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Job Details

Books Publisher Content Assistant

Company name
Ithaka Harbors, Inc

Ann Arbor, MI

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Job Description:

Make a Lasting Impact

Books Publisher Content Assistant

Ann Arbor, MI

At ITHAKA, we think nothing is better than knowing we are having a positive impact on the world. We impact the lives of millions of people and thousands of institutions every day both in groundbreaking ways and in small ways that mean a lot.

Our Organization

As a not-for-profit organization, we care deeply about our mission. We work with leaders in the global higher education community to advance and preserve knowledge and to improve teaching and learning through the use of digital technologies. We also help colleges and universities develop strategies that will broaden access to higher education while reducing the cost and improving student outcomes. We are passionate about the value of education and are driven to help our universities, colleges, and high schools become better, more affordable, and more effective, and to reach beyond these traditional walls to support learners everywhere.

In two decades, we have launched some of the most transformative and widely used services in higher education: JSTOR, Portico, and Ithaka S R. In addition, ITHAKA recently entered into a strategic alliance with Artstor and furthers a number of Artstor’s initiatives. Our 300 employees work closely with our user communities, day in and day out, to build and continuously improve upon these services, and to identify new opportunities to expand access to knowledge and learning. As a successful, growing organization in a demanding and dynamic environment, we challenge ourselves to retain an entrepreneurial spirit that pursues and embraces change.

ITHAKA is headquartered in New York, New York with additional offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Princeton, New Jersey and provides legal oversight and services for, Artstor, also located in New York, New York. We also manage a subsidiary, Ithaka International, LLC. to expand our impact globally.

Mission and Funding

We are proud to be a not-for-profit organization, but our status is a reflection of our mission, not our funding model. Our work across these services is highly valued in the global higher education community, and we cover our costs by collecting fees in exchange for the access, preservation, and research and consulting services we provide. That exerts a real discipline on our operations in that we must continually adapt to the needs of our audiences to be worthy of their support. Thousands of higher education and related institutions around the world are ITHAKA’s primary financial supporters; their JSTOR participation fees provide 88% of ITHAKA’s revenue. Our 99% renewal rate for JSTOR generates stable recurring income, alleviating the dependency on fundraising that many not-for-profits experience. Because the organizations share our commitment to our mission, we have the financial resources necessary to maintain a great work environment that encourages innovation and excellence.

The Role

The Books Publisher Content Assistant will assist the Books Publisher Content Coordinator with a variety of standard tasks related to communicating with a wide array of Books@JSTOR participating publishers and third party distributors on all issues related to supply chain metadata (SCM) and content receipt ingest. The Books Publisher Content Assistant will also have the primary responsibility for tasks such as converting titles currently for sale on JSTOR’s site to Open Access (OA) as needed and reviewing publisher sites, catalogs and other resources in order to identify titles that should be treated as OA in JSTOR’s Books@JSTOR program. The position is part of the Content Management (CM)-Production unit and will work closely and collaboratively with ITHAKA’s Content Development, Platform Operations, Fulfillment, and other teams. This position is based in our Ann Arbor, MI office and reports to the Books Publisher Content Coordinator.

Specific Objectives and Responsibilities

The Books Publisher Content Assistant’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following activities:

With assistance and oversight from supervisor, carry out CM-related portions of the process of converting previously for-sale titles to OA. This includes prepping OA-specific supply chain metadata, creating JIRA tickets for tracking, locating instances where customers need to receive credits for earlier purchases of titles now categorized as OA, and coordinating with various teams to ensure a smooth and timely transition from for-sale to OA status across systems.

On an ongoing basis, monitor participating publisher sites/catalogs and title lists for other content providers with similar books programs to identify:

OA titles from participating publishers that JSTOR currently does not have but should have and OA titles that JSTOR already has as for-sale titles.

Other, non-OA titles from participating publishers that meet JSTOR criteria for inclusion in Books program but that we have not yet received from the publisher.

As familiarity with process grows, consider ways for making it more efficient, discuss those with supervisor, and implement when practical.

