Faces of Elsevier - Bharath Aradhyula, Open Access Business Development Manager
15 February 2022 | 4 min read
By Bharath Aradhyula
"Keep your wonderful research going! You are making the world a better place."
1. What was your background before becoming Open Access Business Development Manager?
I have worked with Elsevier for the past 10 years. I started as a Journal Manager in Chennai, India where I supported authors, editors and the publication process for a number of journals. I then moved to the application process support team to support Journal Managers with system configurations and cascading improvements to the product teams for our submission and production systems. I then worked as a Change Manager for Elsevier OA Services, a project to improve systems and journeys for our authors publishing open access. I am now based in the Netherlands.
2. Tell us a little about what your role entails.
Elsevier has open acess publishing and funder agreements with various institutions and funders across the world. My team and I are the are tasked with implenting and managing these OA agreements for commercial and funder agreements. My responsibilities include working with the agreement partners, creating and disseminating custom-built reporting, interfacing with internal departments and ensuring that systems are kept up to date and accurately reflect the terms of agreements. I also act as a subject matter expert for gold open access issues.
3. How would you describe a typical working day?
I like to start each day by creating a to-do list for the day. I go through my schedule and I get any preparation work done for the meetings. I have a stand up meeting with the team to discuss the tasks and priorities. The first few hours of my day are usually filled with meetings with internal stakeholders about processes, reporting and progress updates on product development. I have a dedicated time in the week where my team and I have meetings with agreement partners to track progress of the agreements and gather feedback on the workflows and processes. I usually answer my emails in the rest of the time. A couple of coffee breaks during the day help me to recharge and focus on work.
4. How do you measure success in your work?
I measure success in short steps. As long as I continue to learn something new and I handle things in a better way than I did yesterday, I consider it as a success.
5. Do you have any particular advice for new authors?
Keep your wonderful research going! You are making the world a better place. Good research results in advancements to the scientific community and humanity. Please continue to provide feedback during your journeys with Elsevier. That really helps us understand what you need and helps us to design solutions.
6. What is the most rewarding aspect of your work for you and what do you find difficult about the role?
Serving the scientific community is rewarding. I am happy and proud to be part of a team and an organisation that always takes the author’s point of view when making any decisions on workflows and product development. Every role has its challenges. I find it challenging that stakeholder management skills need continuous improvement. That’s also the fun part that I enjoy in my role.
7. Name one item/tool/resource that you cannot do without in your job.
Since Covid, it really is Zoom and Microsoft Teams. I feel meetings with customers are a key to establishing good relationships.
8. How do you see your role changing (if at all) over the next few years?
Being the lynchpin between various key roles in the organisation and with the subject matter expertise, I feel like my role will evolve more and more towards a centre of excellence. As we sign more agreements, we learn more and more, and I foresee us working strategically to standardise the processes. It is important to create the right foundation and resources to manage agreements effectively to benefit our authors and agreement partners.
9. What would you be doing now if you were not working in publishing?
I would like to be in the teaching profession and travel the world as much as possible.
10. What is the most interesting/amusing/inspirational thing you’ve worked on?
Working on the product development for Elsevier OA Services project with the team. The results are a true team effort that involved creative thinking, smart work and perseverance. A piece of the good work is here.