A Day in the Life of the Head of Digital Landscape

Get to know a typical work day of our Head of Digital Landscape: Adrian Harper. Learn about his “Getting Things Done” approach, why he still uses pen and paper, and how he optimizes his media consumption through AI.

adrian harperTake us through a day in your work life. What are some of the work habits you’ve developed over the years that help you maintain productivity?

With responsibilities covering both internal and customer platforms, no two days are the same. I switch rapidly between overseeing the traditional areas of IT (software development, onsite and cloud infrastructure, security, data growth, and operational services), keeping major project initiatives on track, dealing with crisis incidents, and driving strategic discussions on how we use and develop our technology platforms.

My main productivity habit is the GTD methodology (Getting Things Done). I’ve trusted and relied heavily on this system since I first found David Allen’s book around 2004. Rather than take notes on a laptop, I use paper and pen in meetings, but any actions that I need to deal with are rapidly input into my GTD system when back at my desk.

When working at the office, I have a two-hour-plus commute time in the car; I find this time helpful to sort out my thoughts on what is coming up or what has happened during the day. This process typically generates a lot of ideas and actions that I dictate into my GTD system via my phone.

What motivated you to apply for a position at Karger?

I was approached to join the Karger team at a time when I had worked for over twenty years in the finance sector. The role at Karger offered me a real challenge combined with a very different industry to learn.

What has been your experience during the remote working over the last two years?

I’m fortunate to have space for a dedicated office at home, so I fully understand that I’ve been in a privileged position compared to many others who have struggled at kitchen tables. Although some of our staff switched between the office and home working over the last two years, I was one of a small number permanently at home from around February 2020. I estimate that I visited the office for only two or three days in that period.

Having worked remotely at least one day per week before the pandemic, moving entirely to remote work was not difficult. My wife, kids, and pets certainly appreciated that I was at home more and was much more flexible with my time, e.g. not leaving the house at 6 am to beat the commute traffic.

The thing I missed most during the pandemic was personal face-to-face discussions with my team members and the short exchanges at the coffee machine or in the hallway. Brainstorming and incident/crisis management are also very challenging when the team is remote.

What do you enjoy the most about your time at Karger?

I love the variability and the constant challenge of my role that stems from Karger, along with the scientific publishing industry, undergoing a significant period of change. This generates many new projects, changing processes, and new developments. I also enjoy the diversity of opinions and backgrounds of both my teams and colleagues. For a recent interview, I worked out that I had nine or ten different nationalities and an age range from sixteen to sixty-four within my teams.

What would you like someone who’s interested in applying to Karger to know?

While the expectation of Karger employees is high, the company also take the health and wellbeing of our people very seriously. The way the company reacted in an employee-first manner during the pandemic was exemplary, overcoming serious workflow, technical, and process issues to ensure that the Karger was ahead of the curve in reacting to guidance and regulations from the Swiss and overseas governments.

Seeing the success of allowing people more flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere accelerated Karger’s plans for full hybrid working and broke the traditions of always being in the office and block-time working that many Swiss companies still maintain.

What kind of media are you consuming every day?

I tend to consume quite a lot of media each day, so I try to optimise my consumption as much as possible. Through a reading system with a built-in AI, I collect news articles and alerts from hundreds of sources and then filter these to highlight trends and the specific topics I’m interested in following. I also read many books each year across lots of genres. I split my reading between an e-reader and audiobooks that let me utilise some of my commute time or time spent walking the dog etc.

 

Are you interested in a career at Karger? Explore our current job opportunities at our job portal. Also, find out what Samuel does in the role as an “Executive Assistant/Rights & Permission Manager”.

A Day in the Life of an SIV Specialist

What does someone in the Strategy, Innovation & Venture (SIV) Department of our company actually do from day to day, you might wonder? We wanted to know from Stephanie Biller what her daily work day looks like and why collegiality and teamwork is especially important in her team.

stephanie biller

Take us through a day in your work life. What are some of the work habits you’ve developed over the years that help you maintain productivity?

On workdays, at 9 o’clock we have a set team meeting that we use to talk about the daily business together and about how we can support one another in special projects. Of course, there is also social exchange. In my department, teamwork is very important and lived in nearly every working minute. That helps us to be productive and to keep our spirits up — even in hard times with a large workload.

What motivated you to apply for a position at Karger?

As a trained linguist and social scientist, working in publishing — and in particular for a scientific publisher, disseminating knowledge and helping people — was the most obvious career choice to make. What motivated me to apply for a position at Karger was its long history as a family-owned business — where a common goal is easier to identify with and work towards.

What has been your experience during the remote working over the last two years?

