– Robyn Mugridge
   ♦ Head of Publishing Partnerships at Frontiers

Unmasking the Secret Life of Reviewers
– Alice Ellingham
   ♦ Director at Editorial Office

Embracing and Accelerating an Open Access Future
– Hannah Barnsley
   ♦ Strategic Programme Manager at the Royal Society of Chemistry

Solving Editorial Challenges with the Aries Ecosystem of Connected Tools
– Jason De Boer
   ♦ Business Development and Partnerships Manager at Aries Systems

AI-Driven Search Engines for Scholarly Literature
– Marydee Ojala
   ♦ Editor at Information Today

More information will be available in the complete downloadable Conference programme, which will be published via the Programme page of the Conference website next week.

Registrations for the 2023 R2R Conference are currently open, with generous discounts available for librarians, academics and concessions.

Mark Carden
31 January 2023

Editorial Office Returns as R2R Sponsor

We are very happy to be able to announce that Editorial Office has returned as a Researcher to Reader Conference sponsor at the Bronze level. R2R is a fully-live hybrid meeting taking place in London and Online on 21-22 February 2023.

Editorial Office has grown significantly over 20 years, always adapting in line with the latest development of peer review and submissions systems. They are passionate about future-proofing their role in the publishing sector, working to help publishers, of all kinds, as they continue to improve and streamline processes, using cutting-edge automated software.

Registration is open for Conference, which is a fully-hybrid event allowing live participation for both physical and online delegates. And the full Programme is available on the website.

Mark Carden
13 January 2023

Frontiers is New R2R Sponsor

We are delighted to announce that Frontiers Publishing Partnerships has become a new sponsor of the Researcher to Reader Conference, which is a fully-live hybrid event taking place in London and Online on 21-22 February 2023. Frontiers is one of our limited number of highly-valued Silver Sponsors, and we are grateful for their support.

Frontiers Publishing Partnerships leads the movement to make science and research open by partnering with societies to support the publication of their journals. Frontiers has been a trailblazer for Open Science since its founding 15 years ago and is a recognized leader in Open Access technology. This market-leading technology backed by a professional team makes Frontiers a reliable and high-quality home for society journals.

Registration is open for Conference, which is a fully-hybrid event allowing live participation for both physical and online delegates. And the full Programme is available on the website.

Mark Carden
13 January 2023

Aries Returns as R2R Sponsor

We are delighted to announce that Aries has renewed their sponsorship of the Researcher to Reader Conference for the hybrid event taking place in London and Online on 21-22 February 2023.

Aries Systems Corporation, the developer of Editorial Manager and ProduXion Manager, is committed to enhancing how publishers and scholars disseminate knowledge on a global scale. Aries’ cloud-based workflow management solutions enable the submission, peer review, and production of high-value content, and are trusted by thousands of journals and hundreds of publishers worldwide. Publish faster, publish smarter, with Aries Systems.

We are grateful for the continuing support from Aries – our sponsors help to make the Conference affordable for all members of the scholarly communications community.

Registration is open for Conference, which is a fully-hybrid event allowing live participation for both physical and online delegates. And the full Programme is available on the website.

Mark Carden
10 January 2023

Springer Nature Returns as R2R Sponsor

We are delighted to announce that Springer Nature has returned as a sponsor of the Researcher to Reader Conference. Springer Nature was a Bronze Sponsor in 2017 and 2018, and has returned as a Bronze Sponsor again for 2023.

Springer Nature advances discovery by publishing trusted research, supporting the development of new ideas and championing open science. Springer Nature is committed to playing its part in accelerating solutions to address the world’s urgent challenges.

The Researcher to Reader Conference is a fully-live and highly interactive hybrid meeting, which will take place on 21-22 February 2023 in London and Online. Registrations are running at an all-time record high, as the scholarly communications community returns to conferences, is excited about our well-curated and informative Programme, and recognises the quality of the R2R hybrid offering. Registration is currently open.

Mark Carden
6 January 2023

MDPI Returns as R2R Silver Sponsor

We are delighted to announce that MDPI has renewed their Silver Sponsorship of the Researcher to Reader Conference.

MDPI is pioneer in scholarly, open access publishing, that has supported academic communities since 1996. Based in Basel, Switzerland, MDPI has the mission to foster open scientific exchange in all forms, across all disciplines. MDPI’s 379 diverse, peer-reviewed, open access journals are supported by more than 115,000 academic experts who support MDPI’s mission, values, and commitment to providing high-quality service for our authors. MDPI’s articles are freely available and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

The Programme has been announced for this fully-live and highly interactive hybrid Conference, which will take place on 21-22 February 2023 in London and Online. Registrations are running at an all-time record high.

Mark Carden
16 December 2023