I actually got my role by emailing Policy Press about their volunteering opportunities. After volunteering one day a week for three months, a vacancy became available as the Marketing Assistant.
Did you always want to work in academic publishing?
I’d studied History at university, and initially wanted to work in archiving. After I heard about the opportunities at Policy Press, I put myself forward. I definitely didn’t think I’d end up in marketing, but I’m really enjoying it.
What skills do you feel you already had that helped with your role?
I’ve got a keen eye for detail – anyone who’s worked on a dissertation can probably say the same thing – and a love for information. It sounds cheesy, and it’s really a skill, but it does help if you want to work for an university press. I’m also persistent, which I definitely needed to be at the start of my time at Policy Press. As a volunteer I spent a lot of my time filling in data and filing documents, but it soon progressed to carrying out research and assisting with PR campaigns.
What advice would you give to a student looking to work in this area?
Don’t be ashamed to apply for volunteering jobs, internships or entry level jobs. Just because you have a degree, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get the job you think you deserve. Most places look at your experience in the real world.
What do you think about open access?
Personally, I think open access is a great thing for funded research. I can appreciate that this isn’t for everyone – as OA is mostly centred around the sciences, and not everyone will understand a physics paper – but more information for all can’t be a bad thing. At Policy Press, we feature a number of free journals each month, and have taken OA on in our stride.
Has the open access debate had any affect on Policy Press or your role there?
It hasn’t affected my role a great deal, to be honest. Policy Press has been offering Green Open Access for some time, with Gold OA opening up for journals and now monographs too. You can read more about that on our website.