After the transition phase, where I dearly missed seeing my team members in person and having some spontaneous, unscheduled chats, I could see more positive sides in remote working.

It’s easier to focus on your work when there are fewer disturbances, a daily commute of at least one hour (one way) seems like an horrid recollection of older times; thus, you can use your most productive hours directly for your work assignments.

What do you enjoy the most about your time at Karger?

Having found a great team and team leader in the SIV-Department, with new and interesting challenges nearly every minute of the day.

What would you like someone who’s interested in applying to Karger to know?

We are in the transition to an always faster-paced workplace. You should enjoy working and animating your colleagues and different teams, be ready to embrace innovation and new ideas — to work hard convincing different members of other departments and to see the positive sides of working together with different people in taskforces and project groups.

How do you switch off from a busy day at work?

After a long workday, I especially enjoy sports, such as running, swimming, and of course – with the start of spring – standup paddling with friends.

 

Are you interested in a career at Karger? Explore our current job opportunities at our job portal. Also, find out what Daniela does in the role as a “Human Resource Manager”. 

Support in Every Step of the Research Cycle

How can you write a compelling paper? Or avoid having your paper rejected? Have you covered every step in your clinical research article? Scientific writing can be learned! And how to get published, too.  

paul lavender

Karger supports young researchers in every step of their research project and for this reason we create products and services all along the research cycle. So Campus fits perfectly into our product portfolio. To learn more about the idea behind it, I interviewed Paul Lavender, Strategic Competence Lead of Education and Learning at Karger. 

Paul, how did you come up with the idea of creating courses about getting published?  

Campus is a collection of 10 courses to help authors in the health sciences get their papers published. The courses were created in response to demand from our customers — particularly librarians. Publishers are increasingly expected to provide not just articles in journals, but instructions on how to write these articles. Originally, we planned to run more onsite courses, but naturally the pandemic changed our approach.  

Who will profit from these courses?  

Health science researchers at all levels will find these courses valuable. For the early career researcher, the more basic courses on how to avoid rejection from a journal may be most beneficial. Senior researchers may enjoy topical courses in fast-moving fields, such as how to effectively market your research. Those who perform peer review for Karger will also have access to the courses on peer review — including our editorial board and partner publication boards.

What obstacles do researchers face in their publishing journey?  

Actually, very many — which is why the majority of submitted papers in health science never go on to be published in any journal. Often this involves some form of incomplete or unclear presentation of the study findings. 

Are there also obstacles in an earlier state of the research cycle? 

Yes, the largest obstacles to publication are created before the publishing journey even begins — a poor or uninteresting study question and study methodology or conduct that invalidates the results of the study.  

How does our courses address those?  

We focus a lot on the importance of producing high-quality data that give insights into a clinically interesting question. This is a bit like using good ingredients with cooking — without good ingredients at the beginning, it’s nearly impossible to create anything tasty. 

In addition, we stress that publishers want to publish high-quality work, and focus on strategies for authors to not only produce such work, but also to be seen to produce it. In other words, to make it easy for the publisher to accept their paper. 

What is the university’s benefit? 

Simply, if the students have a higher chance of being published successfully in a high-quality journal, their institution also benefits. 

We have also tried to cover topics that senior lecturers would not have covered when they were students — such as preprints and social media. So, we hope that universities will use these to complement their existing curriculum or even as internal training for staff.

What’s your idea for the coming year? Will you add more courses?  

We will have quarterly webinars for Campus students to discuss questions that they have submitted after completing a course. I’m very much looking forward to these. 

We would love to expand Campus, but it may be that we go ‘deeper rather than wider’, so discussion forums/walls and more live events, rather than simply adding more courses.

What topics will they cover? 

Students can submit ideas for upcoming courses, so I think we’ll just see where there’s a strong demand. I suspect we will see demand around hot topics such as open data, metaverse in science, etc., which is great, but may need to be micro-courses that can quickly be updated. 

Which course do you like best? And why? 

Any course that doesn’t have me in it! 😉 Seriously, it would be impossible to choose because each main instructor has brought their personality to the courses they have created: my colleagues Grainne, Sonja, Inês, and Beth. Sophie has done a great job compiling exercises and quizzes. I love each course and learned something from each one. I’m extremely proud what this team has achieved. 

 

Learn more about Karger Campus.

A Day in the Life of a Human Resource Manager

We asked ourselves: What does Daniela Zimmermann do in her position as an “HR Manager”. We know that she interviews and hires people. But what else is part of her daily job? Let’s find out in the first interview of our “Day in the Life” blog series!  

daniela zimmermann human resource manager at karger

Take us through a day in your work life? What are some of the work habits you’ve developed over the years that help you maintain productivity? 

