A Day in the Life: Marketing in Academic Publishing

As it is #workinpublishing week, I thought that it would be appropriate to share my experience of working in publishing! I am a marketing assistant at Springer Nature, for the the journal Scientific Reports. I work on the biggest journal in the world, which has some excellent articles to share and collections to promote.

So, how does academic publishing work?
In academic publishing, there are big journals or smaller journal series which receive article submissions from academics all over the world. These are divided up into specific subject areas/collections which will have an individual editor/s working on each collection or subject. The submission to publication process entails a rigorous review process either by academic peers or an editorial team.

How are journals marketed?
Depending on the size and type of journal, they can be promoted differently. As Scientific Reports is a huge journal, it is promoted as a whole with individual collections and articles promoted through the main journal channel. Other small journal series will have individual channels through which they promote articles in those areas. For example, the Nature Partner Journal series are promoted in specific areas; npj Quantum Materials for example. This allows each smaller journal to go more in depth with the promotions of these specific subject articles.

A day in my life…
As a marketing assistant for Springer Nature, my daily activities are focused mainly around the digital marketing for Scientific Reports. I am in charge of internal email marketing, from writing the copy to setting up tests and reporting on the performance of the campaigns. I also handle all of the organic Twitter promotions and placing e-alert advertisements in the monthly newsletters for other Nature-branded journals.

As well as this, myself and our team’s marketing executive divide the collections between us. I will then conduct research for the social media marketing and banners advertising for my collections. I write copy for each different platform and find people to target on Twitter, which journals to place our advertisements in and which correlating subject areas I can see our collections being well-promoted in.

For these activities, I liaise with editorial and design teams to create copy which accurately communicates the intention of the journal and to create good-looking banners and social media cards to share the collections. I am often locating images, ordering them, designing emails, banners and occasional marketing material such as postcards. For everything, I must get approval from editorial and marketing management. This is very important, so that you can ensure that if things go wrong, it is not completely on your head.

Finally, there is a lot of data analysis and reporting within my job. I use Twitter and Facebook analytics for basic statistical data gathering, then use Google analytics when I want to find out more information, such as how long people are spending on each website page when they click on the link from my tweet. This allows us to figure out what works in terms of creatives, as well as which locations we are mostly reaching, which gives us the information which influences future campaigns.

Key highlights

  • Fast job progression
  • International conferences (I’m attending a conference in Vienna in April)
  • Working with a variety of products; can incorporate books and journals, online and print
  • Lots of training opportunities and resources
  • Generally good budgets for campaigns

I would recommend working for an academic publisher because you can learn so much in the role. There are so many different training resources, which can help you to grow and develop personally. Marketing in publishing is also a great place to be in, as everything you learn in one place can be transferred to another place. Please comment/DM me on Twitter if you’d like to know anything more specific about my job or working in academic publishing.

2 thoughts on “A Day in the Life: Marketing in Academic Publishing

Add yours

  1. I absolutely love scientific research and journals. I love the facts and figures and all the work the scientists have to do in order to write a proper research paper. You know what they say in the scientific community? Publish or perish.


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