Sprint Beyond the Book | SSP2016 and Arizona State University's Center for Science and the Imagination

Emerging technologies continue to transform the ways we collect, synthesize, disseminate, and consume information. These advances present both hazards and opportunities for the future of scholarly publication and communication.

At the 2016 Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting, the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University brought together a team of science fiction authors, scholars, digital publishers, journalists, and technologists to write a book on the fly in 72 hours.

A revolving group of participants as well as a dedicated team of writers,

  • discussed issues of increasing scholarly impact and accessibility
  • wondered whether computers can make scholarly contributions that warrant co-authorship
  • speculated about what forms scholarly books may take in the future
  • wrote and published their musings in Sprint Beyond the Book

Throughout the annual meeting at SSP2016, six miniature book sprints were conducted. During each sprint, a group of four to six writers convened to tackle one of six big questions. Each sprint began with a facilitated conversation, followed by time for the writers to reflect and compose a piece of writing inspired by the conversation.

Conferences like the SSP annual meeting and scholarly publications themselves are often undergirded by spontaneous, inspiring, thought-provoking conversations among colleagues and collaborators, but those conversations are rarely captured and shared, and are often clouded in memory, even for the participants. The book sprint process hopefully absorbs some of the kismet and energy of those initial conversations, right at the start of a big idea, and makes it part of a more durable intellectual product—and a possible springboard for additional conversations in a broader range of times and places.


Making Research Matter

Reproducing the Humanities
Unexpected Signals of Public Engagement With Science
Making Research Matter
Being an Academic—A Thank You Letter
Publishing Haikus
Agent of Science

Shaping the Public Square

Dance, Monkey, Dance: The Public Square
Public Square
From the Ivory Tower to Hyde Park
The Citizen Mathematician

Human-Machine Collaboration

Machines Who Write and Edit
Can Crediting Algorithms Save the Adjuncts?
What Would a Turing Test for an Intellectual Contribution Look Like?
Our Robot Overlords
The Authorship Rubric: Credit Where Credit’s Due

Exposing Hidden Knowledge

Hidden Knowledge
Hidden Knowledge in Information Overload
Six-word memoirs
Hidden Knowledge, as Told by Memes
The Hidden Knowledge
Undocumented Terms of Art
The Magic of Gossip

The Future of the Scholarly Book

Burning Books
Stories From Our Mothers
Does the User Experience of Scholarly Books Need Reconsideration?
The Book That Lasts
How Do You Print Books on Mars?
Gutenberg 2.0—Books as Conversations
GitHub and the Future of the Scholarly Book

Expanding Access

Expanding Access
Minimal Computing: An Infographic
Teenage Information Dystopia
What is a Book?
Democratizing Research 101: No Taxation Without Representation


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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72