My workdays can be quite different, i.e. there is no real typical workday, in HR you have to always be very flexible. I try to do work that requires a high degree of concentration in the mornings and to always leave myself enough latitude that I can also take care of the daily business on time as well.  

What motivated you to apply for a position at Karger?  

My entire previous professional experience was in the government and I was looking for a new challenge in the private sector. Then I came upon the job posting at Karger, which was a 100% match with my needs and career goals at the time.   

What has been your experience during the remote working over the last two years? 

Personally, I found the home office time very positive. HO had a very good effect on my work-life balance. Professionally, I’ve often been able to discharge my responsibilities more efficiently. Additionally digitalization has been radically transformed in the past two years in the HR field. However, I do miss the personal contact with my colleagues.  

What do you enjoy the most about your time at Karger? 

That your strengths are fostered and you’re always given new challenges. Depending on your position, you have a lot of individual responsibility and can work very independently. And you have the possibility to bring your own ideas to the table and depending on circumstances also to implement them.  

What would you like someone who’s interested in applying to Karger to know? 

You have to be aware that Karger is in the middle of a large change and for this reason it might not be the suitable workplace for every applicant. Also, you have to be able to deal with the fact that you cannot always find ready-made work solutions available and you have to be very flexible. The current moment is challenging but on the flip-side you also have the chance to make an impact and help shape things yourself.  

Do you listen to music while you work? If yes, which type of music? 

Yes, whenever I can I listen to music – I can’t live without music. When I’m working I’m usually listening to the radio. My taste in music is very broad and I listen to almost everything.  

 

Are you interested in a career at Karger? Explore our current job opportunities at our job portal.

Women in Medicine, Taboo Diagnosis, and a Journal’s History

Prof. Dr. med. Thomas M. D’Hooghe, the Editor in Chief, in an interview

 

The history and success of Karger Publishing began with the booklet “Geburtshülfliches Vademecum” in 1890, which was the first publication in this field of obstetrics, followed by the journal that is now celebrating its 125th anniversary. Over the years, the journal evolved with the aim of always meeting the needs of the target group and is still going strong in the field today under the title: Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation.

Editor in Chief Prof. Dr. med. Thomas M. D’Hooghe speaks with us in an exclusive interview.


You’ve been editor-in-chief for 20 years now. Can you tell us something about the journal’s changes during this last 20 years?

Internal changes: The digital process of handling a paper from submission through peer review to publication has become much easier, faster, and more effective. External changes: the submission of papers from China has increased in a very significant and impressive way.

Women in medicine, stillbirths, amenorrhea: the journal has always covered relevant (taboo) topics. Can you elaborate on the journal’s awareness of breaking taboos and how you did this?

I believe that GOI, with its specific heritage that is the subject of the GOI 125 special issue, has survived difficult years because of its focus on scientific quality. Any topic that deserves investigation related to obstetrics and gynecology is within its scope, which opens the opportunity to publish a wide diversity of content, including also research on taboo topics, or topics that may be culturally sensitive, as long as the rights of patients are respected, the content meets the currently applicable scientific standards of research and reporting, and related opinions are presented in a balanced way, based on transparent thinking, reasonable arguments and within the current ethical guidelines for medical care, data generation and medical-scientific publications.

Do you have a favorite article? Which one?

Not really, but I am very fond of what we have brought together in the GOI 125th celebration issue.

What will we read in GOI in the next 5 years?

Results of high-quality original data generation projects, reviews, and guidelines. I believe we will see major progress in Real World Evidence based on big data analysis and artificial intelligence, and will see more innovation based on exploratory hypothesis-generation randomized trials in centers of excellence, avoiding the cost and complexity of large multicenter trials. There is also growing interest in publishing patient-reported experiences, outcomes, and expectations as patients are becoming a more important driver of healthcare worldwide. Acceptance of papers will be based on a few essential criteria: what is the scientific question? Why is the question important (who cares?) and to what extent is it new? Has the right methodology been used, in the right way? Are results available in a transparent, unbiased, and understandable way? Do the discussion and conclusion match the results?
We are not only interested in publishing innovative breakthroughs in basic, translational, or clinical research, but are also interested in publishing negative results from studies that were designed and executed with high quality, to ensure that they get the recognition they deserve. Also, contributions representing novel insights, or important opinion or debate topics are welcome.

Thank you very much for this interesting interview!

Read the latest articles from the journal Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation.

Linda Lardelli

Mix branding, linguistics, and product PR and you’ll find Linda’s area of expertise at Karger. Schubert, Bach, and Debussy are her biggest musical idols, and she loves playing their compositions on her piano.

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