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Who am I? What am I doing here?

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August 2012
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James Stockdale Formal Portrait.jpg

Formal portrait of Rear Admiral James B. Stockdale
in full dress white uniform. Source Wikipedia

Who I am NOT.

No, I am not Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale, Ross Perot’s former Vice Presidential running mate who opened the 1992 Vice Presidential debate by saying, “Who am I? Why am I here?”  There are many things which I am not.  I am not a scientist; not a researcher.  I certainly don’t think of myself as a “scholar” and doubt anyone else thinks of me as such.  I’m also not an astronaut, jedi knight, pro cyclist, successful author, or major league baseball player; although at various points in my life I’d wished I was all of those things.

So, again….who am I?

I am Adam Etkin, Director of Publishing for the Academy of Management, husband to Sara, father of 1 boy (Ozzie), 1 girl (Zoe), 2 cats (Tic Tac & Yankee), and 1 dog (Sweetums).  I’m a life-long NYer with 2 Bachelors degrees; 1 in Literature and another in Community & Human Services.  I’m currently pursuing my Masters of Publishing at Pace University (expected summer 2013).

Most importantly, for the purposes of this Blog (for now anyway), I’m someone who has worked in the scholarly publishing (STM) industry for over 14 years.  I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two.  I’ve had the pleasure of going to presentations given by many folks in the industry I admire and respect.  I’m happy to say I’ve gotten to know some of them and over the years established some relationships I truly value.  We talk and debate about the state of our industry frequently, and as I study for my Masters of Publishing degree I’m forced to look at certain aspects anew.

This may sound unbelievable, but I love my job.

I’m a Jewish kid from Brooklyn and growing up it was my family’s dream that I’d become a doctor (sorry mom).  That was pretty typical among the members of my Tribe.  If you were not smart enough to be a doctor,  a lawyer was acceptable.  If you were really bad….an accountant.

Rim shot.  I’m pretty sure that’s an old Jackie Mason joke I just butchered.  (For you kids out there, Jackie Mason is a stand up comic who used to be funny before you were born.)

So, again, I’m not a doctor, scientist, or researcher, but by working in the STM publishing industry I get to play in that sand box.  I’m part of that process and I like to think that in some small way what I (and STM publishers as a group) do helps to spread knowledge, research, and science while contributing to the world in a positive manner.

There’s a lot of debate in the industry about HOW we go about all of this.  The Open Access movement has momentum and clashes with traditional publishing models.  Impact Factor faces constant criticism and there are new, interesting metrics such as Altmetrics challenging the status quo.  The peer review process which is so important to STM publishing seems to always be under fire.  New, rapid advancements in technology is disrupting (BUZZ WORD) the industry and forcing publishers to evolve.

Recently as part of the Masters of Publishing program I had to conduct some interviews with publishing professionals.  My hope is that on this Blog I’ll be able to share some of those conversations, insights, and opinions.  And hey, I sometimes have some opinions and thoughts of my own.  (DISCLAIMER: Those opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of AOM).  Maybe together we can figure some stuff out.

That’s who I am (kinda).  Who are you?


1 Comment

  1. short url says:

    There’s definately a loot to learn about this subject.
    I love all the points you have made.

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DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Academy of Management.
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