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Saturday, November 7 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
Digital Publishing: Taking the Plunge and How to Keep Swimming

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Digital publishing is not just a trend anymore but now an everyday reality that many institutions are tackling on various levels and in various forms. Four museums will come together and talk about their transformations into the digital publishing world, presenting a variety of perspectives and projects, from choosing the platform that’s right for your institution to measuring success after the project is launched in addition to challenges and changes in workflows.

About each presentation:

Nasher Sculpture Center: This year the Nasher Sculpture Center decided to publish its first digital-only publication. With a lean staff and no designated publishing department, the shift proved to be challenging. We were full of questions - How do we manage this transition from print to digital? What new content opportunities will it present? Will our target audience be receptive? We mitigated the obstacles by deciding to start small before scaling up and exploring the current state of digital publishing. It led to the discovery of a few platforms like OSCI (Art Institute of Chicago) and Verso (MIA). With trailblazing institutions and existing platforms to choose from which proved to be the best fit for our staff and our audience at this momentous time?

The Getty: In April 2015, the Getty Research Institute published its first born-digital scholarly publication, Pietro Mellini’s Inventory in Verse, 1681. The design for this publication is bespoke, in part because it is among the first of its kind, and because it explores an idiosyncratic object. During the process of creating this publication, we asked ourselves if we could reuse any of the methods for future publications. No one wants to reinvent the wheel, but in digital publishing the wheel hasn’t been fully invented yet. We will discuss how we used user experience (UX) approaches to test prototypes with scholars, and iterate in order to ensure the publication met the audience’s needs. We will also discuss challenges of editing born-digital content, and explain how we used a hybrid editorial process that was between print publication and web content development methods.

The Art Institute of Chicago: By November 2015, the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) will have published 5 digital scholarly catalogues. The publications were born out of the Getty Foundation’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI) in 2009. The AIC published their first two beta catalogue entries in 2011 and their first two full catalogues in the summer of 2014. Now, six years after first launching our digital scholarly catalogue program, we are in the process of evaluating the success of this initiative. How do our initial goals compare to our current measurements of success? Our publications are out there, free and available to anyone, but how do we recruit readership and create a marketplace for our publications? And in terms of readership, how do we ensure a quality user experience when it comes to scholarly research in the digital realm?

Minneapolis Institute of Arts: By November 2015, the MIA will have published at least 12 issues of Verso, an award-winning, multi-media, interactive magazine for tablet. Published using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), the MIA is evaluating how best to measure the success of Verso (or any digital pub), and where to go next with digital publishing. Metrics/analytics provide an overwhelming amount of information about digital publications—download numbers, time spent with content, global reach, etc. But what do these numbers tell us about our efforts? The answers to these questions lead to a conversation that is less about comparing digital publishing platforms and numbers, and more about how best to engage with readers/users using the digital space. This requires publishers to think about digital publishing as not just content distribution, but also as an audience engagement tool—a way to foster connection, conversation, and relationships.

avatar for Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

Associate Director, Digital Content, Hammer Museum
Susan Edwards is a digital content producer and strategist who has worked in museums for over 20 years. Susan is currently Associate Director for Digital Content at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where she collaborates with colleagues in all departments of the museum to create... Read More →
avatar for Jacques Haba

Jacques Haba

Sr. Manager of Emerging Technology & Evaluation, Nasher Sculpture Center
avatar for Ahree Lee

Ahree Lee

Senior UX Designer, J. Paul Getty Trust
avatar for Lauren Makholm

Lauren Makholm

Associate Director Production, Manager Digital, Art Institute of Chicago
Lauren Makholm is the Associate Director of Production and Manager of Digital Initiatives at the Art Institute of Chicago. She joined the publishing staff at the AIC in 2011 and has worked in all areas of print and digital production. In 2019, following a cross-institutional study... Read More →
avatar for Tina Shah

Tina Shah

Senior Developer, Art Institute of Chicago
avatar for Kris Thayer

Kris Thayer

Sr. Designer, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Multi-media, interactive, long-form digital storytelling!

Saturday November 7, 2015 11:30am - 12:30pm CST
Nokomis Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

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