In-plants Collaborate Across Borders
At the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) conference in April, in Portsmouth, Virginia, seeds of collaboration between two very distant universities were sown. In a workflow panel discussion Larry Fox, director of Imprints - Print and Document Services at the University of California - San Diego, spoke about the upcoming addition of digital publishing to his in-plant’s list of services. Having recently installed the GTxcel dashboard software as part of his operation’s Xerox Freeflow upgrade, Fox said it would only be a matter of time before the first e-publication would be published at UC San Diego.
Attending that discussion was Phil Poelmans, director of Media Production at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Phil was interested in comparing his operation’s successes and challenges with his counterparts in U.S. universities. He wanted to identify print and publishing opportunities worthy of further investigation.
Fox directed Poelmans to the Xerox vendor booth where he spoke with representatives from GTxcel, Xerox’s strategic partner. After examining GTxcel’s Unified Publishing Platform solution, the notion of partnering on a project was born. This digital publishing solution was one of the opportunities that Poelmans took back with him to Canada to discuss with his managers. The team decided that biochemRocks, a publication they had produced for several years, was a potential first project for both a digital online edition and an app. (Read about Yale University's successful e-publication effort.)
Sandy Ursic, manager of Print & Digital Publishing Services at UC San Diego, began working with Poelmans’ team to create a robust digital edition including rich content items such as Web links, email links and video. The digital edition was then used to create an app for Apple, GooglePlay and Amazon (Kindle). After the final touches were added, biochemRocks was officially published to the Web in September and became available to the app stores the following month.
The publication was shared with members of the senior administration at McMaster and was very well received. Both McMaster University and UC San Diego look forward to partnering again in the near future — collaborating just 2,500 miles apart.