As directed and through persistent, patient, cordial and informed communications, establish and subsequently maintain those communication channels with production contacts at newly signed publishers and/or their distributors to establish and maintain the flow of SCM and source content files. Provide FTP login credentials, submission guidelines, and SCM template for new publishers/distributors during the on-boarding process. Procure sample content from publishers/distributors and evaluate said files to properly configure their set-up in CATS and their FTP space.

Monitor the flow of book metadata and content files to JSTOR, by reviewing output of system-generated validation checks or reports from multiple content ingest applications. Under guidance of supervisor, analyze and resolve complex and detailed errors when possible and alert supervisor when not possible. As directed and under guidance from supervisor, communicate complicated problems and desired solutions with clarity and precision to publishers/distributors or conversion vendors as appropriate, respond to resulting questions in a timely manner, and follow up persistently yet patiently to ensure common understanding and eventual resolution of problems.

Monitor the Content Support CRM Sugar account. With guidance and prioritization from supervisor, answer/route incoming questions from publishers/distributors regarding but not limited to: SCM markup practices, pricing, source content file creation and provision, availability and appearance of content on JSTOR’s site, usage reporting, removal or darkening requests, PDF replacements, ISBN changes, etc. Ensure that queries routed to other staff are resolved.

With guidance from supervisor, evaluate problematic or questionable PDFs reported by conversion vendors, end users, and the CATS database to determine which problems require further review. Work with supervisor to determine an appropriate solution for each case.

Using automated and manual methods, create and, as directed by supervisor, disseminate in a timely manner detailed status reports for internal use and publisher or institution consumption concerning supply chain metadata, content receipt and processing, and related communication activities. With assistance from supervisor, respond to questions about reports.

Respond to and act on content removal requests from publishers in a timely manner by confirming reason with publisher, recording removal and associated notes concerning reason in CATS, and ensuring content is removed from Platform by the Platform Services team when necessary. Upon request of the publisher and with supervisory assistance, support restoration of previously removed titles by coordinating related automated and manual workflows with relevant technical support, Product Management, and Fulfillment teams.

The position calls for a self-directed, motivated individual with the ability to balance workload efficiently; who feels comfortable taking on a broad and changing set of responsibilities; who seeks out additional work/responsibilities in a fast-paced and rapidly evolving organizational environment; and looks for proactive ways to improve and enhance communication and workflow processes. The ideal candidate will have experience working with service-oriented organizations, will possess strong communication skills and will have the desire and ability to learn and apply new technologies quickly.

Skills, Experience, and Characteristics

Required Qualifications

Excellent organizational skills, with a strong attention to detail, a proven record of meeting deadlines, and a willingness to work in a hands-on environment.

Excellent time management skills.

Demonstrated excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Ability to work independently and without close supervision as well as part of a team; ability to work effectively across organizational boundaries, and remotely with other offices.

Demonstrated skills in problem identification, analysis, and resolution.

Demonstrated experience with a range of relevant office applications and software tools, such as Microsoft Office.

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.

Desired Qualifications

Experience using bug tracking software tools, such as Atlassian JIRA.

Demonstrated experience with editing and validating XML.

Demonstrated experience using FTP clients.

Familiar with publisher supply chain metadata, particularly the ONIX for Books standard.

Experience using CRM software tools.

Experience using SQL.

Experience using Slack, HipChat, or other office instant messengers.

Standard Work Schedule

40 hours per week (i.e., full-time effort) to be worked Monday to Friday during regular business hours.

Work for us

 Come join our team of talented and dedicated people with great ideas who want to make the world a smarter place.  Individuals will be rewarded with excellent career development and a fantastic benefits package that includes:

Choice of two medical plans, one at no cost to the employee

Employer paid dental, vision, life insurance, and employee assistance programs

Employer contributed retirement and much, much more 

How to apply:

Interested candidates can submit their resume, a detailed cover letter, and salary requirements to:

ITHAKA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.

See job description

Company info

Ithaka Harbors, Inc
Website :

Company Profile
The reach of ITHAKA’s projects is global. JSTOR, Portico and Ithaka S+R work with a variety of partners who share our interests, values, and commitment to the academic community. Partners include:

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