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by Mike Groth

KGL PubFactory recently welcomed Jay Henry as Business Development Manager. With almost 25 years of experience in scholarly communication, Jay will help publishers produce exceptional content online. I had the opportunity to speak with him about his new role, his decades spent in the industry, the latest on the platform market, and the challenges scholarly publishers are facing.

MG: Welcome to KGL! Please tell us about your new role on the PubFactory team.

JH: Thank you Mike, your warm welcome has been mirrored by so many of my new colleagues! My title is Business Development Manager, which is best described as the public face of KGL’s PubFactory hosting platform. My mission is to help members of the scholarly publishing community understand and consider the KGL approach to online hosting of journals, books, or any other type of content. Additionally, I will be focused on learning from the community about how KGL can be the best possible ally in forging the solutions that work best for their individual needs.

MG: What excites you about joining the wider KGL organization?

JH: I have been so impressed by what KGL has built and its potential. I have always loved solving problems for customers. There is no organization in our industry better positioned to bring modern technology and expert resources together to crack whatever challenge publishers may face. It is incredibly exciting to be part of a team with the passion, expertise, and resources to build top-tier solutions for our clients.

MG: You’ve spent 25 years in the publishing industry. What standout experiences brought you to this moment?

JH: In some ways, I have come full circle in our industry. My first publishing job was at a startup hosting company during a time when many journal publishers were still struggling to figure out how to produce their first online presence. I wanted to be part of the innovation culture working to produce solutions that allowed scholarly research to get online and spread around the world. Throughout my career, I’ve seen professionals burdened by technical challenges that amounted to distraction. Now, as part of KGL, I can provide clients with competitive options across the entirety of their publishing operations and do my part to advance knowledge.

MG: What do you see as some of the biggest challenges scholarly publishers are facing?

JH: Integrity, authenticity, and building trust among our respective discipline communities will be at the foundation of challenges felt by all publishers. While there will be technical challenges and solutions that emerge from these issues, maintaining high standards to produce the best possible research output (and fending off imposters) will be in sharp focus for years to come. Technology and production partners will be invaluable to overcome novel challenges and build communities that will serve as the ultimate vanguard of our collective knowledge.

MG: What makes PubFactory unique in the online hosting market?

JH: It’s the people and support that make PubFactory special. As a stand-alone solution, the platform is among the most versatile solutions available. From a technical capability standpoint, it is on par with any solution in the market. As part of KGL, PubFactory is in a class of its own. In addition to reliable service, analytics, and time-saving integrations our hosting clients enjoy a relationship with KGL that provides alternatives to any function within their publishing operation.

MG: Where do you see platform providers heading?

JH: We are entering a new era of mature technology where innovation is more a product of imagination rather than getting by with what is feasible. In other words, technical capability is an ever-decreasing barrier to building solutions that truly work for all concerned. Big challenges have been solved to aid discoverability and build beautiful, practical solutions. However, you cannot get there without dedicated professionals, from creatives to technologists. The best platforms will not only contemplate current needs but anticipate and prioritize the continuous evolution of human research and information dissemination.

MG: How will you get started engaging with the community?

JH: As luck would have it, the Council of Science Editors Annual Meeting was only minutes from my home in Portland this year. I had a chance to see old friends and meet new ones all while learning from the editorial community about their concerns and hopes for our industry. Later this month I will join my KGL colleagues at the Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting in Boston. This is particularly exciting for me as I first entered our industry while living in Cambridge and so many of my friends and colleagues are in the area. Throughout the year, I will be engaged in both online and in-person events and available for on-site visits with clients.

MG: What do you do for fun when you’re not helping publishers deliver digital content to their users?

JH: My personal life revolves around my three boys and extended family—there are more adventures in this world than we could ever hope to tackle! As a young man, I built a cabin in the Blue Mountains of Washington State with a distant thought that someday I might have a family that would find some peace in having a retreat from the world. Now, that rugged hideaway is a common weekend destination where my little urbanites have a chance to engage the natural world and spend time with their grandparents.

Jay Henry’s two+ decades of experience in the academic publishing industry spans journal aggregators, booksellers, and database providers. He brings both business experience and technical skills to help deliver best-in-class services to support the efforts of scholarly publishers around the world. He can be reached at info@kwglobal.com.

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