Last week, Aries Systems hosted the 20th annual in-person Editorial Manager User Group (EMUG) meeting in Boston, MA. Aries user group meetings offer Editorial Manager® (EM) and ProduXion Manager® (PM) users the opportunity to stay informed of the latest workflow innovations, discuss advancements and challenges in scholarly publishing, provide feedback to drive future product development, and network with industry colleagues. Held at the Courtyard Marriott Boston Downtown Hotel on June 14-15, EMUG 2023 welcomed 116 customers and staff, 34 of which were first-time attendees!
In addition to immersive bootcamps and breakout sessions, EMUG 2023 featured an interactive user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design station. The station, a static element across both days of the event, was hosted by Aries’ UX Design team. Attendees stopped by the station during coffee breaks and in-between sessions to meet with Matt Beevers, Aries’ UX Designer, to discuss system enhancements, provide product feedback through surveys and posters, and get an exclusive look of upcoming EM design prototypes! EM/PM users are encouraged to sign up to participate in future user research sessions to help shape the evolution of system design for a more modern, intuitive, and streamlined experience. Those who opt-in as a volunteer can offer their feedback on EM/PM workflows and interfaces through brief surveys, interviews, design prototype testing, and more! The feedback program and activities are light-commitment, low-touch and users may skip or opt-out of invitations to participate at any time.
Following welcome statements from Aries Managing Director Jennifer Fleet, Aries kicked-off the meeting by introducing a new Discovery Roundtables session in lieu of our traditional Feature Workshop. Divided into six groups, attendees and staff held interactive and facilitated discussions on three different topics, each with their own unique workshop style. This included deep conversations on notifications, analytics, peer review mentorship, and more, lead through empathy mapping, outlining current/future/ideal states, and journey mapping analyses. Designed to solicit targeted insights on specific problems, gaps, opportunities, or successes our clients have in these three areas, the Discovery Roundtables session enabled a more focused and purposeful approach to fueling Aries’ business and product strategy to meet user needs.
At the conclusion of the workshop, Aries welcomed our keynote speaker – Christopher Kenneally of Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)! Senior Director of Content Marketing at CCC, Kenneally presented Sustaining the Integrity Algorithm to the assembly. This keynote touched on the “Integrity Algorithm” in scholarly publishing and how this model and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies impact scholarly publishing and trust in research. Highlighting the benefits and challenges that arise with reliance on this model, and subsequently the roles and responsibilities needed for its use, Kenneally left attendees with thought-provoking realities and possibilities for industry shifts with the introduction of tools such as ChatGPT.
Popular breakout sessions for Day 1 included Enterprise Analytics Reporting (EAR), Boosting Reviewer Engagement, UI/UX Design Enhancements, and our staple EM Beginners Bootcamp. Guests and staff closed the day with a cocktail reception to enjoy hors d’oeuvres while networking. Aries is thrilled to have had the opportunity to connect with our user community in-person at our first user group since the introduction of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The LiXuid Manuscript: End-to-End Production Solution session began day two of the meeting, which showcased exciting new tools in the LiXuid Manuscript production suite to resolve limitations in the traditional production workflow. A live demonstration of LiXuid’s XML-conversion, direct content editing, and auto-pagination tools illustrated the strategic and practical advantages of an XML-based workflow to positively impact end-to-end publishing from production, publication, and beyond. Popular breakout sessions on day two that followed included Research Integrity Innovations, Inclusionary Data, and Configuration Consultation & Underused Features. Nathan Westgarth, Aries VP of Product Management, wrapped up EMUG 2023 with our classic The Road Ahead session, outlining key themes and initiatives on Aries’ product roadmap including UI/UX design enhancements, our upcoming migration to the cloud, expanding our ecosystem integrations through the Aries Partner Program, and more!
Moving forward, Aries has consolidated the US and European Editorial Manager User Group meetings (EMUG/EEMUG) into a single yearly meeting to better align with the evolving needs of our customers, partners, and business. In 2023 and beyond, Aries will host an annual in-person Editorial Manager User Group meeting – with the location to be announced each year – connecting and uniting our global user community in one event. Stay tuned for more details on EMUG 2024!
Thank you to all attendees and staff for making #EMUG2023 a success! We look forward to reconnecting with our user community at a future user group meeting.